25 Jul 2014



THE SOURCE: A blog win courtesy of Lindsay @ The Little Reader Reader.

THE BOOK {According to the inner front cover}: Venetia Aston-Montague has escaped to Italy s most captivating city to work in her godmother s architectural practice, putting a lost love behind her. For the past ten years she has built a fortress around her heart, only to find the walls tumbling down one night of the carnival when she is rescued from masked assailants by an enigmatic stranger, Paolo Barone.

Drawn to the powerfully seductive Paolo, and despite warnings of his Don Juan reputation, and rumours that he keeps a mistress, Venetia can't help being caught up in the smouldering passion that ignites between them.

When she finds herself assigned to a project at his magnificent home deep in the Tuscan countryside, Venetia not only faces a beautiful young rival but also a sinister count and dark forces in the shadows, determined to come between them.

Can Venetia trust that love will triumph, even over her own demons? Or will Paolo's carefully guarded, devastating secret tear them apart forever?

FIRST SENTENCE {Chapter 1: Venice Carnival, 2000}:The clock struck midnight just as Venetia went past the grand eigthteenth-century mirror hanging over the mantelpiece in the hall.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {73}: "Fate is the superstitious mind's way of misinterpreting coincidence." Though as she spoke, Venetia wasn't sure how much she believed this. 

MY THOUGHTS: I really wish I could say that this bodice-ripper type of story telling simply wasn't to my taste but I thought the novel old-fashioned and so description heavy as to be (and I don't use this term loosely) boring.

More of a novella padded out as a novel. The descriptions of everything from the restaurants eaten in and the food consumed therein to the Venetian architecture and the unfailingly beautiful characters were so relentless and overdone that the rest of the story seemed an insignificant afterthought.

It's just as well Chapter one stated the year 2000 as the date as I wouldn't have otherwise been sure of the period in which this was set as the outdated, overly romanticised dialogue combined with a 'subtly proprietorial' hero with an antiquated attitude and a simpering heroine suggested times long gone.

Then there were the odd little monologues - 'Thus fate Fate cast her thunderbolts into our lives, letting them fall with a feather-like touch, dulling our senses to the storm they would cause should we realise their devastating powers' - that though quite beautiful were random and unrelated to any event.



Kelly said...

Despite the appealing setting, I think I'll pass on this book based on your observations. I do love the descriptiveness in Donna Leon's novels set in Venice, but it doesn't feel like "padding" or detract from her stories. Maybe that's in part because of the difference in genre here.

Barbara Fisher said...

Oh what a shame! I’m glad I read all of your review. I was on the point of ordering a copy. It all sounded so promising. Not to worry I will wait for your next recommendation. Thanks for the welcome home. Barbara

Naida said...

That's too bad. The monologue you quoted sounds nice though, even if it was random.
When the dialogue is too much, I get put off by it.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Sorry this didn't work for you! It doesn't sound like the best fit for me either...

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Sounds like the novella would have been better than a "fleshed out" book. Too bad.

Suko said...

Aw, schucks! Thank you for your honest review, Tracy.

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

This one definitely sounded like a good miss before I got as far as your actual review, which only served to put the tin hat on the whole thing for me.

I would have taken this to be a historical romantic fiction and definitely not modern day chick-lit. It sounds as though the writing is totally confused and confusing!

Definitely time to move quickly on to your next book!!

Have a good weekend,


Brian Joseph said...

Too bad this was disappointing.

I laughed when I read your descriptor - "bodice-ripper type of story"

I also think that the opening sentence is a bit too cliched.

Karen said...

Yikes! I'll be skipping that one for sure.

Karen @ For What It's Worth

Literary Feline said...

Such a shame because the premise was intriguing. Had it read better, I might have had more interest in it. :-(

Lindsay said...

Sorry to read that this one wasn't a great read Tracy, thank you for the honest review of it as always.

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

So sorry you weren't able to enjoy this one more. The cover and setting seemed promising. Thanks for your honest review.