*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest 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!