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The Inheritance

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With a dramatic WWII love story woven throughout, JoAnn Ross's women’s fiction debut is a generational saga full of sisterly affection and rivalry, perfect for fans of Susan Wiggs, Mary Alice Monroe and Lisa Wingate. When conflict photographer Jackson Swann dies, he leaves behind a conflict of his own making when his three daughters, each born to a different mother, discove With a dramatic WWII love story woven throughout, JoAnn Ross's women’s fiction debut is a generational saga full of sisterly affection and rivalry, perfect for fans of Susan Wiggs, Mary Alice Monroe and Lisa Wingate. When conflict photographer Jackson Swann dies, he leaves behind a conflict of his own making when his three daughters, each born to a different mother, discover that they’re now responsible for the family’s Oregon vineyard—and for a family they didn’t ask for. After a successful career as a child TV star, Tess is, for the first time in her life, suffering from a serious identity crisis, and renewed resentment around losing her father all over again. Charlotte, brought up to be a proper Southern wife, gave up her own career to support her husband's political ambitions. On the worst day of her life, she discovers her beloved father has died, she has two sisters she never knew about, and her husband has fallen in love with another woman. Natalie, daughter of Jack’s longtime mistress, has always known about her half sisters. And she can’t help feeling that when Tess and Charlotte find out, they’ll resent her for being the daughter their father kept. As the sisters reluctantly gather at the Maison de Madeleine to deal with their father's final wishes, they become enchanted by the legacy they've inherited, and by their grandmother’s rich stories of life in WWII France and the wounded American soldier who would ultimately influence all their lives.


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With a dramatic WWII love story woven throughout, JoAnn Ross's women’s fiction debut is a generational saga full of sisterly affection and rivalry, perfect for fans of Susan Wiggs, Mary Alice Monroe and Lisa Wingate. When conflict photographer Jackson Swann dies, he leaves behind a conflict of his own making when his three daughters, each born to a different mother, discove With a dramatic WWII love story woven throughout, JoAnn Ross's women’s fiction debut is a generational saga full of sisterly affection and rivalry, perfect for fans of Susan Wiggs, Mary Alice Monroe and Lisa Wingate. When conflict photographer Jackson Swann dies, he leaves behind a conflict of his own making when his three daughters, each born to a different mother, discover that they’re now responsible for the family’s Oregon vineyard—and for a family they didn’t ask for. After a successful career as a child TV star, Tess is, for the first time in her life, suffering from a serious identity crisis, and renewed resentment around losing her father all over again. Charlotte, brought up to be a proper Southern wife, gave up her own career to support her husband's political ambitions. On the worst day of her life, she discovers her beloved father has died, she has two sisters she never knew about, and her husband has fallen in love with another woman. Natalie, daughter of Jack’s longtime mistress, has always known about her half sisters. And she can’t help feeling that when Tess and Charlotte find out, they’ll resent her for being the daughter their father kept. As the sisters reluctantly gather at the Maison de Madeleine to deal with their father's final wishes, they become enchanted by the legacy they've inherited, and by their grandmother’s rich stories of life in WWII France and the wounded American soldier who would ultimately influence all their lives.

30 review for The Inheritance

  1. 4 out of 5

    Wendy W.

    The Inheritance by JoAnn Ross is a fascinating dual timeline story that focuses on a French Resistance worker, and an American Forces Pilot in the World War II timeline, and three half-sisters, and their grandmother in the present-day timeline. Tess, a novelist and former child actress, Charlotte, a southern designer, and Natalie, a French photographer are all summoned to the Maison de Madeleine winery in Aberdeen, Oregon, to listen to their Father’s reading of his will. Each of the sisters has The Inheritance by JoAnn Ross is a fascinating dual timeline story that focuses on a French Resistance worker, and an American Forces Pilot in the World War II timeline, and three half-sisters, and their grandmother in the present-day timeline. Tess, a novelist and former child actress, Charlotte, a southern designer, and Natalie, a French photographer are all summoned to the Maison de Madeleine winery in Aberdeen, Oregon, to listen to their Father’s reading of his will. Each of the sisters has different mothers, and they grew up separately, and not knowing each other. In fact, some did not even have knowledge of their sister’s existence until the summons. At the winery, they meet their 96-year-old Grandmother who tells them her story of meeting their Grandfather during the war in France. They were each a hero in their own way during the French resistance and have a fascinating story of their own. The sisters also have to learn to forgive their father for his lack of parenting and learn to forgive and love each other as they learn more about their famous photographer’s father. I found this book to be a fast read and I was engrossed in the story immediately. I love stories of sisters and forgiveness and love, and the author did an excellent job of giving us well-developed characters who are all likable and flawed at the same time. I also enjoyed reading about the grandmother and her time in Nazi-occupied France, and her rescue of the American pilot who she eventually marries. The suffering of the French people during this terrible time in history is illustrated in the Grandmothers story. I recommend this book to fans of WWII history and lovers of multi-generational family sagas. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  2. 5 out of 5

