Thursday, December 1, 2016

A Veil of Vines by Tillie Cole [Review + Giveaway]

To most people, princes, princesses, counts and dukes are found only in the pages of the most famous of fairytales. Crowns, priceless jewels and gilded thrones belong only in childhood dreams.

But for some, these frivolous fancies are truth.

For some, they are real life.

On Manhattan’s Upper East Side, people have always treated me as someone special. All because of my ancestral name and legacy. All because of a connection I share to our home country’s most important family of all.

I am Caresa Acardi, the Duchessa di Parma. A blue blood of Italy. I was born to marry well. And now the marriage date is set.
I am to marry into House Savona. The family that would have been the royals had Italy not abolished the monarchy in 1946. But

 to the aristocrats of my home, the abolition means nothing at all.
The Savonas still hold power where it counts most.

In our tight-knit world of money, status and masked balls, they are everything and more.
And I am soon to become one of them.

I am soon to become Prince Zeno Savona’s wife…
… or at least I was, until I met Achille.
And then everything changed

4 Vine filled Stars

A Veil of Vines is a standalone (although I wouldn’t mind if there was a spin-off on one of the characters, but more of that later).

I love Tillie Cole, I read anything by her and she is known for crazy stories. So, it always makes me happy when a writer goes out of his or her comfort zone and writes a different genre. I couldn’t consider this book light, but it’s lighter and it falls in the drama category.

I love the prologue of the book because it really sets up the story. It basically lets us know that there is no monarchy in Italy, but there is still the idea of royalty.

Caresa is beautiful, privileged and part of a prestigious family, where titles and who you marry matter. She’s known for years that marriages in her family is pure business, so when it’s time to marry Prince Zeno, she, like the dutiful daughter she is, travels to be with her soon-to-be-husband.
I love Caresa, I found her kind, sweet and not entitled at all. I also like that she accepts her future, so it’s not like I’m reading a book about a bratty spoiled kid crying the whole time. She’s very polished and refined.

I also like Prince Zeno. I thought at first it was his book, but it’s not and believe me, I would LOVE a spin-off book on him, hint hint hint, please. He’s educated, kind of conceited and very spoiled. He doesn’t act like the typical over the top self-absorbed prince, but he’s not kind either. You also sense there’s another layer to him and I just wanted to unravel it.

The star and the hero of the book is Achille. This book is a star crossed lover’s book. Achille is the son of a wine maker. He’s a simple man. He loves to harvest grapes, make wine and ride his horses. When he meets Caresa everything changes.

Tillie has a way of writing characters that just melt your heart. Achille will make your heart melt just a tad bit. Achille is a lonely man, but he never realized how lonely he was until Caresa came into his life. I really enjoyed reading the dynamics between Caresa and Achille. I was sucked by their love story and I really wanted things to work out between the two of them.

There’s plenty of twists and turns along the way as you read so it’s not a simple book and it keeps you entertained the whole time. If you are a Tillie Cole fan, you will not be disappointed.
An ARC was provided

I opened the window beside me and stared at the illuminated entrance. I swallowed hard and placed my empty glass on the bar. Metal groaned, breaking through the twilight, as the massive black wrought-iron gates began to open. The limo slowly pulled onto the property’s lane, and I drank in the thick forest that shielded the estate. I inhaled the freshness of the lush green trees. The unpolluted sky was thick with stars—not a single cloud in sight.

A few minutes later, the thick woods cleared, and I gasped. Acres and acres of gold and green vineyards covered the landscape. The scents of plump grapes and damp soil permeated the warm air. I closed my eyes. It reminded me of being a child. It brought me back to the days before I was taken to New York. I could still feel the heat of the Emilia-Romagna sun on my face, the deep smell of olives, grapes and flowers drifting in the breeze as I ran around our Parma estate.

I smiled a nostalgic smile and allowed my eyes to drift open again. I rested my arms on the window and leaned my chin on them as the limo drove on. There were several small villas peppered over the landscape, their lights twinkling in the distance. They must have been the winemakers’ residences. It was not only the Bella Collina merlot that was made on this land; other reds were too—particularly the Chianti from the region’s finest Sangiovese grapes. The Bella Collina olive oil was also up there with the best. But nothing compared to the famed merlot.

The limo turned right, and my breath caught in my throat. I lifted my head and stared disbelievingly at the property ahead. Bella Collina was a veritable Palace of Versailles tucked away in the Umbrian wilderness.

“Mio Dio,” I whispered as I took in the imposing stone structure, the sweeping steps and the vast number of windows set in the building’s walls. Large pillars of red-veined marble flanked the entrance. Cypress trees framed the estate as if it were the shining star of a fine Renaissance painting. Sculptures of famed Savona monarchs of old stood proudly on the manicured lawns, and strategically placed lighting illuminated the sheer perfection of every piece of topiary.

As a child, I had been to the Palazzo Savona in Florence. It was widely regarded to be one of the finest estates in all of Italy, if not western Europe. But this . . . this . . . there were no words. It was perfectly placed, as if it had always been there. As if it had grown naturally from the Umbrian earth just as sure as the vines and woods that kept this architectural treasure hidden from view.




Other Tillie Cole Books

It Ain't Me, Babe #1 - AMAZON | REVIEW
Heart Recaptured #2 - AMAZON | REVIEW
Souls Unfractured #3 AMAZON | REVIEW


Sweet Home #1 - AMAZON | REVIEW
Sweet Fall #2 - AMAZON| REVIEW
Sweet Rome #3 - AMAZON
Sweet Hope #4 - AMAZON | REVIEW

Eternally North - AMAZON | REVIEW

Tillie Cole is a Northern girl through and through. She originates from a place called Teesside on that little but awesomely sunny (okay I exaggerate) Isle called Great Britain. She was brought up surrounded by her English rose mother — a farmer’s daughter, her crazy Scottish father, a sav-agely sarcastic sister and a multitude of rescue animals and horses.

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