Brynleith Rising
by D. A. Mayes

"The unexpected reaction, the lack of judgement and his own relief at telling the whole story for the first time shocked Daniel."

Daniel Matheson is a private, gloomy photographer on holiday in New Zealand from his usual home base in the United Kingdom. While there, he happens upon the Brynleith vineyard, where he takes a tour, has a little too much wine, and finds himself experiencing unexpected feelings. The Leith family is keen to take care of him in his inebriation, and the beautiful grounds, easy lifestyle, and familial care call him back. Once there again, he finds two jobs, friendship, and even a love in his life. But the events of his nightmarish past haunt him as clearly as the grotesque scars on his forearms, and if Daniel can’t learn to escape those demons, this faraway oasis of peace that he discovers will fade away as well.

This second book in a trilogy is a heart-wrenching drama full of hot tempers and the desire to carve out a peaceful life somewhere in the world despite one’s upbringing or circumstances. The Leith family is largely affable and difficult to dislike, making Daniel’s attraction to them parallel that of the reader’s. The emotional balance of the story swings like a perfect pendulum, filling the audience with hope before sending a tragedy right at Daniel. The highs soar, and the lows crush, all the while telling a fascinating story full of secrets and surprises. Still, this book contains a classic redemption arc, and anyone who enjoys reading about the human elements of life and the way people interact with one another will get caught up in this story.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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