The setting really takes center stage, in fact in dominates. Fielding describes Italy in such detail the reader will appreciate a revisit of a familiar country/city or an armchair tour of a dream destination. From sites, architecture, food and culture even folklore nothing is excluded in regards to Italy. Serving as bit of a travelogue of sorts.
As for the romance portion of the narrative, it’s run of the mill with the exception of mystery interjected and a surprise towards the end. The two main protagonists attempt to fight off their mutual crazy mega attraction, we all know how that goes in tales of romance.
The characters are a bit tricky, at least they were for this reader. Venetia didn’t score any points with me. She cannot let go of her past love (Judd) of over 10 years. Droning on and on about him, I wanted to shake her and say ‘enough already!!’ She also has a nasty attitude, especially when first interacting with Paolo. Venetia merely exists for me, failing to evoke any type of bonding even as the narrative progressed. Her indecisiveness towards Paolo grated on my nerves, another strike against her. Paolo is an enigma. We learn bits about him, mostly rumors. He holds his intrigue through most of the story until a ‘secret’ of his is revealed through his best friend who is attracted to Venetia. We learn all about Paolo, along with Venetia, at the very end. As far as my feelings for Paolo, I kept asking why was he so tolerant of Venetia’s off putting attitude, attraction or not, I respected him less.
Romance fans desiring a mystery element inserted into the narrative will appreciate this novel, if you are an Italyophile, with the heavy hand in setting along with immense details you will be transported instantly saying ciao after you have closed the cover.
Paperback, 360 pages
Published December 6th 2013 by London Wall Publishing (first published January 1st 2013)