Tina's Reviews > The Villa

The Villa by Nora Roberts
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's review
Dec 27, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: z2010-reads, romance-contemporary
Read from January 23 to 24, 2010

I am an old time Nora Roberts fan who in recent years had pretty much stopped reading books written under her Nora Roberts name, but continued my devotion to her JD Robb books.

But slowly I started to pick up some of her titles again. As I began to read her stand alone titles, I remembered why I had let my reading of her NR books peter off. There was a sameness to the tone and rhythm of each book that began frustrate me as I read.

Luckily this book seemed to break the pattern. It is the story of a big, Italian wine growing family. The matriarch, Tereza Giambelli, calls her family together to their winery in the Napa Valley to announce big changes in the governance and structure of the company. Not everyone is happy with the changes as some are promoted, some are demoted and a new COO uncovers embezzlement and fraud.

There are two lovely romances that happen during the course of the book. My favorite was the softer, more romantic one of Pilar and David. The other romance is the more volatile one between Pilar's fiery daughter Sophia and Tyler MacMillan, a partner in the winery who just loves being in the fields with his grapes.

The suspense plot of the book works very well as well. Pilar's womanizing husband Tony Avano is murdered, bottles of Merlot have been tampered with causing deaths, and someone is sending nasty grams to the three generations of Giambelli women. There are suspects aplenty: Tony's new gold digging wife, Kris the disgruntled employee and Jerry the slick CEO of a rival winery, just to name a few.

I have to say, for once, I didn't guess the killer. But the ending --- as well as the entire story of family drama, corporate espionage, and murder, all delivered in the context of a passionate Italian family --- was great and made me close the book with satisfaction. A really good offering by NR.
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