Book Review and Book Giveaway: Between The Vines

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Author: Tricia Stringer
ISBN: 9781743693964
RRP: $29.99

Bestselling Australian Author Tricia Stringer is back with an intriguing new South Australian story that had me hooked.


I think the thing I am beginning to love the most about Tricia Stringer is that she writes South Australian stories but each of them have been set in a completely different area of the state and focused on a different aspect of rural South Australian life.

Between the Vines is set in the Coonawarra wine region and focuses, as you might expect, on wine making. I have no knowledge of wine regions, the industry or the process; to be completely honest I don’t even have a taste for it. Yet I was still completely entranced with this story.

Stringer’s novels have an element of romance but they also have a large element of intrigue. Between The Vines is filled with deceit and subterfuge that keeps you guessing as to what’s really going on and who is really the bad guy.

Taylor Rourke is doing a winery tour of the Coonawarra region for a hen’s weekend with her best friends and as the designated driver she hangs back a little. She has made a pact with herself to take a break; from the drinking, the partying and men. She certainly wasn’t expecting to meet the enigmatic Edward Starr at Wriggly Creek Wines.

She is attracted to Edward and there is certainly some chemistry between them, they spend some time together over the weekend and Edward tells her she should stop back in some time.

A series of events conspire to see Taylor take a sabbatical from her Adelaide life and head back to Wriggly Creek to explore what there might be between her and Edward; except that he isn’t there and Taylor doesn’t have a plan B. She meets Edward’s younger brother Peter Starr and is offered a room in their staff quarters until Edward returns.

This novel is as much about the winery and the brothers as it is Taylor and any romantic storyline. Stringer takes us behind the scenes for an indepth look at the process and all of the work that goes into making wine and all it’s different types.

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Edward and Peter Starr inherited the winery after the tragic accident that took their parents, it has always been a family business and the brothers are both passionate about the business but they have very different ideas. They were thrown into the deep end in the midst of their grief so they never made proper plans they just got on with the job of making sure the winery continued. Edward is the business manager and Peter is the winemaker, the numbers & money man and the creator. There are unresolved issues simmering between them and it’s only a matter of time before something explodes.

The explosion could be about the business, the wine or Taylor and it’s neck and neck there for a while. Taylor settles in well to life at the winery and before long she is helping out where she can. In the cellar door, the winery, the lab, cooking evening meals for Edward, Peter & their live-in worker Antoine and even some grape picking; before the end of the story she has even put her business degree to use in hopes of bringing the family feeling back into the family business.

Taylor taking off from Adelaide to explore the chemistry between her and Edward seems a little unrealistic, especially as she has sworn off jumping into anything new after a string of bad decisions about men. At the same time it illustrates the kind of decisions she makes about men and why she needs to swear off them.

Romance, sibling rivalry, vineyard espionage, deceit and a busy vintage season make Between The Vines an engaging read that I did not want to put down.

Edward was not a character I liked. He made a great first impression and it was all downhill from there. I liked him less and less the further into the story I delved. I am not sure that I like him any better now but I have a little more understanding of his motives and I think there is a wealth of untapped potential in his character, I would love Stringer to revisit Wriggly Creek when the iconic vintage wine is bottled and see how things are with him then.

Between The Vines is book #69 for the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 2015.

Tricia can be found at Tricia Stringer.com and Facebook.

Between The Vines is available now at Harlequin, Angus and Robertson Bookworld, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

We have copies of Between the Vines to giveaway to 5 of our lucky readers thanks to Morey Media and Harlequin. If you want to be one of them tell us in the comments below what you would most like to learn about the wine industry.

Competition closes 11/01/16 midnight AEST. You must be subscribed to the Beauty and Lace newsletter OR a Facebook fan to enter. Make sure you use a valid email address so we can contact you if you are a lucky winner

Terms and conditions

– All decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into.
– Competition is a game of skill. Chance plays no part in determining the winner.
– Prize not negotiable, and cannot be exchanged or taken as cash.
– One entry per person
– Competition open to Australian residents only
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34 thoughts on “Book Review and Book Giveaway: Between The Vines

  1. Well I would be interested in learning about the grape vines
    How often do the vines have to be cut back
    Do the vines need daily watering
    For new vines do they take cuttings from old vines
    What fertiliser do the growers use
    Why do the grapes have to be hand picked

  2. I’d love to know how many grapes on average it takes to make a bottle of wine.
    This sounds like a great read (and Christmas gift to myself!)

  3. I’d like to know how a woman survives in a predominantly male dominated industry. And on what basis they award medals to wine. Like reading, taste is very subjective as well. If it tastes good to me its worth Gold!! Thank you for the chance, I’d love to win this book, I’ve not read anything by Tricia before. Fingers crossed xx

  4. I have visited a few different Wineries over the years for Wine Tastings.
    Every Winery has a different feel to it.
    My favourites has been Banrock Station Winery in rural South Australia that overlook Wetlands and Wolf Blass Winery just out of Gawler in South Australia.
    I would love to know how the Wine Makers decide which wines to develop from which grapes and who decides what style bottl to use and who designs the labels.
    Banrock Station make a tasty Merlot Red Wine, Wolf Blass make a delicious Red Port and I have also had a White Port from Peter van Gint Winery in Rural South Australia.
    Pieroth Wines also have a huge range from Champange from South France to a stunning South African Red Wine.
    I even have a White Mangosteen Wine and a Red Mangosteen Wine I brought back from Thailand in my collection.
    Wine is a fascinating subject and Australia has such a wonderful heritage in the Barrossa Valley, McLarren Vale and Hunter Valley Regions just to name a few and are known world wide.
    I know the wine range is huge.

