Thursday, September 15, 2016

Roman Crazy by Alice Clayton and Nina Bocci

Title: Roman Crazy
Author: Alice Clayton and Nina Bocci
My Rating: B

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series: The Broads Abroad #1
Main Characters: Avery and Marcello
Release Date: September 2016
Publisher: Gallery
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
Avery Bardot steps off the plane in Rome, looking for a fresh start. She’s left behind a soon-to-be ex-husband in Boston and plans to spend the summer with her best friend Daisy, licking her wounds—and perhaps a gelato or two. But when her American-expat friend throws her a welcome party on her first night, Avery’s thrown for a loop when she sees a man she never thought she’d see again: Italian architect Marcello Bianchi.

Marcello was the man—the one who got away. And now her past is colliding with her present, a present where she should be mourning the loss of her marriage and—hey, that fettuccine is delicious! And so is Marcello…

Slipping easily into the good life of summertime in Rome, Avery spends her days exploring a city that makes art historians swoon, and her nights swooning over her unexpected what was old is new again romance. It’s heady, it’s fevered, it’s wanton, and it’s crazy. But could this really be her new life? Or is it just a temporary reprieve before returning to the land of twin-set cardigans and crustless sandwiches?

A celebration of great friendship, passionate romance, and wonderful food, Roman Crazy is a lighthearted story of second chances and living life to the fullest.

My Review:

I was so excited when I received this book for review. A new series with these two authors...yes, please. I was a little less excited when I started reading the book and it so closely mirrored the movie, Under the Tuscan Sun (the movie only...I can't speak for that book because I've never read it.) 

This is the story of Avery. She found out her husband of 8 or 9 years has been cheating on her and so she runs off to Rome and her best friend's home to find herself. There she sees Marcello, the man she loved one summer in college and then betrayed. 

There are so many parallels to the movie that I have to point it out. This is a woman trying to figure out who she is when she's not her husband's wife anymore. It's a journey of self discovery among the beauty and traditions of Rome. There are vignettes of the beauty of the country and the traditions...of the tourists and the artists that flock there. In the movie the heroine painted pictures with words. In this book the heroine is an actual artist. The hero in both actually has the same name...Marcello. I'll be honest, Under the Tuscan Sun is one of my all-time favorite movies and I'll admit I thought that this book was amazing, but the similarities made me uncomfortable.

Eventually, the book did expand enough to stand on its own merit, but gah...I hate that it feels like a copy of that other brilliant work. BUT that doesn't keep it from being an excellent, and entertaining read. 

Unlike the movie, this is a romance novel so there is a happily ever after and I loved getting to watch Avery rediscover herself. I feel like I've been on a quick tour to Rome. The imagery and pictures that the authors paint throughout the story are fabulous. Avery is an artist that specializes in bringing old pieces...vases, frescos, etc...back to life. It was interesting "seeing" her work through the pages of the book. 

There's also a heartbreaking backstory. This is a second chance at love story. I hate what Avery did to him the first time around and there was even a bit of 'she doesn't deserve him' when the story all came out, because the young Avery was NOT a strong woman. She comes into her own throughout the story and I liked to see that metamorphosis.

So...not 100% positive on this one, but it was a book that I thoroughly enjoyed reading, so I would recommend it. (Particularly if you enjoyed the movie.) 

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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