    WhiskeyintheJar

    4.3 stars I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. There would be no dramatic scenes with his three daughters---all now grown women with lives of their own---hovering over his deathbed. Famous conflict photographer Jackson Swann is dying from lung cancer. Putting his affairs in order involves a winery in Oregon and three daughters that have never met each other. His eldest daughter Tess, was a child 4.3 stars I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. There would be no dramatic scenes with his three daughters---all now grown women with lives of their own---hovering over his deathbed. Famous conflict photographer Jackson Swann is dying from lung cancer. Putting his affairs in order involves a winery in Oregon and three daughters that have never met each other. His eldest daughter Tess, was a childhood actress, pop singer, and now writer; the middle daughter Charlotte is a married southern socialite and interior designer; and his youngest Natalie is a street photographer. Not wanting to confront his daughters, he leaves it to his lawyer Donovan to travel, let the women know of their father's death and try and convince them to meet together at the winery. Jackson's winery manager, Gideon, convinces him to at least record video messages for all three sisters and is left with the task of explaining the winery to them when they arrive, their inheritance. With high readability that will pull you into the story, The Inheritance was mostly women's fiction and at turns romance and historical fiction. With a handful of characters to keep track of, the oldest daughter Tess, takes point and we get the most from her point-of-view and as the most bitter towards her father, he divorced her mother when she was a toddler and never had communication with him since, she has the most emotional turmoil to overcome. Even though Tess takes point, Charlotte with her imploding marriage, coming out from underneath her controlling husband, and taking control of her career again, gets enough page time to get to know her. Jackson was still legally married to Charlotte's mother, they had an open marriage, but Charlotte got enough visits from Jackson over the years to love him. Even though she is the youngest, Natalie had the closest relationship with Jackson, he and her mother were in a 28yr relationship. Natalie has visited the winery, had a relationship with her grandmother, and knows about her other two half-sisters; Tess knew about Charlotte but not Natalie and Charlotte knew about neither. Oh yes, she thought, Gideon Byrne could well be trouble. The first half was heavy on the women's fiction tone, it's gradually paced as we learn about these women and their lives, it was also what I thought worked best. The middle has the reading of the will and the sisters learn that they will inherit an equal part in the winery, along with Gideon, who will have a controlling vote in decisions, but in order to inherit and possibly sell, they must spend a season at the winery. Tess, who knew her father the least, wants nothing to do with the winery but the first half had her softening as she gets to know her sisters, grandmother, and Gideon. I'm not sure all of her complicated emotions and journey to accepting her father's inheritance was fully conveyed, because of amount of character stories being juggled and page count. After the reading of the will, the tone changes from women's fiction to more romance threads being focused on. Tess with Gideon is the most prominent but moves a bit too quickly for romance purists to really sink into and Natalie's childhood love of her father's lawyer Donovan comes to ahead as Donovan seems to have his own complicated feelings for her. The author's romance genre background is evident in these threads but they hit a little too fast and furious in the latter second half (Charlotte even gets her own HEA in the epilogue) to develop much depth. “[...] And that was the day I decided to join Maquis. La Resistance.” The latter second half also gives us the historical fiction aspect, Tess' grandmother was a teenage girl in WWII France, joined the Maquis (French resistance), and helped hide a downed American pilot who she fell in love with and was the sister's grandfather. I thought this story thread would play a much bigger role in the story and was a little disappointed when it took until around the 70% for it to really make an appearance. As Tess is a writer, she wants to write her grandmother's fascinating story and we get the story with some flashbacks and oral history. It's an intriguing thread to put in and brings an encompassing feel and connection to the sisters, family, and winery but it also felt rushed and shoved in with it coming in so late to the story. Overall, there were a lot of characters to juggle in this story but I thought the sisters and secondary characters carried their weight. There were also engaging aspects sprinkled into the plot with Oregon's jory soil, winery and WWII tidbits, that really drew me into the story. The women's fiction beginning was the best flushed out, the romances had the beginning sparks but not enough page time to give depth, and while the historical fiction thread was compelling, it was left too long and felt rushed at the end. I did read this in two days because of how easy it was to sink into and certain aspects of the story will be staying with me for a while.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    I've never read Joann Ross before but after reading THE INHERITANCE, I quickly made a list of all of her previous books to read! Its quite the list let me tell you. This is a dual time line story, told in the time of World War II and the present. The present involves three half sisters coming to terms with their father’s death. The WWII story is about their grandmother and the French Resistance. Fascinating to say the least. Charlotte, Tess, and Natalie are brought to Oregon to their father’s win I've never read Joann Ross before but after reading THE INHERITANCE, I quickly made a list of all of her previous books to read! Its quite the list let me tell you. This is a dual time line story, told in the time of World War II and the present. The present involves three half sisters coming to terms with their father’s death. The WWII story is about their grandmother and the French Resistance. Fascinating to say the least. Charlotte, Tess, and Natalie are brought to Oregon to their father’s winery for the reading of his will. Being that they have never met before, there are many secrets and hurt feelings revealed. Once you start reading THE INHERITANCE be prepared not to do anything else until you finish. Ms. Ross pulls the reader in from the very first page as the story consumes them. I found myself afraid to turn the page for fear of what was going to be revealed next. I can’t believe I’ve never read this author before and Joann Ross is going on my auto buy author list right now! The telling of how their 96 year old grandmother meets their grandfather was adventurous and heart stopping. Tess and Charlotte are meeting their grandmother for the first time and they are jealous of Natalie and the times she was able to spend with their father as well. I finished THE INHERITANCE in three days, but it will live in my heart much longer. I find myself thinking of the characters and the story often, and feel privileged to have been able to read it. If you enjoy bittersweet stories of love, war, and sacrifice, you will love THE INHERITANCE. The characters are all resilient spirits and their journeys were at times heartbreaking, inspiring and triumphant. When the story ended I was thinking that with their personal revelations many of the characters’ stories were just beginning. The message I took to heart in this story was that love is universal and love can heal. Madeleine and the rest of the characters grew with each passing page, until I loved each and every one of them and their stories. THE INHERITANCE had me reaching for my box of Kleenex more than once. A war/love story like none I’ve read before. It’s filled with tradition, honor, triumph and tragedies. I strongly strongly recommend THE INHERITANCE. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Harlequin through Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

    FULL REVIEW WILL BE ON SEPTEMBER 11. Three sisters who didn’t know each other existed needed to get together after their father passed. They didn’t know each other because each sister had a different mother, and their father never really kept in touch. A slow start to this book did lead to a terrific story line about the sisters, the house, and the information their grandmother relayed about her life as a member of the French Resistance. Readers are treated to a book about the joy of finding family, FULL REVIEW WILL BE ON SEPTEMBER 11. Three sisters who didn’t know each other existed needed to get together after their father passed. They didn’t know each other because each sister had a different mother, and their father never really kept in touch. A slow start to this book did lead to a terrific story line about the sisters, the house, and the information their grandmother relayed about her life as a member of the French Resistance. Readers are treated to a book about the joy of finding family, finding love, and realizing happiness can come at any time in your life no matter how late. An enjoyable read for women’s fiction fans and WWII fans. 4/5 This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Robin Loves Reading

    Jackson Swann has passed away and he leaves his inheritance, a very successful vineyard in Oregon, to his three daughters. Not only have Tess, Charlotte and Natalie been born to different mothers, they had never met one another. All from different walks of life they now all responsible for the vineyard as they struggle to get to know each other. Tess had always had a successful television career, but lately finding roles has not been easy, leaving her struggling with her life. Then Charlotte put Jackson Swann has passed away and he leaves his inheritance, a very successful vineyard in Oregon, to his three daughters. Not only have Tess, Charlotte and Natalie been born to different mothers, they had never met one another. All from different walks of life they now all responsible for the vineyard as they struggle to get to know each other. Tess had always had a successful television career, but lately finding roles has not been easy, leaving her struggling with her life. Then Charlotte put her husband first in her life, even giving up a successful career, only to end up being betrayed. Natalie, a French photographer, is the only one who knew she had sisters and she is worried thatthey won't accept her. Not only are the sisters spending time getting acquainted, they are spending time with their grandmother. As she regales them with a snapshot of her life and her relationship and marriage to their grandfather, she tells them about her role during WWII in France. Her stories are amazing, if not heartbreaking at times. This engaging read was a wonderful dual-timeline story with delightful characters and stories. While Charlotte's marital life hits the wall, Tess and Natalie each have a chance at romance. The stories of their lives, and their grandmother's past, all come together in an engaging read. Meanwhile, as Tess is in the entertainment business, she sees their grandmother's story as one worth sharing, thus the family pulls together even more. Many thanks to HQN Books and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Robyn

    THE INHERITANCE JoAnn Ross I started this and then almost stopped before I finished the first couple of pages. I don't know why exactly, it just wasn't engaging me. So I pitched it to the side and started something else, but came right back and started over. I wasn't sure that I could hang with the caustic attitude of Tess (a former child actress) as she plowed her way through the first 27 chapters. But I hung on because of the other girls, Charlotte (southern and an interior designer) and Natali THE INHERITANCE JoAnn Ross I started this and then almost stopped before I finished the first couple of pages. I don't know why exactly, it just wasn't engaging me. So I pitched it to the side and started something else, but came right back and started over. I wasn't sure that I could hang with the caustic attitude of Tess (a former child actress) as she plowed her way through the first 27 chapters. But I hung on because of the other girls, Charlotte (southern and an interior designer) and Natalie (French and a photographer) who are all daughters of their recently deceased father who owned a winery in Oregon. I was more connected to Nat and Char than to Tess, despite the fact that she was the main daughter character but by Chapter 28, her sarcasm smoothed out and some of the bitterness she so continuously expressed diminished. This was also about the time that she found Gideon, the man that ran the winery. His hotness was a good influence on her. So now we have a dead father and 3 daughters, but they have a Grandmother who has an amazing tale to relate about meeting her beloved during the War in France. This storyline was really interesting and I loved it.... it was rich in history and love and was quite interesting. The historical storyline was very neatly pieced into the present-day winery storyline and both highlighted the idea that despite not being perfect, people often do the best they can. It takes the ability to forgive those that don't live up to our expectations and accept it as their flaw and not ours. In the end, this was a pretty fast read and one that I actually enjoyed a great deal. It resonated with family values and that family can be constructed where there is heart. If you like historical fiction intertwined with family sagas, this might be a hit with you as well. 4 stars Happy Reading!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kristina

