I am my best self, the most alive I can be, when I'm creating in the shop. I would never admit this to a man I was interested in, but it's the truth. Love is not the main course in the banquet of my life. It's dessert. My mother would say that's why I'm still single. And my sisters would say that I'm lying. But I know this to be true, that love is my treat, my tiramisu, because I'm living it.
I have not been tempted to scrap my life in Greenwich Village and get on a plane and go to Italy to be with Gianluca, even though I crave the idea of him. I know about women who drop the lives they lead in one place to go and be with a man in another. I'm fascinated by their impulse to choose the possibility of love over the certainty of work. I would never leave my work behind for a man, no matter how scrumptious he might be. I am, however, interested in romance on my own terms, and in my own time. I'm no master craftsman when it comes to love, strictly an apprentice in waiting.
-Brava, Valentine by Adriana Trigiani
As Brava, Valentine begins, snow falls like glitter over Tuscany at the wedding of Valentine's grandmother Teodora to her longtime love, Dominic. Valentine's dreams are dashed when Gram announces that Alfred, "the prince," Valentine's only brother and nemesis, has been named her partner at Angelini Shoes. Devastated, Valentine falls into the arms of Gianluca, a sexy Tuscan tanner who made his romantic intentions known on the Isle of Capri. Their delicious romance heats up, fueled by Gianluca's heartfelt love letters, but more than an ocean keeps them apart.
When a once-in-a-lifetime business opportunity takes Valentine from the winding streets of Greenwich Village to the sun-kissed cobblestones of Buenos Aires, she discovers a long-buried secret hidden deep within a family scandal. Once unearthed, the truth rocks the Roncallis, yet Valentine is determined to hold her family together. Even more, she longs to create a family of her own but is torn between a past love that nurtured her and a new one that promises to sustain her.
Brava, Valentine is Trigiliani's best novel yet, delivering a hilarious and poignant mix of colorful worlds and unforgettable characters as only she can create them, proving once again she is "one of the reigning queens of women's fiction."
Brava, Valentine is the fun, satisfying sequel to Very Valentine. Adriana Trigiani develops the characters and their relationships with sympathy and complexity.
With Teodora's wedding, Valentine is now the head of Angelini Shoe Company and working with her brother, Alfred. The sibling rivalry and resentment still exist, but their close proximity gives Valentine and Alfred a chance to see each other's strengths.
While Teodora and Dominic have married and have effectively retired, Valentine and Gianluca carry their former mentors' workloads. Busier than ever, it seems unlikely that Valentine or Gianluca they'll be able to plan a visit any time soon. But they find other ways to stay in touch and develop their romance. Nearby or far apart, the road to love for Valentine doesn't run smoothly. But Valentine's story keeps us engrossed throughout.
A satisfying sequel to Very Valentine and equally hard to put down, Brava, Valentine is a book that you'll want to re-read and share with friends!
ISBN-10: 0061257079 - Hardcover $25.99
Publisher: Harper; 1 edition (February 9, 2010), 352 pages.
Review copy provided by TLC Book Tours and the publisher.
About the Author, courtesy of the publisher:
Adriana Trigiani is an award-winning playwright, television writer, and documentary filmmaker. The author of bestselling Big Stone Gap series and the bestselling novels Very Valentine, Lucia, Lucia, The Queen of the Big Time, and Rococo; she has also written and will direct the big-screen version of her first novel, Big Stone Gap. Viola in Reel Life, the first novel of her young adult series debuted in September 2009. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.
Thank you so much to Trish and TLC Book Tours for this review opportunity!