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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.

Kindle Edition

First published February 17, 2016

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About the author

Deborah Coonts

46 books885 followers
Get a free bundle of novellas ripped from the headlines of Lucky O'Toole's world: http://deborahcoonts.com/lucky-offer/

Deborah Coonts swears she was switched at birth. Coming from a family of homebodies, Deborah is the odd woman out, happiest with a passport, a high-limit credit card, her computer, and changing scenery outside her window. Goaded by an insatiable curiosity, she flies airplanes, rides motorcycles, travels the world, and pretends to be more of a badass than she probably is. Deborah is the author of the Lucky O’Toole Vegas Adventure series, a romantic mystery romp through Sin City. Wanna Get Lucky?, the first in the series, was a New York Times Notable Crime Novel and a double RITA™ Award Finalist. She has also penned the Kate Sawyer Medical Thriller series, the Brinda Rose Humorous Mystery series, as well as a couple of standalones. Although often on an adventure, you can always track her down at www.deborahcoonts.com.

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Displaying 1 - 18 of 18 reviews
Profile Image for Lis Carey.
2,190 reviews99 followers
February 23, 2016
Sophia Otero Stone has lived most of her life putting her dreams to one side to raise her children, support her husband, and now, to care for her aging mother. Those dreams center around making wine, and she has been growing grapes--excellent grapes, grapes developed from her own father's varietals in the Italian village of Friuli. But her husband Daniel died five years ago, and she's been working for Butchy Pinkman, a new-money guy in Napa Valley. His ambitions extend mainly to making a successful, popular, cheap table wine, Pink's Passion. And it is successful and popular. It's just not the wine Sophia wants to be making.

But Daniel had always refused to buy their home, insisting renting was a better deal. And land values have risen dramatically in the few years since his death, with the new money moving in. Sophia's home and land--with her grandfather's grapes--has been sold, and she's gotten thirty days' notice.

She's going to lose everything she cares about if she can't find a way out in thirty days.

There's not much time, and the buyers are ruthless. And Sophia doesn't have many allies, and the ones she has don't have any greater resources than she does.

Coonts does a marvelous job of taking this situation and ramping up the tension while keeping the characters and the situations real. When Sophia hears that the new guy in her life, fellow/rival winemaker Nico Treviani, has apparently betrayed a vital secret to those after her land and grapes, she listens to his side of the story! Just like the intelligent, reasonable person she's supposed to be!

Sophia, Nico, her daughter Dani and son Trey, and Nico's nieces Brooklyn and Taryn, are all interesting and complicated and real. Even the bad guys are believably, humanly bad.


I received a free electronic galley of this book from the author.
236 reviews5 followers
July 21, 2017
Not as laugh out loud funny as the Lucky series; this one made me laugh and cry. Great descriptions of the Napa Valley and wine, and good character development. Definitely putting the next one in the series on my reading list!
Profile Image for Kathy.
901 reviews32 followers
February 23, 2016
I have read and enjoyed the Lucky series by author Deborah Coonts. Crushed is a completely different type of novel. It is a contemporary romance set in the beautiful Napa Valley.

Crushed was a great read. Coonts is a wonderful writer. The words just flow on the pages of Crushed and it is pleasure to read. The main characters Sophia and Nico are both interesting people that you want the best for.

The setting is a beautiful area that Coonts captures well. I am very familiar with Napa and Sonoma counties. We love to ride through the enchanting hills filled with vineyards as we head to Jenner on the coast. The Russian River valley is simply gorgeous. Thanks for taking me back there through your words.

Deb Coonts knows a lot about wine. I found the information about wine in the book very interesting. I am not a wine connoisseur but my husband is obsessed with California old vine zins so I spend a lot of time researching wines when looking for his presents.