    The Inheritance by JoAnn Ross takes us to the Willamette Valley of Oregon where three women have just inherited a winery. Three sisters are getting a chance to learn about each other, their father, their family, and their heritage. They may also find love while in wine country. I thought The Inheritance was a well-written story with good pacing. Ms. Ross is a descriptive writer. This allowed me to visualize the characters and scenes. I thought the characters were realistic and developed. I like The Inheritance by JoAnn Ross takes us to the Willamette Valley of Oregon where three women have just inherited a winery. Three sisters are getting a chance to learn about each other, their father, their family, and their heritage. They may also find love while in wine country. I thought The Inheritance was a well-written story with good pacing. Ms. Ross is a descriptive writer. This allowed me to visualize the characters and scenes. I thought the characters were realistic and developed. I like it when the characters have flaws because it makes them relatable. The characters were likeable as well. I enjoyed the scenery of Aberdeen, Oregon. It sounds like a beautiful area. Interspersed among the present-day chapters were sections that took us back to World War II. Madeleine, the sisters’ grandmother, talks about her adventures during the war and how she met their grandfather. There is foul language in this story (just FYI). I liked reading about these four resilient women. The Inheritance is a story about forgiveness, overcoming tragedy, endurance, overcoming adversity, and love. Be prepared to stay up late once you begin reading The Inheritance.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kari

    My Review Of THE INHERITANCE By Author, JoAnn Ross Published & Gifted by Harlequin Books On Sale: 9/7/21 ****** I was so engrossed in the family saga that encompasses three half sisters brought together by their father’s passing. Only of which knew him as more than a sperm donor by three different women. It tells a richly detailed and resonant story of forgiveness, learning to love and getting to know the past behind their father who was a conflict photographer. This book reminds you why compassion is My Review Of THE INHERITANCE By Author, JoAnn Ross Published & Gifted by Harlequin Books On Sale: 9/7/21 ****** I was so engrossed in the family saga that encompasses three half sisters brought together by their father’s passing. Only of which knew him as more than a sperm donor by three different women. It tells a richly detailed and resonant story of forgiveness, learning to love and getting to know the past behind their father who was a conflict photographer. This book reminds you why compassion is still needed and to listen before you judge. And the girls learn about where they’ve come to get their Inheritance and the women who the vineyard was named after. Their growth and healing from hearing stories are richly rewarding and touched by very soul. This dual time line take is a deeply thoughtful novel in which I will not soon forget.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Missy

    Well, I didn't realize I was requesting a Harlequin-style romance when I asked for access to The Inheritance, but that's what it turned into, in the end. The action is primarily dialogue-driven. No characters or scenes are particularly well-developed, not even the WWII spy activity. The 90+ year old character sounds like a 30 year old woke feminist. The dominated and jilted wife bounced back in two weeks. And hot love - surely strong enough to last forever - was consummated after a two week cour Well, I didn't realize I was requesting a Harlequin-style romance when I asked for access to The Inheritance, but that's what it turned into, in the end. The action is primarily dialogue-driven. No characters or scenes are particularly well-developed, not even the WWII spy activity. The 90+ year old character sounds like a 30 year old woke feminist. The dominated and jilted wife bounced back in two weeks. And hot love - surely strong enough to last forever - was consummated after a two week courtship. I think I was annoyed because the advertising description made it sound as if this book was going to be character-rich historical fiction. Not recommended, unless you just want a romance. I received an advance reader's copy from #NetGalley #TheInheritance

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    This story has a grandmother relating her life in the French resistance to her three granddaughters. The girls have been summoned to her winery because her son has died and the sisters must live there for a year to get their inheritance. I love the switch between WWII and the present. It is easy to follow both time lines. Only one of the sisters has had a relationship with their father, the other two were abandoned with their mothers in his earlier life. A good story of family and the multi gene This story has a grandmother relating her life in the French resistance to her three granddaughters. The girls have been summoned to her winery because her son has died and the sisters must live there for a year to get their inheritance. I love the switch between WWII and the present. It is easy to follow both time lines. Only one of the sisters has had a relationship with their father, the other two were abandoned with their mothers in his earlier life. A good story of family and the multi generations is one of my favorite themes. I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Annette

    Tess, Charlotte and Natalie are half sisters who inherit their father’s winery. Growing up they had never met or even knew about each other. The stipulation of their father’s will brings them together. Tess and Charlotte also meet their Grandmother for the first time. There’s a lot going on in this book. We also get some insight to their Grandmother’s life working with the resistance during WW2. I do wish the book had gone on a little bit longer. All in all it was an enjoyable book. Thanks to the Tess, Charlotte and Natalie are half sisters who inherit their father’s winery. Growing up they had never met or even knew about each other. The stipulation of their father’s will brings them together. Tess and Charlotte also meet their Grandmother for the first time. There’s a lot going on in this book. We also get some insight to their Grandmother’s life working with the resistance during WW2. I do wish the book had gone on a little bit longer. All in all it was an enjoyable book. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the early copy

