Onyx, Aug 2004, 6.99, 384 pp.
In Napa Valley, Suncrest Vineyards, renowned for their quality wines, is in crisis. Two years ago, the owner died leaving his wife Ava to run the business. Ava did a good job out of her love for her late husband but she wants to hand off the business to their son Max Winstead, but does not trust him to keep the business afloat. Also adding to her woes is that longtime company winemaker Cosimo DeLuca is recovering from cardiac arrest and though his daughter is the perfect fill-in, Gabby does not have the reputation to keep Max from sunsetting the company.
General Pacific Group junior partner Will Henley sees Suncrest as an ideal buy for his corporate raiding company, but Ava refuses to sell her late spouse's legacy. When Will and Gabby meet at a party, the sparks could turn Enron into a real energy producing company until she learns that Will is the point on a take over scheme. She refuses to have anything to do with him, leaving him to decide between love and money.
Though Max's incompetence makes Will's dilemma a bit easier than it had to be, fans will toast Diana Dempsey for a sparkling romance. The story line focuses on the world of winemaking through the eyes of various individuals. Will and Gabby are a charming pair due to her caring for the land and his need to consider all aspects of a buy out. The support cast mostly enables the audience to better understand the lead couple starring in this fine after dinner wine.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner