This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult Romance
Published by Indie/Self Published
Released on May 12, 2014
When I saw the setting was Greece and Italy and the heroine would encounter the hero at a masquerade-themed wedding, I was all in to enjoy this one. As part of the Red Hot Lovers Boxed set this was a new encounter with the author and the series so that too added some curiosity. Sadly, my initial excitement did not stay with me and I ended up finding it a story that was only moderately likeable.
This was the third book in the Matthews family series. I had not read the earlier books, but found this one stood fine alone. I could see who the earlier books were about and how things were progression with the Matthews’ family cast of characters, but this was a new story thread and focused on a younger family member, Tracy.
The story opens when Tracy Matthews and her sister JC are visit a Greek Island on their annual European vacation. They come from a wealthy family plus their mother is married to a Hollywood A-lister so are used to the celebrity life though Tracy tries to avoid it. She is a serious person, scholarly, and a rule-follower which is why when JC has the idea to crash a wedding for fun that Tracy surprisingly goes along. Instead of JC having the fateful encounter with a hot and passionate Italian it is Tracy. Unfortunately, she is a mess and knows she has been less than sophisticated. But still it is the best night of her life and both her and her mystery man feel it.
However, after the abrupt ending to the night and a promise to call, she never hears from her hot Italian again. Tracy put her heart into it and is devastated so she is leery when a friend asks her to come do some marketing work for a local Tuscan winery a year later. Tracy has avoided all things Italian and Italy up until then, but she can’t say no to her close family friend. It is there she encounters the antagonistic Vincent Giovanni and the sparks fly.
As I said, I really thought this one would hit the spot with me since I usually love this sort of background and set up. But I didn’t. I took a strong aversion to the heroine from nearly the beginning and it only grew with each new over the top emotion and self-absorbed action. I was also confused. The book describes her one way and I never saw evidence of that. She was a petulant, self-absorbed brat most of the time who over-reacts all the time. Her sister JC wasn’t any better.
The romance was also a tough one for me to get behind. Tracy and her Italian have a brief encounter. She is drunk or jumping to conclusions about him most of the time. He is a gentleman and really cares so he doesn’t take advantage. There was nothing in that evening to make me think everlasting romance, but suddenly it is that on Tracy’s part. The latter parts of the story start with an antagonistic encounter on both their parts and again I was struck by how over the top it was and continued to be. I just could not understand the whys behind all the attitude. So by the time they settled things, I was barely caring that they were together.
I confess that I did a lot of skimming and maybe I should have just DNF’d it, but I kept hoping her attitude would get an adjustment and I really wanted to know why he never called her and was curious what would happen when they figured out who each other was since their earlier encounter had been with the masquerade masks on and they never got around to sharing the truth about themselves. So there was just enough to keep me going, but not enough to make me care beyond satisfying my curiosity.
As to recommending it, I saw that it had a fairly good rating when I came to post my review so it’s possible that my early impression and mood are more a factor than the book. So if you enjoy the idea of a New Adult Contemporary Romance set in Italy between wealthy, bright heroine and handsome Italian winemaker, you might want to check it out.
I received this story as part of boxed set from one of the authors in exchange for an honest review.
Romance Roundabout #273 NA
New to Me #113 author/series
Mt. TBR #99
Blogger Shame #38