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sandy McGraw

    Three sisters unknown to each other, one father, three lives forever changed. The Inheritance is a story of the three daughters of Jackson Swann, a famous photographer who was as conflicted as his photos were. His eldest Tess, was a child star whose idea of family is warped as was her childhood including her relationship with her own father. Middle child Charlotte, a proper southern wife had a relationship with her father although limited and she is always trying to please everyone but herself. Three sisters unknown to each other, one father, three lives forever changed. The Inheritance is a story of the three daughters of Jackson Swann, a famous photographer who was as conflicted as his photos were. His eldest Tess, was a child star whose idea of family is warped as was her childhood including her relationship with her own father. Middle child Charlotte, a proper southern wife had a relationship with her father although limited and she is always trying to please everyone but herself. Natalie, the youngest daughter, whose loving relationship with her father makes her stand out from her sisters, is a brilliant photographer in her own right. All three sisters learn of each other and of the vineyard their father left to them. Can they get past the hurt to learn not only about each other but about their grandmother for whom the vineyard is named? Madeleine has a delightful addition to their story as well. Told from the perspective of each daughter, the storyline works well with each narrative. Stories from all the women flow seamlessly and each chapter has you looking forward to where the sisters are headed. The story includes romance, acceptance of oneself and others, love, heroism and most importantly family in all its forms. This is a wonderfully written story, grab a glass of tea and enjoy this read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Terrific story of family, love, loss, and healing, combined with some fascinating WW2 history. I loved seeing the three sisters go from wary strangers to loving and supportive siblings as they got to know each other, their grandmother, and their family history. The story opens as Jackson Swann, conflict photographer and father of three daughters - from different mothers, nears the end of his battle with cancer. He has many regrets, not the least of which are his shortcomings as a father. In the Terrific story of family, love, loss, and healing, combined with some fascinating WW2 history. I loved seeing the three sisters go from wary strangers to loving and supportive siblings as they got to know each other, their grandmother, and their family history. The story opens as Jackson Swann, conflict photographer and father of three daughters - from different mothers, nears the end of his battle with cancer. He has many regrets, not the least of which are his shortcomings as a father. In the end, all he can do is give them each other and the family they never knew. In the little bit of Jack we see, it is evident that he is driven by his need to show the starkness of the conflicts he photographs. As much as he would like to be the kind of father his father was, he can't change who he is. Most of what we learn of Jack comes through the memories from other people, except for the videos he leaves for each daughter. I liked the honesty of his last words to each one. Tess is the oldest daughter, born from Jackson's very brief marriage with her mother. Jackson played no part in her life, causing Tess to refer to him as simply "the sperm donor." A former child TV star and currently a bestselling author of books for teens, Tess isn't interested when Donovan, her father's lawyer, comes to tell her of his death and her inheritance. However, with a case of writer's block and a looming decision about her writing, Tess decides that an Oregon getaway might be just what she needs. Tess knows of Charlotte's existence, but not about Natalie. Raised by her high society, Southern belle mother, Charlotte rarely saw her father. Jack's relationship with his wife was volatile at best, and Charlotte would retreat in the face of their arguments. The best thing Jack did for Charlotte was encourage her to pursue her dream of interior design and never forget her passion for her work. However, her mother's influence remained strong, and Charlotte found herself putting her career on the back burner when she married a politically ambitious man. On the same day she learns of her father's death, she discovers her husband is cheating on her. Suddenly, escaping to Oregon sounds like a swell idea. Charlotte had no idea she had sisters before learning of Jack's death. Natalie is the youngest daughter and the one who saw the most of Jack. Like Jack, she is a talented photographer, though she focuses on the lighter side of life. Natalie is still grieving the loss of her mother when Donovan tells her about Jack's death. She's always known about her sisters and wanted to meet them, but now she's nervous about it. Will they like her, or will they resent the amount of time she got to spend with Jack? Madeleine is Jack's mother. She is a French war bride and former resistance fighter whose husband turned his family farm into a vineyard and built a French-style house to make her feel more at home. Though devastated by her son's death, Madeleine is thrilled to have all three of her granddaughters under one roof. She immediately makes them feel welcomed and loved. Gideon is the widowed father of a teenage girl. When Jack's father died, leaving the vineyard and winery to him, Jack immediately hired Gideon to run the place for him. As the story opens, Gideon worries about his job if the winery ends up sold. I loved watching the relationships develop. Each of the sisters had a different kind of relationship with her father. I liked seeing them sit down and share their experiences, gaining insight into Jack and his issues. None of them expected to inherit anything and were stunned to discover that they would share ownership of the winery with Gideon. The only caveat was that they had to stay through the harvest before any of them could sell their share to Gideon. With that requirement, each of them became more invested in the business's success and brainstormed ideas of changes they could make. Another big part of remaining in Oregon was the chance to get to know Madeleine. Sprinkled throughout the book are flashbacks to her time with the French Resistance. Her progression through the ranks kept me intrigued, and more so when she rescued the American pilot who would later become her husband. The narration of their escape into Spain had me glued to the pages until they were safe. Madeleine's story provided a burst of inspiration for Tess, who needed a new direction for her writing. Each of the sisters faces a turning point in her life, and their time in Oregon gives them the space and support to make their changes. Tess has reached the end of her long-running teen series and wonders what to do next. Before settling on telling her grandmother's story, she also considered a wine-themed murder mystery. I enjoyed seeing her bounce ideas off Gideon as he taught her about the vineyard and winery. Charlotte faces the end of her marriage and realizing that she allowed her husband to chip away at her self-confidence and self-worth. I loved watching her rekindle her love for design and how the support of her family boosted her confidence. Her joy at arranging the celebration of Jack's life lit up the pages, and also using her skills to improve the winery. I loved the scene where she told off her husband. Meanwhile, Natalie looks at whether to risk her friendship with the man she secretly loves. Along with learning the wine business and family history, romance also finds its way into each sister's life. For years, Natalie has been in love with her father's lawyer, Donovan, but hesitates to make a move. Their friendship is solid, and she doesn't want to lose it, but neither does she want to lose out on the possibility that it's returned. As outsiders, the reader can see that Donovan is just as conflicted. I loved seeing Natalie take matters into her own hands and had to laugh at Donovan's reaction. Charlotte is the wariest of the trio, still reeling from what she sees as her poor judgment. However, she isn't entirely man-averse as we see her show an interest in the man helping with the winery renovations. Most of the romantic attention goes to the growing feelings between Tess and Gideon. They connected from the first day Tess arrived. I enjoyed seeing his amusement at how she would plot murders as he explained various steps in winemaking. It wasn't long before the sparks flew between them. I laughed out loud when Gideon's daughter pushed him to ask Tess out, even advising on the type of date it should be. I liked that both Tess and Gideon are mature enough to be honest about their feelings. I loved the scene at the restaurant as Gideon nervously but eloquently told Tess how he felt, and Tess's reaction made me grin. I loved the epilogue, which showed the sisters eighteen months later. The changes in their lives are remarkable and something none of them had foreseen. I do wish that there had been more time spent on Charlotte and Natalie's romances. I loved the nod at the end to the author's Shelter Bay series, one of my all-time favorites. #netgalley

