"In this warm, enchanting debut novel, Rosanna Chiofalo evokes the extraordinary beauty of Venice, the charm of a close-knit New York neighborhood, and the joys of friendship, family, and surprising second chances. . .
Valentina DeLuca has made hundreds of brides' dreams come true. At Sposa Rosa, the Astoria, New York, boutique where she, her sisters, and their mother design and sew couture knock-off gowns, she can find the perfect style for even the most demanding customer. Now, it's her turn. Valentina has loved Michael Carello ever since he rescued her from a cranky shopkeeper when she was ten years old. He's handsome, chivalrous, and loyal. And in a few weeks, she's going to marry him--in Venice.
But just when she thinks everything is falling into place, Valentina is forced to re-examine her life to see what truly makes her happy. And as she soon learns, in a place as magical as Venice, what seems like misfortune can turn out to be anything but, although who knows what may be waiting around the next corner? The chance to enjoy a moonlit gondola ride, to sip Prosecco in St. Mark's Square, to eat mouthwatering gelato, to put aside "sensible" for once and see where the warm Italian breezes guide her as she visits all the sights she's dreamed of: The Doge's Palace, Il Rialto, the little islands of Murano and Burano. And maybe, along the way, to discover that bella fortuna--good luck--isn't what you're given, but what you make."
Bella Fortuna – by Rosana Chiofolo
*ARC supplied by Publisher*
*ARC supplied by Publisher*
This was one of the most romantic books I have read so far this year. It is not a novel that mistakes sex for romance …in fact, there is only one sexual scene and it is hot without being vulgar. This is a debut novel and I see that the author still has some seasoning she needs to do, but for a first –wow - I can’t wait to see what Ms Chiafalo will do for an encore!
This is a book of second chances, of close Italian –American families, of love, friendship and enemies. It is also a small peek into the bridal industry and the making of what should be the perfect gown. Set in the ethnic area of Astoria (Queens) New York, we follow a mother, Olivia, and daughter, Valentina, as they fall in love both the first time AND the second time. The story mostly concentrates around Valentina and her upcoming wedding to Michael. I will not bore you with my synopsis since the perfect one has already been written. I will tell you that Ms Chiofolo has managed to capture that bustling area perfectly and has written some of the most complex and likable characters that I have read in a long time. She has also managed to capture the heartache that comes from losing the one you love to either death or deceit.
I love ‘happy endings’, and as romance readers, many of us are used to them and sometimes take them for granted. However in Ms Chiofolo’s novel I wasn’t positive I was going to get a happy ending and I didn’t even care. The story just captivated me and I would have went anywhere the author chose to take me without even a whimper.