I've never been a big fan of Shakespearean tragedies. Typically, if I don't like the ending of a book or film, I won't go back to it. With Romeo and Juliet, I would find myself reading up until just before the bitter end. It is such a magnificent love story. That is why I take a chance with a retelling of the Bard's tale hoping against hope for a different ending. I won't spoil it for you, but I will let you know Wilson's ending differs greatly from that of Mr. Shakespeare.
Juliet Arabella had lived a majority of her twenty-eight years under her mother's thumb as a third generation chocolatier. A feud that had been escalating for over fifty years was held tight in the heart of the Arabella's until the moment Juliet changed everything.
Leo Mezzanotte had been away in Paris for years, studying to be the best chocolatier he could be when he was suddenly called home to help his uncle with the family business. So far removed from the feud, Leo refused to acknowledge it's existence. With one kiss from a beautiful masked woman in a moonlit field of sunflowers, he rocked the foundation of the Mezzanotte hate-fueled rivalry. Once Leo had a taste of Juliet, there was no going back.
As Juliet and Leo struggle with their feelings and fall in love despite their judgmental families, Wilson creates a bewitching backdrop in Napa Valley. This book took me on a visual journey unlike any I've experienced before. The imagery is so tangible, I felt I could see, taste, and smell each moment as Wilson described them. From the sunflowers and moonlight to the Riesling gingerbread truffles and sea salt maple bacon hearts, each thoroughly detailed enough to have me imagining I was right beside the characters experiencing each moment.
Both Leo and Juliet have strength which their original counterparts did not. Juliet is not the waif of a girl and Leo has no qualms about cutting ties with his arrogant uncle. All and all, Wilson delivers the romance and passion of the original tale with out the ruinous ending.
Thank you to Teri Wilson, Harlequin HQN, and NetGalley for granting me with a copy of Unmasking Juliet in exchange for an honest review. I can't wait to read Wilson's already released retelling of Pride & Prejudice, Unleashing Mr. Darcy. I'm excited to read Wilson's retelling of My Fair Lady, Unschooling the Professor, due out January 2015.
Teri Wilson grew up as an only child and could often be found with her head in a book, lost in a world of heroes, heroines and exotic places. As an adult, her love of books has led her to her dream career as a writer. Now an award-winning romance author, Teri spends as much time as she can seeing exotic places for herself, then coming home and writing about them, of course. When she isn't traveling or spending quality time with her laptop, she enjoys ballet, baking cupcakes, going to movies and hanging out with her friends and four dogs. Teri lives in San Antonio, Texas, and loves to hear from readers. She can be contacted via her website at www.teriwilson.net.