Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published by: HarperImpulse on May 29, 2014
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An Italian paradise is the last thing she wants… but the one thing she needs!
Surely any girl would kill for the chance to tour Italy’s most famous cities for the summer? To experience the warmth of the Tuscan sun, the culinary delights of the pizzerias and caffés and to stroll along the cobbled streets of the City of Love itself… Any girl apart from ambitious oboist Carly Davis that is! For her, the Easthampton Civic Symphony’s latest European tour is one massive inconvenience. She can’t even put her smartphone down long enough to snap a picture of the Coliseum. Only, there’s one Italian attraction that Carly hadn’t quite expected to be a part of the tourist route…
Tour guide Michelangelo is as dark and delicious as Carly’s morning espresso. And when she needs a few lessons in the language of love to land her an important gig, he’s a more than capable tutor.
But with her promising career back in Boston, can Carly really afford to lose her heart in Italy?
*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
A fun and flirty romance abroad!
AN AMERICAN GIRL IN ITALY is the story of a young woman and her journey of self discovery and love. Carly Davis is devoted to her career as an oboist for the East Hampton Civic Symphony and has no time to focus on a social life. Her job has brought her to Italy for a series of concerts where she meets the tall, dark and handsome Michaelangelo. In danger of losing his family’s estate and winery, Michaelangelo pretends to be a tour host and lands a gig hosting Carly’s orchestra during their stay in Italy in order to make the money he needs to save his family’s legacy. As Carly and Michaelangelo spend time together during her stay in Italy, it becomes apparent to both of them that fate has brought them together for a chance at love.
I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading this book and while I’ll be the first to admit I’m not exactly a big fan of super sweet romance but this was a fun change of pace for me. There are no big hurdles to overcome in this story. Simply put girl visits Italy, meets boy and falls in love over the course of two weeks and decides to follow her heart. This is a cute, feel good story that takes you on a mini vacation to Italy!
Carly is very relate-able, she’s a career driven young woman (I honestly can’t remember her age right now or if it was mentioned) who is a bit of an introvert and has some geek girl qualities I find endearing. I thought her inner monologue was ridiculously funny, especially her reactions to Michaelangelo. My only tiff with her is that it takes a while for her to warm up to Michaelangelo, relax and enjoy her time in Italy. There isn’t a lot of back story on her life before she joined the symphony orchestra, I feel we learn more about the leading man in this story, but I still find her character well developed.
The male protagonist, Michaelangelo is the quintessential Italian man in appearance but has some swoon-worthy qualities. He’s smart, loyal, charming and is the perfect gentleman. His flirty banter and charm eventually win Carly over, as much as she tries to avoid it. I really enjoyed his character, but I’ll venture to say he is almost too perfect for me. I thought we might get a dark past or something that would give him a bit of an edge (that’s the bad boy lover in me talking) but I was left wanting…he’s just an all around sweet good guy, but I guess there’s nothing wrong with that.
Michaelangelo and Carly’s romance is a little fast paced but I didn’t mind due to the circumstances, it’s not insta-love, they actually get to know one another before anything happens. Carly learns that there might be more than just music when she meets Michaelangelo and he sees a chance at finally settling down. His “open book” approach with Carly really won me over, I enjoyed reading about his family’s vineyards and the sacrifices he was willing to make to preserve his heritage. Despite the cultural differences, Michaelangelo and Carly have plenty in common which makes their relationship organic, they really bring out the best in each other. That being said, if you’re looking for a scorching romance you won’t find it here, the smexiness between Carly and Michaelangelo is very PG-13, the sex was done in a tasteful manner leaving everything to the imagination which is not how I like my romance but I definitely won’t knock a book for just that.
Aubrie Dionne really captures the essence of the music world and scenery of Italy with her vivid writing style, you can’t help but get swept up by this tale. A charming couple, an exotic backdrop and a great array of secondary characters will engage contemporary romance readers or those looking for a quick, light-hearted romance. AN AMERICAN GIRL IN ITALY is a delightful read with humor and an easy breezy, uncomplicated romance that is perfect for a summer beach read. I will definitely be adding this author’s future books to my reading list!
I love finding wonderful books to buy on blogs. Thanks so much for featuring this book.
I always enjoy finding new authors 🙂
I’ve been reading a lot of reviews that feature Italy lately, and I really want to give one a go, so I’m guessing that Aubrie Dionne’s book is as good a place as any to start. Summer is almost over, but I think I have time to squeeze in one more romance before August 31st. Fab review, Lori!
Thank Carmel. It’s not just a “summer read” I just thought that label fit the story because there’s no real drama or complex plot…it’s the kind of book you want to read on vacation but it works just as well at home on a weekend! 🙂
I’m glad you enjoyed! I like these light and easy romances once in awhile. Especially when you can travel vicariously through them. 🙂 Thanks for hosting a tour stop!
It was a pleasure Candace! Sometimes you’re just in the mood for a light-hearted romance and this is just what I needed when I picked it up. Thanks for introducing me to another fab author. 🙂
A drama-free romance is always welcome in my shelf. I want to read a happy romance for a change and as this is set in Italy, it’s a win-win I guess with all the art and feels it brings.
I’ve always wanted to travel to Italy and this story made me feel like I was there, it was like a mini vacation with a sweet romance. 🙂
I would love to visit Italy. Totally on top of my bucket list. Added to my TBR. =)
Hope you like it Angela, thanks for stopping by 🙂
Italy is my dream place to visit but since I don’t fly, that’s not happening. Sometimes I love a feel good romance for a change. Great job on the review!
Thanks Lorna! I’ve always wanted to visit Italy too. I can’t believe you don’t fly, but I can’t say I blame you…Italy is a long flight! 🙂
I used to fly, but after 9/11 only once, and I really didn’t want to then! So I quit:)
Sweet romances aren’t my thing either, but they do give you a break from the overly dramatic reads. Great review Lori 🙂
Thanks Sharonda! It was a nice change from my darker books 🙂
I enjoy stories like this from time to time, especially after a heavy listen, and a lot times they end up surprising me with the level of my enjoyment. It already got something going for me..I love just about everything Italian!..LOL