Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Beekeeper's Ball by Susan Wiggs (Bella Vista Chronicles, #2)


#1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs returns to sun-drenched Bella Vista, where the land's bounty yields a rich harvest…and family secrets that have long been buried.

Isabel Johansen, a celebrated chef who grew up in the sleepy Sonoma town of Archangel, is transforming her childhood home into a destination cooking school—a unique place for other dreamers to come and learn the culinary arts. Bella Vista's rambling mission-style hacienda, with its working apple orchards, bountiful gardens and beehives, is the idyllic venue for Isabel's project…and the perfect place for her to forget the past.

But Isabel's carefully ordered plans begin to go awry when swaggering, war-torn journalist Cormac O'Neill arrives to dig up old history. He's always been better at exposing the lives of others than showing his own closely guarded heart, but the pleasures of small-town life and the searing sensuality of Isabel's kitchen coax him into revealing a few truths of his own.

The dreamy sweetness of summer is the perfect time of year for a grand family wedding and the enchanting Beekeeper's Ball, bringing emotions to a head in a story where the past and present collide to create an unexpected new future.

From "one of the best observers of stories of the heart" (Salem Statesman-Journal), The Beekeeper's Ball is an exquisite and richly imagined novel of the secrets that keep us from finding our way, the ties binding us to family and home, and the indelible imprint love can make on the human heart.
Series: Bella Vista Chronicles

Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA (June 24, 2014)

My Review: The Beekeeper's Ball by Susan Wiggs (Bella Vista Chronicles, #2)


I enjoyed The Beekeeper's ball. It was really two stories in one. Cormac O'Neill has come to write the story of Magnus Johansen. So it tell a little bit of Magnus life fighting Germans in Denmark. It switches back to life on the apple farm.

The story about fighting the Nazis in the resistance was just a little taste of what it was like over in Denmark and how it affected their lives today. I learned a lot that I never realized. It was sad and horror but not like if you would read a book on the subject and get into it deeply. I thought it was done just right.

This opens with a drama and humor at the same time. Isabel Johansen is trying to capture a swarm of bees. Cormac O'Neill shows up and Isabel mistakes him for a beekeeper and asks him for help thinking he is Jamie.

The characters were human and I wanted to get to know more about them. I thought it was really interesting to learn a little about their grandparents life in Denmark.

Isabel Johansen is getting ready to open up a cooking school at the apple orchard Bella Vista. They are remodeling so they can stay in the farmhouse while being taught cooking. Isabel was raised by her grandparents. Her parents died both around her birth. She loves cooking, She is helping her sister Tess plan her wedding.

Cormac O'Neill is a writer & journalist. He never stays in one place for long. He comes from a big family that always moved around to different third world countries. He is a widower.

Magnus Johansen was born in Denmark. When he was young the Germans took his parents and they disappeared. He had one son Eric that died two days before Isabel's birth and also Tess's birth. Isabel birth helped Magnus and his wife cope with losing their son and then two days later is daughter-in-laws life. He owns the apple orchard.

Tess was born on same day as Isabel but only found each other last year. She has helped save the apple orchard from ruin. Now she is getting married to Dominic next door.

The setting for the story goes back and forth between Denmark 1940's to today in California on the apple orchard.

I see some real low ratings on goodreads right now and wonder if they read the same book as I did. Their are a few things I did not like but overall I was happy to read it.
I also did not like the sex scenes in the story and skipped over them.
I did not like the cliffhanger at the end. I want to know more right now.
Another thing I was disappointed in is we never got to see Tess's future stepchildren that were so cute in The Apple Orchard.

I was given this ebook to read and asked in return to give honest review of it by Netgalley and Harlequin.

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