GOLD COUNTRY by D.H.Wolownick
Hard Shell Word Factory - January 2001
ISBN 158200580x - eBook
Romantic Suspense

Reviewed by Sue Johnson, MyShelf.Com
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In this book the California Gold Rush meets modern day times in a head on collision. Iris Fleming is a young orchestra director who has come to Gold Hill, California under rather unusual circumstances. Her father has been killed in a hit and run accident that left her severely injured. Before his death he had bought a lovely old mansion in Gold Hill, California. The mansion was built by a gold prospector during the gold rush and is said to be haunted. It has stood empty for many years. She is unsure why her father bought this house but she has retreated here to heal.  As she heals Iris's total existence has become focused around finding the hit and run driverthat destroyed her world.

Enter, Joe Cartelli, a young local vineyard owner and wine maker. Joe has played around the Pelletier mansion all his life and wanted it for his very own. He cannot understand how this total stranger has managed to move in and take over before he was able to do anything to stop it.
Since Joe is the chairman of the local festival he has been assigned to approach Iris with the proposition of her orchestra entertaining at the festival. He wants badly to dislike her but finds himself soon drawn into her problems. However danger is lurking just under the surface.
Strange noises and bizarre occurrences soon begin to plague Iris.

Is there really a ghost in the Pelletier Mansion or is it a sinister human at work? Who wants to put Joe's vineyard out of business and to what lengths will they go to do so? Amid all this chaos Joe and Iris are slowly being drawn into an affair that neither one of them feel prepared for.

As a general rule I do not care for a mystery with a lot of romance mixed in the story line. However Ms. Wolownick keeps the reader so entranced that there is no way of stopping until they reach the stunning climax. The winery scenes are especially well written. I could smell the oak barrels and feel the wonderful spring breeze blowing through the vines. This book is definitely a winner with me.

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