Series: The Heart of Napa #1
Paperback and e-book, 281 pages
Published February 17th 2016 by Deborah Coonts
In Napa Valley, he who has the best grapes wins. And in the pursuit of perfection, dreams and hearts can be crushed.
Sophia Stone is a widow on the brink of an empty nest, stuck in an unsatisfying job managing the vineyard for a mediocre Napa vintner. Faced with an uncertain future she wonders how do you choose between making a living and making a life? Between protecting your heart and sharing it? Five years ago, after her husband was killed in an accident, Sophia put her heart and dreams on ice to care for those around her. Now her home, her dreams, and her family's legacy grapes are threatened by the greed of the new money moving into the Valley. Sophia has a choice--give up and let them take what is hers, or risk everything fighting a battle everyone says she can't win.
Nico Treviani has one goal in life: make brilliant wine. A woman would be an unwanted distraction. So, while recognized as one of Napa's premier vintners, Nico finds himself alone... until his brother's death drops not one, but two women into his life--his thirteen-year-old twin nieces. In an instant, Nico gains a family and loses his best friend and partner in the winemaking business. Struggling to care for his nieces, Nico accepts a job as head winemaker for Avery Specter, one of the new-money crowd. And he learns the hard way that new money doesn't stick to the old rules.
When Sophia Stone gets caught in the middle of Nico's struggle to remain true to himself or sacrifice his convictions to make stellar wine, both Sophia and Nico are faced with a choice they never imagined. A choice that might extinguish the hope of a future neither expected.
My thoughts about Crushed ~~
First line—'Sophia Stone knew life held few absolutes: good wine is art, good Italian cooking is passion, a good child is a gift, and good news never comes in a certified letter.'
I have read some of Deborah's Lucky series books in the past and loved them. I jumped at the chance to read Crushed, book 1 in a new series, The Heart of Napa, that she is writing. Crushed is very different from the Lucky books but it was just as enjoyable.
We get to spend time with Sophia and Nico in the beautiful Napa Valley. And we learn a little about growing grapes and making wine.
'Anybody could grow grapes. But growing good grapes was an art.'
Sophia thinks she has found someone who believes in her vision of producing a great wine. But at the same time, she is on the brink of losing everything that is important to her. Can she and Nico find the magic needed to make that perfect wine, and that perfect relationship, or is he out to get all that she holds dear?
There are so many wonderful characters in this story and I was immediately enthralled with all of them. And I loved all the different relationships in this story. I can't wait to see what the next books in this series will bring.
About the Author
My mother tells me I was born a very long time ago, but I’m not so sure—my mother can’t be trusted. These things I do know: I was raised in Texas on barbeque, Mexican food and beer. I am the author of Wanna Get Lucky? (A NY Times Notable Crime Novel and double RITA™ Finalist), its five sequels, Lucky Break being the latest, four between-the-books novellas and the first in a new series, Crushed, a novel of wine and love.
Currently I’m stretching my writer muscles working on a women’s fiction/contemporary romance series set in Napa, a dark thriller, a romantic suspense series featuring a female helicopter pilot, as well as the next Lucky adventure—all very different projects. So, if you see me with a glass of Champagne in hand, you’ll understand. I can usually be found at the bar, but also at www.deborahcoonts.com.
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