You know, if I am going to keep reviewing free books, I should stick to the ones my friend Malin gives me. Someday, I will learn. I feel like the woman on the cover –
The Tuscan’s Revenge Wedding by Jennifer Blake is a trite contemporary romance. As the first book in the Italian Billionaires series, it sets a tone for the subsequent novels that I will not be reading. I am heartily sick of the number of billionaires thick on the ground in the genre and the fact that they tend to be autocratic alpha males does not help.
Nico de Frenza appears suddenly in Amanda Something’s life when her brother is in a car accident. Nico’s sister was in the car, too, and he has appeared in Atlanta to bring her to Tuscany and her brother’s bedside. To say Nico is highhanded is an understatement. Shortly after meeting, when he senses Amanda’s tension, “Her fingers turned as white as the Carrera marble of his home region as she gripped them together….Nico reached to the brandy snifter and put it into her hands…When she made no move to drink, he lifted the glass to her lips …tipping it with slow insistence.” Be still my heart.
The Italian billionaire has already spoken to Amanda’s employer to arrange for time off. “A leave of absence has been approved for you. An agency that monitors apartments while tenants are away has been contacted, and will send someone to water your plants and retrieve your mail. If you like, I can have your clothing packed and sent after us, though it would be more practical to buy a few things after you arrive.” In WHAT WORLD would her employer let some stranger speak on her behalf and what services would contract work in someone’s house with anyone other than the owner? Amanda’s reaction is, and I QUOTE, “It would be ungrateful of her to fling all of his careful planning in his face.” Thus Amanda is not technically kidnapped, but it is an incredibly well-organized absconding.
Thank you, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
She packs a small bag and he whisks her off on a private jet which is under a strict schedule despite, you know, the fact that they are the only passengers. He does actually send someone out to buy her clothing once in Italy. The choices are, of course, perfect.
When they get to Tuscany, both worried over their respective siblings, they visit the hospital and are beset by paparazzi. Nico is a billionaire count with an olive oil fortune after all and Amanda’s brother is a Formula One race car driver. So other than the victim of circumstance who has been dragged into the lap of luxury, these are not exactly humble folk. Amanda has to stay at Nico’s estate for privacy, naturally, and meets the whole family who, how could they not?, take to her immediately. Events proceed predictably and imperiously from there.
It should come as no surprise at this point in my review that I did not like this book. The old school romance tropes that ran through it got my back up from the beginning and I didn’t change my mind as I kept reading. Jennifer Blake is a prolific author with a well-established career. I am sure she will have no trouble persevering in spite of this one disappointed reader.
Note: The Tuscan’s Revenge Wedding contains neither revenge, nor a wedding.