Title: An American Girl in Italy
Author: Aubrie Dionne
Publisher: Harper Impulse
Release Date: May 2014
Length: 182 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: CBB Book Promotions
To see all of the goings on for the American Girl in Italy, visit the tour schedule.
Surely any girl would kill for the chance to tour Italy’s most famous cities for the summer? To experience the warmth of the Tuscan sun, the culinary delights of the pizzerias and caffés and to stroll along the cobbled streets of the City of Love itself…
Any girl apart from ambitious oboist Carly Davis that is! For her, the Easthampton Civic Symphony’s latest European tour is one massive inconvenience. She can’t even put her smartphone down long enough to snap a picture of the Coliseum.
Only, there’s one Italian attraction that Carly hadn’t quite expected to be a part of the tourist route…
Tour guide Michelangelo is as dark and delicious as Carly’s morning espresso. And when she needs a few lessons in the language of love to land her an important gig, he’s a more than capable tutor.
But with her promising career back in Boston, can Carly really afford to lose her heart in Italy?
Oh, Italy. The history. The monuments. The scenery. The music. The unexpected romances.
Carly is a struggling musician, on tour with her orchestra in Italy. In the music biz, you’ve gotta teach, play gigs, and be in about four orchestras to be a somebody. So when one of Carly’s orchestras sends out a do-or-die, tour in Italy to keep your full-time status, there’s nothing she can do but go, while dreading and cringing how much it will put her music life in Boston down the gutter.
She’s worked so hard to get here, she’s not letting it go without a fight. While trying to do just that, she comes off as a very rude and pissy American to her tour guide…who is not really a tour guide at all, and Michealangelo struggles with keeping that hidden for the entire length of the orchestra’s tour. When Michealangelo is stuck with the rude and phone-checking Carly from the airport to the hotel, they form a strange friendship. Over the course of the tour, he lets certain things about his true identity slip to Carly.
Alaina is Carly’s aria accompaniment, the soloist to her oboe. They don’t get along in even the loosest sense of the word. Carly struggles and strives for all she has; Alaina flashes her bank account with several zeroes on the end and gets what she wants…which is rumored to how she got her soloist spot with the orchestra. Carly is not looking for anything but her three paid shows in Italy; Alaina is looking for love. Carly agrees to spend extra time with Alaina to work on their aria, and they kind of bond in a mean-girl, nice-girl way.
To make matters worse, Alaina is Carly’s roommate for the bulk of the tour. Yep. To make things complicated, Carly’s feelings get hurt right off the bat, but Michelangelo doesn’t want to do anything to distress any of the orchestra’s members because he can’t afford to lose the paycheck that comes with being their tour guide – and that means especially keeping Alaina happy.
To make matters even worse, this European tour is Alaina’s hope to skyrocket her stagnant career back in the States…and when things don’t go quite according to plan, it’s no bueno for Carly.
When Carly is stressed about an impromptu gig on one of her free nights, she nabs Michelangelo to learn as much Italian as she can. She doesn’t want Dizzy DJ’s first international gig scheduling to be her last paying gig and fall from grace.
Michelangelo proves himself to the Easthampton Civic Symphony time and again, but when his real identity is revealed, things happen.
Carly and Alaina also have a unique situation: Alaina is looking for love in all the wrong places, and Carly doesn’t even notice when it comes calling at her door. Unfortunately for both of them, that “love” is none other than the one and only Michelangelo.
Michelangelo as an individual character fascinated me, as does the mindset of Italian culture. I’m Italian, and the more I read of even fictionalized settings of Italy, I want to move there. Life is so different, so vibrant, so real in Italy. Heritage and family matter, loyalty and friendships are strong. Compassion and kindness reign supreme. Michelangelo represents all of these in spades.
Carly and Michelangelo were such flawed, realistic characters that I couldn’t help but love them both, although Carly did annoy me quite a bit with her whole gotta-check-my-phone-24/7 thing. Their relationship starts with a classic misrepresentation, but pretty spot-on for Americans. (Sorry, guys.) Throughout the book, this notion that Michelangelo has of Carly and her orchestra members is challenged, questioned and reformed. I loved Aubrie Dionne included this aspect in the novel.
This novel is a fast read, with beautiful scenery, lovable characters and just a twinge of girl hate that it’s worth the read..and finding out what Michelangelo’s secret is! 😉
*****About the Author*****
Aubrie Dionne is an author and flutist in New England. Her books have received the highest ratings from Romance Times Magazine, as well as Night Owl Reviews and Two Lips Reviews. She has guest blogged on the USA Today Happily Ever After Blog and the Dear Teen Me blog and signed books at the Boston Book Festival, Barnes and Noble, and the Romance Writers of America conference. Her writings have appeared in Mindflights, Niteblade, Silver Blade, Emerald Tales, Hazard Cat, Moon Drenched Fables, A Fly in Amber, and Aurora Wolf. Her books are published by Astraea Press, Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Publishing, Inkspell Publishing, Lyrical Press, and Gypsy Shadow Publishing. When she’s not writing, Aubrie teaches flute and plays in orchestras.
3 winners get Italy themed notepads (US)