May 01, 2014

Book Review: UNMASKING JULIET by Teri Wilson

Book: Unmasking Juliet
Author:  Teri Wilson
Publisher:  Harlequin
Genre:  Contemporary Romance; Women’s Fiction
Release Date:  May 27, 2014

“Why are you being so nice to me?”- Juliet
“I like you.”- Leo
 “You can’t like me and I can’t like you.”- Juliet
“The hell I can’t.  The feud has nothing to do with me.  I don’t believe in it.”- Leo
“Believe whatever you want.  Or don’t.  But I do.”- Juliet

Synopsis via NetGalley:

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 Arabellas and the Mezzanottes. 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 Arabellas 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….

My Summary: 

One lovely night, Juliet lets go of her fears and kisses a beautiful man in the moonlight.  Not knowing who he is, she lets herself be carried away, feeling protected by the mask she wears at the ball.  Only to find out later that the man she felt so much with for such a short time is a Mezzanotte, a mortal enemy of the Arabella family to which she belongs.

Leo had just arrived home from a long stay in Paris to help revive his family's chocolate business.  He is a chocolatier with an eye on the prize: to push forth the popularity and sales of Mezzanotte chocolates. 

Meeting Juliet was not part of the plan, but never one to turn away from attraction, he
pursues Juliet and captures her heart.
Despite their families' intense dislike for one another, they feel a strong pull that keeps them together.  The question now is, how do they move forward when it seems they're battling against the impossible?

My Review:

From the title alone we already know that this is a play on the Shakespeare classic Romeo and Juliet.  Taking on such a story is always a gamble as the romance has to be intense and readers should, if not fall in love with the protagonists, at least like them with a passion.  I'm glad to say the author succeeded.

The character of Juliet here is not the naive little girl the original one was.  Here she's nearing 30 but is still very much under the control of her mother, the family business and her boyfriend and business partner.  I like that she finds courage to go against everyone's expectations on her own, though with the inspiration and encouragement of gorgeous Leo, this book's version of Romeo.  He is just as romantic as Romeo and very good with his hands..... He is a chocolatier after all **wink**.

I love Leo because though he bends to accommodate family, he still has a will of his own, he knows what and who he wants and pushes for it despite the negativity coming from both families, especially his dictator of an uncle. 

A nice reuse of a beloved plot.  This book, though light in nature, does not disappoint.  It does have its dramatic moments but not enough to make me tear up. 

A good read to begin (or end) your summer....wherever you may be.

1 comment:

  1. I'm really curious about this one! I requested it on NetGalley and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll be approved. I enjoy reading retellings and it's an added bonus that this book is set in Italy.