THEN HE KISSED ME – Christie Ridgway
Three Kisses , Book 2
Berkley Sensation
ISBN: 978-0-425-23917-9
January 2011
Contemporary Romance

Napa Valley, California – Present Day

Stephania “Stevie” Baci is known as the tomboy of the three Baci sisters. While Stevie runs a limousine service, she does help her sisters, Allie and Giuliana, with the Baci family winery business. Stevie's heart was recently broken when the wealthy political star on the rise, Emerson Platt, dumped her for a real life Princess. It's New Year's Eve and Stevie's company is chosen to escort Emerson and his now fiancée around the Napa Valley . The task is difficult, but will soon be even more so since her family's winery also stages weddings and was picked by the bride for their wedding. On this fateful night, Stevie meets Princess Roxanne and also encounters her protective (and very handsome) brother, Prince Jack, who warns Stevie he's going to keep a close eye on her. Of course, this “threat” shouldn't give her goose bumps on her skin or cause her libido to skyrocket. To Stevie, Jack is annoying and shouldn't be distrustful of her. She wouldn't jeopardize his sister's wedding, right?

Jack is intrigued by Stevie from the first moment he meets her. She's prickly, independent, spunky and downright beautiful. Of course, she just agrees with the independent part. Jack may be royalty, but he's half American, and his mixed blood has him torn between American and Ardenian ways. Jack decides to distract Stevie by having her escort him around the area—and he can keep his eye on her. One thing leads to another, and soon they're engaged, too. Not for real, but just to keep the gossip mongers off the track of the Emerson-Stevie angle. Could a fake engagement turn into the real thing? Their attraction sizzles off the charts, but first Jack is going to have to break down the barriers Stevie's erected around her heart.

Christie Ridgway's THEN HE KISSED ME has a sassy heroine locking horns with the sexy hero right from the start. Is Stevie bent on sabotaging Emerson and Roxanne's nuptials? Can Jack keep an eye on her all the time? Stevie outwardly pretends she wasn't hurt by Emerson's rejection, and because of the sisters winery/wedding business, she's going to hide her pain. The family needs the money the wedding will bring in to keep the winery afloat, and while Stevie wasn't expected to be directly involved, when Allie breaks her foot, they look to her to pitch in. Of course, it doesn't help that Jack annoys her and that he's staying next door at the Bennett's, one of whom happens to be an old college buddy of his. Wherever Stevie turns, there is Jack. Then when they kiss, something inside her sizzles and starts a melting sensation. Could it be her heart and that Stevie is falling for Jack?

Jack has his own issues. (You think being royalty is without problems?) As the youngest brother and with no sense of where he wants to go in life, he's pretty much been labeled a playboy. It doesn't help that there are whispers about what really happened years ago when Jack and Roxanne were kidnapped. Are the rumors true, or has Jack tied himself into knots blaming himself? One thing he does know is that he loves his sister and that Stevie better not mess with her happiness. Of course, he thinks Stevie is beautiful, even if she hides it behind a stoic and tomboyish attitude. Slowly he penetrates the barriers she's put up, but in doing so, he'll have to reveal his innermost feelings to her in order to win her heart.

Meanwhile, the wedding of Emerson to Roxanne is coming along, but not so smoothly. Emerson is being groomed to follow in his mother's senatorial footsteps, and she is using the wedding as a political platform. Roxanne accepts Emerson's future, but will she be happy as the wife of a politician? Slowly, their happiness is coming unraveled. Will they end up getting married by the end of THEN HE KISSED ME?

A truly fun read from beginning to end, THEN HE KISSED ME is the second book in the Three Kisses trilogy from Christie Ridgway. Snappy dialogue, funny scenes, and endearing characters make reading this pure enjoyment. Pick up your copy today.

Patti Fischer