Review: The Vineyard at Painted Moon by Susan Mallery


Release date: February 9, 2021

Publisher: HQN

Genre: Contemporary Fiction


Mackenzie Dienes seems to have it all—a beautiful home, close friends and a successful career as an elite winemaker with the family winery. There’s just one problem—it’s not her family, it’s her husband’s. In fact, everything in her life is tied to him—his mother is the closest thing to a mom that she’s ever had, their home is on the family compound, his sister is her best friend. So when she and her husband admit their marriage is over, her pain goes beyond heartbreak. She’s on the brink of losing everything. Her job, her home, her friends and, worst of all, her family.

Staying is an option. She can continue to work at the winery, be friends with her mother-in-law, hug her nieces and nephews—but as an employee, nothing more. Or she can surrender every piece of her heart in order to build a legacy of her own. If she can dare to let go of the life she thought she wanted, she might discover something even more beautiful waiting for her beneath a painted moon.


Oh this was such a delightful book! SM really knows how to write and engaging, heartfelt and emotionally complex book and this may be my favorite from her yet. I haven’t read all of her books though I’m trying to slowly make my way through her backlist, but this one was really special.

I loved so many things in this one, Mackenzie for starters was the type of lead character that charms the reader immediately. I also enjoyed the ensemble cast comprised of her husband’s family and then the primary setting being a vineyard was just the cherry on top of the cake. There was a lot going here plot wise, Mackenzie’s divorce, her strained relationship with her mother in law and then you get glimpses of her sister in laws struggles too, so definitely many relatable moments and problems and what I appreciated the most was the messiness of all their interactions. These characters felt genuine and true to life and even the way some things ended on a not so happy note made sense as real life is often complicated and not HEA. Overall just a really charming and entertaining read.

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

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