Thursday, October 20, 2016

An Insecure Artist Finds Love and Family in Italy

Emily Price works as a restorer. She loves to fix things, but in her heart, she wants to be an artist. Her paintings are technically well done, but she seems unable to capture the essence of the subject.

She is working on a restoration assignment when Chef Benito Vassallo comes into her life. The attraction is immediate. He’s in the US for a short time and is trying to revitalize his aunt and uncle’s restaurant. Wanting to spend more time with him, Emily volunteers to be part of the project.

The remodeled restaurant is a success, but now Ben must leave. When instead he proposes marriage, she says “Yes,” and begins a new and frustrating life in Italy.

Emily’s character is sensitively drawn. She’s very talented, but she can’t quite accept her gifts. When Ben comes into her life she has trouble accepting that he loves her and wants to be with her. Ben is almost too good to be true in the first half of the book. He’s charming and considerate, the kind of lover any woman would be glad to have. When he returns to his native environment and work in Italy, he becomes more human.

The plot is a subtle character study. Although you know what must happen, you keep reading to find out whether Emily will be able to grow into her new family, or the dream will disappear.

I highly recommend this book. It’s a gentle love story with characters you won’t forget.

I received this book from Net Galley and Thomas Nelson for this review.