Formats available: hardcover, ebook, audiobook
Genres: Chick Lit, contemporary romance, women's fiction
Published by HQN Books on February 9, 2021
Purchasing Info: Author's Website, Publisher's Website, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Bookshop.org
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.
Welcome to the Excerpt tour for The Vineyard at Painted Moon by Susan Mallery. She writes lovely and wonderful books that sweep me up, take me away, and put me right into the heart of relationships that manage to be both heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. I’m looking forward to reading and reviewing The Vineyard at Painted Moon in the weeks ahead, so here’s a teaser to whet all of our reading appetites!
Excerpt from The Vineyard at Painted Moon by Susan Mallery (continued from Friday’s Excerpt at Jathan & Heather)
The song ended and Rhys led her back to Giorgio, who was chatting with several guests. As Barbara walked over to the bar to get a glass of wine, her youngest joined her.
“Barbara,” Catherine said pleasantly. “Wonderful party.”
Barbara did her best not to bristle. At the beginning of high school, Catherine had insisted on changing her name to Four, of all things. As in the fourth child. Barbara had refused to accommodate her, so Catherine had started calling her by her first name, to be annoying.
Barbara simply didn’t understand where things had gone wrong. She’d been loving but fair, had limited TV and made all her children eat plenty of greens. Sometimes parenting was such a crapshoot.
She motioned to her daughter’s dress. “One of your own creations?”
Catherine spun in a circle. “It is. Don’t you love it?”
“With all my heart.”
Catherine grinned. “Sarcasm? Really?”
“What did you want me to say?”
Catherine’s good humor never faded. “What you said is perfect.”
As her daughter drifted away, Barbara moved closer to Giorgio. He put his arm around her waist, the pressure against her back both comforting and familiar. She nodded as he talked, not really listening to the conversation. Whatever he was saying would be charming. He was like that—well-spoken, always dressed correctly for the occasion. He had an enviable way with people and a natural charm she’d never possessed. She supposed that was what she’d first noticed—how easy he made everything when he was around.
This night, she thought with contentment. It was exactly right. Her children and grandchildren were around her. Giorgio was here. The vines were healthy and strong and come September there would be another harvest.
She spotted Avery, her oldest grandchild, talking to her father, Stephanie’s ex. Kyle was too smooth by far, Barbara reminded herself. Their marriage had been a disaster from the beginning, but Stephanie had been pregnant, so there had been no way to avoid the entanglement or the subsequent divorce.
At least Avery and Carson hadn’t been scarred by the breakup. Barbara couldn’t believe Avery was already sixteen. She was going to have to remind Stephanie to keep a close eye on her daughter when it came to boys and dating. If she didn’t, there was going to be a second generation with an unplanned pregnancy, and no one wanted that.
She often told people that children and vineyards meant constant worry. Just when you were ready to relax, a new season started with new challenges.
Stephanie walked over to her. “Mom, it’s about time for the toast, if you’re ready.”
Barbara excused herself to follow her daughter toward the DJ and the small platform by the dance floor. She took the microphone the young man offered and stared out at the crowd. Stephanie called for quiet and it took only a few seconds for the party to go silent.
“Thank you so much for joining me and my family at our tenth annual Summer Solstice Party,” Barbara said, pausing for applause, then holding up her glass of chardonnay.
“To my children—may the next year be one of happiness for each of you. To my grandchildren—know that you are loved by all of us.” She turned and found her daughter-in-law, then smiled at her. “To my special daughter of the heart—the day you came into our lives was a magnificent blessing.”
There was more applause.
Barbara looked at Giorgio and smiled. They’d discussed whether or not she should mention him, and he’d asked her not to. After all, he was just the boyfriend and he’d said tonight was about family—yet another reason she loved him. The man understood her and wasn’t that amazing.
#1 NYT bestselling author Susan Mallery writes heartwarming, humorous novels about the relationships that define our lives-family, friendship, romance. She’s known for putting nuanced characters in emotional situations that surprise readers to laughter. Beloved by millions, her books have been translated into 28 languages.Susan lives in Washington with her husband, two cats, and a small poodle with delusions of grandeur. Visit her at SusanMallery.com.