May 30, 2011

Crushed by Barbara Ellen Brink

Crushed is book two in the Fredrickson Winery Series.

Margaret Parker is a single mom who is just trying to do what is best for her son.  Margaret and Davy live with Margaret's brother, Handel.  Handel is a lawyer who is dating their next door neighbour and winery owner, Billie Fredrickson.  Margaret also owns a small winery and labels her wine, 'Margaret's Wine', but it is her dream to run a major distillery and has steered her education in that direction.

Adam Fredrickson is Billie's younger brother who has returned from his drifter lifestyle to settle down and help Billie with her failing business.  Upon arriving he first meets Margaret and sparks ignite as the two become drawn to one another.  Though Margaret tries to steal her heart to his advances, she finds herself falling in love with Adam and his guitar playing, laid back attitude.

However, Margaret's past has come back to haunt her, with the return of Davy's horse breeding/racing, playboy of a father, Agnosto Salvatore.  He needs a legitimate heir in order to inherit his father's vast and wealthy estate and he will stop at nothing to guarantee this, even stooping to hire Margaret and Handel's child molesting father to help put his machinations in motion.

When a body shows up during "Crush", the annual harvesting of the grapes, and Davy goes missing, everyone must deal with the horror that surrounds them.  With emotions high and the future uncertain, everyone must pull together in order to maintain the right blend to achieve their success.

I didn't have the opportunity to read the first book of the series, 'Entangled', and though it wasn't truly necessary, it does play a part in the 'Crushed' back story, just enough, that you wish you had.  You really don't know the hows and the whys of the child molestation story, however, enough of a description is given that you can get the gist without having to read the first novel in order to enjoy the second.

I didn't mind the story, it was easy to read, had great flow and enough narrative and dialogue as to keep a good balance.  I found Adam to be a bit unbelievable, given his age and his amount of depth in character and maturity, although, to have a kind, considerate man to share your life with, isn't a bad thing.  I found Margaret's going back to work, as well as, going to sleep, while her son was missing was quite inappropriate, at least for myself anyhow.  Others may not have found that a hindrance, but the lack of motherly instinct was present in Margaret, she came off more like a big sister than a parent.

Handel, Billie and Sally were excellently written and believable in their actions and attitudes, especially Sally.  She gave the comedic edge to the book that was needed to have an edge to the book that was needed.  I found the ending to be predictable and a bit cliched, but all in all, it was  a good read that any mystery reader who likes some romance thrown in, would enjoy!

SYNOPSIS:
Creating the perfect wine can sometimes be murder...

When Adam Fredrickson shows up at his sister’s California winery, footloose and carefree, looking for a temporary job and a chance to play his music, he doesn’t expect to find the winery struggling financially, or that the girl next door might just be the girl of his dreams.

Margaret Parker, a single mom, newly hired as Chief winemaker at Fredrickson's, finds her simple world put to the test when her father is unexpectedly released from prison, and the man who got her pregnant at fifteen, shows up from Italy wanting to play daddy nine years too late.

It's crush time at Fredrickson Winery and everyone is working feverously to get the grapes in and ensure a great vintage. No one expects murder to be part of the joyous harvest season.

** Disclosure: I did not accept any compensation from the sponsors other than review copies, my views are my own, reviewed by me..as I see it~!! ** 

1 comment:

Barbara E Brink said...

Thanks for reviewing "Crushed." For those interested, it can be purchased at any online bookstore. Amazon has it in kindle format or paperback at: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004RR19MK/ref=cm_cd_asin_lnk