A delicious, sexy, laugh-out-loud modern romance about a newly single woman and her journey to find love again in ROMAN CRAZY from New York Times bestselling author Alice Clayton and debut author Nina Bocci (Gallery Books; on sale September 13, 2016; Trade Paperback $16.00).
Avery Bardot steps off the plane in Rome, looking for a fresh start. She’s left behind a soon-to-be ex-husband in Boston and plans to spend the summer with her best friend Daisy, licking her wounds—and perhaps a gelato or two. But when her American-expat friend throws her a welcome party on her first night, Avery’s thrown for a loop when she sees a man she never thought she’d see again: Italian architect Marcello Bianchi.
Marcello was the man—the one who got away. And now her past is colliding with her present, a present where she should be mourning the loss of her marriage and—hey, that fettuccine is delicious! And so is Marcello…
Slipping easily into the good life of summertime in Rome, Avery spends her days exploring a city that makes art historians swoon, and her nights swooning over her unexpected what was old is new again romance. It’s heady, it’s fevered, it’s wanton, and it’s crazy. But could this really be her new life? Or is it just a temporary reprieve before returning to the land of twin-set cardigans and crustless sandwiches?
A celebration of great friendship, passionate romance, and wonderful food, Roman Crazy is a lighthearted story of second chances and living life to the fullest.
“Life is a canvas for you to paint.”
I absolutely adore this quote because it illustrates exactly how life is meant to be lived; people are not supposed to merely exist in a monotonous routine; they’re not supposed to be simply an observer in their own life. Life is meant to be consumed with people’s passions, reveling in the highs and lows of life, being defined by what they’re made of and who they attach their life to; simply put, life is supposed to be lived by people’s needs and desires because without those things, their life will not be their own; it will be based on someone else’s choices and lived for someone’s hopes and dreams.
Avery Bardot lost sight of this idea. Through a series of promises and blunders, she became a dispassionate housewife who simply existed to be a part of her husband’s lifestyle – to play the part of devoted wife without getting anything in return, so when her world is turned upside down by other people’s choices, Avery finds herself ready for a makeover…ready to take back her life, put herself first, and live with passion. And there’s no better place to start Avery’s reinvention than a summer in Rome – a beautiful place that speaks to her artistic side and offers limitless opportunities for growth and rediscovering who she truly is inside.
I’ve never been to Rome, but I sure as heck want to go after reading Roman Crazy. The city is one of the main characters in this book; it reignites Avery’s passions and allows her a second chance not only at doing the things she loves but also reconnecting with the man who consumed her nine years ago – a man she’s never forgotten although she tried like hell to make good on her previous plans despite the hole in her heart from leaving her Italian lover all those years ago.
Alice Clayton and Nina Bocci do a wonderful job of showcasing all of Rome’s known and hidden treasures; as Avery’s adventures lead her to roam the many areas of the city, readers come along for the fun and experience the magnificent food, rich culture, and beautiful architecture that Avery fills her days and nights with, and we also witness the ways in which Avery reignites her artsy side and also the side that yearns for a relationship filled with uninhibited passion, just like the one she had 9 years ago for four glorious months in Spain.
Roman Crazy is definitely a second chance romance and that part of the story builds slowly; there’s a lot of hurt to work through in order for Avery and Marcello to have another opportunity to see if their feelings for one another are worth the risk of a second broken heart, and Clayton and Bocci show the couple’s fears and hesitations and build upon the idea that sacrificing and forgiving some things for The One just might allow them to have a new life together.
While reuniting with Marcello is central to Avery’s reinvention, her personal growth is just as or more important than their reunion because in order for their new connection to stay strong, Avery must revel in the things she loves and feel free to go anywhere and do anything just because she can and just because she wants to and this is exactly what I felt as I read Avery’s story. She’s lighter and freer in Rome and absolutely more expressive and headstrong, and this is what she needed in order to set herself free from the mistakes and constraints of her old life.
Roman Crazy is an excellent second chance story – a second chance at love and at life, and it helps readers to recognize how amazing it is to be an active participant in one’s life instead of simply a spectator. Life is meant to be lived and that message is delivered a multitude of times throughout Avery’s story!
A complimentary copy was provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
4.5 Poison Apples
Praise for Alice Clayton and Nina Bocci
“There are books that make you laugh out loud, make you teary, make you hot and bothered, make you smile. And then there are books that make you want to crawl inside them and live within their pages. That’s what Roman Crazy is.”
—New York Times bestselling author of the Tangled series, Emma Chase
“Roman Crazy is a sexy, steamy slow burn. Pack your suitcase and get ready for a wild ride through the streets of Rome with a hot-as-sin leading man. I want to clone Marcello and keep him forever. A visceral reading experience that takes you from the cobbled streets of Rome to the bedroom and everywhere in between. Get your fans out! Five stars of smolder.”
—Helena Hunting, New York Times bestselling author
“Bocci and Clayton know how to craft an amazing romance! The beautiful descriptions of Rome will make you feel like you are on vacation. This book it a spa visit and a best friend all wrapped up into a funny, sexy, life-affirming bundle. 1-Click the heck out of Roman Crazy.”
—Debra Anastasia, author of the Poughkeepsie series
“Roman Crazy is a sexy, delicious tour through Italy as well as the human heart. Marcello and Avery are as impossible to resist as a double scoop of gelato. Like fine Italian food, Roman Crazy should be gobbled up as quickly as possible.”
—Sarina Bowen, USA Today bestselling author of Rookie Move
About the Authors
Alice Clayton worked in the cosmetics industry for over a decade before picking up a pen (read: laptop). She enjoys gardening but not weeding, baking but not cleaning up, and finally convinced her long-time boyfriend to marry her. And she finally got her Bernese Mountain Dog.
Nina Bocci is a novelist, publicist, eternal optimist, unabashed lipgloss enthusiast, constant apologist, and a hopeless romanticist. She has too many college degrees that she’s not using and a Lego addiction that she blames on her son.
GALLERY BOOKS is an imprint dedicated to publishing a variety of must-read books on a wide array of topics. Launched in February 2010, Gallery is designed to showcase established voices and to introduce emerging new ones—in both fiction and nonfiction genres. Some of Gallery Books’ bestselling titles include Still Alice by Lisa Genova, Gunn’s Golden Rules by Tim Gunn, Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me Chelsea by Chelsea Handler, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren, Mrs. Kennedy and Me by Clint Hill, and The Tucci Cookbook by Stanley Tucci.
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