Published on: 29th November 2016
Published by: Self Published
Genre: NA Romance
Buy UK . Buy US. Goodreads
(summary from Goodreads)
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 everything changed.
This book is VERY different from Tillie’s usual dark gritty romances, but it definitely proves that she belongs up there with the greats when it comes to contemporary romance. The story wasn’t too heavy, there was no death or drama, and I didn’t have to raid my mums tissue supply to stop my tears from flooding the house!
The blurb doesn’t give too much away which is something I have always loved about Tillie’s books. I never quite know what I’m going into but I trust her completely and I’m always repaid with a great story.
One of my favourite things about this book is that it is set in Italy. I love reading stories set in other countries and have found it a really great way to learn about some of the most interesting parts of different cultures. For example, AVOV is centered around the old royal families of Italy who no longer hold any title but are still seen as royalty. It was so interesting to read about, and then google the heck out of later!
“The sun and the moon had alligned and cast us into one anothers hearts never to be turn apart.”
This book gifts us with a kind and thoughtful heroine and a shy, dedicated and honorable hero. I know Alpha males are very popular in romance at the moment, but for me there is nothing better than a sweet and vulnerable man (who also looks great with his top off!). I thought Tillies choice of dual POV was the right one due to the fact that Achille is not a man of many words, so being able to read from his POV added a lot of depth to the character which wasn’t immediately obvious from Caresa’s POV at the beginning of the story.
Caresa was a character whose childhood dream of marrying a Prince didn’t turn out quite like she had imagined (as we all had to realise at some point!) She was a character with brains and was not afriad to use them. Unlike her fellow Italian ladies she didn’t exist for marriage and lunches. She was a character with a passion for helping people and always put that above her own desires.
“Cinderella could keep the jewels, the carriage and the prince. I wanted the vineyard, the faded jeans and the golden touch of a beautiful winemaker.”
Their romance is not an easy ride but it will totally steal your heart. It’s a forbidden love story, but is pretty low on drama for the most part and I could see how things would work out between Achille and Caresa but still enjoyed seeing them slowly fall for each other despite the factors going against them. It was exactly the right amount of fluff, and was a great mix of sweet and steamy.
As I mentioned above I love the setting of Italy. The vineyards, the wine, the culture. It was simply magical (especially for some like me who had been dying to visit Italy for YEARS!). I could see, smell and taste every grape and Tillie really outdid herself with the world she created at the Savona’s propety.
“We just stayed still, breathing in the same air.”
If you are more of a fan of Tillie’s darker romances then this one probably isn’t for you. Although it’s not her most epic romance story (that would be A Thousand Boy Kisses) it’s the most beautiful and reminds us that a love story doesn;t a whole load of angst and drama to be good.
I would recommend this book to: Tillie Cole fans, fans of contemporary romance, fans of strong/silent/slightly vulnerable men, stories set in Italy, forbidden romances, stories about royalty.
One winner gets a Signed Copy of A Veil of Vines + Limited-Edition The Future Mrs. Marchesi T-Shirt
Tillie Cole hails from a small town in the North-East of England. She grew up on a farm with her English mother, Scottish father and older sister and a multitude of rescue animals. As soon as she could, Tillie left her rural roots for the bright lights of the big city.
After graduating from Newcastle University with a BA Hons in Religious Studies, Tillie followed her Professional Rugby player husband around the world for a decade, becoming a teacher in between and thoroughly enjoyed teaching High School students Social Studies before putting pen to paper, and finishing her first novel.
Tillie has now settled in Austin, Texas, where she is finally able to sit down and write, throwing herself into fantasy worlds and the fabulous minds of her characters.
Tillie is both an independent and traditionally published author, and writes many genres including: Contemporary Romance, Dark Romance, Young Adult and New Adult novels.
When she is not writing, Tillie enjoys nothing more than curling up on her couch watching movies, drinking far too much coffee, while convincing herself that she really doesn’t need that extra square of chocolate.
Find Tillie Here
Check Out My Reviews for More of Tillie’s Books: