The Italian's Wife by Sunset, by Lucy Gordon

>> Monday, November 02, 2009

TITLE: The Italian's Wife by Sunset (excerpt)
AUTHOR: Lucy Gordon

COPYRIGHT: 2007
PAGES: 248
PUBLISHER: Mills & Boon Romance

SETTING: Contemporary
TYPE: Series romance
SERIES: Part of the Rinucci brothers series

REASON FOR READING: I got this one because of Jane's review at DearAuthor.

Intelligent, sensible Della Hadley should've known better than to embark on an affair with a playboy Italian six years her junior, but vibrant and sexy Carlo Rinucci was just too hard to resist....

Della knows that a fiery passion so quick to ignite should be fast to die out, despite Carlo's vow that their love is forever. But Carlo is Italian through and through, and determined to win his woman--and make Della his bride before the sun sets on their affair.
The plot is quite simple: Della Hadley is a television producer preparing a series of programmes on historic sites. Archeologist Carlo Rinucci is suggested to her as the perfect person to present them, and Della agrees.

Carlo likes the idea of the programmes, but he likes Della even more and falls for her hard and fast. She returns the attraction, but it's no go for her, as Carlo is several years younger (if I'm remembering correctly, Della was in her late 30s and Carlo was 30ish... a difference of 6 or 7 years, I think). But Carlo is persistent and determined to convince her.

Carlo is just wonderful. He falls like a ton of bricks for Della and then he treats her really sweetly, even (especially) when she's being an idiot about their age difference. I especially loved the scene where he was joking about coming ready-made-hen-pecked. There's something very sexy about a man who recognises that a man doesn't have to be dominant and bullying to be a real man.

Della I was a bit less sure about. I wasn't 100% convinced by her reasons to refuse a real relationship with Carlo so definitely. She seemed a bit hung up on appearances, and I didn't really understand where her unreasonably severe fear came from. 6-7 years difference in age isn't that much, especially when the guy is 30 (or maybe I've just got used to it... going back to uni at 30 last year I felt like I was pretty much the oldest person there, and I necessarily dated guys who were quite a bit younger).

It's a good but not revolutionalry December-May story right until the ending. I'm going to add some spoiler space here, because I really can't be too cryptic in discussing this and it would definitely be a spoiler. However, this is one spoiler warning I think readers shouldn't heed, because it's something that will probably be a deal-breaker for many.

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In the conclusion, it becomes clear that Della has some health problems that mean that she will almost certainly not live until old age, and she and Carlo have to deal with this knowlege. I'm as much wedded to the HEA ending, but the way Gordon wrote this was amazing. It was a very romantic and sweet and lovely ending, even though it made me cry. For me, it definitely counted as a happy ending, if a little bittersweet, but for those who need the guarantee that everything will be wonderful forever, it won't work. Me, I loved it. Like Jane, it made the book for me.

MY GRADE: A B+.

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