Cover Image: The Vineyard at Painted Moon

The Vineyard at Painted Moon

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

What a wonderful and magical book!  The characters were charming (well, most of them) and the plot was well-written, with just enough foreshadowing to leave me with the desire to continue to read to see if I was right.  Mackenzie is a strong female protagonist, a talented winemaker who gets stronger in the face of adversity.  Barbara, her domineering mother-in-law, is selfish and short-sighted, two characteristics that lead to her loneliness.  Stephanie and Four, Mackenzie’s loving sisters-in-law, are the perfect matches to help Mackenzie through the rough times in her life.  I really enjoyed how the plot unspooled itself, one thread or loop at a time.  The book was perfectly written to make me ponder the themes:  relationships, work v. family, single parenting and selfishness. There were characters that I knew from the beginning that I would not like, like Lori, the other sister-in-law, the one who tries to ingratiate herself with Barbara by disdaining Mackenzie. I honestly did not like Barbara and her manipulations at all, but I did understand that was all that she knew.  I loved Bruno and could have just swooned when he appeared on the scene.  He was a metropolitan man in a country setting, and he stood out as a super hero tends to do.  All of the characters were complex and so well-developed that they have lived with me in my den for the past week or so.  Fans of good romance will want to snap up this fantastic book!  And the author has included bonuses at the end:  wine pairings, recipes and discussion questions.  This is definitely a great book to read with a book group!
Disclaimer
Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions expressed are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”
Was this review helpful?
Mackenzie Dienes seems to have it all a great husband, a beautiful home and a wonderful career as an elite winemaker with the family winery but that’s the problem it’s not her family, it’s her husbands in fact everything in her life is tied to him.  From there beautiful home which is on winery property, to her mother in law who is her boss and his sister who is her best friend since college and introduced them.. So when her and Rhys decided that their marriage is over she has to decide what to do now should she stay as an employee and keeps doing what she loves or to strike out on her own and build something that she can call her own. 

I really loved this book. This is the first Susan Mallery book I’ve read but it won’t be the last. I loved that the book was about Mackenzie finding herself after her marriage and going through all the highs and lows of detaching herself from her old life and throwing herself into what comes next. There was some romance but that was a slow build and mostly focused on the end of the book when Mackenzie had everything figured out and could think about adding another relationship in. We also get some of Stephanie her best friends story and how she finally figured out her life after letting 10 yrs. go by just coasting along after her divorce from her cheating husband. It was a really good ensemble story and I just really loved it. Her mother in law was a piece of work and she went completely off the rails and it was great to read. 

Thanks to Harlequin and Netgalley for the complimentary copy of this book in e-book form. All opinions in this review are my own.
Was this review helpful?
I wasn’t too sure of this book the first ¼ of the way through. The whole issue with Mackenzie and her husband got to be a bit much. However before the halfway point things really started to unfold. The family dynamics are fascinating and heartbreaking. Barbara made me think of my grandma a lot, and while she is in no way that extreme, the undertones are sadly there.

While the book mainly focused on Mackenzie, Stephanie and Barbara were also narrators. I appreciated what their pov's added to the story, just as much as Mackenzies did. Mackenzie is striking off on her own, after an adult lifetime of never being alone. Her and Rhys (who is a bigger jerk than I thought he would be) are getting a divorce. While there was no love lost (as it had already been gone) it's still hard to leave behind all you've ever known, especially when you consider everyone family. But Mackenzie is strong and capable. 

Stephanie is also stronger than she thought she could be. Rather than fall back in to old habits she made new choices. She was by far my favorite person in the entire book. I also really enjoyed Stephanies sister (and Mackenzie's friend) Four. While she is completely different from everyone else it's impossible not to like someone so spirited.

The main focus is on family and what happens as things are falling apart. There's a little bit of a love interest, but it's not even close to being the focus of the story, which I really appreciated. When so much is already going on, and you're working on finding your place, you don't need that thrown in as well.
Was this review helpful?
I have read other Susan Mallery books and have always enjoyed them; this one not so much.  I found it to be slow moving at times and some of the characters were just over the top; to the point of not being believable.  In addition this whole story line took place over a few months.  It seemed as if it just moved through things too fast and not realistic.
Was this review helpful?
Mackenzie has spent her entire adult life with her husband and his family. She lost her own family right before she started college and she met her husband right after she started. Her college roommate is his younger sister. She became best friends with her roommate and when she went home with her for Christmas she kind of fell in love with the whole family and their vineyard.

