"The Villa" takes place in the wine producing valleys of California and in the home country of Italy where generations of the Giambelli family have been growing grapes and cultivating their vineyards while producing vintage wines for over a century. Their tireless work and industry have built the Giambelli brand into an international wine empire based upon trust and good will.
When an elderly retired vineyard worker dies from a heart attack, no one suspects that his sudden death is the result of drinking poisoned wine that accompanied his dinner of bread and cheese. It is not until other people closely connected to the Giambelli organization that insiders begin to consider that they are under attack and there are murderers among them.
The resulting story takes listeners into the world of exotic wine making where a single bottle of wine can fetch thousands of dollars or more at prestigious auctions.
As her fans well know, Nora Roberts researches heavily and presents vivid details that weave her plot lines into an intricate, entertaining and suspenseful tapestry.
In "The Villa" three women take center stage. Tereza Giambelli, the matriarch, who was there and remembers those who started it all, has guided her empire and is only beginning to hand over its reins to the next generation. Pilar, Tereza's daughter, seeks to find her own place within the organization, and fights to maintain her dignity after a marriage that should have ended years earlier. Then there is the beautiful, capable and brilliant Sophia, Pilar's daughter, who is a genius in marketing, yet finds how much she enjoys being a woman as well.
Nora Roberts is a contemporary American novelist whose books continue to be best sellers before the ink is even dry. Over 300 million of her books have been in print, not considering books released in other formats.
Roberts is a founding member of the Romance Writers of America and was its Hall of Fame's first inductee.
Other thrilling books by this author include Montana Sky, Sanctuary, Carolina Moon, Blue Smoke and Northern Lights.
"Although the story absorbs the reader's attention from the beginning and there are plenty of wonderful characters and dialogue, the main heroine, Sophia Giambelli, does not appeal. I like her mother and grandmother much better and especially like David Cutter and his children, Maddy and Theo, but Sophia strikes me as hard and cutting with little to recommend her. Fortunately there is more than one love story in the book."
Maria (4 out of 5 stars)