TBR Day. The Villa / Nora Roberts. 2001


I've been working my way through Nora Roberts' single-title back list. There are some real classics there that I have thoroughly enjoyed (especially Public Secrets). So for this month's theme of "Kickin' it Old School," The Villa seemed a good choice.

The Villa tells the story of the Giambelli family and their wine-making empire. Presiding over the family is Tereza, grandmother of the heroine, Sophia. Tereza's second husband is Eli MacMillan, a neighboring wine-maker. Together, the two of them decide to merge their empires, throwing Eli's grandson Tyler into closer contact with Sophia. Tyler is the farmer, nurturing the vines. Sophia is the business-woman and public face of the company. The merger brings all sorts of drama into their lives as an outsider is brought in to become the COO and Sophia's cousin Don resents being pushed aside. Naturally, because it's La Nora after all, this leads to murder and acts of sabotage. Sophia and Tyler have to work side-by-side to preserve the company's reputation and stop the person behind the attempts to bring the Giambelli family to its knees.

For a contemporary that's 16 years old, it holds up pretty well. There is a lot of faxing of documents, and not everyone carries a cell phone yet, but it the book doesn't feel antiquated in our current smartphone era.

I did enjoy this book quite a lot. I like how it takes place over the course of 10 months. There's time for relationships to grow and develop. While there is incidental stuff about wine-making, it doesn't take over the story. The focus really is on the Giambelli and MacMillan families, their friends, and their intertwined relationships. There's a big reveal at the end involving one of the murders that I thought came totally out of left field and was not quite believable. So I won't rank in my top 5 of Roberts' single-titles, it was still a solid, enjoyable read.


Comments

  1. I liked this one a lot but it's also not in my top5. And I think we are finally colliding in out tastes lol because I did not like Public Secrets at all!!

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    1. LOL, that's so funny! Well, I guess we have to disagree once in a while!

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    2. Thankfully there is diversity! As a curiosity, which books would you put in your top5 (by the author)?

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    3. I have not yet read all of her single title romantic suspense yet, so these are my favorites (in no particular order) of those I've read so far: The Witness, Public Secrets, Private Scandals, The Search, Northern Lights. I've not read all of her trilogies yet either. It's nice to know there's still a lot left out there to look forward to.

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  2. I like books about wone and winemakers, as long as they don't make giant errors. La Nora is pretty good about research. And balancing the background/setting against the characters/relationship, as you pointed out. I guess that's why most of her single titles work for me, even though I'm not happy with a lot of villain POV.

    Come visit and I'll gladly take you wine tasting!

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    1. I would love to come wine tasting! One of these days I'll make it out there to do that.

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  3. I know I have read this books. I see in on my shelves. But I don't remember anything about it, even after reading your review. Either the book is not really memorable or I'm reading so many romances that I'm starting to forget the majority of them.

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    1. I sure can relate to that! I've done a ton of re-reading over the last year and I swear, for some books, it is like the first time.

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