It’s been 16 years and Mackenzie’s whole life is wrapped up with her husband’s family. They are the only family she’s had since she was a teenager.
Her life is pretty good. She’s become locally famous for her skill at making wine. She lives in a big, beautiful house right next door to her best friend. A chef makes their dinners and they are all quite well off. Mackenzie loves her job. But one day everything changes when her and her husband begin to question their love for each other.

With a divorce on the horizon, Mackenzie is welcome to stay and keep her job. Let’s just say she’s not just welcome but she’s feeling incredibly pressured to do so. But this is her chance to figure out what she wants in life. She decides she wants a fresh start of her own in the wine industry.

I loved the setting. The talk of wine was enjoyable. You will want good things for Mackenzie. I did feel that the characters of her husband, mother-in-law and one of her sisters-in-law were over the top. It was hard to see how significantly things changed for her when she decided she might want to work elsewhere. I didn’t feel enough empathy for her mother-in-law to enjoy the time devoted to her character.

This was a nice, quick read. It was a book I tore through over a weekend. You will enjoy Mackenzie’s journey to find herself, her family and her dreams.
Was this review helpful?
A Different Kind of Romance Novel
The Vineyard at Painted Moon
By: Susan Mallery
Mackenzie has worked for Bel Après Vineyards ever since she married Rhys. But now their marriage isn’t working and she is realizing her work at the winery is not what she wanted either. The book explores the power of friendships and the potential in making new life choices.
I loved the setting of this particular book. It takes place in Walla Walla Washington on a Vineyard. The story starts off very slow with a couple realizing that their marriage isn’t working anymore and that they are about to get a divorce. This threw me for a loop as I wasn’t expecting so much of the story to be centred on the sadness of the main character losing her life and her family. The beginning of the book was very slow in developing and it wasn’t until halfway through that I finally found myself being engaged in the storyline. I found the character development of some of the people in the story to be over the top and not very realistic. 
I give this book 3 out of 5 stars
Book release date: February 9, 2021
Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin for kindly providing this ARC. My opinions expressed are my own.
Was this review helpful?
This is an AMAZING book. This book is about overcoming your weaknesses and loss to become happy again. To be your best self you can be. It boroughs out all of my emotions. I was happy sad and of course  Barbara made me so mad I wanted to throw my tablet across the room. This is my favorite Susan Mallory book ever!
Was this review helpful?
The Vineyard at Painted Moon is not your typical romance with a few unconventional characters. I enjoyed the contrast to the typical sweet, "happy go lucky" folks you usually encounter in a romance. It kept me on my toes wondering what would happen next in several of the relationships and interactions. A good read!
Was this review helpful?
Great addition to Susan Mallery's books!
All the feels, Family, love, friendship, job satisfaction....heartbreak,divorce,betrayal...but Mackenzie deals with courage dispite all the twists throw at her...not happily ever after for all but a satisfying end. Thank you to Net Galley for opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Mackenzie Dienes made a close friend, Stephanie, when she was in college. Over time, Mackenzie married Stephanie’s brother, Rhys, and she began working for Rhys’s mother, Barbara at the family winery. For sure, Mackenzie knows her grapes and the business yet she is always an employee, never a full partner in the company.

Mackenzie at first thought that she had everything that she could possibly want with her marriage, home and career. However, big cracks began to appear. A slight spoiler…Mackenzie and Rhys realize that they cannot stay together any longer. What will happen to Mackenzie? Will she find the life that she wants and what will she have to go through to get there? Read the book to find out.

I give this book a solid three stars. I did not find myself so immersed that I couldn’t wait to get back to the story to read more.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title. All opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
The Vineyard at Painted Moon is an intriguing book that will keep you reading until the end. The characters are disversed. Some you will dislike others you will fall in love with, as they discover their true path in life.
Was this review helpful?
This has to be one of my favorite Susan Mallery books.  The characters are real and the setting in Washington State grape country is wonderful.  When Mackenzie married Ryes 16 years ago she got the family she never had and a job she loved, making wine.  Now on the brink of divorce she learns her mother-in-law Barbara, the owner of the winery, is vindictive, mean and slightly crazy.  Mackenzie takes her divorce settlement and joins forces with Bruno to revive the Painted Moon Winery.  Such a good story with characters you will love.  It would be nice to see a sequel with Amy grown and ready for her life's story.  I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Was this review helpful?
This made me cry, smile, and laugh.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This story sure was a treat. A wonderful change of pace, just nice to sit down and relax type of book.

