Once Upon A Romance

Once Upon A Romance's Review Of...
Million-Dollar Marriage Merger by Charlene Sands


Cover art: Million-Dollar Marriage Merger Reviewer: Connie Payne
Title: Million-Dollar Marriage Merger – Napa Valley Vows
Author: Charlene Sands
Publisher: Silhouette (Desire)
ISBN-13: 978-0-373-73029-2
Release Date: May 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: Contemporary Romance
Year/Setting: Present day, Napa California
Overall Rating: 3.75
Sexual Content Rating: Sensual
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None/Very Mild
Violent Content Rating: None
Charlene's Website: www.charlenesands.com

A failing business, an unborn child, and promises made bring Tony and Rena back together. Festering feelings of betrayal and pride may keep them apart…

They were so much in love at one time, but Tony Carlino’s need for speed, the racing circuit and Rena Montgomery’s need to stay home and take care of her mother through illness drove a bitter wedge between them.

Death, life, and survival are all weighing on Rena. Without Tony’s help she’ll have to give up the vineyard she loves. Yet as far as she’s concerned it’s because of Tony’s betrayal and his family that she’s in these circumstances.

Yes, for various reasons she’ll marry him but she’ll never love or trust him again. To forgive him would perhaps be a betrayal to her deceased husband, David. To forgive him would mean she still has buried feelings for Tony and would be open to exploring them. Feeling them.

Tony still cares for Rena, but life, as it does, moved on. Decisions were made, people were hurt. He can’t change the past no matter how much either of them wishes he could. What he can do is secure the future and try and make things up to Rena as best he can. Love her as best he can.

Their love was once all-consuming. Something Rena lived for. Since then her life and love has been more sedate, and she thought that’s how she wanted it. But being with Tony has opened up places in her she wanted to forget about. If she dares to forgive, can she spread her wings and allow herself to live, love, again?

What a quick and pleasant read. I continually found myself encouraging Tony and chiding Rena. A sure sign the author has done her job by involving the reader’s emotions.

Though it was sufficient, I would have liked a bit more Carlino background. Curiosity has been piqued with Tony’s brothers. Maybe more will be revealed in Nick and Joe’s stories, should they be forthcoming. Rena’s background, however, was laid out for the reader with precision. Understandably as she was the one who went through the majority of emotional upheaval.

Ms. Sands has penned a story of emotional tragedy and triumph. The reader can equally empathize with Rena and Tony; why they acted and reacted to situations that had the potential to change the course of their lives. Silhouette Desire readers will be very happy with this angst-ridden romance.

Happy Reading,

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