Sunday, 10 April 2011

Encore Valentine by Adriana Trigiani

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After her grandma's marriage and move to Italy,Valentine Roncalli becomes joint owner of Angelini's Shoes with her brother, Alfred.  Although not a partnership made in heaven, the determination to expand the business takes her to Buenos Aires to meet a long lost division of the family.  Gianluca, her Italian leather tanner and part time love interest is on and off the scene, but her friends and families marriages are under strain too and will this affect the choices she makes?
I've read most of Adriana Trigiani's books and loved most of them..."Lucia, Lucia" is a particular favourite! This one is the follow up from Very Valentine, which I read about 18 months ago and really liked.  The world of couture shoe making was interesting and the typically Trigiani over the top family was great entertainment.  Unfortunately, this one didn't quite hot the spot and I was a bit disappointed.
Firstly, I don't remember Valentine being such a wet whinge in the first book!  I found her increasingly irritating, mainly due to the fact that she has everything going for her (business, supportive family and friends and gorgeous Italian bloke panting for her!) and yet she dithers around feeling unsure or just moaning.  As a slightly more mature chick-lit heroine (35 years old) I wanted her to get a grip!  The shoe aspect of the book is less important in this novel, but the whole Buenos Aires section seemed a bit of a red herring and didn't really lead anywhere - unless there's a further book planned??!  Gianluca is gorgeous, but totally two-dimensional by being too perfect; okay, I know I like my flawed heroes and so maybe he's not my type (novelly speaking), but he's a paragon of patience as well as being far too well dressed and charming!  Quite honestly I wouldn't have blamed him for going off with Carlotta the Mink lady.  The two redeeming characters are June and Gabriel and even they fall into chick-lit stereotyping at times.
So to sum up - it's okay, inoffense and a light read but Trigiani has done soooo much better and am a bit "meh!" about this one.