Celina inherited both the cottage where her beloved grandmother painted her famous watercolors and a faded journal that hints at a long-ago Venetian love affair. It's the priceless Canaletto hidden away with the journal that piques her curiosity, however. An art historian and appraiser, Celina can't rest until she knows the story behind the painting - and how deeply the past owner, Conte Massimo di Palladino, touched her grandmother's life.
Lucca Palladino doesn't trust the lovely American who appears at the palazzo, particularly when he realizes his grandfather is smitten on sight. He'll use any means, fair or foul, to remove Celina, including the seductive pleasures of a midnight gondola ride. All he has to do is avoid being seduced himself....
©2013 Patricia Maxwell (P)2015 Audible, Inc.
I have not read the print version, so cannot comment.
My favorite character was Celina. She really needed a friend to talk to. When she began searching for her identity, she did it on her own terms. This book could have been titled "The American's Daring Seduction," as Celina was really the one at risk. I also liked the rapport she developed with Massimo while in his home and the respect she gave him.
I have listened to two other performances by Nancy Linari for the same author. This is middle of the road.
I had a lingering response to this book. Whenever love stories of past and present meet, I ponder the love, regrets, and what-ifs of the past; then I imagine happy endings and cozy Christmases for the present. It makes me smile.
I started out disliking Lucca, but he grew on me. After all, he was only trying to protect his grandfather, though he went to extremes. But by the time they got to the gondola scene, he had me hooked.
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