THESE TANGLED VINES – Julianne MacLean
At the age of eighteen, Fiona learns on her mother's deathbed that the man she thought was her father wasn't. Her real father was Anton Clark, who her mother, Lillian, met when she spent a summer in Tuscany. Her mother begged Fiona to not tell her father because he didn't know it and they must do whatever it takes to protect him due to his bad health. Fiona has kept this secret, all the while hating her birth father and wondering if he raped her mother. She can't discuss it with the man who raised her because he is a quadriplegic, and his health is precarious.
Early one morning, Fiona is awakened by an overseas phone call. Her real father has passed away and she is mentioned in the will. It is imperative that Fiona travel to Italy. While she wants to resist, she is curious about it. But it means that she will need to lie to the people around her in order to not upset her father. Fiona makes her way to Tuscany and is shocked to learn that not only does she have two half-siblings, but she has inherited the bulk of Anton Clark's estate over them, which includes a world class winery. Her half-siblings are unhappy over their less than expected share, plus learning that they had a half-sister. As Fiona digests the news, she spends the time getting to know the people and layout of the winery. She is also hoping to learn how Lillian came to be involved with Anton.
THESE TANGLED VINES switches back and forth between 2017 and 1986 Tuscany. In 1986, Lillian is supportive of her husband Freddie's dreams of becoming a bestselling novelist, so suggests they spend the summer in Italy so he can research and draw inspiration. After a car accident in Tuscany, they are rescued by the local winery owner, Anton, who not only gives them a place to live, but a job for Lillian. But Freddie is restless and decides to take off to Paris to draw on more inspiration. Lillian decides to stay in Tuscany because of her job. But as the days—and weeks—continue without Freddie, she becomes closer to Anton. Is there a romance brewing between them, and how did Lillian, a married woman, break her marriage vows to bed another man?
In 2017 at the winery, Fiona is slowly coming to terms with her inheritance, though she has already been offered a lot of money to sell. But it is more than a profitable business. There are people that Fiona meets and grows to care for that work there. While her relationship with her half-siblings is not good, her half-sister, Sloane, isn't as angry as the half-brother. Sloane, a mother of two young children, is grappling over the state of her marriage. She had banked on having a healthy inheritance to help her break free of her philandering husband. But now a stranger—her half-sister—will get most of the estate.
Slowly and surely in THESE TANGLED VINES, Fiona learns the truth of what happened during the summer of 1986. Will it change how she views her parents and the man who was really her father? Readers will be pulled into the drama and the emotion of this tale. I certainly did, which is why I had to give it one of the rare Perfect 10's from me. The passion and feelings are present right from the first chapter. Fiona is devoted to the man who raised her, but did it hold her back from doing things for herself while she took care of him? What about her mother's feelings for both him and for Anton? Find out the sizzling answers by picking up a copy of THESE TANGLED VINES.