Crushed is a great contemporary romance. Romance readers will definitely enjoy this tale. It is available on March 8th.
Profile Image for Debbi.
670 reviews3 followers
September 7, 2020
This book really drew me in. It wasn’t just a romance story, it was about dreams and life. The story takes place in Napa wine country. I was intrigued from the start. The characters were so believable that I found myself running the gamut of many different emotions, tears, laughter and even cheering. I really enjoyed how Sophia Otero Stone found herself through all the adversity she had to deal with. And then there was Nico Treviani. He was going through his own internal crisis as he struggled to find himself after losing his brother and business partner. In the end, the two together become a formidable couple with a bright future in the wine business and in love. Well done Deborah Coonts.
Profile Image for Mary Wright.
20 reviews
July 9, 2018
This book was really slow and hard to get into. there was alot about the process of making wine which im really not into. altho half way thru it became more interesting thats why i rated it the way i did
Profile Image for Desi Kennedy.
707 reviews8 followers
July 9, 2021
I really enjoyed this. Some may not enjoy the description of the vineyards, but I loved it. And of course it paired well with a glass of wine!!
Profile Image for Anniek.
432 reviews259 followers
March 10, 2016
Sophia is a woman who has always put the needs of others before her own. When she and her husband Daniel were blessed with children she became a stay-at-home mom and took care of everything. Ever since her husband died Sophia has tried to heal from losing him. Now it's time to think about what she needs in life. Sophia's home has a lot of land around it. On this land she is using two acres to grow her own grapes. They are a legacy of her grandfather and she hopes to be making great wine with these exceptional grapes. There is only one problem, the land itself and the house standing on it are not her own. Her landlord has financial problems and decides to sell the land and everything on it to the highest bidder. Sophia is devastated, but she won't give up without a fight.

Nico once was a phenomenal winemaker, but ever since his brother Paolo died he has lost his passion. He's taking care of his twin nieces and he doesn't have the luxury to be picky. He needs to have a steady paycheck to support the girls. He has a one-year contract with a large company that produces wine for the masses. Nico loathes everything that this company stands for but he feels like he has no other choice. He wants nothing more than to be free again. To see if he can be as good on his own as he was together with Paolo. Maybe he just wants to go do something completely different, ever since he was a young boy there was never another path for him than the wine business.

When two kindred souls open up to each other they need to accept that first impressions are not always right. Sophia and Nico complement each other and find out that they are a very good match in making exquisite wine. What will Sophia do when she discovers just how much value her grapes actually have? Will she be able to trust the one person who completes her best work?

Crushed really surprised me in a positive way. I was expecting an easy romantic read, but this story has so many layers that are making it so much better. Deborah Coonts really made an effort to give her characters depth and I found it easy to connect with them. I was so proud when Sophia chose to stand up for herself. She is very strong, even after all the loss she had to deal with. She found her confidence again and stood up for everything she believes in. It was heartwarming to read about how the main characters of this story overcame loss and found new things to be excited about. I am really glad I picked up this book!
Profile Image for Sherrey.
Author 7 books40 followers
March 25, 2016
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher via Kate Tilton Book Bloggers in exchange for a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed are mine.

This is my first Deborah Coonts read, and it won’t be my last. Deborah combines detail, emotion, and realism to create the story and its characters. These components keep the reader engaged and reading.

In Crushed, the first in the Heart of Napa Series, we meet Sophia Stone and Nico Treviani. Both are lovers of good wine but approach the end product from very different motivations.

Sophia was raised in a family whose grape-growing and harvesting were as important and loving as the crushing of the grapes and fermenting the wine itself.

Nico, on the other hand, has gone to work for someone paying out new money for what Nico does, and the pay is good. Ironically, Nico hires Sophia’s daughter, Dani, without knowing the familial connection. Without realizing it, Nico’s focus in the wine production business has moved away from anything related to the love that goes into producing a good wine.

Driven by greed and a need to control, something happens which threatens Sophia’s small, two-acre plot of grapes. Nico ends up in the middle of the fight over land but also finds himself falling in love. We all know love complicates anything much less the loss of a persons hope for tomorrow’s income.

