|First, I have to make clear that this is a third book in a series and I have not read any of the other books. The mystery of the story revolves around a century old wine bottle that may have some pink diamonds that was taken during the Russian Revolution. The story was full of information that was obviously revealed in the two previous stories, so it took some time to figure out all the parts of the mystery.
This story is centered on Noah DiLuca, the third son of Gavino DiLuca. He had three sons from three different women. The sons were raised by Sarah DiLuca, his mother. It was her husband who had been given the bottle of wine and her husband who had hidden the bottle during his last days, when he was suffering from dementia. Now, there are forces out there hunting for that bottle and the family has been threatened, attacked, almost killed and been infiltrated by a fake personal assistant who was killed for failing her bosses. Noah knows something but is hiding it from his family - what he is hiding has to do with his mother - a descendant of the Propovs of Russia and is the mastermind behind the efforts to recover the diamonds.
Enter another woman, Penelope Alonso Caldwell, who is an innocent but who is about to drop herself smack into the middle of the drama. She is the daughter of a man who has been the DiLuca's enemy for years, as he too is searching for the wine. He is convinced it should have been his and theirs is an old feud. She and Noah have history. Once when her mother brought her to Bella Terra California, she and Noah had a teenage love affair and both left feeling hurt and betrayed. Now she is back and both realize that the attraction they felt has never left.
I found this story farfetched. Noah is threatened and in fact realizes he is going to die before the ending. He is so wrapped up in "protecting" his family from his past, he acts stupidly from the beginning. It is only when it is almost too late that he realizes he loves Penelope and decides he doesn't want to die. The villains are really bad guys and without the background, it just didn't seem realistic. The author writes a good sense of suspense and at times, this was downright scary, but it seemed rather incredible and outlandish at the same time. This was right out of the type of action movie plotline that has lots of action, but little plot.
If you have been reading the series, this may make more sense to you and you may fully understand how things have gotten to this point. It may be more believable. But for this reader, I prefer romantic suspense stories that are a little more realistic.