Roman Crazy, by Nina Bocci & Alice Clayton: A Review

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Roman Crazy: My Review

Roman Crazy (Broads Abroad, #1)Roman Crazy by Nina Bocci and Alice Clayton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Serendipity: the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.
synonyms: (happy) chance, (happy) accident, fluke; luck, good luck, good fortune, fortuity, providence; happy coincidence; usage: “the consequence of serendipity is sometimes a brilliant discovery“*

*for example, the discovery of a book that makes you happy to be alive. Roman Crazy is one of those books for me, and this is why:

Avery Bardot didn’t go to Rome looking for love. She went to Rome to discover herself, apart from all of the stereotypes that had come to define her life: garden clubs, society luncheons, family gatherings, and exquisite boredom. A woman who felt like, and had gradually become little more than attractive arm candy for her wealthy, successful, recently-discovered-cheating husband. Avery wasn’t looking for someone to sweep her off her feet, to rescue her from boredom or loneliness, or to “complete” her. She was looking for a second chance at life, on her own terms. And she found it.

The fact that she also found Marcello — a lover from a happier time, the man she let go of nine years before — and proceeded to fall head-over-heels in love with him again was pure, sweet serendipity. Call it fate, call it destiny, call it what you want – to me, it was a magical happenstance. And I loved experiencing it with her every step of the way.

Several of my favorite authors — all much more articulate than I — have reviewed Roman Crazy, and loved it as much as I did. It’s hard to follow such glowing, succinct reviews. So I’ll sum it up: Roman Crazy is THE most entertaining, light-hearted, genuinely heartfelt romance I’ve read in a very long time. It’s an ultimate reading experience for the end of summer, precisely because it lacks mind-bending twists or the deep, angsty drama of darker romances. I can only imagine what a pleasure it was to write, because I could feel the creativity, camaraderie, and genuine fun pouring off of every page. It reads like a summer vacation feels: refreshing, warm, relaxing, and simply beautiful.

The visual imagery is so stunning that the characters came to life in a setting so perfectly laid out that it feels like a virtual trip to Rome. The sights and sounds of the city; the scents of the flowers, the clay, the markets and fresh paint; the taste of the food; the fragile beauty of ancient tapestries and frescoes was all so vividly described that I lost myself in the experience. The intensity of every character’s feelings – be it embarrassment, delight, anger, confusion, happiness or sexual ecstasy – were perfectly woven within the story, making the entire package powerfully real on every level.

Of course I fell in love with Marcello; you can’t help but fall in love with Marcello! But I loved every quirk of every character, even Daniel, Avery’s ex, because they were all so relatable and approachable. And even in its very few, slightly darker moments, there is an underlying steadiness, a seamlessness, that made the story flow effortlessly from scene to scene. Other than imagining Alice and Nina laughing their way through parts of the manuscript, there is little evidence that Roman Crazy was co-authored, because it is so tightly woven it’s an artistic tapestry unto itself.

Roman Crazy is a deeply passionate love story, with touches of gentle humor; but it is so much more. It’s a story of steadfast friendship, self-discovery, maturity, and awakening. It’s deeply satisfying in every way. I can’t wait to see what the other “Broads Abroad” come up with as the series continues, but I’d give anything to hide away in their luggage.

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Paula Radell

Always a passionate reader and a somewhat more casual writer, Paula Radell started her first book review and promotions blog, Curl Up and Read, in September of 2013. In early 2014, she left a career in nursing to become a freelance project management consultant. She also turned her part-time hobby into a full-time passion by becoming a freelance editor, publicist, and a hopeful author. She is a Goodreads Librarian, Group Moderator, and a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association. She has also taken advanced internet and social media marketing certificate courses at the University of San Francisco. Born and raised near the beaches of southeastern Virginia, Paula now lives in Mendocino County, California with her husband Ray, a couple of stray tabby cats, Matthew & Diana, and a 2-year old rescue Greyhound, Willow. When she is not catering to the dog’s every whim, touring and tasting the latest California sparkling wine vintages with Ray, or sitting in Starbucks reading a great book, you can find Paula at her laptop – writing, editing, reviewing or avidly promoting the books and authors she loves. Two releases are planned in the coming year: Where Angels Lie, a dark romance; and an inspirational novella (name still under debate).

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