Although Sophia feels strongly for Nico, she cannot abide the idea that he is a part of the threat to her home and grapes.

This is a story of complexities and complex personalities. Deborah speaks to the choices we make and how they affect lives through her characters, both the good and the bad. It is a story that could happen to anybody.

Crushed is a book for anyone who enjoys a good read. Currently sitting at home with an injury keeping me down, I read Crush in two days between good naps, great pain killers, and meals. It was a great way to take my mind off my own problems.

I highly recommend this book for all the reasons above, and now I’m off to find another Deborah Coonts book to read!
Profile Image for Kathleen.
1,405 reviews35 followers
March 8, 2016
In Crushed, the first book in The Heart of Napa Series, author Deborah Coonts weaves a wonderful romance tale that transports the reader to Napa Valley, the home of California's lush wine country.

Sophia Stone is a widow who manages a local Napa vineyard, but she dreams of making her own wine. Life poses serious challenges for Sophia when her family is given a thirty day eviction notice from their home, threatening to take away her family legacy and her dreams.

Nico Treviani is a head winemaker at a local vineyard, and just like Sophia, he too dreams of making fabulous wines, but he has his own struggles in life that threatens to dash his dreams.

When Sophia and Nico get caught in the middle of the rivalry and greedy new money muscling their way ruthlessly into the Napa Valley vineyard community, will their dreams of making stellar wines and finding love be crushed?

Crushed is an intriguing romance story about two complex people with complicated life issues that threaten their dreams and chances at finding unexpected love. Author Deborah Coonts provides the reader with a smooth flowing and richly descriptive story that centers around the beautiful Napa Valley vineyards. I couldn't help but get drawn into Sophia and Nico's story, and cheer them on as their relationship blossomed amidst the challenges, tension, misunderstandings, and strife caused by the rival new-money vineyard owners. I look forward to reading the next installments of this series.

Crushed is a wonderful story that cleverly intertwines romance and wine, what could be better?!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book blast event hosted by Goddess Fish Promotions.

Profile Image for Karen Voitik.
3,004 reviews
March 5, 2016
>Book Review – Crushed –

>This is the first book in the Hearts of Napa series and ends in an HEA. Sophia is a widow, raising grapes for a man who makes mediocre wine. Nico is the scientist behind the blends, but forced to work for someone else in order to make ends meet.

>This story is set in beautiful Napa Valley. It is very obvious the author is a wine lover. Her descriptions of the palate and grapes were extremely detailed, almost reading like poetry. I am not a wine drinker, so the flowery descriptions, while beautiful, just had me skimming to get to some action or dialogue.

>The conflict in the book is mostly through misunderstanding or contracts, with only one slightly suspenseful scene. I was a bit confused on Sophia's daughter, Dani. She is an adult and works for Nico. I thought the romance would be between them for awhile. Trying to change my romantic couple to Nico and Sophia was hard for me due to my misunderstanding.

>I am a reviewer for Romance Author’s that Rock. This book is appropriate for an adult audience. I am giving the book 4 hearts. Wine lovers will enjoy the prose and setting.
Profile Image for Teresa.
982 reviews15 followers
March 7, 2016
The story started a little slow for me but progressed nicely pretty quickly. I was kind of shocked at how much I learned about wine while reading this book. Deborah Coonts really done her homework, where wine is concerned. I also loved the way she took me to Napa. They is a lot of description in the book but it is not boring or filled with stuff that has nothing to do with the story. The story flows off of the page and is very interesting as well as heart wrenching at time.
The book is about Sophia. She had been a widow for 5 years now and even though she had a nice life before becoming a widow her husband kind of left her in diar straights now that he is gone and her families land and her home is being sold. He always figured renting a home was better then buying one. Now Sophia and her family have 30 days to find a new home. Sophia is also trying to make her dream come true of producing a great affordable table wine. She has actually accomplished the wine in a way, it is just not the wine she really wants.
Sorry no more story details. You have to read the book. It really is a great story.

