• The Beekeeper's Ball

  • Bella Vista Chronicles, Book 2
  • By: Susan Wiggs
  • Narrated by: Christina Traister
  • Length: 11 hrs and 26 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (406 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Number-one New York Times best-selling author Susan Wiggs returns to sun-drenched Bella Vista, where the land's bounty yields a rich harvest… and family secrets that have long been buried.

Isabel Johansen, a celebrated chef who grew up in the sleepy Sonoma town of Archangel, is transforming her childhood home into a destination cooking school - a unique place for other dreamers to come and learn the culinary arts. Bella Vista's rambling mission-style hacienda, with its working apple orchards, bountiful gardens and beehives, is the idyllic venue for Isabel's project… and the perfect place for her to forget the past.

But Isabel's carefully ordered plans begin to go awry when swaggering, war-torn journalist Cormac O'Neill arrives to dig up old history. He's always been better at exposing the lives of others than showing his own closely guarded heart, but the pleasures of small-town life and the searing sensuality of Isabel's kitchen coax him into revealing a few truths of his own.

The dreamy sweetness of summer is the perfect time of year for a grand family wedding and the enchanting Beekeeper's Ball, bringing emotions to a head in a story where the past and present collide to create an unexpected new future.

From "one of the best observers of stories of the heart" (Salem Statesman-Journal), The Beekeeper's Ball is an exquisite and richly imagined novel of the secrets that keep us from finding our way, the ties binding us to family and home, and the indelible imprint love can make on the human heart.

©2014 Susan Wiggs (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What listeners say about The Beekeeper's Ball

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good story--lazy writing

I have enjoyed the stories of Bella Vista, but am annoyed with the lazy writing style. The author over uses words like "Seriously?" In her dialogue. Also, the words "redolent", and "abundance" repeat between the two books over and over. I also hate the phrase "preternaturally quiet" that is used way too frequently in these types of books. No one says that. Christina Traister does a great job with the performance. The writing needs some work.

3 people found this helpful

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Great!

Would you listen to The Beekeeper's Ball again? Why?

I love historical fiction, and although this probably isn't considered that, it still weaves a story about the characters that happened during WWII. Excellent story and excellent performance!

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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What a Sweet Read

What a sweet read. I always like Susan Wiggs’ book and this one was no exception. It was a sequel to the Apple Orchard and was actually better than the first book. Susan Wiggs’ books are always good for a light, quick, enjoyable summer read. There were times, especially when recipes were given, that I wish that I had a Kindle or written book to get the recipe because they sounded wonderful. All-in-all two thumbs up.

2 people found this helpful

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Loved the first two, where's the third??

Loved the Apple Orchard and Beekeepers Ball. However she teased out a plot twist at the very end of Beekeepers... which was not necessary to the storyline... and left us hanging with no third book to resolve it. There were also two relatively minor characters that she also just left hanging. that's what brought my stars down to 3.
Come on, Ms. Wiggs! Give us the ending!!!!

1 person found this helpful

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Narrator needs to stick with female voices

I really enjoyed the Apple Orchard which was also written by this author. This follow-up story was a let down.The narration of the character Mack was awful. It made him sound even more domineering and obnoxious than he already was in the book. I felt like the main female character was moving from one abusive relationship into another--although a different type of abuse. Perhaps that is a strong word, but I do not like men who are portrayed as this controlling and I also prefer strong female characters. While the author attempted to have the character grow by the end, I felt it was lacking.

1 person found this helpful

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Narration Can Ruin a Book

Any additional comments?

Audible insisted that I put in a rating for the story so I put in one star but because I didn't finish the book, I can't really say. The narrator put me off to the point that I couldn't continue. When narrating a women's voice, Christina Traister did just fine but when she was narrating the main character's potential love interest I wanted to tear my hair out. It was done in a low monotone that made the character seem like milk toast. I wanted to shake him. I listen to so many books that it has become more and more clear to me that if the narration is not good, it doesn't matter how good the book is. It is ruined. When I finish a book and really don't remember the narrator but just the story, I think they have done their job. Occasionally, a narrator will be excellent at the opposite sex's voices or in doing accents and I will have to acknowledge a job well done.

4 people found this helpful

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Perfect!

Want to find a Story that is absolutely captivating?! Give “the Beekeepers Ball” a listen! For my taste, Susan Wiggs is quite a storyteller. I typically don’t enjoy a story that takes place in the present and weaves in details from the past. Wiggs, however, is masterful in the way she crafts this technique. I Suggest you start with “the Apple ‘Orchard”, which is the first in the Bella Vista series. Having the Background story for this particular novel helps deepen the intimacy of these characters. I am eager to listen to book 3.

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Great 👍

loved the story line. hopefully there is another one coming. would like to know if Eric is still alive.

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Enjoy that

A truly sweet love story lot of heartache but latergood humor I really enjoyed it thank you Susan

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Even better than book 1

Book 2 really continues the saga here. The characters feel like real people. The history and flashbacks help build the story. I do wish there was a little less of the flashbacks and a little more about the people living in the now. Overall it is a 5 star read for me. This is my second read of this, about 5 years apart. The audiobook is really well done.