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Carissima (2013)

Pia Santore is a young woman interning for the summer in New York for a celebrity magazine. She is staying with her Italian aunt in Astoria, Queens, hoping to escape the pain she still feels from the loss of her younger sister. Francesca Donata is a famous Italian actress. She has retired from acting and has moved to Astoria for the summer, in hopes of reconciling with her estranged sister. Pia, with the help of a local artist with ties to Francesca's family, convinces Francesca to grant her a series of interviews. As Pia digs into Francesca's past, she finds betrayal, lies and manipulation. Pia and Francesca are so different, yet they are connected because of their inability to forgive themselves for the past and find happiness in their own life. This novel returns the reader to Astoria, the location of the author's debut novel, Bella Fortuna. Alternating between Pia and Francesca's point of view, the author has written a wonderful story about two strong women and their relationships with their sisters. Romance readers will be delighted with the love interests of the two women. (AO)

Bella Fortuna (2012)

Bella Fortuna tells the story of the Deluca family. Matriarch Olivia and her husband immigrated to the United States years ago from Sicily. The couple opened a tailor shop in Astoria, Queens. The shop has now transformed into a custom bridal boutique where widow Olivia and her three daughters design beautiful gowns. Olivia's oldest daughter, Valentina, is engaged to marry Michael Carello, the man she has loved since she was 10 years old. As the wedding date approaches, Valentina finds herself facing unimaginable betrayal and heartbreak. Valentina travels to the romantic city of Venice and reevaluates the meaning of love. When a tragedy forces her back to Queens, Valentina confronts some of her past pain and chooses forgiveness. This is a beautifully written story that will make the reader fall in love with Valentina and her entire family. (AO)

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