I was given my copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Profile Image for Patti.
725 reviews99 followers
August 21, 2016
From my blog:

I really enjoyed this new book and direction by Deborah Coonts. Not a mystery, but a story about starting over/fresh with a new project and the possibility of love. Sophia Stone, a widow of five years, has been caring for inherited grapevines from her grandfather, and she is on the brink of a new wine. Nico Treviani is a winemaker for a large winery that wants to sell lots of wine inexpensively, and seems not to care much about its taste. Nico also has recent tragedy in his life; the death of his brother is the loss of a best friend, and a gain of custody of his twin 13 year old nieces. Thanks to Sophia’s daughter, who works for Nico, Sophia’s wine meets Nico, who finds the missing link to make it great. Looming over the project is the possibility of Sophia losing her vines, and Nico losing his job. Can these two people, and their families figure out how to make great wine together?

I loved this book, and as it’s the beginning of a series set in California’s wine country, I’m looking forward to the next book!
This was sent to me by the author and her publicist for a review.
Profile Image for Liz Gavin.
Author 107 books739 followers
March 8, 2016
**I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review**
I love a story told from multiple points of view so this was the first time I liked about Crushed. Then there’s the age group of the main characters. As many other authors, I am also guilty of creating romance stories about young couples so it was refreshing to read a story about more mature people. The topics touched by the author were also not only refreshingly different but deeply moving – loss, family relationships, Alzheimer’s, among others. Moreover, the other did a great job creating the characters. Both main and secondary ones are multidimensional, believable, and likeable. In short, I recommend this book to readers who enjoy an engrossing story about characters they will care about and root for. Finally, a word of advice – start reading the book when you’ve got time to spare as you won’t want to put it down. I couldn’t.
790 reviews6 followers
March 8, 2016
This was my first time reading a book by Ms. Coonts, but I look forward to reading more! This is the first in the Napa series and it does a terrific job of pulling you in as it weaves the story. We meet Sophia who is a widow with two grown children. The death of her husband devastated the family and they all seem to be going through the motions and not feeling. Sophia does have a love and that is the grapes that were her grandfather's that she cares for while she works for a wine maker who wouldn't know a good wine from grape jelly. At a competitor winemaker we meet Nico who is also going through his own loss of family. As these two imperfect souls find their lives becoming twined together the story really takes off. This was a really terrific read and one that would blend perfectly with a chilled glass of wine!
Profile Image for Toni.
1,691 reviews20 followers
March 13, 2016
I hate to fly. I do it – it is a necessary evil for both personal and professional activities – I just don’t like it. I started reading Crushed on my most recent trip. Never have I been less grateful for the plane to land. I wanted it to be a much longer flight just so I could keep reading. The story of Napa and wine drew me in like no other in recent memory. I was totally in love. The story was layered and nuanced. The detail drew me in without being overbearing. I love Deborah Coonts’s Lucky books, but man, this one totally stole my heart.
Profile Image for Chloe.
68 reviews
February 10, 2016
At first I found it hard to get into this story, being in 3rd person which isn’t one of my favourite styles of writing, but once I stuck it out. I started to enjoy how the story progressed, how each character had a back story and how the relationship between Sophia and Nico blossomed even with all the commotion happening around them, they found strength in the other. This book is mainly based on wine, knowing little about wine made this story a learning curve for me.
Profile Image for Marie.
29 reviews1 follower
July 17, 2016
Laughed and cried!

Could not stop reading until I got to the end, even tried to read more slowly so the book would last longer.
Love everything this awesome author has written and can't wait to start reading her next offering.
Profile Image for Marie Markham.
80 reviews1 follower
February 4, 2018
Laughed and cried!

Could not stop reading until I got to the end, even tried to read more slowly so the book would last longer.
Love everything this awesome author has written and can't wait to start reading her next offering.
Displaying 1 - 18 of 18 reviews

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