The author of ''A Year in Provence'' has satiated readers for years with enticing passages on French joie de vivre. His latest novel is, quelle surprise, more of the same. Londoner Max Skinner -- affluent, single, handsome -- loses his cutthroat banking job and discovers he's inherited a vineyard in the south of France...on the very same day. One doesn't have to guess where Max, or the halfhearted plot (involving a shady sommelier and a bevy of beauties), ends up. It's also no shock that Ridley Scott is already working on a film adaptation -- the picturesque locales, attractive faces, and utter predictability (the dull title says it all) seem better suited for the big screen.