Monday, July 7, 2014

Book Review: Unmasking Juliet

Unmasking JulietAuthor: Teri Wilson
Publication Date: May 27, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin

Ever since she was a little girl learning to make decadent truffles in her family's chocolate shop, Juliet Arabella has been aware of the bitter feud between the Arabella’s and the Mezzanotte’s. With their rival chocolate boutiques on the same street in Napa Valley, these families never mix. Until one night, when Juliet anonymously attends the annual masquerade ball. In a moonlit vineyard, she finds herself falling for a gorgeous stranger, a man who reminds her what passion is like outside of the kitchen. But her bliss is short-lived when she discovers her masked prince is actually Leo Mezzanotte, newly returned from Paris and the heir to her archenemy's confection dynasty. 

With her mind in a whirl, Juliet leaves for Italy to represent the Arabella’s in a prestigious chocolate competition. The prize money will help her family's struggling business, and Juliet figures it's a perfect opportunity to forget Leo…only to find him already there and gunning for victory. As they compete head-to-head, Leo and Juliet's fervent attraction boils over. But Juliet's not sure whether to trust her adversary, or give up on the sweetest love she's ever tasted…

There at the Mezzanotte Masquerade Ball, Juliet Arabella was swept off her feet by a man whose name she didn’t even know, carried away on a wild grape-scented river of kisses, sweeter and more decadent than any chocolate she’d ever tasted.

But a lifetime of loathing told her things weren’t quite so simple.

Oh, how the mighty had fallen.

Some things were just better left unsaid.

A cute retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, but this time we have the Mezzanottes against the Arabellas. And in this particular retelling both families are owners of rival chocolate shops; this was an interesting twist on the well-known family feud. Shakespeare has never been one of my favorite, but for some reason I love to read retellings of his famous plays. Juliet Arabella has worked in her family’s chocolate shop all of her life, and she is all too familiar with the everlasting family feud between her family and the Mezzanottes. Leo Mezzanotte has just returned to help his family run their chocolate shop, and he and Juliet cross paths upon his return. They find that they have a strong chemistry together and can’t seem to stay away from one another.

Between the backdrop of the chocolate shops where Leo and Juliet worked and the fascinating Napa Valley setting, I was swept up in this story right off the bat. This book put me right in the world of fancy chocolatiers. The descriptions were absolutely wonderful and I especially loved seeing the world of chocolate from the different viewpoints of the feuding families. Also I should mention, don’t read this book when you are hungry, or especially if you have a sweet tooth!

This is a fun, entertaining, summer read. The plot unfolds little by little and you slowly find out about the feud between the families and get some history as to why they are where they are now. It started out a little slow, however it picks up so quickly that you forget any moment where you felt that the story might have dragged. I especially liked Juliet’s voice; I thought it had a touch of naïveté to it, but this made her all the more likeable. She seemed sweet and innocent and I loved watching her fall in love for the first time in her life!

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Harlequin in exchange for my honest review***

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