Three Kisses, Bk 1 - Crush on You

Author: Christie Ridgway

Publisher: Berkley

Release Date: June 1, 2010

Blue Ribbon Rating: 4.5

Format: PRINT

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Alessandra ‘Allie’ Baci is also known as the Nun of Napa and many in the neighborhood are protective of her.  Five years ago, she was supposed to get married, but her groom died fifteen minutes before the wedding was to begin.  Every year, on the day that would have been her wedding day, she dresses in her wedding dress and relives her memories, although her family does not know that she does it.  She and her two sisters made a vow to their father when he was on his deathbed.  They had not hesitated to swear that they would save Tanti Baci, the family winery, as it was their legacy.  But they have been running into one problem after another.  They had not been aware of the sorry condition of the winery until their father expressed his concerns on his deathbed.  The cottage on the land is being renovated into a wedding destination.

Their next door neighbors, the Bennetts, are their competition, and they are also part owners of Tanti Baci.  The Bennett patriarch died not long ago, but, unlike the Baci patriarch, he left their family’s winery and other holdings in good condition for his sons, Liam and Seth. Their father also had two children out of wedlock, whom he did not acknowledge until he was dead.  At that time, he acknowledged them through his will and the two brothers had been more than willing to share their legacy.  They found one brother Penn, but they also have a sister whom they have not found yet.   Penn was the star of Penn Bennett’s Build Me up, a prime time show for the past four years, which has been in the Nielsen’s top ten rating during the last two seasons.  He had been hurt by a woman and now felt that he was on to all women’s devious tricks.


In the midst of her annual tribute to her almost wedding, she was interrupted when her sisters came to her bedroom door, begging her to come out.  She did not want them to see her in her wedding dress, but when she discovered that the contractors hired to renovate the cottage, which was the historic residence of the original founders of the winery, were packing up to go to another job, she ran out the door, wedding dress and all.  The cottage was a big part of their plans, as they hoped to make it a wedding destination and already had one couple booked.  Shocked at seeing her in the dress, they followed her outside.  Confronting their contractor, she tearfully managed to get him to stay although he had a better paying job elsewhere.  Penn could not believe that the contractor fell for her obvious ploy. However, when Penn started talking to his brother Liam about her obvious assets, Liam warned him off, letting him know that no one messed with the Nun of Napa. 


With Clare’s wedding quickly approaching, Penn is asked to check over the work at the cottage.  But the last thing Allie expects is to find him doing an inspection in the middle of the night.  Discovering that her contractors have permanently deserted her, she is devastated.  Desperate to save her legacy and abide by the promise she made to her father, Allie knows that Penn may be her only chance to have the job done on time.  He willingly takes it on…as long as Allie is his laborer.  However, the two cannot deny their passion for each other and whenever they are together, the sparks fly.  But each has been stung in the past.  Can they get beyond their pasts to have a future together? 


CRUSH ON YOU, the first book in Christie Ridgway’s new series, is a fun, sexy contemporary romance.  Brimming with witty repartee, a delightful plot, charismatic characters, sizzling love scenes, romance and humor, this well-written story is a joy.  The Baci sisters join with the Bennett brothers to make a success of the Baci winery, even though they are also competitors.  You can practically see the smoke rise off the page when Penn and Allie get together.  I really enjoyed their story and look forward to the future books in this series.

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Dottie

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