Book: The Villa
Author: Nora Roberts
Summary: PR Executive Sophia Giambelli loves her job and has never worried about competition. For three generations, her family's wines have been world-renowned for their quality. But things are about to change at Villa Giambelli. Tereza, the matriarch, has announced a merger with the MacMillan family's winery - and Sophia will be assuming a new role. As a savvy businesswoman, she knows she must be prepared for anything . . . but she isn't prepared for Tyler MacMillan. They've been ordered to work together very closely, to facilitate the merger. Sophia must teach Ty the finer points of marketing - and Ty, in turn, shows her how to get down and dirty, to use the sun, rain and earth to coax the sweetest grapes from the vineyard. As they toil together, both in and out of the fields, Sophia is torn between a powerful attraction and a professional rivalry. At the end of the season, the course of the company's future - and the legacy of the villa - may take an entirely new direction. And when acts of sabotage threaten both the family business and the family itself, Sophia's quest will be not only for dominance, but also for survival. -Penguin, 2001.
I don't know why this took me so long to read. If anything, I'm actually a bit ashamed. I usually can get through a book like this easily, but for some reason, this was like pulling teeth. This book was the other Nora Roberts one that was recommended to me by my former Barnes & Noble co-worker and I was really excited to read it.
The plot is your typical high stakes soap opera-esque drama with lots of romance squished in-between. Is it melodramatic and cheesy? Yes. Is the drama too much? Most would say yes. But is it entertaining? As a guilty pleasure book, most definitely yes.
The only thing I would criticize is the romance - in both of the main romance plots, I think the attraction/desire phases happen too fast. I understood that one is supposed to be rivals to lovers and the other love-at-first-sight, but the whole process just felt rushed. When I got to the end of the book and read the resolution of both romances, I just shrugged and said, "I guess." I'd prefer my romances to have slightly more development and time to blossom, but I can deal with it when it doesn't happen. I think she did a much better job in this vein with Montana Sky.
In the end, it's just Nora Roberts. She's a good writer technically, but if you don't want the soap opera level drama and romance, stay far away. I enjoyed it for what it was.
I give The Villa a B+.
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