Monday, October 14, 2019

Crush: A Tale of Two Vineyards Review Tour

Will the rare love that comes once in a lifetime win her over? Crush: A Tale of Two Vineyards is a compelling and enchanting novel set among vineyards in Southern France and Central California.

Spending summers at her grandparents’ vineyard, Clos de Harmonie, Olivia found her passion for winemaking and pursued a degree in Viticulture and Enology. Olivia accepts an invitation from a Frenchman to complete her master’s degree project at his family’s fifth generation biodynamic vineyard in France.

She and the French winemaker have an instant attraction. With her project complete, she struggles with the desire to stay in France and the knowledge she is neglecting her grandparents’ vineyard. Called back to California by an unforeseen turn of events, Olivia focuses on getting Clos de Harmonie certified as a biodynamic vineyard. Her dream is to make authentic, natural wine that captures the landscape and its essence in a bottle.

As she wrestles with her long-distance love interest, the challenges of reviving a rundown vineyard, and trouble with the landowner next door, Olivia finds strength in the human spirit and the need to prove herself in a sea of doubters.

An evocative story that awakens the senses, Crush captures the complex layers and enduring bonds of family amidst the dramas and joys of winemaking. The magic and mysteries of biodynamic farming come to life along with a colorful cast of characters in both France and California.

I woke with a weight on my chest. I opened the French doors and got back in bed. Luke and Nicole’s picture was burned into my mind. I was such a fool. His mother had won. She had pressed them together.

But could I blame him? I was here and he had a life and family and a winery there.

A knock sounded at my door.

“Come in.”

Jameson entered with a cup of coffee. He set it down on the nightstand. “You’re late for your appointment with Peter. He said the building inspector is on the way.”

“Oh geez.” I jumped up. The final inspection of the bunkhouse. “Thanks.”

“You’re always up at dawn. Are you okay?”

Tears welled up in my eyes and slid down my cheeks. No, I was not okay.

“Is it Luke and that model?”

I nodded.

“Is there anything I can do?”

I shook my head.

“Put a spell on her.”

I half smiled. I wished I could.

“Well, pull yourself together. Caleb’s tired of sleeping on the couch and can’t wait to move into the bunkhouse.”

Yes, I needed to pull myself together.

Jameson shut the door. I dressed quickly, washed the tears from my face, and brushed my teeth. I took my coffee and walked to the bunkhouse. Peter stood talking with Caleb and Jameson on the newly constructed back porch.

“Good morning, sunshine,” Peter said.

“Morning,” I said.

“Big day. Final inspection. We should be fine though,” Peter said.

I nodded and tried to smile.

“What’s the matter? I thought you’d be swinging from the rafters,” Peter said.

“Guy trouble,” Jameson said.

“Ah,” Peter said. “Matters of the heart. They’re complicated.”

The building inspector pulled up and parked by Peter’s truck. With clipboard in hand he came up the porch steps, eyes darting to every surface, already examining the work.

“Morning, Peter.” He nodded to the three of us. “Where do you want to start?”

Peter led him into the bunkhouse. I followed. Caleb and Jameson went back to whatever chores Cody had assigned them.

My Review:
4 stars
This book has it all: vivid characters, detailed worldbuilding, and an engaging plot.

The characters were interesting and really added to the story. Olivia and Luke had great chemistry, and seeing their passion both for their work and each other helped bring the story to life. I especially loved Olivia. Not only was she a strong female character, she was also inspiring yet realistic. Seeing her struggle to juggle her education, career, and romance without sacrificing one for the others was refreshing, and I liked how the ending took this all realistically into account. Seeing her grow throughout the book was a treat, and I can’t wait to see her in a (hopeful) sequel.

The worldbuilding was phenomenal. I now know so much more about the winemaking industry. The amount of research that went into this book is obvious, and it was interesting learning about a biodynamic vineyard (something I’d never heard of before). On top of the winemaking details, the locations were vividly described in a way that made me feel like I was there.

If you’re looking for a relaxing read with a realistic romance (mixed with some wine of course), then I recommend giving Crush a try.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

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Don’t forget to visit the other stops on the tour.

Author Bio and Links:
Joye Emmens is also the author of She’s Gone. She lives in California with her husband.

Twitter: @joyeemmens
Facebook: joyeemmens

Buy Links: 
Smashwords    |    Amazon    |    iBooks
B&N    |    Kobo


  1. Congratulations on this nice review. The book cover, blurb and excerpt are lovely. This sounds like a wonderful read. Thank you for sharing your book and author details.

  2. Thank you for hosting and for your review!

  3. Thank you for taking the time to share your terrific book with us. I enjoyed reading about it.

  4. Great post - sounds like my kind of book :)

  5. I love the cover and think the book sounds good.

  6. Who is your favorite author that is still currently writing? Best of luck on the release.

    1. I read a lot and have many favorites. T.C. Boyle is a favorite. Kristin Hannah, Haruki Marakami….

  7. Would you like to see your book turned into a book or movie?

  8. A movie would be cool with both France and California vineyards and the cast of characters coming to life.

  9. Happy Friday! Do you have any specific reading or writing plans for the weekend?