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Review: The Vine Witch

Synopsis:

For centuries, the vineyards at Château Renard have depended on the talent of their vine witches, whose spells help create the world-renowned wine of the Chanceaux Valley. Then the skill of divining harvests fell into ruin when sorcière Elena Boureanu was blindsided by a curse. Now, after breaking the spell that confined her to the shallows of a marshland and weakened her magic, Elena is struggling to return to her former life. And the vineyard she was destined to inherit is now in the possession of a handsome stranger.

Vigneron Jean-Paul Martel naively favors science over superstition, and he certainly doesn’t endorse the locals’ belief in witches. But Elena knows a hex when she sees one, and the vineyard is covered in them. To stay on and help the vines recover, she’ll have to hide her true identity, along with her plans for revenge against whoever stole seven winters of her life. And she won’t rest until she can defy the evil powers that are still a threat to herself, Jean-Paul, and the ancient vine-witch legacy in the rolling hills of the Chanceaux Valley.

Review:

First of all I’d like to thank Netgalley and the people over at Amazon Publishing for providing me with a copy of the Vine Witch in exchange for an honest review.

4.5 out of 5 stars! I loved the heck out of this book and I was so pleasantly surprised by it too. As far as I could see, the Vine Witch is Luanne G. Smith’s debut novel, which I wasn’t able to tell while reading it. Her writing style is captivating and has just the right amount of whimsy to it without taking away from the mysterious plot, which keeps you at the edge of your seat and wanting to continue to read.

It felt stronger than the bond of blood, held together by the terroir and magic of the work they did in the vineyard. They bowed their heads together, touching foreheads over the milk, as they often had when she was still a girl.

I loved the relationship between Grand-Mere and Elena in this book, it gave me the Charmed, sister-witches feeling. This book focused so much on the bond between women, and there were some hints of feminism too:

“I told him I’d rather be a happy spinster than his miserable wife and threw his ring back at him.” Grand-Mere bent her ear forward, as if she hadn’t heard correctly. “You broke off the engagement?”

And this little gem:

“He likes being superior and reminding me of how much I don’t know.” “So you’re saying he’s a man?”

And the last one (can you tell I loved the quotes in this book?):

He’d never been a great reader of women’s thoughts, but there was no mistaking the murder in this one’s eye.

But this book didn’t turn in anything too spiteful, there was a very cute romance going on and I was rooting for the two! My preference would have been for a slightly more slow burn romance though, since the feelings from ‘hate’ to love overturned quite quickly in my opinion.

To conclude however, I think many people will get something different they like out of this book. There is whimsical witchcraft, empowering sisterhood, a murder mystery, feelings of revenge and a budding romance all set against the gorgeous backdrop of the French vineyards.

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