To most people, princes, princesses, counts and dukes are found only in the pages of the most famous of fairytales. Crowns, priceless jewels and gilded thrones belong only in childhood dreams.
But for some, these frivolous fancies are truth.
For some, they are real life.
On Manhattan’s Upper East Side, people have always treated me as someone special. All because of my ancestral name and legacy. All because of a connection I share to our home country’s most important family of all.
I am Caresa Acardi, the Duchessa di Parma. A blue blood of Italy. I was born to marry well. And now the marriage date is set.
I am to marry into House Savona. The family that would have been the royals had Italy not abolished the monarchy in 1946. But to the aristocrats of my home, the abolition means nothing at all.
The Savonas still hold power where it counts most.
In our tight-knit world of money, status and masked balls, they are everything and more.
And I am soon to become one of them.
I am soon to become Prince Zeno Savona’s wife…
… or at least I was, until I met Achille.
And then everything changed.
[Book review originally featured on Ramblings of a Bookworm]
I am a huge fan of Tiliie Cole. I discovered her through the Sweet Home series and continued on to love all her works. When reading the synopsis for this book, I was a little apprehensive. Not because I thought the story would be poorly written, but rather that I had gotten attached to the darker side of her writing.
Within the first two chapters I was totally in. The story resembled a modern day fairy tale with princes, duchesses, and all sorts of blue-blooded royalty. I loved that it took place in Italy and brought with it the rich history of the country’s winemaking. The story centers around the beautiful tradition of winemaking and we get the chance to see behind the scenes.
Caresa is part of a blue-blood family where she has many responsibilities. A lot of those are more … obligations to her family and their legacy. She is about to enter into a marriage with a prince she has never met in order to keep her family’s reputation intact. The union between herself, and Prince Zeno, will help to restore faith in both families’ business.
As Caresa travels to Italy, she learns more about her future situation, more about winemaking, and more about herself. She discovers a secret while on the property, but more than that she truly finds herself.
I loved this story much more than I thought I would. It had so many elements in it which not only made me smile, but touched my heart. I will say that there was a point in the plot which I sort of predicated, and I was a little disappointed I was able to, but following that the story took some interesting turns. I also truly enjoyed the characters and their development. I’m hoping for some of these characters to get their own stories *cough* Zeno & Pia *cough*.
If you’re a fan of Tillie Cole, I recommend this story. It’s a little different from what we’re used to, but a beautiful story nonetheless. It is somewhat reminiscent of the Sweet Home series in writing, so it took me back to when I discovered my love of her books to begin with.