I believe I have read every one of Nora Roberts's romantic suspense novels. Maybe because I have read so many of this genre, I can often guess "who done it" halfway through the book. The beauty of Roberts's writing is that, even if I guess the "who" part correctly, there are enough subplots and twists that I keep reading to the end to discover the "why."
Roberts's latest novel, THE VILLA, centers on the wine industry. Known around the world for both their Italian and California vintages, family owned Giambelli Wines are about to celebrate their centennial year. Matriarch Tereza Giambelli, in order to preserve the winery's excellent reputation for the next 100 years, forms a merger with her husband Eli's winery, MacMillian Wines. In order to ensure that this happens, she decrees that her granddaughter, Sophia, top Public Relations executive for Giambelli, and Tyler MacMillian, heir apparent to his grandfather, must work together as partners for a year. Sophie will teach Ty the business end of marketing fine wines, and Ty will teach Sophie the fine points of running a successful vineyard and winery. In addition, La Signora, as Tereza is known, has brought in an outsider, David Cutter, to be COO of the new company.
Neither Sophie nor Ty are happy about working together. Although they have known each other for most of their lives --- after all, their respective grandparents have been married almost 25 years --- they are in many ways opposites. Ty considers himself a farmer and is most comfortable tending the vineyards or overseeing the bottling of the wine they produce. Sophie is at home in the executive office suite creating new advertising and marketing campaigns. Now they must spend at least half of each day learning the other's trade. Added to this is the fact that several bottles of Giambelli wine have been tampered with, resulting in the deaths of two employees and the subsequent police investigation.
As Sophie struggles to learn the production side of the winery and combat the negative press surround