  14. 5 out of 5

    Marlene

    Originally published at Reading Reality When Pulitzer Prize winning conflict photographer Jackson Swann died, the most important thing that he left to his three daughters was not the award-winning Oregon winery that had been handed down in his family for generations, but each other. The problem, the one that he left to his lawyer and his winery manager, was to get them to accept. Not just the winery – although certainly that, too – but mostly each other. Tess Swann, Charlotte Aldredge and Natalie S Originally published at Reading Reality When Pulitzer Prize winning conflict photographer Jackson Swann died, the most important thing that he left to his three daughters was not the award-winning Oregon winery that had been handed down in his family for generations, but each other. The problem, the one that he left to his lawyer and his winery manager, was to get them to accept. Not just the winery – although certainly that, too – but mostly each other. Tess Swann, Charlotte Aldredge and Natalie Seurat are all adults, all have – or have at least the shreds of – artistic careers of their own. But they’ve never met. They haven’t necessarily known that the others even existed. These three women have been gathered together, not so much to celebrate the life of the man who links them, but rather to pick up the pieces of their own. Tess, after a successful career as a child actress, a spectacular failure as a pop singer, and another successful career as a best-selling novelist, is looking for a third act in a life that has already seen plenty. She comes to the winery to recharge and search for a story idea that will get her past her writer’s block. Her career sacrificed to her controlling husband’s political ambitions, her supposedly perfect marriage in tatters, Charlotte comes to the winery in search of respite and a place to call home – because her soon-to-be-ex-husband’s over-gilded and over-decorated faux antebellum McMansion certainly wasn’t it. While Natalie returns to the winery to mourn the father that she knew best of all the sisters, and to make sure that her beloved, 96-year-old grandmother is doing as well as she can in the wake of her only son’s death. Whether they will find what they are each looking for, or something more, or merely closure, they have one growing season at the winery to figure it all out together – or to tear themselves apart. Escape Rating B: Like yesterday’s book (and a fair number of books in the chick lit/women’s fiction/relationship fiction genre), this is a story about three women, all of whom, coincidentally or otherwise, are at a crossroads in their lives or that face a crossroads because of the events of the story that bring them together. In this case, the death of their larger-than-life father, no matter how much (Natalie) or how little (Tess) he participated in their lives. Jack Swann, who never seemed to quite know what to do with any of them when he could, manipulates them all after his death in a way that could have been horrible, but isn’t. He provided an opportunity for all of them that he couldn’t have managed in life, for them to meet, be obligated to spend time together, get to know the grandmother that only Natalie was allowed to know about, and discover the legacy of the family they share. The story of The Inheritance is, in a word, charming. Just as Jack Swann himself was, even if he couldn’t ever manage to stick around. The sisters are different enough from each other to stand as individuals, while at the same time sharing just enough characteristics to seem like they might make their initially tenuous connection work. Their father turns out not to be the glue that ultimately binds them. That position is reserved for their grandmother Madeleine, who tells them the story of how she met and married their grandfather in France fighting for the Resistance in WW2. A story which inspires Tess’s writing, Charlotte’s realization that the life she has is not the one she wants or needs, and Natalie throwing caution to the winds in order to pursue the man she’s loved all her life. I was charmed by this story, and thought that the way that the lives of the sisters finally mingled was lovely even if it was a bit contrived in the service of the story. There were a couple of bits that niggled at me. Tess never met her father. That he didn’t raise her was one thing, but they never seem to have met at all in her conscious memory, and we never do find out why. As many family secrets as get revealed – and there are PLENTY – that omission felt like it just…dangled. Even after his marriage to Charlotte’s mother fell apart he was still a real if occasional presence in her life. But not Tess. Second, there’s the show/tell repetition of Madeleine’s fascinating story about meeting, falling for and marrying her American pilot, Robert Swann. It’s a lovely and romantic story, and it serves as inspiration to all three sisters even though Tess is the one who plans to turn it into a novel. But we read Madeleine’s account as she remembers it and then it is repeated as she tells it to her granddaughters. While it’s normally better to show instead of tell, by the way the story works the telling feels like the better option. But one or the other would have been sufficient. So I enjoyed reading The Inheritance, but it didn’t quite hit the spot as well as yesterday’s book. That’s possibly because this one reminded me a bit of Rhys Bowen’s World War II books, particularly In Farleigh Field, one of the subplots in Pardonable Lies, part of the Maisie Dobbs series and a third book I can’t put my finger on and it’s driving me bananas. It could be just because it’s a bit too similar to yesterday’s book and would have been a better read not quite so close. But if you’re looking for a charming read that touches on a few dark places but doesn’t go too deeply, includes not one but four happy endings, and tells a lovely story of a surprising sisterhood, The Inheritance is a great way to while away some cozy reading hours.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Super promising beginning! Three half sisters unite after their father passes away, having never met before. They meet with their grandmother, a strong old woman who was a spy for France in WWII, where she met their grandfather. Things I liked: I liked the personalities of the characters. I liked the premise, family secrets and forging relationships. Things I didn’t like: ugh where to start…well first of all, the story started out promising when it spent a couple chapters introducing each daught Super promising beginning! Three half sisters unite after their father passes away, having never met before. They meet with their grandmother, a strong old woman who was a spy for France in WWII, where she met their grandfather. Things I liked: I liked the personalities of the characters. I liked the premise, family secrets and forging relationships. Things I didn’t like: ugh where to start…well first of all, the story started out promising when it spent a couple chapters introducing each daughter and getting to know them. I loved their personalities and was excited to see their interactions. But then…suddenly the whole book became Tess’s story (eldest sister). Which is fine, but why not have it be that way from the beginning? In the last hundred pages or so, Natalie and Charlotte hardly existed or had any bearing on the story. Second, I liked that Madeline, the grandmother, was a spy in WWII, but this didnt need that added story. It was a story of sisters becoming a family, we didn’t need historical fiction added in. Also, the WWII storyline was SO BRIEF. Again, all in the last hundred pages or so…if you were going to include it, make it more prominent. Third, the ending. Everything was going fine until suddenly there were love stories that had little-to-no bearing on the story and happened all too quickly. Overall, it was a great premise and great beginning. But somewhere about 2/3 of the way through, it just felt like there was too much going and it strayed from the original theme that I thought the book was going for. I really was so disappointed in the ending.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    Three sisters who had never met each other are summoned to their father’s home, a famous winery in Oregon, after learning of their photojournalist father’s death. They each have different reactions upon learning of his death. I have mixed feelings about this book. At first it seemed to be one of those “sisters forced together come to live and rely on each other” books. I expected some romance as each would meet “the one” at the winery. While all that was true, it focused on the oldest sister’s r Three sisters who had never met each other are summoned to their father’s home, a famous winery in Oregon, after learning of their photojournalist father’s death. They each have different reactions upon learning of his death. I have mixed feelings about this book. At first it seemed to be one of those “sisters forced together come to live and rely on each other” books. I expected some romance as each would meet “the one” at the winery. While all that was true, it focused on the oldest sister’s romance, skimmed over the youngest sister’s relationship, and then gave an”oh, by the way” mention of the middle sister’s romance. It all ended so quickly that I felt as though the author had reached the required number of pages to please her publisher and just wrapped up the story. Not very satisfying. All that being said, about halfway through the book, it became a historical fiction novel in the telling of their paternal grandmother’s part in the French Resistance during WWII and how she met Robert, their grandfather. That, too, was not given enough detail and suddenly was over just before the contemporary part of the story ended. I really can’t recommend this. As I started it I was sure I would really like it but the author just rushed too much at the end.

  17. 4 out of 5

    CL

    Ultimately family is family. A great read with a good story of a man trying to right the wrongs that he caused those he loved.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    This has been one of the better books I have won off Goodreads. That being said, the WWII stuff felt a little forced, maybe if it had been in the book since the beginning rather than just starting more than halfway through the novel. Also specifically, some of the WWII memories were extremely similar, down to the phrasing, of The Nightingale. It just felt a little like trying to make sure there was something for everyone in it. If she had delved more into the sisters relationship and how they bu This has been one of the better books I have won off Goodreads. That being said, the WWII stuff felt a little forced, maybe if it had been in the book since the beginning rather than just starting more than halfway through the novel. Also specifically, some of the WWII memories were extremely similar, down to the phrasing, of The Nightingale. It just felt a little like trying to make sure there was something for everyone in it. If she had delved more into the sisters relationship and how they built it up and less on WWII I think I could have easily given it another star. Also, not sure what the cover has to do with the book. Just an observation.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Judy Kristynik

    A fabulous read about family and love. I enjoyed all the characters immensely!

  20. 4 out of 5

    JoAnne

    Read my review on RomanceJunkies.com by clicking the link below: https://romancejunkies.com/reviews/th... I rated the book 4.5 stars but rounded to 5 stars here and on other sites. Read my review on RomanceJunkies.com by clicking the link below: https://romancejunkies.com/reviews/th... I rated the book 4.5 stars but rounded to 5 stars here and on other sites.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Traci Westling

    Simply Beautiful! Brilliantly written & all the characters resonated with me for various reasons …. Each & every one of them were very cleverly crafted to have their part in this generational romance … as the sisters gathered at the vineyard over time to prepare for the reading of the will , the author managed to capture some poignant situations & moments that were so real that becoming invested in each person was only inevitable ! There were many emotions at play at any given moment because of Simply Beautiful! Brilliantly written & all the characters resonated with me for various reasons …. Each & every one of them were very cleverly crafted to have their part in this generational romance … as the sisters gathered at the vineyard over time to prepare for the reading of the will , the author managed to capture some poignant situations & moments that were so real that becoming invested in each person was only inevitable ! There were many emotions at play at any given moment because of secrets & truths being revealed spontaneously…. I just love a great story that can bring me to tears instantly or make me feel those little gut punches that the characters are living through themselves! I loved the balance of the current day events vs the historic parts that played a pivotal role in telling this story. This was definitely one of the absolute best summer reads & I highly recommended it ! The HEA that transpired before & during the epilogue was epic as far as I was concerned & the cover alone could sell this book ✔️. Well done Ms. Ross! I was happy to receive this early copy in exchange for my honest review .