We all know things change quickly in life and the author has crafted a story that reflects on how unexpected changes can actually turn out wonderful as long as you look forward and not behind.

With a setting in Napa on a glorious vineyard estate, it’s not hard to get caught up in the essence of the vineyard, the smell of the wine and grapes, and the level of passion it takes to be a creative in this environment. Mallery brings it all to us with her wonderfully descriptive imagery. Take me away!

The author shows us how finding your passion and trusting in yourself to keep moving forward can bring satisfying change and happiness. Yes, it’s easy to get caught up in sadness and despair but everyone has their niche to explore and succeed.

With wonderful characters, including a few you will love to hate, this story is a wonderful family saga that leaves you with some tears flowing and smiles growing. You get a full range of emotion in this classic story.

Definitely one to put on your to read list. Thoroughly engaging and an author to follow! Well Done!
Was this review helpful?
This was a solid three star read for me. I loved the PNW setting, and of course I loved the vineyard setting. However, with Susan Mallery I typically expect (and this one is categorized on goodreads) as romance and well...there wasn't enough romance in this one to call it a romance. I would categorize this one as family drama.

I"m normally a big Susan Mallery fan, but this wasn't my favorite. I'll definitely still read her books in the future, and if you like her books, still give this one a read. Just know it's not as much romance as usual!
Was this review helpful?
This book seemed deeper than "just" chick lit to me. I identified with Mackenzie in a way amd I laughed and cried along with the characters in this touching family drama. I highly recommend curling up with this book, and of course a glass of wine!
Was this review helpful?
I just loved this book by Susan Mallery. The storyline was well thought out, and kept me very interested in the story from the first page. The characters were unique, which led to a great read. it was hard to put down !!  A+
Was this review helpful?
Susan Mallery delivers a solid feel-good romance. It was a great book about real and perceived family ties - the ones that break and the ones that can endure. I really enjoyed this book and wish it was a series. I’d love to go back to these characters and see them again. I loved McKenzie’s character and didn’t want the book to end. But end it did, and rather abruptly in my opinion. I really want to talk about more things in the book (the Mother-in-law!!!) but I don’t want to spoil anything. 

If you’ve read it, comment and tell me what you thought. I’d really like to discuss it with someone!

**Not a closed door romance. Some mature scenes but I was able to skip over them without missing any important dialogue.
Was this review helpful?
What I love most about Susan Mallery’s books are that they hug and embrace you you like a cozy blanket. She always creates such relatable and compelling characters and intriguing storylines, and she mastered the same with The Vineyard at Painted Moon. What stood out to me the most in this novel were the psychological elements of the relationships between the characters. There are so many intricate layers at play and the author captured them perfectly. I also welcomed and enjoyed reading about the details behind the vineyard and winemaking. All that talk about tasting and sampling made my own mouth water! I doubt I would do much spitting when tasting either!
Was this review helpful?
The Vineyard at Painted Moon is the story of family run winery headed by a vindictive, narcissistic matriarch. When her son Rhys and daughter-in-law Mackenzie decide to divorce a series of events cause large-scale change within the Bel Apres winery. This book had me thinking back to the tv series Falcon Crest (80s nighttime soap). There’s an over-the-top villainess, characters to cheer on, and a lovely epilogue. It’s juicy and soapy and has me thinking it’s a good beach read or one to take you out of the quarantine blues. Also included are recipes as well as wine info and pairings.
Was this review helpful?
The story of Mackenzie & Rhys was painful but ultimately triumphant. Married for many years, when they realize that their marriage is over it comes as a shock, primarily to Mackenzie. Mackenzie has spent most of her life with Rhys, including working in his family business - a winery. Leaving the family is one thing but leaving the winery, her true vocation, is the hardest thing she's ever had to do. It doesn't help that her mother-in-law who she considered her mother turns on her too. Luckily for Mackenzie and her sisters-in-law she is able to move on and thrive. Great story of love, loss, and second chances.
Was this review helpful?