I am delighted to join the blog tour for The Inheritance by JoAnn Ross today! My thanks to Harlequin Publishing for the invitation to join. I was gifted a copy of The Inheritance to read in exchange for my honest review.
Book Info and Rating
Author: JoAnn Ross
Publication Date: September 7, 2021
Publisher: HQN Books
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars 💙💙💙💙💙
When conflict photographer Jackson Swann dies, he leaves behind a conflict of his own making when his three daughters, each born from a different mother and unknown to each other, discover that they’re now part owners of Maison de Madelaine, the family’s Oregon vineyard—a once famous business struggling to recover from a worldwide economic collapse.
After a successful career as a child TV star, a disastrous time as a teen pop star, and now a successful author, Tess is, for the first time in her life, suffering from a serious case of writer’s block and identity crisis.
Charlotte, brought up to be a proper Southern wife, has given up her own career goals to support her husband while having spent the past year struggling to conceive a child to create a more perfect marriage. On the worst day of her life, she discovers her beloved father has died, she has two sisters she’d never been told about, and her husband has fallen in love with another woman.
Natalie, daughter of Jack’s long-time mistress, has always known about both half-sisters. Still mourning the loss of her mother, the death of her father a year later is a devastating blow. And she can’t help feeling that both her sisters may resent her for being the daughter their father decided to keep.
As the sisters reluctantly gather at the family vineyard, they’re enchanted by the legacy they’ve inherited, and by their grandmother’s rich stories of life in WWII France and the love she found with a wounded American soldier who brought her to Oregon where they started Maison de Madelaine.
The Inheritance is a terrific story from JoAnn Ross principally about family, but also covering love and loss, blended with some fascinating WW2 history. I thoroughly enjoyed my time following the three sisters as they go from strangers to loving and supportive siblings.
The tale begins as Jackson Swann, photographer and the father of three daughters who each have different mothers, is approaching the end his life and his battle with cancer. Sitting on the patio terrace of the chateau de Madeleine, the grey stone house in Oregon’s Williamette Valley that his father Robert Swann built for his wife Madeleine, a war bride, he has many regrets that he is musing over as he gazes at the 260 acres of vineyards and the gorgeous blossom trees. Most of the details the reader learns of Jack comes from others’ memories though he leaves videos for each daughter.
His eldest is Tess, a former child TV star and author. Jack had a very brief marriage with her mother and played no part in her life, thus Tess refers to Jack as a sperm donor. Tess is nonchalant when Donovan Brees, her father’s lawyer, tell her of her father’s death and her inheritance. But needing to make a decision about her writing, Tess decides that Oregon might be just right for her. Tess knows of one of her sisters’ existences but not the other.
Brought up by her mother, Charlotte is a Southern housewife and rarely saw her father. Jack and Blanche are still married as Blanche sees no reason to divorce. Charlotte married the politically ambitious Mason, so Charlotte ditched her dreams of becoming an interior designer. When she learns of her father’s death, she also discovers her husband is an adulterer, so going to Oregon seems like a grand idea. Charlotte had no clue that she had sisters before learning about Jack’s death.
The youngest daughter Natalie Seurat is the sister who saw more of Jack. She is a talented photographer, like her dad and is grieving the loss of her mother, Josette when she learns of Jack’s death. She’s always known about her sisters and wanted to meet them.
It was fascinating to read about the sisters’ varied relationship with Jack as well as the forming of their own as siblings. None of them expected to inherit though there was a caveat on this. They also had the opportunity to spend time with Madeleine. Dotted hither and thither are flashbacks to Madeleine’s time with the French Resistance which were riveting. As each sister is at a crossroads in life their time in Oregon affords them the thinking time they need. Charlotte is pondering the fate of her marriage and makes some realisations involving her husband. Tess is wondering what’s next after her successful teen series and Natalie is pondering whether to risk a friendship for something more.
Along with learning the wine business and family history, romance also finds its way into each sister’s life. Charlotte is the wariest of the three in this regard as she still has cold feet from previous dalliances. JoAnn Ross’s characterisation is first-class on this compelling tale and I relished in her Gideon character too, who is running the vineyard, finding him charming and personable as he gets to know Tess better and explains about winemaking. The epilogue ties everything off neatly and I highly recommend The Inheritance, a sweet story with a weighty storyline.
Thanks to NetGalley, HQN Books and the author, JoAnn Ross for the complimentary copy. This is my honest and totally voluntary review.
Meet the Author:
New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author JoAnn Ross has been published in twenty-seven countries. The author of over 100 novels, JoAnn lives with her husband and many rescue pets — who pretty much rule the house — in the Pacific Northwest.
Until Next Time,