  22. 4 out of 5

    Barb

    The Inheritance by JoAnn Ross is a story about an adventuring photo journalist with three daughters by three different mothers. At his death, the daughters, some of whom did not know of the existence of the others are brought together for the inheritance. Two of them are meeting a grandmother that they knew nothing about and it is her story of her life in France during World War II that takes up much of the story line. Each daughter is having a life crisis and the reunion at their father’s death The Inheritance by JoAnn Ross is a story about an adventuring photo journalist with three daughters by three different mothers. At his death, the daughters, some of whom did not know of the existence of the others are brought together for the inheritance. Two of them are meeting a grandmother that they knew nothing about and it is her story of her life in France during World War II that takes up much of the story line. Each daughter is having a life crisis and the reunion at their father’s death causes each one to look closely at their lives and see exactly what their future should look like. Because I am such a fan of anything concerning the Second World War, I was anxious to read this novel. At first I didn’t really know where the author was taking me, but early on, I was decidedly unable to put the book down. I received a Kindle copy of this book from NetGalley.com in return for my honest review. You can find this review on my blog at https://wp.me/p2pjIt-CE. Reviews of other books can be found at http://imhookedonbooks.wordpress.com.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mary Robinson

    This novel just didn't work for me. I expected more historical fiction, and the whole WWII backstory came across as an afterthought which was not given it's due or the substance it deserved after the build up - it didn't really appear until 75% into the book! Hard pass on this one. This novel just didn't work for me. I expected more historical fiction, and the whole WWII backstory came across as an afterthought which was not given it's due or the substance it deserved after the build up - it didn't really appear until 75% into the book! Hard pass on this one.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    This book was very good. A historical fiction with a bit of a love story thrown in. Jackson Swann had a full life. He traveled all over as a photographer. But what he left behind was somewhat heartbreaking. In many ways he was a bit selfish. He had three daughters by three different women. Two of whom he had married and was still married to one. After his death the sisters are brought together for the reading of his will. Jackson did love his daughters. In his own way. I still think he was selfi This book was very good. A historical fiction with a bit of a love story thrown in. Jackson Swann had a full life. He traveled all over as a photographer. But what he left behind was somewhat heartbreaking. In many ways he was a bit selfish. He had three daughters by three different women. Two of whom he had married and was still married to one. After his death the sisters are brought together for the reading of his will. Jackson did love his daughters. In his own way. I still think he was selfish and not so great for Tess, his eldest daughter. But he did seem to love the girls. He should have maybe done a bit more but who knows. It could be just what it was meant to be. Tess, Jackson's oldest, is a famous author and child star. She's lived her whole life not caring a bit about Jackson Swann. Calling him her sperm donor. She's had a full life though. As a child star and then an author with a best selling series she has a lot to be grateful for. When Donovan comes to tell her that her father has died of lung cancer and talk her into coming to Oregon for the reading of the will and to meet two sisters/half sister she declines. She doesn't want anything from Jackson. But of course Donovan changes her mind and she agrees. Charlotte is the middle daughter who is married to a real piece of work who you will honestly hate. He's a jerk from the get go. She agrees to go to Oregon also. She wants to meet these sisters she never knew anything about. She's kind of happy to know she has them. But will all be ok. Will they accept her and her Southern ways? Will she fit in? She's really a very strong young woman when she has to be. Natalie is the youngest and the one Jackson has spent the most time with. He was truly in love with her mother but they could not be married. Natalie is a sweet young woman who knows what she wants and goes for it. She's a photographer like their dad. She's also in love with Donovan. But will things work out? Will the other two sister's accept her? Will they hate her because their father spent so much time with her? Madeleine is Jackson mother and she's a former resistance fighter from WW2 where she met and fell in love with Robert, her longtime husband. She had lost him ten years prior to losing Jackson. She's strong but still morning the loss of her son. She's also very happy to finally meet her other two granddaughters, Tess and Charlotte. She has been a part of Natalie's life of course. She is crazy about all of these young women and makes them feel welcome and loved. Then we have Gideon. He is in charge of the vineyard. Jackson never had a real interest in being a farmer or owning this vineyard but would not sell it either. He hired Gideon to run things. Gideon and his young teen daughter live on the estate and are very close. His wife Becky had died of cancer when their daughter was just a small child. Moving to Oregon was the move they needed to start over. This is a very good book. It runs smoothly and keeps you interested. You get to know each character. What they do and how they feel. Who they love and who they will love. How they feel about each other and other's in their lives. As Madeleine tells them about her time during the war and how she met their grandfather you will see what life was like for her during the most horrible time in history. Or one of the most horrible times. What she did as a young teen to help and how she met Robert. This book will keep you tuning the pages. Maybe not as fast as some but it's still a great story. It's a historical fiction/love story all in one. I enjoyed it. Thank you to #NetGalley, #JoAnnRoss, #Harlequin for this ARC. This is my own true feelings about this book. 4/5 stars and I recommend it highly.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bridget

