Publisher : Love Inspired Trade
Publication date : July 27, 2021
Language : English
Gabrielle Leblanc Dupree is taking her family’s future into her hands. While she should be preparing for a lavish party to celebrate two centuries of champagne making, she secretly hides Chateau Fouché-Leblanc’s most precious vintages behind a fake wall in the cellar in preparation for the looming war. But when she joins the resistance, the coveted champagne isn’t the most dangerous secret her cellar must conceal…
A former Parisian socialite, Gabrielle’s mother, Hélène, lost her husband to another war. Now her home has been requisitioned by the Germans, who pillage vineyards to satisfy the Third Reich’s thirst for the finest champagne. There’s even more at stake than Hélène dares admit. She has kept her heritage a secret…and no one is safe in Nazi-occupied France.
Josephine, the family matriarch, watches as her beloved vineyard faces its most difficult harvest yet. As her daughter-in-law and granddaughters contend with the enemies and unexpected allies in their midst, Josephine’s deep faith leads to her own path of resistance.
Across years and continents, the Leblanc women will draw on their courage and wits, determined against all odds to preserve their lives, their freedom and their legacy…
Ryan wrote an incredibly heartfelt story about three generations of widowed Leblanc women who are taking care of the vineyards of Chateau Fouche-Leblanc during the Nazi occupation of France. Each of the women respond to the conflict in their own way, and they will be changed in more ways than they will ever know.
The writing is completely immersive and emotional. The atrocities and horrors of what the women had to go through is harrowing, and yet they continue to sacrifice their own lives to do what is right against the evil Reich.
I highly recommend this stunning and gripping historical fiction story.
Please enjoy an excerpt from the book:
The siren’s song had her stooping to the ground and scooping up a handful of dirt. She stared at the wet clump, the grizzled hand not that of her younger self but of the seventy-seven-year-old woman she was today.
She blinked again and again, and then, at last, she no longer held wet earth. She saw only the dry soil of decades before leaking through her seventeen-year-old fingers. She reveled in the warm feel of that ancient dirt sifting through a hand unscarred by time and toil. The sensation was as vivid as it was real, the experience an almost mystical connection to God’s creation.
Josephine knew her mind was playing another cruel game, tricks upon tricks. But this time, she wanted to disappear into the lie. She wanted to escape from the harsh realities of dismal weather and looming war. She was tired of death robbing her of loved ones. Would it be so terrible to spend a moment in a time before her life had been touched by tragedy?
The chalky soil warmed her palm.
Was this real, or just a memory?
She didn’t know.
Momentarily caught between past and present, she breathed in slowly, hoping to find her way. But where did she want to go? Back to when life was bright and easy? So tempting.
She breathed in again. The foul scent made her recoil, a touch of death to the nose, and that was it. She was once again standing in the present. The wet, decayed soil was unbearably cold in her hand, yet she dropped the clump as if it were a ball of white-hot fire.
Rain continued falling from the dreary sky, sliding beneath her collar. The grapes would be decimated by rot and mold. Gabrielle and her workers would prune, check for fungi or disease, and tie back shoots that came loose. Day after day, week after week, month after month, they had waged their war valiantly. They would still fail.
The enemy was too strong.
The enemy was crafty and cruel.
The enemy was…
Renee Ryan grew up in a small Florida beach town. Surfing didn’t work for her, but that didn’t keep her from watching others tackle the waves. To entertain herself during those countless hours of “laying-out”, she read many of the classics. It wasn’t until the summer between her sophomore and junior years at Florida State University that she read her first romance novel. Hooked from page one, she spent hours consuming one book after another while working on the best (and last!) tan of her life.
Two years later, armed with a degree in Economics and Religion, she explored various career opportunities, including stints at a Florida theme park, a modeling agency, and a cosmetic conglomerate. She went on to teach high school Economics, American Government and Latin in between coaching award-winning cheerleading teams. Several years later, with an eclectic cast of characters swimming around in her head, she began seriously pursuing a writing career. What better excuse to avoid housework and ignore clocks?