In Napa Valley, he who has the best grapes wins.
And in the pursuit of perfection, dreams and hearts can be crushed.
Sophia Stone is a widow on the brink of an empty nest, stuck in an unsatisfying job managing the vineyard for a mediocre Napa vintner. Faced with an uncertain future she wonders how do you choose between making a living and making a life? Between protecting your heart and sharing it? Five years ago, after her husband was killed in an accident, Sophia put her heart and dreams on ice to care for those around her. Now her home, her dreams, and her family's legacy grapes are threatened by the greed of the new money moving into the Valley. Sophia has a choice--give up and let them take what is hers, or risk everything fighting a battle everyone says she can't win.
Nico Treviani has one goal in life: make brilliant wine. A woman would be an unwanted distraction. So, while recognized as one of Napa's premier vintners, Nico finds himself alone... until his brother's death drops not one, but two women into his life--his thirteen-year-old twin nieces. In an instant, Nico gains a family and loses his best friend and partner in the winemaking business. Struggling to care for his nieces, Nico accepts a job as head winemaker for Avery Specter, one of the new-money crowd. And he learns the hard way that new money doesn't stick to the old rules.
When Sophia Stone gets caught in the middle of Nico's struggle to remain true to himself or sacrifice his convictions to make stellar wine, both Sophia and Nico are faced with a choice they never imagined. A choice that might extinguish the hope of a future neither expected.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is my first Deborah Coonts read, and it won’t be my last. Deborah combines detail, emotion, and realism to create the story and its characters. These components keep the reader engaged and reading. In Crushed, the first in the Heart of Napa Series, we meet Sophia Stone and Nico Treviani. Both are lovers of good wine but approach the end product from very different motivations. Sophia was raised in a family whose grape-growing and harvesting were as important and loving as the crushing of the grapes and fermenting the wine itself. Nico, on the other hand, has gone to work for someone paying out new money for what Nico does, and the pay is good. Ironically, Nico hires Sophia’s daughter, Dani, without knowing the familial connection. Without realizing it, Nico’s focus in the wine production business has moved away from anything related to the love that goes into producing a good wine. Driven by greed and a need to control, something happens which threatens Sophia’s small, two-acre plot of grapes. Nico ends up in the middle of the fight over land but also finds himself falling in love. We all know love complicates anything much less the loss of a persons hope for tomorrow’s income. Although Sophia feels strongly for Nico, she cannot abide the idea that he is a part of the threat to her home and grapes. This is a story of complexities and complex personalities. Deborah speaks to the choices we make and how they affect lives through her characters, both the good and the bad. It is a story that could happen to anybody. Crushed is a book for anyone who enjoys a good read. Currently sitting at home with an injury keeping me down, I read Crush in two days between good naps, great pain killers, and meals. It was a great way to take my mind off my own problems. I highly recommend this book for all the reasons above, and now I’m off to find another Deborah Coonts book to read! FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher via Kate Tilton Book Bloggers in exchange for a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed are mine.
I hate to fly. I do it – it is a necessary evil for both personal and professional activities – I just don’t like it. I started reading Crushed on my most recent trip. Never have I been less grateful for the plane to land. I wanted it to be a much longer flight just so I could keep reading. The story of Napa and wine drew me in like no other in recent memory. I was totally in love. The story was layered and nuanced. The detail drew me in without being overbearing. I love Deborah Coonts’s Lucky books, but man, this one totally stole my heart.
In Crushed, the first book in The Heart of Napa Series, author Deborah Coonts weaves a wonderful romance tale that transports the reader to Napa Valley, the home of California's lush wine country. Sophia Stone is a widow who manages a local Napa vineyard, but she dreams of making her own wine. Life poses serious challenges for Sophia when her family is given a thirty day eviction notice from their home, threatening to take away her family legacy and her dreams. Nico Treviani is a head winemaker at a local vineyard, and just like Sophia, he too dreams of making fabulous wines, but he has his own struggles in life that threatens to dash his dreams. When Sophia and Nico get caught in the middle of the rivalry and greedy new money muscling their way ruthlessly into the Napa Valley vineyard community, will their dreams of making stellar wines and finding love be crushed? Crushed is an intriguing romance story about two complex people with complicated life issues that threaten their dreams and chances at finding unexpected love. Author Deborah Coonts provides the reader with a smooth flowing and richly descriptive story that centers around the beautiful Napa Valley vineyards. I couldn't help but get drawn into Sophia and Nico's story, and cheer them on as their relationship blossomed amidst the challenges, tension, misunderstandings, and strife caused by the rival new-money vineyard owners. I look forward to reading the next installments of this series. Crushed is a wonderful story that cleverly intertwines romance and wine, what could be better?! Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review.