"A contemporary romance with an Alpha hero just waiting to be tamed..." — Under the Covers Book Reviews
"Her heroines are very definitely women of this century...a bountiful feast to be savored. Put this one at the top of your To-Be-Read-ASAP pile--it is a prize vintage and an intoxicating read." — The Word Museum
Kurt von Daniken wants only one thing from Glenna Ryan: The key to making Eiswein - Ice Wine. Five years ago, while working at his family's California winery, she'd begun developing the method to simulate wine made from grapes gathered after a freeze. Now, when the winery desperately needs it, the only person who might be able to duplicate Glenna's process, Kurt's tyrannical Uncle Otto, lies paralyzed by a stroke and near death.
Glenna wants only one thing from the von Danikens: To be left in peace to raise her son, Robbie, who suffers from a birth defect and needs an expensive surgery to repair it. When Kurt suddenly appears at her home, demanding she return to Cresthaven and complete the process, Glenna knows the money she'll earn by doing so will provide Robbie the treatment he needs. She also knows she'll risk having her heart broken, again, by Kurt, the only man she's ever loved. But, what if he discovers the real reason she left Cresthaven?
Momentarily reassured, Glenna shifted her gaze to the steady line of black oaks flashing past. The road curved and dipped. Weathered fence posts coalesced into a blur of gray as Kurt pressed the sleek burgundy Mercedes through a deft execution of twists and turns.
The music ended, and an interminable strained silence followed in which the only sounds were the shifting of gears and the engine's throaty purr. Then they angled right, onto a straight stretch of newly paved blacktop. Anderson Valley.
Memories flooded, and Glenna choked back the lump in her throat. Gooseflesh rose on her arms. She took measured, steadying breaths. If only....
If only the man beside her had been more gentle. But he hadn't. Kurt von Daniken was made of steel. The palpable tension in the car drove her to twist her fingers in the folds of her flowered challis skirt.
As they crested the hill, a perfect green carpet spread before them. Row upon row of neatly pruned grape vines swathed the valley floor and crowded up the hillside to the horizon, their early spring leaves a palette of fresh green. From the west, afternoon sunlight shafted through a break in a cottony puff of cloud, then abruptly disappeared as the sedan hurtled onto a graveled lane.
A hundred yards ahead, two square pillars emblazoned with the von Daniken stag-head insignia stood silent guard. Massive iron gates swung wide to admit the car, then closed with a harsh metallic clang.
The cold gray-brown walls of Cresthaven loomed from behind a half-dozen sheltering oaks. Glenna drew in a shaky breath. Magnificent Cresthaven, the formidable dowager of Anderson Valley wineries.
Hell on earth.
About the Author:
Married, with grown children, Suzanne Barrett and her husband live in the Santa Cruz Mountains where they share their acreage with an elderly cat, several chickens and an assortment of wildlife that includes a trio of wild turkeys. Suzanne is an avid gardener with a penchant for digging in the dirt. She loves to cook and read, and she’s a certified water fitness instructor and teaches at area swimming pools and gyms.
When she’s not devouring British mysteries, most evenings find Suzanne at her computer or jewelry bench, a cup of Earl Grey within easy reach, a sleeping cat at her feet, doing what she loves best—creating stories of warmth and passion and designing pendants, earrings and bracelets. Her motto is "Don't wait for something; make it happen."