Silhouette Desire #1784
ISBN-13: 978-0-373-76784-7
ISBN-10: 0-373-76784-6
March 2007
Short Contemporary Romance

The Amalfi Coast, Italy - Present Day

Regina Tomei is on vacation in Italy , virtually forced there by her family. Back home in Austin , Texas , Gina had considered her options and was on the verge of using one of the eight vials of E-321 sperm she'd bought. E-321 contains sperm from a donor she and her friend Lucy both consider perfect, and Lucy is now pregnant by E-321. But when Gina's father hears what she plans to do, he urges her to go to Italy first and find true love. There're now three days left of her vacation and she's ready to go home, until a handsome man she's seen with several striking women over the past several days eyes her in the bar. Taking into account the gorgeous cars, beautiful women, and expensive yacht she's seen him going around, he's probably a gigolo, and looks to be a darned good one, too. Dare she look in his eyes, and meet his price…whatever it is?

The gorgeous man is, in truth, Prince Nico Romano, son of Principessa Donna Gloriana Lucia Romano, from a long line of Italian aristocrats. Nico must marry someone with status, pedigree, and well, let's not be crass, but...lots of money. The day before Nico is to commit himself to becoming engaged to the perfect candidate, he takes a risk on meeting Regina . Ah, life will be boring and unfulfilling, but surely one small fling can cause no harm, especially when the woman is as interesting and yet as childlike as Regina . Nico goes along with the "gigolo" story -- she makes it sound so cute -- but the next day the truth comes out. But by then Regina has no qualms; Nico's lovemaking and attention are what she craves until she must leave Italy . But, of course, what else will Regina leave with?

As Regina and Nico must come to terms with what life has brought to them, we learn the type of people they are. Regina has always felt her younger sister was loved more than she was, and that she even stole the one true love of her life. No matter how hard she tries, Gina feels she has always been second best. Nico is smothered by the things expected of him, and longs for that sweet rush of love before he must enter into a serious and passionless relationship. What course will Regina take, and how will Nico handle what is expected of him versus what his heart desires?

Alternating between Regina 's and Nico's points of view, THE AMALFI BRIDE deals with modern issues in a unique way. Regina wants to start a family but has no husband and decides to use artificial insemination. Then, just like the fairy tales, she meets the man of her dreams. Nico's an Italian aristocrat, known in all the newspapers and followed by paparazzi everywhere, but knows where his duty lies. In finding a correct wife and adding to the family coffers, he pleases his mother. With deft characterization and a winning style, Ann Major helps us to take a peek at the troubles that overtake Regina and Nico and worry along with them as to what is the best course of action to take.

Secondary characters fill the story with interesting perspectives. There are Regina 's family and her friend Lucy, and Nico's mother, the epitome of an Italian society snob. But Regina and Nico really carry the whole story with the bubble of love that descends upon them.

THE AMALFI BRIDE harks back to the old stories of years ago, innocent virgins meeting wealthy businessman, only now there's a slight twist. The girl isn't so innocent, the man is torn, and the sex is more than polite kisses. If you want to enjoy the Amalfi coast vicariously this month, THE AMALFI BRIDE is certainly written for you.

Carolyn Crisher