Monday, April 29, 2013

Audiobook Review: The Villa by Nora Roberts

The Villa
Author: Nora Roberts
Narrator: Laural Merlington
Published: January 5, 2002
Genre: chick lit
Audiobook: 14 discs (approx. 15.5 hours)
Source: borrowed from the library

My Rating: 2.5 stars

Synopsis (from GoodReads): Sophia Giambelli has never worried about competition. For three generations, the Giambelli wines have been renowned for their quality-- from Napa Valley to Italy, and throughout the world. The pride of the Giambelli family and a top PR executive, Sophia loves her job-- and excels at it. But things are about to change at Villa Giambelli. Tereza, the matriarch, has announced a merger with the MacMillan family's winery-- and Sophia will be assuming a new role. As a savvy businesswoman, she knows she must be prepared for anything . . . but she isn't prepared for Tyler MacMillan. They've been ordered to work together very closely, to facilitate the merger. Sophia must teach Ty the finer points of marketing-- and Ty, in turn, shows her how to get down and dirty, to use the sun, rain, and earth to coax the sweetest grapes from the vineyard.

As they toil together, both in and out of the fields, Sophia is torn between a powerful attraction and a professional rivalry. At the end of the season, the course of the company's future-- and the legacy of the villa-- may take an entirely new direction. And when acts of sabotage threaten both the family business and the family itself, Sophia's quest will be not only for dominance, but also for survival.

My Thoughts: I tend to enjoy listening to Nora Roberts in audiobook form because they are something light and easy that I can have playing in the car while I drive around. So, I read the description for this one and thought, "That sounds intriguing, I'll give it a try." But this was not a typical Roberts for me. This novel just dragged on and on and felt like it might never end! Usually, the relationships between the characters is what pulls you in, and while there were some great relationships in the book, Roberts didn't focus enough on those. Instead of focusing on the relationship between the three Giambellli women, he focused on the relationship that (literally) came out of nowhere between Sophia and Tyler. It was a very confusing novel, one that had me mostly shaking my head because it was so tedious to get through.

The beginning of the book was hard to get into and I thought about turning it off and returning it for another book, but I wanted to stick it out. It did get better by the end, but it wasn't enough to make up for the lackluster beginning. There were so many characters introduced all at once, which can be hard to keep track of when you are listening to a book. And there wasn't a since of family immediately, and since this is a book about family, you expect to have a sense of it from the characters. But they all seemed to be living seperate lives from one another and they didn't mesh entirely. Overall, this was a lousy audiobook listen, but it maybe one of those things that better in the printed form than CD form. While it wasn't my favorite Roberts novel, I will still be listening to her books in the future.

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