Friday, January 3, 2014
4.0 out of 5 stars -- It amazes me how I ended up liking this series even though I can't honestly say that I really like the character of Valentine Roncalli! Most of the time I want to shake her, but I usually end up empathizing with her struggles and challenges. This series continues where the first book left off as Valentine's grandmother and mentor in the shoe company marries her love and moves to Italy leaving Valentine her business, her building, and the chance to make Angelini Shoes grow and prosper. The trouble starts when dear Gram designates Alfred, Valentine's older know-it-all brother, as Valentine's partner in the business. They've never gotten along -- he even tried to get Gram to sell the building, but there they are left, stuck trying to turn a profit together in a bad economy.
The other difficulty is that Valentine has met a man -- and since she has some trust issues, she can't commit to him because she has come to believe that men can't be faithful.
Meanwhile there's a lot of fun in this huge Italian family with their squabbles and foibles -- some truly memorable characters.
I loved the descriptions of the food, the scenery, and the details about making shoes. I do have a minor complaint -- I don't speak Italian and it irritates me when I have to stop to look up words in the online translator! And yes, I have to do that because I want to know, not guess.
I'm off to start the last in the series! Enjoy!