    The Inheritance is a terrific story from JoAnn Ross principally about family, but also covering love and loss, blended with some fascinating WW2 history. I thoroughly enjoyed my time following the three sisters as they go from strangers to loving and supportive siblings. The tale begins as Jackson Swann, photographer and the father of three daughters who each have different mothers, is approaching the end his life and his battle with cancer. Sitting on the patio terrace of the chateau de Madelei The Inheritance is a terrific story from JoAnn Ross principally about family, but also covering love and loss, blended with some fascinating WW2 history. I thoroughly enjoyed my time following the three sisters as they go from strangers to loving and supportive siblings. The tale begins as Jackson Swann, photographer and the father of three daughters who each have different mothers, is approaching the end his life and his battle with cancer. Sitting on the patio terrace of the chateau de Madeleine the grey stone house in Oregon's Williamette Valley that his father Robert Swann built for his wife Madeleine, a war bride, he has many regrets that he is musing over as he gazes at the 260 acres of vineyards and the gorgeous blossom trees. Most of the details the reader learns of Jack comes from others' memories though he leaves videos for each daughter. His eldest is Tess, a former child TV star and author. Jack had a very brief marriage with her mother and played no part in her life, thus Tess refers to Jack as a sperm donor. Tess is nonchalant when Donovan Brees, her father's lawyer, tell her of her father's death and her inheritance. But needing to make a decision about her writing, Tess decides that Oregon might be just right for her. Tess knows of one of her sisters' existences but not the other. Brought up by her mother, Charlotte is a Southern housewife and rarely saw her father. Jack and Blanche are still married as Blanche sees no reason to divorce. Charlotte married the politically ambitious Mason, so Charlotte ditched her dreams of becoming an interior designer. When she learns of her father's death, she also discovers her husband is an adulterer, so going to Oregon seems like a grand idea. Charlotte had no clue that she had sisters before learning about Jack's death. The youngest daughter Natalie Seurat is the sister who saw more of Jack. She is a talented photographer, like her dad and is grieving the loss of her mother, Josette when she learns of Jack's death. She's always known about her sisters and wanted to meet them. It was fascinating to read about the sisters' varied relationship with Jack as well as the forming of their own as siblings. None of them expected to inherit though there was a caveat on this. They also had the opportunity to spend time with Madeleine. Dotted hither and thither are flashbacks to Madeleine's time with the French Resistance which were riveting. As each sister is at a crossroads in life their time in Oregon affords them the thinking time they need. Charlotte is pondering the fate of her marriage and makes some realisations involving her husband. Tess is wondering what's next after her successful teen series and Natalie is pondering whether to risk a friendship for something more. Along with learning the wine business and family history, romance also finds its way into each sister's life. Charlotte is the wariest of the three in this regard as she still has cold feet from previous dalliances. JoAnn Ross's characterisation is first-class on this compelling tale and I relished in her Gideon character too, who is running the vineyard, finding him charming and personable as he gets to know Tess better and explains about winemaking. The epilogue ties everything off neatly and I highly recommend The Inheritance, a sweet story with a weighty storyline. Thanks to NetGalley, HQN Books and the author, JoAnn Ross for the complimentary copy. This is my honest and totally voluntary review.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    The Inheritance by JoAnn Ross is a wonderful novel of family, new beginnings and love. Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Jackson Swann captured horrifying images the world needed to see. He put his career first as he put himself in danger to take the photos that showed the worst of humanity. Jackson married and divorced his first wife and walked away from his daughter, Tess. He then married wife number two and although their marriage was essentially a war zone, he acquiesced to his wife’s wishe The Inheritance by JoAnn Ross is a wonderful novel of family, new beginnings and love. Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Jackson Swann captured horrifying images the world needed to see. He put his career first as he put himself in danger to take the photos that showed the worst of humanity. Jackson married and divorced his first wife and walked away from his daughter, Tess. He then married wife number two and although their marriage was essentially a war zone, he acquiesced to his wife’s wishes to remain married in name only. He remained a part of his daughter Charlotte’s life and they treasure their times together. Jackson’s final relationship lasted twenty-six years and he was very involved in his soul mate and their daughter Natalie’s lives. When he discovers he has terminal cancer, Jackson suffers regrets and failings as a father. He has hopes the terms of his will can unite his adult daughters as he brings them together at his family’s estate and vineyard in Aberdeen, Oregon. Will Jackson succeed in giving them the home and family they each deserve? Tess is a former child star turned pop singer turned author. She is close to her mother but she is slightly bitter about her father’s abandonment. Now living a quiet, solitary life, Tess is the author of a best-selling young adult series that has been made into a TV series. She has learned from the mistakes of her past but she holds everyone at arms’ length. Tess is quick to ask challenging questions after she decides to accede to her father’s last wishes in order to satisfy her curiosity about her absentee father. Charlotte Aldredge is the wife of a lawyer with political aspirations. Like many society women, she does charity work and attends charity dinners with her husband. At his suggestion, Charlotte scaled her successful design business way back although she does still work with a few clients. Having lived her life as a people pleaser, it takes a cataclysmic problem at home for Charlotte to make the decision to honor her father’s request to go to the vineyard. Natalie Seurat-Swann is also a photographer but she instead captures life’s happier moments. She is an urban street photographer and  a rising star in the art world. Natalie is very close to Franklin and she is devastated at his loss. She immediately drops everything to travel to the family estate where she is anxious yet nervous about meeting her sisters. The Inheritance is an engrossing novel that features a marvelous cast of appealing characters. Despite their differences and concerns, Tess, Charlotte and Natalie are quick to warm up to each other. Tess tries to maintain an emotional distance but she is drawn to her half-sisters and the Swann family history. She also has a chance for love but only if she decides to risk her heart. Charlotte blossoms once she is away from her husband and mother and she begins to have perspective about her relationships and mistakes. Tess is thrilled by how quickly she and her sisters find common ground. She is also torn as she tries to make a decision about whether or not to act on her long-standing feelings for someone who has long been part of her life. The Swann family’s history about their grandparents’ heroic actions during World War II and their subsequent romance add depth and substance to the storyline. Without much drama or angst, JoAnn Ross brings this charming, character-driven novel to a very happy conclusion.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Barb Lie

    The Inheritance by JoAnn Ross is a stand alone novel. At the start, we meet Jackson Swann, a famous photographer, who spent his whole life going to dangerous sites to take dark and morbid photos. Jackson is home at the family estate, knowing he is in the last days of his life due to a cancer battle. Jackson works with his friend and manager of the estate and vineyard, Gideon to finalize a will. A short time later, upon Jackson’s death, the family lawyer meets separately with Jackson’s three daugh The Inheritance by JoAnn Ross is a stand alone novel. At the start, we meet Jackson Swann, a famous photographer, who spent his whole life going to dangerous sites to take dark and morbid photos. Jackson is home at the family estate, knowing he is in the last days of his life due to a cancer battle. Jackson works with his friend and manager of the estate and vineyard, Gideon to finalize a will. A short time later, upon Jackson’s death, the family lawyer meets separately with Jackson’s three daughters from different mothers, and neither knowing anything about each other. With the will to be read, the lawyer pushes each daughter to attend the reading of the will at the estate, Maison de Madeleine, in Aberdeen, Oregon. First, we meet Tess, the oldest daughter, who hasn’t seen her father all these years, and resents him. She is a famous tv actress and now a well-known author. Wanting nothing to do with the estate, she reluctantly gives in to learn more about her father and her newly found half-sisters. Charlotte, who is married and considered a Southern Belle, but at the same time the lawyer advises her to come to the estate, she learns her husband has been cheating on her. When she confronts her husband, he tells the truth, and says he loves the other woman. Charlotte decides to leave and see what the inheritance and her sisters are like. Natalie, the youngest daughter, is the only one who has seen her father often, as he was living with them for many years. She too is a famous photographer like her father, but her photos are of more bright and pleasant things. When the girls arrive separately, they will meet their grandmother, who is in her nineties. The story line will revolve around the girls meeting each other, and learning all about their grandmother’s rich stories of life in WWII France and the wounded American soldier who would ultimately influence all their lives. They learn quickly about the terms of the will, which states that the 3 sisters must stay at Chateau de Madeleine through the next harvest before inheriting the business. The most valuable piece of the inheritance is the winery, which has had very successful wines, and a large part of the inheritance includes this. What follows is an emotional story line, as we watch the sisters begin to accept each other, as well as the men who become part of their lives. Each of the sisters manage to rise up to get past some personal issues, especially acknowledging each other’s as true sisters. Gideon was a great addition, as he also was part of the inheritance, as he was the one who would keep the winery going, and I loved him and Tess together. The grandmother’s telling of the past during the war in France, was very well done. I also loved the grandmother, Madeleine. The Inheritance was a wonderful, heartwarming story of love, forgiveness and happiness. The Inheritance was very well written by JoAnn Ross. I suggest to read this book. Barb The Reading Cafe

