Monday 19 May 2014

Review ~ The Vineyard by Karen Aldous.

Title: The Vineyard.
Author: Karen Aldous.
Publisher: CarinaUK.
Genre: Contemporary Romance.
Release Date: May 19, 2014.
Source: Review copy.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Purchase: Amazon UK

It’s been five years, and Lizzie Lambert has decided it’s time to try to make things right with her estranged mother.

She’s made a success of things in Cannes, she’s bringing up a lovely little boy on her own, and she’s ready to put the past behind her.

But it seems Lizzie’s mother has moved on as well. She’s moved her toyboy – a muscle-bound vintner named Cal – into the family home, and given him the run of the land that was meant to be Lizzie’s inheritance!

Cal’s wine business frequently takes him to France, and suddenly wherever Lizzie goes, he’s already there – meddling, giving unsolicited advice, saving her little boy’s life and stealing her heart. But none of this changes the fact that he’s her mother’s lover…

I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but The Vineyard just looks like a beautiful book and I was hoping the story would match. Actually, I had been expecting a whirlwind romance but instead this book was more about family, second chances, and finding yourself alongside some love and romance. Karen Aldous has written a wonderfully charming debut novel which I really loved.

The book begins with Lizzie, meeting her mother, Caroline, again for the first time in five years. At first, I found Lizzie a bit too cold but as the story continues, each step is important in getting into her mind and learning how she has been affected by everything that has happened in her life. I thought the author paced The Vineyard brilliantly as the plot develops realistically whilst we’re transported from England to France and back again.

This novel was really touching and moving with the author combining romance, humour, drama and some sensitive issues perfectly. The cast of characters were a joy to read too. There was Lizzie’s best friend Sophie, who was a really supportive character trying to make a life for herself. I really connected with Sophie because she felt really normal and genuine – just a great friend. I liked Caroline and Michael too and of course, Cal, who I loved right from the beginning! There was Anton, who was very frustrating! But then I guess he was meant to be. I thought the characters were written brilliantly.

The Vineyard was a bit of a surprise for me but I thought it was a stunning book. It’s a lovely novel to enjoy this Summer with an underlying positive message about appreciating your loved ones. I can’t recommend it enough.

Review also posted on Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon

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