Author: Barbara Ellen Brink
Publication Date: November 20, 2010
Series: Frederickson Winery #1
Source: Amazon Digital / Kindle
What an absolute jumbled mess. There is a possibility that this would have made an adequate short story, but somewhere along the way, Barbara Ellen Brink was told to add a little here and a little more there and we will call it a book.
A very bad idea.
Ms. Brink will add long meanderings that add absolutely nothing to the story. Her main character arrives as a wine novice and then suddenly waxes on about wines with no training, skill or gained knowledge and poof she is a winemaker. No. If you are looking for a good mystery series involving wine and vineyards, checkout Ellen Crosby and her Wine Country Mysteries series.
“Perhaps once a deep chardonnay, the color had faded over the years to a tawny brown. I swirled the liquid lightly around the sides of the glass to let the alcohol evaporate and breathed in the heady bouquet. A nutty, toasty sensation was followed with the underlying hint of something floral. Roses perhaps."
Billie Fredrickson a 28-year-old divorce attorney inherits a winery from an uncle that she has very little recollection of. When she arrives at the estate, with the full intention of selling the property, her uncle’s attorney – who also happened to be a childhood friend, helps her to navigate the estates history and entanglements.
Something happened to Billie when she was last on the estate. Something that happened to her as an eight year old and being back on the property has reawakened memories that only appear in her nightmares.
“...we pick and choose the memories we need to remember, not necessarily the most important ones, but those useful to our continued wellbeing.”
There is nothing new to this plotline. It has been used repeatedly and when you come to the “climatic” moment, you yawn and have no further attachment to Billie or the other characters involved in this fiasco than you did before the stunning moment.
I see how others have loved this book, now I am beginning to wonder what I missed. There is no depth to any of the characters introduced. The petty squabbling between Billie and her mother seems to have no point and no resolution. Of course, every book must have a love interest, but within a short span, Billie goes from despising the man to suddenly throwing herself at him. Where was the development to get from point A to point B? Most importantly, the “bad guy” was barely mentioned for the first two-thirds of the book and suddenly he is a pivotal character. Once again, no, there needed to be more and this ran along the lines of – we had better find a bad guy fast, whom should we use, oh, I have an idea, it is not a good one, but we can make it work.
I recommend that you pass on this book.