The Lines of Happiness

by Venetia Di Pierro

Fleeing Melbourne and her broken relationship, Gloria Grant still has one ace up her sleeve—a job offer to work with traumatized horses in Wyoming. But instead of blissful mountain air and fulfilling ranch work, she finds a family ruined by tragedy and a ranch owner who refuses to let Gloria near her horses.

After a tragic event, Lo Ballantyne has no interest in riding her horses any longer. And she certainly doesn’t want to let anyone close—especially not a stranger from Australia. But when Gloria stubbornly refuses to leave, her free spirit and the natural beauty around them begin to break through Lo’s walls.

Though Gloria tries to bury her feelings for Lo she knows she sees her own desire reflected in Lo’s eyes. The sensible thing to do is let her go. But Gloria rarely does the sensible thing…

Genre Romance
Length 234 pages
Publication Date April 14, 2022
Publisher Bella Books
ISBN 9781642473551A
Editor Heather Flournoy
Cover Designer Kayla Mancuso


GCLS Goldie Awards
The Lines of Happiness — Finalist, Debut Novel.


"I always wanted to write a book set in the horse world. The Lines of Happiness combines lots of things I love into one story; romance, nature, animals. Growing up, I had horses and always longed to live on a beautiful property. I see the country landscape as an ever turning piece of art, changing through the seasons and the animals that inhabit it as part of the beauty."

—Venetia Di Pierro


Della B. - I sank down into The Lines of Happiness and allowed myself to wallow in the fullness of the language. The story of grief, loss and discovering love in an unlikely place is exquisitely written. It reminds me of the elegance of Jane Rule’s writing in her novel Desert of the Heart. Di Pierro must be blessed with a third eye as her novel speaks of life, grief and love in meaningful poignancy and perception.

Underneath it all, The Lines of Happiness is a haunting love story slowly evolving from the devastation bequeathed one family. It is not a typical romance novel encompassing endless activities and interactions between the main characters. The Lines of Happiness is a deep dive into our motivations and self-awareness as we fall in love. Something I am sure most of us have forgotten over time. This is an essential reminder.

Claire E. - A wonderfully told, delicate story of grief and healing, of both people and horses following an unspeakable tragedy. I liked the characters who develop slowly before our eyes in the way that we would get to know people. We get more inner dialogue from Australian Gloria who has run away from her life in Australia to help with the horses but also helps the grieving, Dolores. I enjoyed the space to take time with language and experience deeper emotions in this book.

Nutmeg - The Lines of Happiness is a beautiful but poignant tale that speaks of loss, bravery in the arduous seasons of healing and a lasting encounter with love when it’s least unexpected.

Betty H. - The characters make this tale something special. Both the main and secondary characters are well-developed. I became quite invested in Lo and Gloria especially. They made the novel a must read for me. If you are into deeply serious, thought-provoking love stories, then pick up this book. You won’t be disappointed.

Henrietta B. - Lush and poignant are the two words which come immediately to mind to describe this debut novel. The writing itself is lush, luxurious, and brimming with wonderful, exquisite language, images, rural landscapes and rural life, horses and emotional depth. A real little gem of a book lovingly edited and polished. The story is poignant with loss, trauma, grief and coming to terms with it…The author doesn’t succumb to the quick and easy “solutions” and stays away from the temptation of “love heals all”.

Cheryl S. - This author really knows how to take her time and build a story. The dialog is natural and very insightful. Descriptions are clear, important and not overdone. This is the first book I have read by this author and I will definitely look for other of her books.

Anna S. - Venetia Di Pierro wrote a beautiful story about loss, grief and finding love and hope when you’re close to giving up.

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