Romance Cruise, Next Stop: Italy
By Suzanne from Under the Covers
Next stop on the Romance Cruise…Italy. A place that I have been lucky enough to visit a few times and am eager to go back and see more.
When I think of Italy, I think of sunshine, glamour, beautiful vistas and delicious food. This is hardly surprising when Italy has brands such as D&G, Armani and Valentino and Italian beauty icons such as Sophia Loren and Isabella Rossellini. And let’s not get started on the number of pounds I have put on due to a tasty pizza or some slightly al dente pasta. The rustic landscape alongside the beautiful ruins are picture perfect and it’s easy to see why authors set their romances in Italy. You already have the romantic atmosphere, all you need is the characters.
However, it isn’t just an Italian setting that gets us romance readers excited. What about them Italian heroes and heroines? Typically passionate and fiery they light up our kindle screens, whilst their dark good looks set our hearts aflutter. So, in this stop on our Romance Cruise, I am going to recommend some books I have enjoyed, which are either set in Italy or have an Italian hero or heroine.
First off, If you’re looking for the perfect summer read set in beautiful Italian locales then look no further. Roman Crazy by Nina Bocci and Alice Clayton brings Italy to life like no other! It has a to die for sexy as hell hero who will make you melt with his sexy accent. And, if that isn’t enough you have a fun heroine on a journey of rediscovery. This is a story of second chances and the perfect feel good read.
Hot in Here by Sophie Renwick (also known as Charlotte Featherstone)
Hot in Here by Sophie Renwick is a sexy contemporary romance set in both the US and Tuscany. It’s also perfect if you like BBW, plain jane heroines and sexy playboy chef heroes. For me, it was the perfect recipe for success. With the beautiful backdrop of Tuscany our playboy chef seduces our shy heroine with what he knows best; food. It’s a romantic journey that will leave you with a yearning for good food, a good holiday and a reformed rake to share it with.
We go from a shy heroine, to the bold and beautiful Juliana Fiori. Juliana first appears in the Love by Numbers in book 1, Nine Rules to Break when Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean, she’s a headstrong young woman come straight from Italy, with no refined English manners but a big heart. In the final book in the Love by Numbers series, we get to see the headstrong Juliana bring down a cold English Duke. Juliana is such a marvellous and passionate character, from her bafflement at the stuffy rules she now has to follow to her deep love for those she cares about, it’s hard not to be charmed.
We are veering off romance a little bit with Masks but the side trip is worth every page. Masks is set in 15th Century Venice and features Mircea Basarab, brother of Vlad Basarab aka Dracula. Yes, we have entered the world of the paranormal with Masks. This is actually an offshoot of Chance’s Cassie Palmer series, an action packed Urban Fantasy set in the modern day and in which Mircea is a central character. In Masks by Karen Chance we go back in time and get a prequel story. I admit, this book is probably best enjoyed when read as a companion to the Cassie Palmer series. However, this dashing paranormal adventure with the seductive and beautiful Mircea is worth the read anyways. Besides, if you haven’t read the Cassie Palmer series you really need to get on that.
From 15th Century Venice to modern day America, Denver to be precise. If you are regular in the romance reader community, then Kristen Ashley will be a familiar name. She’s well known for her distinctive writing style and over the top alpha heroes. One of her alpha heroes I adore is her Lorenzo “Ren” Zano. He’s your typical Italian dreamboat; talk, dark and handsome. Protective and passionate. I’m going a little dreamy eyed just thinking about him! Of course, you could pick any guy from the Rock Chick series and I can happily day dream about him, from the all American good guy Hank, to the smoulderingly hot and edgy Hector.
In my final recommendation, Susan Elizabeth Phillips proves why she is one of the best contemporary romance writes around. Breathing Room by Susan Elizabeth Phillips is a standalone contemporary romance where a self-help guru currently being vilified by the press escapes to Tuscany for some space. What she finds is Ren Gage Hollywood’s favourite bad boy. Breathing Room by Susan Elizabeth Phillips is set in a beautiful location which Phillips manages to bring to life. So, if you want a book that has a bit of humour, a great romance, with the hero and heroine bringing out the best in one another then this is the book for you.
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About the Author
As you can tell, I, Suzanne, adore and day dream about most romance genres, and my three big loves are 1) reading about romance 2) writing about romance and 3) talking about romance with my gals. Which, is why I love Under the Covers so much, I get all my bookish needs satisfied and don’t get judged when I talk about my favourite characters like they are real people. Which they are right?
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