My First Review of “Italian Charade”

First off let me say, this is my first book review (online) and I am no expert. I’m a fellow self published author and this is only my opinion. If you would like a review of a book, please see my review policy.

I recently purchased “Italian Charade” by Ellen Wolfe and finished reading it on my Kindle over the weekend. This was a cheap read for $0.99 and a fairly quick read.

Claire Benson arrives in Italy, the sun parched heat of the Mediterranean matched only by the passionate, hot blooded and larger than life tycoon that claims her as his. Andrea di Rossi, a man powerful, ruthless and absolutely in control is furious with her for coming to the wedding of his sister. With an unstoppable force he makes sure that Claire understands exactly how far is he prepared to go should she chose to ignore his less than negotiable ultimatum. Her past affair with the groom a threat he isn’t willing to ignore, he forces her to take part in the charade he created, her resistance swept away with one single move of his commanding hand…

Claire Benson is a lawyer by trade who was all set to marry a man she had been in love with her entire life, Paul. Claire and Paul made plans to marry however, Paul felt pressured by a business merger that was set to infuse his company with cash. To secure his position with the new company, Paul dumps Claire via a note, impregnates and marries Andrea di Rossi’s sister. Andrea di Rossi is a man that has run a successful company for years, is wealthy, and does his homework on all potential business partners, especially those marrying into the family. When Claire travels to Italy on Paul’s wedding day to confirm for herself that it is really over, Andrea sees a perfect opportunity to blackmail Claire into being used as a pawn to reveal Paul’s true intentions to his sister. Andrea has set the trap perfectectly as he has already talked about Claire to his family and needs her to play her part. Despite the charade, the more time they spend together, the more the two are drawn together.

If you’ve read some other reviews, those posted on Amazon and elsewhere, other reviewers have made comparisons to this book and In Bed With The Boss by Susan Napier. I would say to the author, “Don’t sweat it. Seems like you’re in good company considering the reviews of the Napier’s book.” However, some suggest that perhaps the author got her idea from the book. Plot as well as romance stories have been retold many times and similar, if not main key points, play out in other stories told by different authors.

As for the story itself, I will honestly say I thought it was ok. I can’t say I loved the book or that the characters stayed with me long after I finished reading the story but at the end, I thought it was ok. I thought it was wordy at times and my first impression of the hero was that he was overbearing. Was there character transformation? Yes. I thought the hero was a jerk initially but at the end, I thought he was a little bit more human. The heroine….yeah, there was a transformation but it took a long time to occur and she was forever trying to prove she was tougher than she really was. The way Claire continually stuck her chin up to an overbearing, pompous jerk like di Rossi only showed signs of stubborness rather than strength. I’d give the book a 3 *** (star) review.

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