In this warm, enchanting debut novel, Rosanna Chiofalo evokes the extraordinary beauty of Venice, the charm of a close-knit New York neighborhood, and the joys of friendship, family, and surprising second chances.
Valentina DeLuca has made hundreds of brides’ dreams come true. At Sposa Rosa - the Astoria, New York, boutique where she, her sisters, and their mother design and sew couture knock-off gowns - she can find the perfect style for even the most demanding customer. Now it’s her turn. Valentina has loved Michael Carello ever since he rescued her from a cranky shopkeeper when she was 10 years old. He’s handsome, chivalrous, and loyal, and in a few weeks she’s going to marry him - in Venice.
Just when she thinks everything is falling into place, Valentina is forced to reexamine her life to see what truly makes her happy. As she soon learns, in a place as magical as Venice, what seems like misfortune can turn out to be anything but. Who knows what may be waiting around the next corner? The chance to enjoy a moonlit gondola ride, to sip Prosecco in St. Mark’s Square, to eat mouthwatering gelato, to put aside "sensible" for once and see where the warm Italian breezes guide her as she visits all the sights she’s dreamed of: the Doge’s Palace, the Rialto, the little islands of Murano and Burano. And maybe along the way she’ll discover that bella fortuna (good luck) isn’t what you’re given but what you make.
Rosanna Chiofalo is a first-generation Italian American whose parents emigrated from Sicily to New York in the early 1960s. After graduating with a BA in English from Stony Brook University, she knew she wanted to be around books and have a career in writing. For twenty years, she has worked as a copywriter and copy director for several New York City publishing houses.
©2012 Rosanna Chiofalo (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"From the streets of New York to the canals of Venice, Rosanna Chiofalo creates a warm and lively story the reader won’t want to see end. Valentina DeLuca is a heroine with intelligence, heart, and courage, the kind of person every woman wants for a dear friend. Time spent with her is a sheer joy." (Mary Carter, New York Times best-selling author of The Pub Across the Pond)
"Go to Venice. Ride a gondola. See St. Mark’s Square. Chase the pigeons. Then go back to your hotel room overlooking a canal, take out Bella Fortuna, and read. It will make your whole day perfecto." (Cathy Lamb, New York Times best-selling author)
"An inspiring read about second chances with love after tremendous heartbreak.... The novel has a pleasant narrative, and the details of relationships and descriptions of Venice are thorough and well written." (RT Book Reviews)
If you like fashion, Venice and weddings this one is for you. A little predictable and slow in spots but rewarded with a blissful ending. Beautifully read with flawless Italian through out.
I thought the performance was outstanding! The characters really seemed to come alive. I liked the story line, and am looking forward to reading the next book by Rosanna Chiofalo.
Good story, it's an easy read. Escapist reading with enough relationship development to make it interesting.
The story was very predictable. I could have guessed the ending by chapter two.
Photo is of my portuguese water dog, Sheila!
I found this book to be a slightly better than average read, drags a bit in parts, but overall ok. Similar in subject matter and setting to a Trigiani novel, but doesn't have the same depth and heart. Worth the audible credit, though.
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