My rating: 5 of 5 stars
An Australian rural romance about a millionaire wine tycoon, the woman he betrayed and the second chance neither was looking for…
When she cut her viticulture degree short and moved home, Remy Hanley wasn’t thinking about anything more than making the next dollar for her pocket. Working two jobs to keep food on the table and a loan shark from the door, Remy and her mother slowly build a new life together. Then a freak storm tears through the Margaret River Wine Festival — and Seth Lasrey tears through Remy’s life.
Seth is old money. She is no money. He’s the boss. She’s his employee. He is society connections and expectations. She is threats and bad decisions and lost dreams. They seem to be so wrong they can only be right — until a costly mistake and a timely deception drives them apart. Remy picks up the pieces of her life and begins anew. The last thing she expects is Seth to show up in her small town in South Australia, bringing with him memories that she can’t escape and a damaged heart that she’s not sure she can resist.
Having entered into the world of West Australian author Lily Malone, I have come away from my first visit there with a huge, dopey smile on my face - courtesy of this delightful romance. Malone's easily accessible and often lyrical style brings her characters to life, from protagonists Seth and Remy to the supporting players in their respective spheres and she imbues them with just the right amount of complexity to make them thoroughly engaging. Themes of difficult family relationships, love, jealousy, loss, regret and ambition are artfully interwoven throughout the story and they keep you guessing as you delve deeper into the narrative.
Having lived in the Adelaide Hills myself, I was instantly familiar with the settings Malone explored in the central portion of the novel and the warmth of her descriptions with all their attendant textures and colours and scents were just lovely. Equally, Malone's ability to illustrate the less familiar (for me, at least) environs of the Margaret River region is skilfully done and I felt connected to place from the get go.
Of course, the romance factor is where it's at in this novel and Malone shines here, evoking all the senses and responses to good, old fashioned falling in love. The steam factor is certainly welcome also.
I'm so pleased I read The Vineyard In The Hills. Lily Malone is a delightful author, whose command of the genre is as solid as a rock.
Lily Malone (image credit: Lily Malone).
Lily Malone is a journalist and freelance writer who discovered after years of writing facts for a living, writing romance was much more fun.
Lily juggles writing with the needs of a young family, and when she isn’t writing, she likes gardening, walking, wine, and walking in gardens (sometimes with wine).
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