Brava, Valentine is the second in Adriana Trigiani's latest series after Very Valentine (my review). It got my copy when I went to listen to Adriana talk (yes, I'm still babbling about that fun night!) She even signed my book.
At the beginning of the book, Valentine is at her grandmother's wedding in Italy. What can be more romantic than a wedding in Italy? Think of your family. Then imagine how Valentine's crazy family help make the wedding and the potential romance so special for her! I was laughing from the very first pages of this story.
Summary: As Brava, Valentine begins, snow falls like glitter over Tuscany at the wedding of her grandmother, Teodora, and longtime love, Dominic. Valentine's dreams are dashed when Gram announces that Alfred, "the prince," Valentine's only brother and nemesis, has been named her partner at Angelini Shoes. Devastated, Valentine falls into the arms of Gianluca, a sexy Tuscan tanner who made his romantic intentions known on the Isle of Capri. Despite their passion for one another and Gianluca's heartfelt letters, a long-distance relationship seems impossible.
As Valentine turns away from romance and devotes herself to her work, mentor and pattern cutter June Lawton guides her through her power struggle with Alfred, while best friend and confidante Gabriel Biondi moves into 166 Perry Street, transforming her home and point of view. Savvy financier Bret Fitzpatrick, Valentine's first love and former fiancÉe who still carries a torch for her, encourages Valentine to exploit her full potential as a designer and a business woman with a plan that will bring her singular creations to the world.
A once-in-a-lifetime business opportunity takes Valentine from the winding streets of Greenwich Village to the sun-kissed cobblestones of Buenos Aires, where she finds a long-buried secret hidden deep within a family scandal. Once unearthed, the truth rocks the Roncallis and Valentine is determined to hold her family together. More so, she longs to create one of her own, but is torn between a past love that nurtured her, and a new one that promises to sustain her.
What else is there to say? Valentine's family and friends are so rich and colorful. Her mother's name is Mike. Really. And her best friend is Gabriel - I need a Gabriel in my life. He's fun, loving, colorful, smart, has romance problems himself yet tells Valentine what she needs to hear. He makes me laugh. And cry.
You must start with Very Valentine. But then you must read Brava, Valentine. And then wait with me as we wonder what happens to Valentine next. I just hope we don't have to wait too long.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
P.S. When I find a book club here, we are going to chat with Adriana. I recommend if you have a book club, contact her and set up a chat via Skype. You won't be disappointed! My LOLAs chatted with her "before skype" a few years ago and it was so fun. I can't wait to try talking with her via Skype.