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.