Line: Mills and Boon Modern
Release month UK/ North America: Jan 2010
The S-Factor: Sexy
Though Sarah Halliday is very ordinary, her dangerously attractive new boss is not content with her scrubbing the marble floors of his Tuscan palazzo….
Instead she finds herself catapulted into Lorenzo Cavalleri's star-studded life—with a wardrobe to match! Makeup masks her blushes, silk evening gowns flatter her fuller figure, but underneath Sarah's still the shy, frumpy housekeeper Lorenzo hired…and not the sophisticated bedroom siren he seems to be expecting….
The very talented India Grey has written the most incredible love story with a strong heroine and an equally strong hero set in a lovely location, Tuscany in Powerful Italian, Penniless Housekeeper. The title is misleading so don’t be fooled. This particular love story is simply delightful, amazing, and will have you crying buckets at the end.
One is immediately introduced to Sarah Halliday and her sweet daughter Lottie. At the beginning of the book you will learn that the little girls’ father is not present and is due to marry someone else. He doesn’t contribute to her support which makes it doubly hard on Sarah plus the fact that her occupation as a caterer, the jobs are few and far between. During her last job she dropped the engagement cake so she’s not working and money is tight.
How Lorenzo and Sarah met sets the theme of the story and my heart ached. Sarah, her beautiful step-sister and friends are at a bar for a bachelorise party. One of the friends has organized a scavenger hunt and the item at the top of the list is to find an eligible bachelor. As the evening begins, Sarah by accident meets Lorenzo and they kiss but due to poor self-esteem, Sarah thinks he’s laughing at her and flees. Of course he follows and sees her walking across a field and that brings to his mind the film he wants to produce based on an Englishmen’s novel which was written in this very location. He’s determined to get the film rights as this has been his dream for years.
Do you believe in coincidence and meeting again? Ms. Grey shifts early chapters from England to Tuscany and the countryside where her sister and future husband have a farm house, and where the wedding will take place. Due to lack of money, Sarah has agreed to cater the early events and the wedding feast as her present to her sister. As fate would have it, there is a horrible storm, the roof leaks and they are forced to seek help from a nearby neighbor who turns out to be Lorenzo, the same man Sarah kissed in England. He offers his home to her family, the wedding party and guests especially when he finds out that Sarah’s father is the very same man who wrote the book and she’s owns those rights.
Sarah is the most loveable character, she gives so much to her family and daughter. She cleans, cooks, is the most amazing mother and Lorenzo recognizes that in her. He sees both her inner and outer beauty. As the days before and after the wedding take place he does special things for both she and her daughter. And in the end, he offers her a chance to stay on in Italy as his housekeeper, hoping to soften her up so he can get the rights to her book. What he doesn’t count on is how much she and her daughter will come to mean to him.
Lorenzo Cavalleri is the most interesting Italian alpha. He was not the ruthless type; he was warm, creative, an accomplished film producer, recently divorced and had a few secrets. Two to be exact……his infertility and his desire for movie rights of her father’s book. He’s driven to produce the movie of his dreams yet he’s not ruthless about how that might occur. He finds Sarah’s luscious curves appealing, loves how she’s not afraid to enjoy food, sees what a good mother she is and tries to make things easier for her, while she’s preparing for her sister’s wedding. Lorenzo and Sarah were well matched and brought out the best in each other.
When he had to attend a movie premier in Venice, he asks Sarah to go with him, telling her they will also see his ex-wife. Sarah’s aware of how beautiful she is but to Lorenzo, its Sarah who is the beautiful one. She’s treated like an A-lister; she’s groomed, coiffed, made-up, designer gowns and all. However, he misses her natural style….her curls, her curvy figure, her non-made up face and then they come together and it’s all over for them both. However, like all love stories when it’s revealed to Sarah that he wanted the movie rights along, she’s devastated because she feels used and returns home to England.
Be prepared in the final chapters for tears when Lorenzo reveals how much Sarah and Lottie mean to him. It’s such a fabulous ending as only this extremely talented author can pen. India Grey makes this story so believable and weaves such warmth between Sarah, Lottie and Lorenzo, this book is destined for awards!
Hero Hotness Factor♥♥♥♥♥
Heroine Lovability Factor♥♥♥♥♥
Stickability Factor ♥♥♥♥♥
Reviewed by: Marilyn
Behind the Book:
Blog posts on PHS Book Club
More about the book at I(Heart)Presents