Solitary by nature and necessity, culinary artist Isabel Johansen is stuck in her quiet life at Bella Vista. When roguish journalist Cormac O’Neill, contracted to write her grandfather’s biography, arrives at her home Isabel is hard-pressed to resist the temptation of his broad shoulders and quiet kindness. But Mac is a wanderer, the result of his nomadic childhood and his own desire to explore life, and Isabel’s defenses may be too strong for either of them to overcome.

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Interwoven with the story of contemporary Bella Vista are historical episodes featuring Isabel’s grandfather, Magnus Johansen, and his life in Nazi-occupied Denmark. Written from his perspective during the war, the reader lives Magnus’ harrowing time as a saboteur and member of the Danish resistance against the Nazis, as well as the intense relationships between himself and the friends with whom he began his life in America.

Sweeping from war-torn Denmark to beautiful Bella Vista in Sonoma County, and to the arresting cliffs of Ravello, Italy, The Beekeeper’s Ball is the ultimate summer romance. Susan Wiggs writes of the healing power of love — not only the passion of lovers, but the loyalty and strength of family, even a family born of friendship rather than blood. The smooth, sensual rhythm of life at Bella Vista is irresistible, as are its residents — old and young, longstanding and newly arrived — but the highlight of the novel may be the descriptions of Isabel’s tantalizing honey-inspired creations.

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