When Natalie Mitchell learns her beloved grandfather has had a heart attack, she’s forced to return to their family-owned winery in Sonoma, something she never intended to do. She’s avoided her grandparents’ sprawling home and all its memories since the summer her sister died—the awful summer Natalie’s nightmares began. But the winery is failing, and Natalie’s father wants her to shut it down. As the majority shareholder, she has the power to do so.
And Natalie never says no to her father.
Tanner Collins, the vintner on Maoilios, is trying to salvage a bad season and put the Mitchell family’s winery back in business. When Natalie Mitchell shows up, Tanner sees his future about to be crushed. Natalie intends to close the gates, unless he can convince her otherwise. But the Natalie he remembers from childhood is long gone, and he’s not so sure he likes the woman she’s become. Still, the haunted look she wears hints at secrets he wants to unearth. He soon discovers that on the night her sister died, the real Natalie died too. And Tanner must do whatever it takes to resurrect her.
But finding freedom from the past means facing it.
Another new-to-me author, I’ve never read a book by Catherine West, but I was excited to read a new contemporary romance writer. Living in an area full of wineries, I was also interested in the setting.
I very much enjoyed this book. West quickly established the relationship between Natalie and her parents, then got on with the story. West hinted at issues from Natalie’s past, but she didn’t make me wait until halfway through the story to show what had happened (a pet peeve of mine).
One thing I really appreciated about the story was the complexity of the characters and plot. The main characters were likable, but flawed. While the romance was a key theme, it wasn’t the only thing going on – the characters had some serious issues to work through and accept. While it did feel like some of the issues wrapped up quickly and easily and the end, I liked the dept of the situations and the characters.
A fun read. Perfect for relaxing on the beach this summer. If you’re a fan of Denise Hunter, you’ll like Catherine West.
*I received a free copy of this book. The opinion is my own.