Book Review: Brava, Valentine written by Adriana Trigiani

Monday, May 17, 2010

Brava, Valentine debuted at #7 on the New York Times Bestseller List in February 2010. The second book in a three-part series by Adriana Trigiani, Brava, Valentine reintroduces the Angelini and Roncalli families, a colorful cast of supporting characters. Action takes place in Italy, New York City, and Buenos Aires ~ each presenting a backdrop of beautiful scenery and intricate storytelling.

A blanket of snow covers a small Italian village on the wedding day of Valentine's grandmother, Teodora. The wedding comes off without a hitch, but the antics afterward during the reception, and later at the Inn, provide a hilarious glimpse into a family's hierarchy and secrets.

Valentine must brace herself to run the Angelini Shoe Company by herself, but Teodora insists that Valentine's brother, Alfred, join forces with his sister to keep the family business afloat.

Valentine longs to be with Gianluca, the son of Dominic, who is marrying Teodora. The sexy Italian tries to woo Valentine, but she's a career girl at heart and returns to NYC to contemplate a new line of shoes. Together with company employee June and best friend Gabriel, Valentine works to develop her line.

By chance, she discovers another branch of her family lives in Buenos Aires and makes shoes and creates a scandal within her family. A surprise visit from Gianluca disrupts Valentine's business trip, and he tells her she needs to do some soul searching and decide what she ultimately wants from life.

Brava, Valentine is pure romance filled with sensual love letters and long-distance romance. Trigiani nails characters, giving a sense that these characters could be your family or best friend. Most readers will easily relate to several of the subplots and undertones, including the struggle between love and career and family hierarchy and how inlaws are treated.

Multiple pop culture references may date the book, and sometimes, those references make some of the storyline comparisons feel forced.

Otherwise, Brava, Valentine is a sexy and fun romance that shows that a strong, independent woman can still find love.
Review by WOW! Columnist/blogger LuAnn Schindler. Follow LuAnn on Twitter @luannschindler or visit her website


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