Title: A Veil of Vines
Author: Tillie Cole
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 27 Nov 2016
Source: Review Copy
Synopsis from Goodreads
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.
While the plot of A Veil of Vines is a little predictable it is overshadowed by the wonderful characters it contains; Caresa and Achille are utterly captivating, a couple set to capture your heart and make you wish you could go to Italy to find your very own prince ♥
Caresa is an American transplant returning to Italy to ensure her family’s business which is tied to the Savona families winery. Although no longer officially recognised, the Savona family are descendents of the Italian royal family and within their society, it is a title and tradition that is carried forward to modern-day. In order to secure the future of both families along with their business, Caresa is destined to marry the heir to the Savano empire, Zeno. Caresa has dreamed of her wedding from a very young age, she has such a fantastic imagination with every intricate detail apparent in her daydream. Unfortunately, her dreams of finding her prince and falling madly in love have given way to family duty although she is still marrying a prince, even if he has a scandalous reputation.
Zeno doesn’t make much of an appearance within the narrative, emphasising his absence from Caresa’s life. The initial encounters fuel the belief that Zeno is nothing more than an entitled douche who cares nothing for anyone but himself. While his character does grow throughout the story, Zeno is a peripheral character in Caresa’s life.
Finding herself alone in the Savona Country Estate, Caresa immerses herself in the wine making process. She ahs been obsessed with a particular wine since the age of sixteen and now has the opportunity to find the man behind the wine. although she was not prepared for her reaction to the elusive winemaker, Achille.
Achille has devoted his life to his wine, ensuring its award-winning quality and high price. He has a simplistic life even if it is ultimately lonely. Battling grief and held prisoner by his lack of guidance, Achille has resigned himself to the lonely path ahead of him, that is until Caresa stumbles onto his vineyard.
Achille and Caresa connect on an elemental level from the beginning. I adored the way in which their relationship bloomed. the passion between them a tangible within hte narrative. The characters are so richly layered and piece together perfectly, you cannot help but fall in love with them.
The narrative while focusing on Caresa and Achille manages to weave in details about the winemaking process, learing difficulties and the traditions still expected of monarchs in modern times. It is a stunning piece of descriptive writing allowing a sensory encompassing tale.
The thing I loved most about A Veil of Vines was the use of philosophy within the plot to back up and validate the relationship between Caresa and Achille. I actually feel personally vindicated in my belief of soul mates with the references to Plato’s Symposium and the theory of split-aparts ♥