Author: Tillie Cole
Release date: November 27, 2016
(Sub)genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy: Amazon US ~ Amazon UK
I received this book from Ardent Prose in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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.
A Veil of Vines is the newest book by Tillie Cole. I love how this author can writes such different series and stories; from sweet and heartbreaking to very raw and gritty. A Veil of Vines is a beautiful love story, a romantic fairytale set in Umbria, Italy. I adore the story of Caresa and Achille.
“I let myself forget about the prince, about duty and tradition. At least until the sun rose again. When the next chapter of my story would begin.”
Caresa Acardi is born into a rich, aristocratic Italic family and lives in New York. Although Caresa is a dutiful daughter, she has been able to live her life with a bit of freedom. But there is one thing she has no say in; her marriage. Or more specific, who she’s going to marry. From an early age Caresa has been betrothed to the heir of the Italian throne, Zeno Sanova. There is no love between them, but Caresa is determined to honor the agreement made by their parents. In Italy, Caresa spends the months before the wedding ceremony on Bella Collina, one of the estates of Zeno’s family in Umbria. Here she meets a sweet, shy man who will change everything.
“As Achille’s blue eyes danced through my mind, I ignored the truth in my heart—that I also wanted to speak to this man again because of him. Not just the wine, but him. I allowed myself to pretend the opposite.”
Achille Marchesi is living a simple, lonely life on the Bella Collina estate. As winemaker, he’s responsible for some of the world’s most renowned vines made on the estate. After the death of his father he does all of the work by himself, without the help of other people. From a young age, Achille has always known he’s different from other people, therefore he spends most of his days in his vineyard by himself. When a young woman finds his hidden vineyard, Achille is confused about his feelings for her.
“I stared at her dark features, feeling further and further drawn in by her impossible beauty, I knew that wasn’t it… … it was… her. She was exquisite. She was lovely. She was…”
Caresa comes to Bella Collina to prepare herself for her wedding with prince Zeno, but the moment she meets Achille she feels herself drawn to the timid man. Having not much to do besides social gatherings and preparing for the wedding, Caresa starts to spend time with Achille in his vineyard. While he teaches her about the process of making wine slowly the couple becomes friends. Achille isn’t an experienced man, but he knows he has deep feelings for Caresa. Feelings he shouldn’t have because she’s engaged to Zeno, his former childhood friend. The more time Caresa spends with Achille, the more doubts she starts to have about her upcoming nuptials. She wants to honor her parents’ wishes, but the feelings she has for Achille are so strong. I love Caresa and Achille together, they are a gorgeous couple who deserve a beautiful Happily Ever After.
Achille is such a sweet, shy man, damaged by his past. He isn’t as brutally tortured as other heroes by this author, but what happened to him is painful and sad. The grownups in his life should have made different choices. Caresa is torn between her heart and her duty to her family. I was so happy she chooses love over obligation. Like other stories by Tillie Cole, A Veil of Vines is a beautiful love story. It isn’t a complicated story with lots of characters and twists and turns, it’s simply the story of two people falling in love. Is it a bit predictable? Yes, maybe, but that doesn’t take away from the beauty of the story of Caresa and Achille.
“I once asked her what I could possibly give her; she had told me she simply wanted me. And I wanted her. Walking toward me in a church in a white lace dress. With her veil of vines. As she was always destined to be.”
I adore the fairytale of Achille and Caresa. I give A Veil of Vines 5 stars.