  28. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    4.5 Stars A juicy family drama that is even more addictive than your favorite streaming binge, JoAnn Ross’ The Inheritance is a compulsively readable page-turner from a master storyteller. When celebrated conflict photographer Jackson Swann died, his three daughters – from three different mothers – were shocked to their very core when they discovered that they are now responsible for the family vineyard in Oregon. Tess, Charlotte and Natalie have got lives of their own and certainly haven’t asked 4.5 Stars A juicy family drama that is even more addictive than your favorite streaming binge, JoAnn Ross’ The Inheritance is a compulsively readable page-turner from a master storyteller. When celebrated conflict photographer Jackson Swann died, his three daughters – from three different mothers – were shocked to their very core when they discovered that they are now responsible for the family vineyard in Oregon. Tess, Charlotte and Natalie have got lives of their own and certainly haven’t asked to be in one another’ lives, but with life forcing them together, the three women find themselves with no other choice but to head to Oregon and figure out what they are going to be doing with their errant father’s legacy. Tess was once a successful child TV star who is now at a crossroads in her life. Suffering from an identity crisis, Tess doesn’t know who she really is when the cameras have stopped rolling and the curtain has gone down. Having spent a lifetime resenting Jackson, she is now grieving a man she never had much time for in the past. Will her half sisters help her through this difficult time? Or will being in such close proximity only serve to worsen relations between them and widen the chasm that divides them? Southern belle Charlotte has always done what was expected of her. She never put a foot wrong, always obeyed the rules and put other people first. All she has ever wanted was to be a proper wife and she had put all of her dreams and ambitions on the backburner to support her husband’s political ambitions. But the rug is well and truly pulled out from under her feet when she discovers that her beloved father has died, she has two half sisters and that her husband has fallen head over heels in love – with another woman! Natalie is the daughter of Jackson’s mistress who has always known about Tess and Charlotte. She has spent a lifetime dreading the day they found out about her existence – and now that day has finally arrived. Tess and Charlotte are hardly going to welcome her with open arms, but will she find the family she has always wanted at Maison de Madeleine? Or will Natalie be alone and disappointed once again? As the three sisters come together in the family vineyard, they soon fall under the spell of the family’s rich and illustrious history and the powerful wartime love story that will reveal their legacy and its power to change all of their lives for the better. JoAnn Ross’ The Inheritance is an emotionally satisfying, uplifting and highly engrossing tale about old secrets, past regrets, new beginnings and second chances I couldn’t read fast enough. Master storyteller JoAnn Ross sprinkles her story with plenty of pathos, humor, warmth and heart and will leave readers spellbound and completely captivated by the lives and loves of the people she evokes. A beautifully written tale about the ties that bind, family loyalty, coming home and life’s unexpected surprises, JoAnn Ross’ The Inheritance needs to be added to everyone’s auto-buy list.

  29. 4 out of 5

    theliterateleprechaun

    JoAnn Ross’s anticipated women’s fiction debut couldn’t have come at a worse time for the author. It was the first year in 38 years that she didn’t publish a book! Despite having had 8 surgeries in 11 months and 2 hospital-borne Superbug infections, the author was able to rely on a village of people to bring this dream to reality. I believe this novel only furthers Ross’s message – struggles, although difficult and sometimes unavoidable, have the ability to pull us closer to loved ones and rely JoAnn Ross’s anticipated women’s fiction debut couldn’t have come at a worse time for the author. It was the first year in 38 years that she didn’t publish a book! Despite having had 8 surgeries in 11 months and 2 hospital-borne Superbug infections, the author was able to rely on a village of people to bring this dream to reality. I believe this novel only furthers Ross’s message – struggles, although difficult and sometimes unavoidable, have the ability to pull us closer to loved ones and rely on their strength, culminating in a formidable force. This New York Times bestselling author with more than 100 novels published, drew on her love and knowledge of the Pacific Northwest in this recent saga. Set just 50 miles from the author’s home, the Chateau de Madeleine winery in Aberdeen, Washington is the meeting place for a struggling and grieving family. Tess Swann, a novelist with an acting background, Charlotte Swann Aldredge, a Southern designer with a failing marriage, and Natalie Seurat Swann, a French photographer are three estranged half-sisters who’ve grown up without contact or, in some cases, without prior knowledge of each other. Their father, Jackson Swann, has recently died and they’ve been summoned to the winery for a reading of the will. Upon arrival, they meet their 96-year-old grandmother, Madeleine, who shares stories about how she met their grandfather. The girls learn about a fearless woman who joined the French resistance and met her future husband, a WW2 American pilot. Expertly woven into the story is the concept of inheritance. The Swann girls learn that not only are they inheriting the Oregon winery their grandfather built for his French war bride, but they have also already inherited their grandmother’s strength and tenacity. At a time when they each are facing a crisis of their own, this knowledge has the ability to unite them….a conclusion already foreseen by their deceased father. The terms of the will state that the 3 sisters must stay at Chateau de Madeleine through the next harvest before inheriting the business. Will they be able to stand each other long enough to sell their portion? Will forgiveness allow them to become a family? Can their grandmother’s wartime experience help them navigate their struggles? Can they use this opportunity to consider what ‘could be’? Pour yourself a glass of merlot and enjoy this emotional multigenerational and wartime love story - a fantastic and engrossing read about family secrets, rivalry, history and loyalty that bond a family together. Publishes September 7, 2021. I was gifted this advance copy by JoAnn Ross, Harlequin Publishing and NetGalley and was under no obligation to provide a review.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Leelynn (Sometimes Leelynn Reads) ❤

    Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to HQN Books, Netgalley, and JoAnn Ross for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication. This is yet another example of a historical fiction novel with dual timelines that I enjoyed. Not only do we have the conflict between the Swann daughters, but we also get to find out more about their grandmother’s Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to HQN Books, Netgalley, and JoAnn Ross for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication. This is yet another example of a historical fiction novel with dual timelines that I enjoyed. Not only do we have the conflict between the Swann daughters, but we also get to find out more about their grandmother’s stories of life in WWII France and how her legacy ends up being an influence to all of them in ways that they probably wouldn’t expect. The conflict stems between the daughters because they all have different mothers. So while one daughter – Natalie Swann (the one their father kept) knew about her half sisters, the other two – Tess and Charlotte – did not. They only find out about one another when they hear that their father passed away, and have to make it to the Maison de Madeleine in order to work through their father’s final wishes. It may be a bit sad to some that Tess and Charlotte weren’t there when their father died, and I feel like maybe Jackson Swann did that on purpose so that there wouldn’t be any fighting over his deathbed, but I think it would have been nice to see them actually see their father one last time. Maybe. Family dynamics is always something that I like to read about in novels, especially historical fiction novels. There’s something about having a dysfunctional family with very different lives and very different viewpoints trying to come together during an important event. Even if they aren’t dealing with an important event like a death in the family, it’s still interesting to see how they all interact with one another. How one feels for one person versus another person, who is the ostracized member of the family, shunned by all. The dynamics here makes it even more interesting because two of them don’t even know about the other daughters that their father had, and then we have the one daughter that knew about them but never got in touch with them. We also have the father not wanting to confront either daughter so he has his attorney do it instead. I enjoyed reading about the past just as much as I enjoyed reading about the present. If anything, with the way that their grandmother told the stories, I felt captured by the past, so immersed in her stories that I would want to read a whole novel just about the grandmother alone. It was nice to see the lives of each daughter though, don’t get me wrong. Nothing is as it seems in their lives, and they are going through some moments of crisis and insight into who they are. I think Ross did a great job merging everything together into one cohesive story.

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