Published by Crooked Cat Books on October 5 2018
Genres: Romance, Suspense
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I want to say a very special thanks to Rachel and Susan for this, as I was not able to read this book in time due to the pesky migraines so I will review it at a later date, instead I get to give you
Sofia started down the hill. She knew it was ill-advised to try and make it safely down the path of the vertical slope, one where stones and fallen rocks barely kept their balance. Thank goodness Tio Fernando had the rockfall barrier fence reinforced on the cliff-face last winter. It had cost him a fortune, but in a couple of months the weather would worsen and dislodge those rocks which could destroy his Quinta, its land, and Sofia’s bee-hives. Heaven forbid! That could not happen. Not to her bees.
She chose her footing carefully, wondering when the last time someone had come down to the Quinta on this path. It had probably been her. Her uncle and aunt always left the farm by boat. They said she was a mountain goat, but even so, if she missed her step, then it would be arse over tit all the way down two hundred metres of vertiginous rock-face. She stopped, and rubbed her screaming calf muscles. That did nothing to relieve them; neither did stamping her foot, which merely sent clouds of dust into the air to join the dancing gnats.
Just look at that view, something no-one would ever get tired of seeing. The sun, now at the end of August, was a little lower, so its beams spangled the sapphire surface of the ocean with diamonds….
…Way below, the farm stretched to the rocky grey-pebbled beach where the white veil of surf broke on the grey and black shoreline of the Fajã. Her uncle’s Quinta dos Françeses sat at sea-level where he farmed two acres of vineyards, an acre of banana trees and another two of fruit trees and bushes, not including the vegetable patches, goats, chickens and a donkey. The red-roofed farmhouse had been built on a small hillock, the highest point of the Fajã, at the far western end surrounded by a verdant array of overhanging passion-fruit creepers and a vegetable garden. Next to the farmhouse was the washhouse, then the farm-worker’s cottage. Behind them were the fruit orchards, and the wine-cellar barn. Next in line was the toolshed, flanked by another fruit orchard. And there, at the far western end, sheltered from the sea by a black stone wall, were her beehives.
She paused once more to catch her breath. She was nearly level with the line of canary palms, planted long before anyone remembered. The palm fronds swayed in the sea breeze, and tiny golden-and-green birds flitted through the branches. They sang beautifully, her aunt always said, like canaries, and Sofia believed her.
It was getting warmer and sweat trickled down her back. Several honeybees passed her, their destination one of the four hives she’d built. The little creatures had been busy today, if the large sacs of pollen gathered on their tiny black legs were anything to go by. She gave them a salute.