The lush and unusual background of Portugal's vineyards and wine industry and the life of the little English colony in Oporto, in the 1790's and early 1800's, are not enough to redeem an artificial and rather absurdly unrealistic romantic novel from oblivion. Possibly that is too strong a condemnation, before the book has a chance to prove itself, but this reader found the story of two scions of the House of Prince, and their disastrous matrimonial careers, dull both on the score of characterization and plot development. Peregrine had been brought out first, as his uncle's heir apparent; then came Jonathan, fair-haired boy who had the ""touch""- both with the grapes and the men who worked for the firm. Peregrine was jealous- heedless- and occasionally vicious. He spiked Jonathan's romance with a lovely Portuguese girl; he married for gain and power; he destroyed the frail fabric of Jonathan's ultimate marriage to his cousin. A novel that does not come off.