“Giving up on the Romano del Mare was like giving up on the dream of finding love, and it broke Adeline’s heart” (p. 13).
This is the first time I read a book by Leslie North, and honestly, I am so happy that I was able to immerse myself into the ‘Italian Billionaire’s Stubborn Lover’. ‘Italian Billionaire’s Stubborn Lover’ does not disappoint. North brings forth a strong cast of characters that enables the reader to be introduced to the remaining Romano brothers that will appear in the subsequent books within the ‘Romano Brother Series’. As the ‘Italian Billionaire’s Stubborn Lover’ is the first book in North’s new series, I thought it did a very good job in both setting the scene- i.e. the Romano family, their background and their relationship to each other – through the ups and downs of the romantic relationship between the main characters, Nicolo Romano and Adeline Peluso.
Adeline Peluso is introduced as one of the most successful real estate agents in Sicily, having moved full-time to Sicily from America, in order to ground herself in her heritage. Sicily, for Adeline, is a place where adventure and romance ensues; having been the backdrop for her grandparents wonderful and fulfilling marriage. As a character, I thoroughly enjoyed Adeline. She was unapologetically herself and did not change any aspect of her personality for the approval of Nicolo. She knew what she wanted and she ensured that she succeeded and reached her goals, and I adored that about Adeline so completely. Her character remained true to the woman the reader is introduced to in the beginning of the novel with the addition that she was more emotionally mature.
Nicolo Romano was not quite your typical extra-macho-masculine male lead. He was much more in tune with his emotions which allowed for a very mature and poignant relationship, which ensured that the story itself was intriguing and left you wanting so much more. Nicolo was quite an interesting and solid character; I found myself wanting to know more; more about his background, about how he became to be a successful real estate developer, and about how he interacts with his brothers. Nicolo was such a wonderfully created character, that I was in slight awe.
Discussing the overall storyline, I felt that it gave a really strong narrative that was steeped in realism. The romance, the doubt, the insecurities and the friendship between Nicolo and Adeline was well-written and beautifully rendered. I thoroughly enjoyed the use of the hotel Romano del Mare as the point where the most significant events of Nicolo’s and Adeline’s relationship, is tied to the hotel. The hotel itself is a part of the Romano family heritage, and Nicolo and his brothers want to sell it as they do not have the time nor the inclination to settle down and manage the hotel. Adeline is the real estate agent tasked to sell this hotel, but instead, tries her absolute hardest for Nicolo to understand the importance of the hotel, not only because of its heritage to the Romano family but to the heritage, it occupies in Sicily. Nicolo and Adeline’s relationship occurs with the hotel Romano del Mare as the backdrop to their love for one another, and it really is a beautiful addition.
However, one little thing that I could critique was the dialogue which occurred during the scenes of Nicolo and Adeline’s love-making. It was quite unrealistic, although, this novel isn’t overrun with love-scenes, more so the narrative aims to solidify the relationship and the friendship between Adeline and Nicolo through dialogue, which was fantastic and added to the emotional poignancy of the story. Thus, it was not a major issue within the novel.
The ending was adorable and perfectly romantic, and I highly recommend readers who enjoy the likes of Nora Roberts, Erica Ridley, and Bella Andre, to immerse themselves in this story.
Until next time! Happy reading!
NOTE: I received a free copy of the Italian Billionaire’s Stubborn Lover thanks to NetGalley, for an honest review.