Monday, November 28, 2016

{Book Review} A Veil of Vines by Tillie Cole

A Veil of Vines by Tillie Cole
Published: November 29th, 2016
Series: Standalone
Source: Received by Ardent Prose in exchange for an honest review
Genre: Contemporary, Romance

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 everything changed.

This was my first Tillie Cole book and I have to say, all the hype surrounding this author is absolutely legitimate!  I have been introduced to some amazing authors this year and Tillie Cole is among the top of that list.  Her ability to craft a story that both broke my heart and then mended it back together has defiantly made her an author I want to read more from.  This book was the epitome of epic romance and I loved every second of it. 

Cole’s writing is what I loved most about this book.  It was absolutely beautiful.  I don’t think that I have ever highlighted so many passages from one book. The setting of this book almost made me feel as though it was a historical romance.  I loved the aspects of Italian culture that was embedded within the story.  The lines that were written in Italian, the setting of the vineyards and the old customs that the present holds so precious made this book feel romantic. 

The setting of this story was very detailed and fleshed out, which helped to established the motives of the characters, but I have to admit, it did drag the story a bit.  However, the detail is what really made this story something unique.  It created a perfect picture of what the vineyard looked like and the process of making wine.  I think that some readers might complain that it was boring or slow paced, but without this detail, I don’t think I would have fallen so in love with these characters and my emotions would not have been attached to them so much.

These characters were a breath of fresh air.  I don’t think that I have ever read a book with a character like Achille.  He was sensitive, vulnerable and very sheltered from the outside world.  He lived and breathed for making his world famous wine, but he was also very lonely.  When Caresa stumbles upon Achille’s cottage, they both sought in each other the company they both yearned for.  They bonded over their love of wine, becoming quick friends, but then something much more.  I loved how strong Caresa’s character was.  She was very loyal to her family, which made her struggle with her feelings for Achille.  She had to decide if sacrificing her arranged marriage and possibly her family’s business was worth her own happiness. 

Although Achille’s and Caresa’s characters were very well developed, I wish that some other characters were more detailed.  Zeno, the man Caresa was arranged to marry, had a pivotal role within the story, but not much was revealed about his character.  He had so much potential and a lot was hinted about him, but it never felt like his character was developed as much as he should have been.  I think that it could have been another factor that pulled at my heartstrings, but by the end, I did not feel much for the well-being of Zeno.

The romance in this book felt epic.  The connection between Achille and Caresa was so genuine and sincere.  I loved how once they told each other how they felt, that they never stopped.  This book gave me a rollercoaster of emotions.  Once minute I was smiling ear to ear and then next I was teary eyed.  I absolutely loved the idea of split-aparts and that it was woven throughout the story.  This would have to be one of the best forbidden romances that I have ever read.  

I do have to mention that this book would be great for readers who enjoy romance books, but do not enjoy books with a lot of mature content.  This book does not have swearing (at least that I can remember) and the sexual content is very tame compared to most.  I actually enjoyed that aspect of this book because some books almost feel as if the characters are porn stars, where this one felt as if these characters were a normal couple in love.  The scenes gave enough to add to the story, but did not happen often and were not in excruciating detail.  I thought they were perfect for the story being told.

One of my biggest complaints about this book would be the predictability.  I knew where this story was going and it did wrap up a little too nicely.  I almost would have liked if it would have had a bittersweet ending because it would have been more realistic.  All the puzzle pieces fell into place too perfectly when just pages before, the situation felt hopeless.  Don’t get me wrong, I love happy endings as much as the next reader, but sometimes, romances that don’t end perfectly are the most beautiful.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book!  I do own several books by Tillie Cole and am defiantly going to be picking them up next month.  I would recommend this to readers who enjoy romance books, but like something a bit more subtle when it comes to the mature content.  This story was absolutely beautiful, breathtaking and gave me all the feels.  Plus the cover is absolutely stunning!


“Something had happened in the universe the day we had met.  There was a cosmic shift, some destined alteration to the very fabric of who we were.  The sun and the moon had aligned and cast us into one another’s hearts, never to be torn apart.”

“We are made of the same soul but not of the same life.  I knew that we were one of the lost causes my father told me about.  Not the all-consuming, not those whose circumstances don’t align.  The unfortunates that in an alternate universe would be the happiest of hearts but are forever broken and lost in this.”

Also check out some of Coles’s other books below.

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