Disclaimer: I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book. All opinions stated are solely mine.
Taming the Italian playboy…
Lizzie Addler’s dream of working in Italy is about to come true—that is if she can convince passionate Italian chef Dante DeFiore to keep his side of their bargain. Dante might be hotter than the Italian sun, but he’s as cool as ice toward Lizzie…
Dante hasn’t the time to pander to Lizzie’s dreams of culinary fame—he has a restaurant to run! But as Lizzie proves herself to be a spectacular addition to his kitchen—and to his life—Dante wonders…can he keep her forever?
In The Playboy of Rome, the Italian countryside provides a backdrop for romance when an aspiring chef faces off against a reluctant restaurateur over a reality show! Lizzie Alder has given up everything for the opportunity to film her reality show at Ristorante Massimo and with no back up plan, she is determined to convince Dante DeFiore to honor the agreement she entered into with his grandfather.
Dante is in the process of finding a buyer for the restaurant and the signed agreement provided by Lizzie means putting the plans to sell on hold and stepping in for his grandfather on the show. Dante and Lizzie find themselves getting to know each other and dealing with the heat between them (not generated in the kitchen!) Both Dante and Lizzie have different backgrounds but share a lot of similarities. Lizzie was a foster child who was abandoned by her own mother and shuffled from home to home until she aged out of the system. Her experiences have taught her not to trust in anyone except herself and her foster sister Jules. Dante on the hand grew up within a large Italian family but was mostly ignored. Both crave love and acceptance and Lizzie finds the family she craves in Dante’s and also helps to heal the rift between Dante and his family. A few times, it felt like Lizzie was too hung up on her past as a foster child and just could not get past it, but she found the courage to overcome her issues and break through Dante’s resistance. Even though the characters were in the culinary industry, I liked that the story was not overwhelmed by cooking, but rather the scenes where they cooked were just enough to enhance the story.
The Playboy of Rome was an enjoyable read with a strong and brave heroine, one who overcame adversities to achieve her dreams and find love.
Best Man for the Bridesmaid is the story of Jules, Lizzie’s foster sister who is in Rome to help her with the wedding preparations and finds herself partnered with the gloomy best man Stefano, Dante’s older, widowed brother. Jules has always had Lizzie to depend on and she knows that things are about to change. Also, she is preoccupied by the decision she needs to make about her life back in New York and now she has to deal with her attraction to Stefano.
Stefano has been living with the guilt that he was responsible for what happened to his late wife and coupled with his father and grandfather losing the women in their lives, he is convinced that the DeFiore men are destined to be alone and he is determined to resist his attraction to Jules. However, as they spend time together planning the wedding, they find it difficult to resist each other. Jules also carries scars from her past and I love Jules very much because even though she started out like a pushover, she knew what she wanted and showed strength in fighting for who she wanted, even in the face of repeated rejection.
With her DeFiore Brothers series, Ms. Faye has created sweet, sensual stories centered on family and triumphing over adversity.
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Always the bridesmaid…
Planning her sister’s Italian wedding only reminds Jules Lane of how far away she is from finding her own true love. And worse, she’s doing it alongside the brooding, mouthwateringly handsome best man, Stefano DeFiore.
Maybe the bride?
Having seen the destructive power of love, Stefano has no time for weddings–but Jules’s smile is captivating. Making her feel like the most beautiful woman in the world is one thing, but can he give this blushing bridesmaid a happily-ever-after of her own?
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