The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith

The Vine Witch Book Cover The Vine Witch
The Vine Witch
Luanne G. Smith
YA, New Adult, Paranormal, Mystery
47 North
October 1, 2019
Paperback, Kindle, Audiobook, MP3 CD
268

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.

A bewitching tale of intrigue…

Vine Witch Elena Boureanu emerges from a cursed state with revenge firmly rooted in her mind, only to find that the world she was taken from and the things that she loves have been altered as well.  With her beloved French vineyards no longer under her care, Elena must convince the new vigneron, Jean-Paul Martel, that all the science in the world cannot understand the intimate knowledge and magical care that is needed to craft the most sought after wines in the world.  Elena’s weakened magic responds to Jean-Paul as their mutual attraction grows.  And just like the vines, their roots will be what weathers the impending storm and produces a bountiful harvest.  

Luanne G. Smith creates a cornucopia of stimuli in her fantasy, mystery – The Vine Witch.  The attention to detail, from the sprawling vineyards to the herb lined shelves, saturates the pages and paints amazing word pictures.  I loved the concept that an excellent bottle of wine is not just a result of a scientific process but of a carefully nurtured art between a vine witch and her plants.  As characters,  Elena and Jean-Paul perfectly fit the story and  reinforce the time-period with their mannerisms and attitudes. Their budding relationship matures naturally, like  the grapes on the vine, into a vintage romance.

The thriller aspect of the story is a page turner, with a number of twists and turns.  Luanne gives you enough information that you are fairly confident in the identity of the villian only to have the ending be nothing like you expect.  The Vine Witch is a wonderfully conceived and executed story.

 

Luanne corked this 5-star review when she stated in the acknowledgements of The Vine Witch, “As a writer I’ve always felt that storytelling was the last true form of magic left in the world.”  She has truly created a magical piece.

Magic book (© Lobke Peers)

 

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