Thursday, July 21, 2016

Review: The Winemakers

The Winemakers
By Jan Moran
Published: April 5, 2016

A young woman
A family secret
A devastating truth that could destroy the man she loves

Many years ago, the Rosetta family’s hard-won dreams of staking their claim in the vineyards of California came to fruition. Now high-spirited, passionate Caterina Rosetta, who has inherited both her mother’s talent for crafting the finest wines and also her indomitable will, wants nothing more than to win her mother’s approval and work at her side. But that can never happen, because Caterina is keeping a secret that could ruin her: a daughter of her own, fathered by the love of her life, who left her without explanation. Just as she feels she has nowhere to turn, Caterina discovers that she has inherited a vineyard in the Tuscan countryside in Italy, from a grandmother she’s never heard of, and she seizes the chance to start a new life for herself and her child.

But the past is not so easily outrun. In the country of her ancestors, Caterina meets the family of the father she never knew, and discovers that her mother is also hiding her own secret—a secret so devastating it threatens the future of everything her family has worked for. As an old murder comes to light, and Caterina uncovers a tragedy that may destroy the man she loves, she realizes her happiness will depend on revealing the truth of her mother’s buried past—if she has the strength to face it.

From author Jan Moran comes The Winemakers, a sweeping, romantic novel that will hold you in its grasp until the last delicious sip.

My review:

Caterina has been keeping a secret from her strict mother. She has a little girl out of wedlock and while she was urged by the kind people at the maternity home to give her up for adoption, Marisa is too precious to her and she couldn't go through with it. Now she has to go home to the family winery and face the music. 

Ava Rosetti has also been keeping big secrets from her daughter, secrets involving her Caterina's father and his family but when a lawyer visits about Caterina's inheritance she knows that at least some of her secrets are about to be exposed.

Caterina and Ava are both strong willed women who love deeply. At first Ava appears to be cold and heartless but as her past comes to light, it becomes apparent that her actions are motivated by a desire to protect those she loves and her coldness is a byproduct of the pain and sorrow she has suffered. 

The Winemakers is the story of two women who on the surface seem to be very different but at heart are much the same. If they hope to save their home and livelihood and all they have built together they will have to learn to trust each other and share their hearts before it is too late.

I initially found it hard to like Ava. She comes across as unloving and strict and I could see why Caterina was worried about revealing her secret. It wasn't until I found out about Ava's own difficult life that I started to feel sympathy for her. It is much easier to like Caterina though I didn't think she should keep her daughter a secret from the baby's father.  Caterina had some growing up to do but it is obvious from the beginning how much she loves her daughter and is willing to fight for her.

There is an element of suspense involving a threat to the safety of Caterina, her family and the winery. Towards the end of the novel, this became melodramatic and the villain was rather one dimensional. Overall however I liked the book because of the relationships between the characters, the setting and description and the unveiling of long buried secrets. 

I think The Winemakers would be a good beach read, the kind of book you enjoy on a lazy sunny day with a glass of wine. If you like historical fiction with romance and suspense, consider giving The Winemakers a try this summer.

Note: I received an ARC for review purposes courtesy of the publisher and Edelweiss


  1. Ohh! I love the sound of this one. It does seem like a great vacation read paired with a delicious wine. I love the setting of Tuscany as well. I'm glad you enjoyed it and thanks for putting it on my radar. Great review!

  2. Now I am torn on this book... At first reading the synopsis, I was like yeah this seems good. I don't do well with cold characters... it's hard to imagine gaining sympathy for someone like that which sounds like there was really good character development. I think I will stick this in my TBR and think on it.

  3. The Winemakers seems heart-wrenching and full of emotions. I'm already pulled to your description about the secret baby. Thank you for sharing your review!

  4. I wasn't as crazy about The Winemakers but agree with everything you said. Particularly with it being a great summer read. Nice review!


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