This is my stop for the book tour of Her Inconvenient Christmas Reunion Book Tour from Romance Writer Nina Singh. This is a sweet contemporary romance published through Harlequin’s Romance line.
**Content Warnings: Closed-door love scene
Don’t forget to join the Tour Giveaway. Details are at the end of this post.
Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.
Published on: 10 November 2020
Published by: Harlequin Romance Larger Print
Type: standalone, HEA
Author: Nina Singh
Read: 18 October 2020
Shelved: 20 October 2020
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Can a mistletoe kiss…
…heal the past?
When Zayn walks back into Izzy’s life, years after he was forced to walk out of it, she’s faced with the undeniable attraction that’s never faded. Finding themselves co-owners of the vineyard that means so much to Izzy makes tensions run high! But then she’s seduced into a kiss under the Parisian Christmas lights… Can Izzy find it in her heart to forgive the man who once broke it?
From Harlequin Romance: Be swept away by glamorous and heartfelt love stories.
Izadora “Izzy’ Veracruz is the manager and vintner of Stackhouse Winery. She loves her job and had even forsaken her father to be working for the competitor. Because of Izzy’s dedication and love for the winery, Myrna Tabor, Stackhouse owner with no heirs to help her, bequeathed half of the winery to her and Zayn, her nephew.
Zayn Joffman is a successful businessman who left his family’s winery business to find his way and later did well for himself. After his aunt’s passing, he inherited his family’s vineyard. He had many thoughts and proposals to reinvent the winery and elevate Stackhouse Winery to fit the global arena. One thing was stopping him, and it came in the form of a woman from his past. Too bad it comes Izzy, a co-owner, as a package, who cannot be bought out and is making sure that Aunt Myrna’s legacy continues (status quo).
The story is from both Zayn and Izzy’s POVs. They have a long history together – childhood sweethearts, to be exact. They grew up together in the winery, but Zayn, one day, left for no reason. This devastated Izzy, who thought they had “something” together, even if they were still so young. It is only after Aunt Myrna’s passing that Zayn steps back into his past and to face his “sins.”
Izzy and Zayn’s chemistry is striking in that they both do not see how well they can work with each other versus against – to better the winery. They need to sort out their pasts to run the winery effectively together. They are as complicated together as individually.
Zayn is a man, riddled with much self-doubt that his frustration floored me. He is far from perfect based on his troubled past, though he tries his best to change for the better. Thus, there is still lingering trauma within Zayn; he does not trust people easily, even when they prove to be, and is critical of anyone who may show care and understanding towards him. Bottom line: he DOES NOT DO relationships. Period. The only relationship he considered was a long time ago, and it was with Izzy, which did not turn out well, and he had to leave her for her own good.
With Zayn coming back to Stackhouse, his well-kept “secrets” starts seeping out and will make him question the decision he took five years ago. Readers will see his “vulnerable” side wherein he gets triggered more by his past and the consequences of his choices. There is one point in the book that I felt heartbroken for Zayn. He was misunderstood and judged based on his past, making him believe that he could not return and continue his family’s legacy through Stackhouse. Something else bothered Zayn that he chose to ignore instead of taking action to correct the problem. Like myself, Izzy was sad to see a successful businessman still have this guilt haunting him.
For Zayne to even ask that question was downright heartbreaking. Just went to show that he really didn’t come to grips with his past despite all the years that had gone by.– Izzy, Her Inconvenient Christmas Reunion
When readers find out what he has kept hidden and rationalize everything, I changed my mind mid-way because his reasons for just keeping things status quo was the best action he could have taken. It is rare for me with a character, and I wholeheartedly agree that Zayn did right. (Crazy, I know.)
Izzy also has her share of issues to sort out. She worried about Aunt Myrna and the vineyard, her family’s wishes for her, and the heartbreak Zayn left her.
Izzy tried her best to balance everything. But with Zayn ignoring her brought up some abandonment issues thinking that he left because she was not good enough for him. She slowly got over Zayn and focused on her passion for the winery until Zayn came back and insulted her by doing something crazy (as expected) that made things much complicated.
If Zayn had the right frame of mind to discuss things with Izzy, instead of assuming things, he and Izzy work together to contribute and co-own the vineyard, then Izzy and Zayn could have avoided the hurt and disappointments. There were flashbacks a few sad flashbacks for either of them to encounter at a young age. I like how Nina used this to strengthen the readers’ connection to Izzy and Zayn empathize with the story’s conflicts.
“When it came to this particular man, she would always lead with her heart. Even if it ultimately meant getting it torn to shreds.”– Izzy, Her Inconvenient Christmas Reunion
Zayn’s dual personality confounds me a bit because, on one end, I see the go-getter, take-no-prisoners businessman Zayn, while on the flip side, the quiet, fumbling-for-words, the past Zayn. The juxtaposition is excellent, and reading underneath it all, implied the lingering attraction of Zayn to Izzy still holds, even after all these years.
Midway through the story, an exciting opportunity turned everything around for Izzy and Zayn. Unknowingly, this new development was a blessing to both main characters and allowed Zayn to find his back into Izzy’s life. This part of the story picks up faster yet organically evolved to unravel Izzy’s and Zayn’s problems.
A hint: Izzy and Zayn started working finding common ground with regards to the winery and even got a trip in together that I love!
Both of them realize how much they need each other to heal and find redemption from their painful experiences. All the secrets piled up against each other were unhealthy and brought more damage than protecting each other. It was humbling to see that they listened to Aunt Myrna’s parting words, more so with Izzy, who followed it down to the letter.
You two need each other.— Izzy, Her Inconvenient Christmas Reunion
Myrna’s written words echoed through Izzy’s head. She knew what she had to do. After all, her mentor had never led her astray yet.
I want to share that just when I thought things would be simple – two ex’s trying to fix their relationship into a good one, something else happens that throws me in kilter. I was not ready for this, and more emotions came. I have to say that Nina is very cunning in this one. There was no sign or hint on this till it blows up from Zayn.
Izzy is a brave woman to have come from where she did. She pushed through her pain to be Zayn’s unwavering supporter after everything. It took a lot out of her, and you read it in her words and actions. She was sincere and did not coddle Zayn. She knew him well enough to be the silent and relentless business partner.
On the whole, I would recommend this book for readers who love enemies-to-friends, second chances, and redemption/healing stories. It is a story about a series of misunderstandings, unresolved issues (until the end), rehashed mistakes, and later, healing as the truth comes outs on why things turned simpler (if they did it right, the first time) in the end. No matter how late in the game, being honest is always the best, and it showed so well in this book.
It is an easy read for readers and captivating enough not to put down the book until the end. I enjoyed it a lot.
Meet Nina Singh
Nina Singh lives outside of Boston with her husband, children, and a very rambunctious Yorkie. When not at her keyboard, she likes to spend time on the tennis court or immersed in a good read.
Join the tour giveaway!
One winner will receive an ebook of Her Billionaire Protector by Nina Singh and a $20 Amazon eGift Card
Four Winners will receive an ebook of Her Billionaire Protector by Nina Singh.
US only and will end November 18, 2020