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An enjoyable tale of loss, lust, and love with a dollop of gravlax.

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Petruzziello’s debut romantic comedy tells a delicious tale of an American’s adventures abroad as a culinary public relations specialist looking for true love.

Alex Corso’s reputation as a PR whiz lands him a job in the heart of Italy working for Eleanora Persini at Zero Otto Marketing. Soon, he’s rubbing elbows with Europe’s most popular television cooking personalities and sidestepping paparazzi. For Alex, the opportunity is a dream come true—in part because it allows him to meet his secret crush: Amanda Jones, a famous actress-turned-cookbook author. At the same party, he’s assigned to manage the Danish television star and cook Pernille Bjørn, and soon afterward, his life becomes a whirlwind. Over the next several days, he rescues Pernille from an obnoxious male model; makes love to a flirty barista named Patrizia;navigates a friends-with-benefits situation with an estranged ex-girlfriend, Emily; and juggles orders from his no-nonsense boss. Along the way, Alex is wooed and wowed by other women in the whimsical Cin Cin café; in the Largo di Torre Argentin, an outdoor square in Rome; and in his own apartment. Who will capture Alex’s heart? Stories of love and humor in this setting come easily to Petruzziello, who briefly lived in Rome himselfin the fall of 2011. He engagingly combines the Italian milieu of last year’s My Italian Bulldozer by Alexander McCall Smith with the self-starter message of Hester Browne’s 2006 novel The Little Lady Agency. That said, it can be a little heavy on the drama at times; for example, Alex and Emily repeatedly have the same “heavy discussion” about the status of their relationship.Still, it’s a fun and easy read overall that shows that even though the recipe for love is complicated, it’s one that’s worth the prep time.  

An enjoyable tale of loss, lust, and love with a dollop of gravlax. 

Pub Date: Aug. 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-73506-540-3

Page Count: 314

Publisher: Magnusmade

Review Posted Online: May 30, 2018

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Wacky plot keeps the pages turning and enduring schmaltzy romantic sequences.

Sisters work together to solve a child-abandonment case.

Ellie and Julia Cates have never been close. Julia is shy and brainy; Ellie gets by on charm and looks. Their differences must be tossed aside when a traumatized young girl wanders in from the forest into their hometown in Washington. The sisters’ professional skills are put to the test. Julia is a world-renowned child psychologist who has lost her edge. She is reeling from a case that went publicly sour. Though she was cleared of all wrongdoing, Julia’s name was tarnished, forcing her to shutter her Beverly Hills practice. Ellie Barton is the local police chief in Rain Valley, who’s never faced a tougher case. This is her chance to prove she is more than just a fading homecoming queen, but a scarcity of clues and a reluctant victim make locating the girl’s parents nearly impossible. Ellie places an SOS call to her sister; she needs an expert to rehabilitate this wild-child who has been living outside of civilization for years. Confronted with her professional demons, Julia once again has the opportunity to display her talents and salvage her reputation. Hannah (The Things We Do for Love, 2004, etc.) is at her best when writing from the girl’s perspective. The feral wolf-child keeps the reader interested long after the other, transparent characters have grown tiresome. Hannah’s torturously over-written romance passages are stale, but there are surprises in store as the sisters set about unearthing Alice’s past and creating a home for her.

Wacky plot keeps the pages turning and enduring schmaltzy romantic sequences.

Pub Date: March 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-345-46752-3

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

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A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

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