  5. I’d like to know about the people. Does working in the wine industry push you towards drinking too much? Incline you towards being more abstemious? How does it affect your attitude to other people’s drinking habits? How do you feel about alcohol fuelled violence? About sexist advertising for wine? I think it’d be fascinating to find out how working in the wine industry affect the way people act and think… Or doesn’t affect them.

  6. As vineyard owners ourselves (100 acres) i would like to learn if the truth is different from the percueved reality or is it romanticized !

  7. To imagine just turning up at the winery not knowing anything about it, and being a beer drinker, was a huge step. And to see the turnabout in Taylor during her time at the winery and seeing her grow as a person was amazing. And my love of wine didn’t hurt a bit either.

  8. I’d love to know the differences in how the different wines are made. I know next to nothing about wine. This book looks like a lovely read.

  9. I’d like to know more about basket-pressed wines versus more traditional methods. I’d also like to know what they think about Lucille Ball crushing grapes in that famous episode of I Love Lucy!

  10. It seems Tricia Stringer in her book has managed to tick all the boxes that have the making of a ‘good’ holiday read for me. Intrigue, trickery, suspense and a goodly dash of romance and so much more.. all against the background of the S.A. wine industry to make it all so instructive and believable.. Yes please!

  11. Sounds like an interesting read, I would really like to know as the wine is being made, and taste tested, if its taste is not up to standard how do they correct its flavour to be more flavoursome or is the wine ruined if this is the case then what do they do with the wine?

  12. I would love to know how they make the different wines, how they get the taste of some of them and how you know when it is a good wine and not just something your palette likes.

  13. I notice many rose growers plant roses at the ends of the rows of the vines. I understand it is to show if there is threat of disease in the vines. I would be interested to know if there is a particular variety of rose used more often than others.

  14. Like to know how long it takes to develop into a good wine taster I see people sniffing wine for the aroma but surely you would have to have a good “nose” for this & tasting to see what flavours go into the wine all very interesting.I would really love to be able to appreciate a good Red but so far haven’t found one to my taste.Do they blend 2 sorts of grapes together? What are the main variety of grape for Red & White wine?

  15. It’s the whole process of making wine that fascinates. The choices made too. Which varieties of grapes to grow, where to site a vineyard, the type of wine to be made from the grapes………?

    At the end of it all a great drop to drink. Got to love that.

  16. You can only get from your vines what you put into them, or at least what I understand. I would like to know how landcare, nutrients and longevity is sustained by the wine growers. Their future crops and our future drinking relies on it.
    Im sure that the chemistry of the soil is in no way comparable to the chemistry eluded to in the story. I’d love the opportunity to find out how.

  17. The hard work ad labour that goes into a bottle excites me so next time I toast a glass at a party I will have some delightful new knowledge to share

  18. I would love to learn how they get the different flavours in the wine like the fruit flavours, how they make them dry/sweet. how they keep their ground fertile to continue to produce their grapes without transplanting plants into different soil.

  19. I would love to find out what factors go into deciding an award winning wine and who decides this, as we all have different palates.

  20. I love reading Australian authors, but have not read any of Trish Stringer’s books. Last year we did a driving tour of Sth Australian wineries. The regions are different and all were interesting.
    I have heard a little about “Noble Rot” a ‘good’ mold that makes a sweet wine. I would like to know more about the diseases and molds that can attack the vines and how the vinegrons protect the vines from disease

  21. I would like to know why they plant a rose bush at the end of each row of vines. I would also like to know how they harvest the grapes and the typebof process used to crush the fruit into wine ….. As a wine lover I believe I should know something of the origins of my favourite liquid.

  22. I would love to understand how the weather can affect the flavor of a grape… Is that even a thing? Sounds logical… perhaps the book will tell me 🙂 x

  23. Would love know how wine is made today. In my head from years ago I have his image of people putting grapes in barrels and people stepping on them to crush them, with are feet of course.

  24. I think learning to work in a vineyard would be far too hard for me, but I would love to learn about some of those vineyards that have a long history, and what makes them successful. Of course learning about the taste of wine, particularly sparkling wine is more my thing. My sister bought me a bag once, it reads “Save water, drink champagne”. Need I say more.

  25. Having done seasonal pruning and more in a vineyard in coonawarra myself, boy is it hard work!!! I remember after a week’s work we all were just about crawling out of our cars laughing as we had used muscles we never knew existed, It even hurt to sit down on the toilet seat lol. It was basically doing squats all day pruning up and down each vine. I would like to know if drinking wine regularly boosts your sex drive as I know pruning vines just wears you out lol.

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