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Title: The Vineyard at Painted Moon
Author: Susan Mallery
Published by HQN Books on February 9, 2021
Genres: Women’s Fiction
Format: ebook, ARC
Step into the vineyard with Susan Mallery’s most irresistible novel yet, as one woman searches for the perfect blend of love, family and wine.
Mackenzie Dienes seems to have it all—a beautiful home, close friends and a successful career as an elite winemaker with the family winery. There’s just one problem—it’s not her family, it’s her husband’s. In fact, everything in her life is tied to him—his mother is the closest thing to a mom that she’s ever had, their home is on the family compound, his sister is her best friend. So when she and her husband admit their marriage is over, her pain goes beyond heartbreak. She’s on the brink of losing everything. Her job, her home, her friends and, worst of all, her family.
Staying is an option. She can continue to work at the winery, be friends with her mother-in-law, hug her nieces and nephews—but as an employee, nothing more. Or she can surrender every piece of her heart in order to build a legacy of her own. If she can dare to let go of the life she thought she wanted, she might discover something even more beautiful waiting for her beneath a painted moon.
They say change is inevitable and we can either choose to resist it or embrace it. When one embraces change, it provides one with an opportunity for growth, something the heroine from The Vineyard at Painted Moon will discover. Not only did the change open new doors for her, it led to her discovering that the persons who she believed had her back only saw her as a means to an end.
To persons on the outside, Mackenzie Dienes appears to have an awesome life. A beautiful home, close friends, a handsome husband and dream job as a well sought after winemaker. There is just one problem: she earned the above through her marriage. So when she realized that her marriage had ended, she knew she would lose it all, a loss she had not been prepared for.
I had a great time with this book. My first time experiencing the author’s work and I would read more of her work.
Mackenzie’s resilience shined throughout the story. She embraced the change, albeit in fear, and ended up achieving much more than she had lost. I admired her strength, her intelligence and her caring nature.
The story featured likeable as well unlikeable characters. The two I found most detestable were Rhys, Mackenzie’s soon to be ex husband and her mother-in-law, Barbara. Rhys’ actions surprised me. Initially, he appeared to be on Mackenzie’s side despite the end of their marriage. However, as the story progressed, his weak and selfish nature reared its head. Then there was his mother. OMG! The woman was controlling, malicious, belligerent and downright vicious. She scared me. Thank goodness for the characters who brought light to Mackenzie’s life.
The Vineyard at Painted Moon with its excellent character development, superb pacing and wonderful world building proved an engaging read from start to finish.
I recommend this book without reservations to fans of contemporary women’s fiction.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: