In keeping to my new year resolution of reading more this year, I went a little cuckoo and purchased three new books to tackle for the month of February 😀
Read anyone of these? If so, please comment below and let me know what if you liked them or not and why 🙂
Now for those who are die-hard Nora Roberts fans, this might be a slight disappointment, but let me reconfirm and say again, very slightly.
Like almost every book of hers, you’ll meet the so-called complicated main character, man or woman (man in this case) going through something rough in his or her life. The to-be lover and soul mate sometimes leads a similar complicated or breezy life and their lives join to create a better world at the end of the book.
Eli Landon has weathered an intense year of public scrutiny and police investigation after being accused of murdering his then soon-to-be ex-wife. Mind you, she was having an affair with a married man but to hell with that when all the so-called evidence points at poor ol’ Landon. And though there was never enough evidence to have him arrested, his reputation is in tatters as well as his soul. He need sanctuary. He needs time away from the public eye. He needs Bluff House (located at Whiskey Beach).
Throughout his time in finding his peace, getting to work on a fiction novel and gathering up pieces of his life, his life becomes entwined with Abra Walsh, who often comes in and stands in as his housekeeper. She is a woman with an open heart and a wide embrace, a woman who juggles more jobs that an actual human being can (I swear!) and no one is safe from her special, some would say over-bearing, brand of nurturing – including Eli. Now, I must admit her over-bearing-ness was more than a bit irritating for me. If I had someone as nurturing as her in my life, I’d probably have given her a good shelling and asked to be left alone to rebuilt. But of course in this novel we have to simply go with the flow and read on as Landon becomes comfortable or rather simply accepts her as she is.
Walsh has a bit of complications of her own but that doesn’t come into light until almost towards the end of the book. I however like the fact that there are other complications in the midst of trying to find out who actually committed the murder. You’ll have plenty of fingers to point at wrong suspects and you will be surprised at who it turns out to be.
You’ll also find the setting and scenery a fresh one and something that will lead you to turning more pages. Landon’s growth from beginning to end is something you’ll find quite satisfying as well. If you are looking for a cosy romantic suspense novel, give this one a read 🙂
I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned that I am a huge fan of Nora Roberts.
The thing about her books is that, you kind of feel like you know where things are going to go. They are in that sense, a tad predictable. However, what allows her to have such a vast readership around the world is her ability to create beautiful scenic stories, structure them around a fabulous location, good humour and strong independent characters.
The plot in The Villa is simple really. The book is centred around the Giambelli family that has been producing wines for over three generations. A murder or two are committed and as the main characters in the book find love in one another, you also find out who the killer is. Short and simply put, that’s just basically what it is all about. However, if you’re a fan of readying about wines in the Napa Valley, how grapes are grown, pruned, juiced and made into wine, love to revel in a little bit of a fairy tale, this book is a great read.
Sophia Giambelli is more than just a strong-willed independent women. For the most part she remains head strong, stubborn and is a posh miss-know-it-all. Her family’s business, the Giambelli wines have been renowned for over three generations and for their exceptional quality. She is the company’s PR executive. Almost at the beginning, a merger is announced by her grandmother, the matriarch Tereza Giambelli who married a MacMillian. Not everyone is happy about the merger that also brings about a change in everyone’s role in the company. Sophia is to work in the vineyard and her mother is to take on the role of PR and so on.
While everyone stumbles at the beginning of their new roles, new found passions and skills are honed. Sophia is determined to excel at everything and is one who usually prepares well in advance. However, she certainly isn’t prepared for Tyler MacMillan. His life has pretty much been out in the sun and rain, getting down and dirty and coaxing the sweetest grapes out of his family’s vineyard. They’ve been ordered to work together to facilitate the merger and so they toil together, both in and out of the fields, stubbornness and pride getting in the way and passion and attraction causing a minor complication between their roles in the company.
At the end of the one year season of trial, the course of the company’s future and the legacy of the villa may take an entirely new direction. However, personal dilemmas get in the way and add a twist to the story as you read along. Acts of sabotage to the company threaten not just the family business but the family itself when one morning Sophia’s father is found dead in her city apartment.
One mighty not take too easily to Sophia because she is aggressive in her ways but there is the sweet darling that is her mother and who can fail to find Ty both intimidating and attractive? What I like most about The Villa is getting to know the business behind creating a bottle of wine. Those who love detail of this sort will find the book a fascinating and fantastic read. I love the way Roberts allows her readers to experience the air of the Napa Valley, see the grapes hanging from the vines and taste the juice when they are pressed and finally have a feel for it when the liquid is finally bottled. Her knack is certainly incomparable and that is what makes it a top notch read.
*As published in the Ceylon Today newspapers*