Book Review: Vintage

Champagne. Being a fan of the delectable delight, a book about the dizzy world of champagne was inevitably going to end up becoming one of my favourite books. I give you this week's book review: Olivia Darling's debut novel, Vintage.

According to Darling, Vintage is a modern take on the blockbusters of the '80s - the likes of Jackie Collins and Danielle Steele. I've never read any of Collins' or Steele's work (should I?), but I *loved* the sound of Vintage:

Three women who dare to make it in a man’s world. One sparkling prize.

Madeleine Arsenault has prepared for this moment all her life. She is determined to rescue the beloved family chateau and prove she’s got what it takes to run the most successful champagne house in France.

Former supermodel Christina Morgan knows she hasn’t got what it takes. But she’s sure as hell not going to show it. And with the help of her friends, she’ll turn her ex-husband’s hobby Californian vineyard into a major player.

British cleaning-girl Kelly Elson would rather drink vodka and coke than champagne. Then she inherits a vineyard in Sussex and suddenly she’s thirsty for success.

Watching over them all is Frenchman Mathieu Randon, head of luxury goods conglomerate Domaine Randon. Super-rich. Seductive. And a sociopath.

In competing to produce the world’s best sparkling wine, the three women are swept into a world of feuds, back-stabbing, sabotage and seduction. Have they got what it takes to survive?

What can I say? Well, the characters are all believable, there's a plot beyond the superficial champagne world, but it's also peppered with interesting tit-bits. This book has it all. There's: Love. Mystery. Struggle. Grief. Glamour. Ooh, and power.

Set in the UK, France and the US, the plot time frame spans several years, but it still makes a captivating read. It flows as smoothly as a champagne fountain should. ;) Just read it, okay? x


  1. Sounds like my kind of book.:) Love the book-cover.
    If they would make it into a mini-series, I would watch it.

  2. Blah, I'm reading a book right now that isn't nearly as fun as I remembered it to be.

    I surely do need a fun book like Vintage.

  3. mmm champagne...sounds like a good holiday-break read!

  4. It's definitely a good read! :0)

  5. I read this in Barcelona and really liked it, save for the ending. I felt it was set up for a sequel really and I'm not a massive fan of sequels.

    I think I read somewhere that Olivia Darling was a psuedonym for chick-lit author Chris Manby.

  6. Olivia Darling, author of Vintage, published this month by Hodder, is certainly a 21st-century woman capable of juggling roles. She discusses her book as if it is a first-time novel – only later do I discover, when a rival lets it slip, that she has written 19 books, mostly using her real name, Chris Manby. She has also written a series of erotic novels (currently being reissued) under the name Stephanie Ash.

    That's from The Times. I feel slightly cheated now!