Espresso Love: ROMAN CRAZY

Roman Crazy

roman-crazy-audio coverBy Alice Clayton & Nina Bocci
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Audiobook Download: Simon & Schuster Audio  September 2016 | Duration 9:31
Read by: Randi Geddens
E-Book & Trade Paperback: Gallery Books | 336 pages | September 2016

I voluntarily reviewed an advance audio copy of this book provided by the publisher. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.

A delicious, sexy, laugh-out-loud modern romance about a newly single woman and her journey to find love again, from New York Times bestselling author Alice Clayton and debut author Nina Bocci.

Avery Bardot steps off the plane in Rome, looking for a fresh start. She’s left behind a soon-to-be ex-husband in Boston and plans to spend the summer with her best friend Daisy, licking her wounds—and perhaps a gelato or two. But when her American-expat friend throws her a welcome party on her first night, Avery’s thrown for a loop when she sees a man she never thought she’d see again: Italian architect Marcello Bianchi.

Marcello was the man—the one who got away. And now her past is colliding with her present, a present where she should be mourning the loss of her marriage and—hey, that fettuccine is delicious! And so is Marcello…

Slipping easily into the good life of summertime in Rome, Avery spends her days exploring a city that makes art historians swoon, and her nights swooning over her unexpected what was old is new again romance. It’s heady, it’s fevered, it’s wanton, and it’s crazy. But could this really be her new life? Or is it just a temporary reprieve before returning to the land of twin-set cardigans and crustless sandwiches?

A celebration of great friendship, passionate romance, and wonderful food, Roman Crazy is a lighthearted story of second chances and living life to the fullest.


My Take Oblong Shaped

I have never read Nina Bocci but I have read and seriously enjoyed Alice Clayton’s Unidentified Redhead series and the first two books in the sorta kinda spin-off Hudson Valley series.  I enjoyed the Unidentified Redhead and NUTS (Hudson Valley #1) a lot and Cream of the Crop (Hudson Valley #2) to a lesser degree.  I liked Alice’s work enough to immediately jump on the chance to listen to this one.

While it is written in my least favorite point-of-view: first-person, present-and-immediate, tense, it does so strongly. This tense, coming from a head-cam or “angel on the shoulder” position requires strong writing. Your action and feelings are immediate and that makes introspection and memory tricky.  With this team of bffs (Alice and Nina) however, it works well.

I have occasionally found the language in Alice’s books off-putting, but like the humor and characters enough to deal with it. The partnership, or perhaps just Nina, actually brings a strength of sexy writing without crude language to the book.

While I found the familial relationships related in the  first chapter  to be either archaic or based  on the family of SEX AND THE CITY’S Charlotte’s first marriage, the rest of the story was believable. There’s a surprise element that’s a little bit on the slow reveal side.  Earlier revelation would probably have made understanding Avery being able to throw off her first marriage so easily.

Randi Geddens brings youthful vibrancy to Avery’s character with her effervescent voice.  Her pronunciation of Italian didn’t do damage to any of the words commonly mauled. Marcello’s accent always sounds Italian and never like a Russian imitation of  Marlon Brando in THE GODFATHER.

The hot hook-ups for the love-interests are not based in body parts but in the heart-wants-what-it-wants magnetic attraction of the characters and the feeling that this second-chance at love is meant to be.  And, who hasn’t wanted to see what would have happened if the one-who-got-away, or the one-we-left-behind, didn’t reside solely in the past? Could that spark be re-ignited, the mistakes and misdeeds of the past be forgiven?

And, who wouldn’t want a friend like Avery’s Daisy?  Daisy is a complete-support-without-bullshit kind of girl who will firmly point Avery in the right direction. Every woman needs one of these!

And that’s the cool thing – it feels like this collaboration between friends was also meant to be. It’s the next best thing to jumping on a plane and visiting Rome yourself.

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