To Rome With Love by Mandi Benet
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was an amazing, picturesque story that I received a free copy of in exchange for an honest review. To Rome with Love is almost all based in my beloved Rome, Italy where Gaby, a renowned chef who is in the middle of a divorce, is visiting her best friend Maria. They met when Gaby was studying in Rome many years previously and have managed to stay close for many, many years despite their physical distance from each other. Gaby is spending three weeks visiting Gaby and her husband Carlo and staying in an amazing palace that belongs to Carlo's family where part of it is open to the public for viewing and the rest are private apartments. Carlo's cousin Silvio, who was also raised in the palace, lives in an apartment across the hall with his son Luca and is also recently divorced.
Maria has thrown Gaby and Silvio together under the guise of Silvio helping Gaby prepare the rehearsal dinner for Carlo's daughter's wedding. They spend a great deal of time together planning for the dinner, shopping for the dinner, preparing things for the dinner and grow closer. Gaby is still extremely shy about becoming involved with another man after being devastated by her husband's unfaithful behavior. Silvio has been dating other women longer after his divorce but he is also not interested in going into a relationship. Neither of them can deny how attracted they are to each other. But, Gaby is doing a better job of fighting it than Silvio is so Gaby spends more time fighting off Silvio's advances.
At the same time that they are falling for each other, Gaby is falling in love with Rome again. I cannot blame her for that. Rome is a place worthy of visitors' and native Romans' love. To Rome with Love is an excellent armchair travel book with wonderful depictions of the palazzo's, ancient streets, trattoria's, people and food. The reader wants to see pictures of the places and food being depicted, if not actually going to visit and finding these places and dishes for themselves. It also is a wonderful romance that shows two people who both have had heartache from relationships as they fight falling for each other even though there does not seem to be much either of them can do about it. It is also a great story about how good people can be to total strangers that just need a bit of help. Mostly, it is a story that rings very true and which I look forward to digging out and reading over and over when I want to remember Rome, Italy.