Wednesday, July 19, 2017

An American in Venice by Luca Domani

Tom has always been steady and predictable—a formula he’s sure will lead him to success in his career. When his method fails him and he loses his job, he throws caution to the wind for the first time in his life and books a European holiday.

Maybe Tom shouldn’t be surprised that Cupid’s arrow finds him in one of the most romantic cities in the world: Venice, Italy. When he encounters Giovanni working in the family pizzeria, it’s lust at first sight. Their time together touring the city is so magical it feels like a dream. But Tom is shy while Giovanni is charming and flirtatious. Tom has a newfound freedom with his unemployment, while family burdens weigh heavily on Giovanni. Add culture differences and miscommunication into the mix, and their brief romance might fade as quickly as the beautiful dream it resembles.

World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.

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Dreamspinner Press

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is a sweet holiday fantasy. Visiting a flooded Venice in November, an American tourist meets a handsome Italian chef. The story is very short – but so is Tom’s stay in Venice.

An engineer at home, Tom admits that he is a fairly non-descript thirtysomething tourist. I found his typical American tourist habits pretty funny at times – Tom is nervous about the unfamiliar Italian food, he’s anxious about drinking too much, and he’s a little too worried about safety.

If Tom is ordinary, half Japanese and half Italian Giovanni is a gorgeous fantasy. He is possibly a little too good to be true. I love the way he challenges Tom and teases him gently as he introduces him to his more relaxed European culture, his beautiful city, and his wonderful food. But Tom quickly recognises that Giovanni isn’t as fulfilled as he could be and he challenges him back.

I felt that too much of this very short story was spent detailing Tom’s experiences as a tourist in Venice. Venice is gorgeous, but at times this story just lists a series of famous places or recounts all the ingredients in a meal. At the same time, there is limited character development and neither Tom or Giovanni ever becomes more than an American tourist or an Italian chef.

The romance here is sweet and pretty low heat. This is a fantasy romance and Giovanni is an attentive and gentle fantasy hero. However, these two feel much older than they are supposed to be. Giovanni grew up in America so it isn’t a language barrier that makes them feel overly formal together. As the story covers less than a week in their lives, this was always going to be a happy for now (HFN) and the author somehow manages to make it a believable ending.

This is a very short, but sweet story.

We meet Tom, recently laid off from his job and taking an opportunity to revisit Venice, where he went as a teenager. This time alone, and there out of season, we get to know a lot about the tourist elements of Venice. He is a bit of a stereotypical American abroad I think, but it is quite entertaining.

When Tom meets Giovanni (Gio), the chef in the pizzeria by his hotel, he makes a bit of a scene. But rather than shy away, he tries to make things right... and the two of them give their budding connection a chance.

There is a twist in the tale at the end, which gives the reader the perfect chance to flex their imagination and fulfill their romantic requirements.

Luca has been writing stories since childhood. Although he has a doctorate in engineering, he has never given up on his dream of being a writer. He adores science fiction and is partial to postapocalyptic epics with zombie hordes, but at heart, he is a hopeless romantic. Luca is married to his high school sweetheart, who is his muse and the love of his life. They reside in Massachusetts with their dog and cat. An American in Venice is his second publication outside of a technical journal.

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Dreamspinner Press  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of An American in Venice (World of Love) by Luca Domani to read and review.

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