Coming at you with a review of a Mills & Boon story I’ve just finished reading, Italian Marriage: In Name Only by Kathryn Ross.
I was given this story as part of one Mills & Boon’s 3 in 1 By Request books as a Christmas present (big thanks to my sister and brother-in-law!).
According to the Mills & Boon website, this story was published in 2010, so I’m a bit late to this party but you know what they say: better late than never!
So anyways, on with the show and as this is a book review: SPOILER ALERT!!
In this story, 23-year-old Victoria Heart is a restauranteur struggling to makes ends meet for her business, herself and her two-year-old son, Nathan.
On the verge of losing everything, Antonio Cavelli, suave Italian multimillionaire and owner of the company putting up her rent, swoops in to her life.
Determined to secure the last of his father’s shares in the family company, Antonio, unbeknownst to Victoria, is given an ultimatum from his father: get married and produce a child and only then will the shares be his.
An eternal bachelor not interested in settling down, Antonio sees Victoria and her circumstances and proposes a marriage of convenience. In doing so, she secures her livelihood and he benefits in his business. They treat it as purely a business deal with the plan to part ways after a few weeks.
But with this being a romance story, do they just part ways? Of course not!
So did I enjoy this book? Absolutely.
This is one of the first stories I’ve read where its storyline involves marriage of convenience that ended in the two characters falling in love (my first experience really being the movie The Proposal with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds).
I have to say I was pleasantly surprised!
First of all, I loved Kathryn Ross’ writing style. The settings (Australia and Italy) were captured beautifully (put it this way, I really want to visit Italy now!) as well as transitioning between Victoria’s and Antonio’s points of view very smoothly.
It was good to see how both characters were adamant to themselves their arrangement was purely business as their feelings for each other grew. So when the time came for them to make their feelings known, it was a very fitting and beautifully written scene.
Although Antonio’s bluntness and snap decisions (well he’s a businessman, that comes with the territory) can be a little off-putting at times, as the story went on I grew to quite like him.
With the build up of chemistry between Antonio and Victoria when they are living at Antonio’s home in Italy, they gradually begin to be more relaxed around each other and the foundation for the pair falling in love really starts to take shape.
Victoria becomes more carefree, a change from her stark, business persona and we begin to see a softer, warmer side to Antonio.
These small but tender moments, building up as the story goes on, where they inwardly begin to come to terms with their feelings, especially with Antonio becoming an unlikely father figure to Victoria’s son Nathan, makes for some heart warming moments.
It’s very easy to just go all out with the conflict and chemistry, but Kathryn Ross made it very organic and believable.
The reasons for why the hero and heroine act, be it through Victoria’s bad experience with men and Antonio’s colourful family past, I would say what initially keeps them from their happily ever after is very relatable.
So when the characters do work through these conflicts by the end of the novel and do finally get together, I personally was very happy that they did.
So all in all, I’d say I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Definitely one to take on holiday with you if you’re looking for a little literary getaway and one I’ll probably be reading again. 🙂
Hope you enjoyed this post guys! 🙂
Happy Friday! 🙂