I received this book in exchange
for an honest review from NetGalley.
The Beekeeper's Ball is the second book in Susan Wiggs' Bella Vista series. If you haven't read the first book in the series, The Apple Orchard, click the link below to purchase from Amazon.
The Beekeeper's Ball is Isabel's story. She is planning on turning Bella Vista into a cooking school and also adding beekeeping to the property's assets. She takes in a pregnant beekeeper named Jamie, whom I think may be featured in a future book of this series.
Bella Vista is preparing the apple Orchard for Tess and Dominic's wedding, renovations are taking place for the future opening of Isabel's cooking school and a well-known journalist named Mac has arrived to write about Magnus, the grandfather, which allows for more secrets of the past to be revealed and additional insight into what Magnus, Eva and Annelise endured during WWII.
There wasn't a lot of Tess or Dominic in this book, but their story was covered in the first book. There's more information revealed about Francesca, Isabel's mother and Erik, Tess and Isabel's father. Some of the information about Magnus and the war felt a bit repetitive after just reading The Apple Orchard, but if you're reading this book a year later l can see why the author reiterated some of the history to refresh the reader's memory.
I didn't feel like I got to know Isabel as much as I got to know Tess in the first book. Isabel is a very guarded character and maybe that is why I felt this way. Much of the telling of Isabel's past felt like there were a lot of details missing. At times I even felt like the book focused more on Magnus' than on Isabel. I guess I wanted more of the present day than the past in this book since there was a lot of history presented in the first book.
I enjoy the setting of this series tremendously having never been to the West coast myself. It is fun to be taken away to a beautiful place like Bella Vista. Although I enjoy the taste of history within this series, I hope the next book is more focused on present day events than the past.