REVIEW: The Italian’s One-Night Love-Child by Cathy WilliamsWednesday, February 24, 2010 1:00
DNF’s are unusual for me. I usually plod on until the bitter end, and frequently the book redeems itself. You see, I have a penchant for heroes and heroines who aren’t perfect, who may cheat and steal, but there are a few things that I really dislike, so this is the story of how a recent Harlequin book became a DNF. Usually, if I give up on a book, I don’t review it, because I figure that what didn’t work for me might work for someone else. I’m not doing it to trash the book and make the author feel bad, I want to warn the reader, and I want to point out what I want to see in a romance. In this case I’m fairly clear that most readers will want the same, but I’d love to hear from anyone who read this and loved it. Did I give up too soon? What can the heroine do to make me like her?
So here’s the book.
Cathy Williams is usually a reliable writer who comes up with the odd gem. She has a nice, light style that works well with the Presents/Modern line. I got about half way through her latest, The Italian’s One Night Love Child.
The heroine is Bethany, and she’s flat-sitting in Rome. A posh flat in the center of Rome, to be exact. She’s trying on the wardrobe belonging to the person she’s sitting for, and she hears a knock at the door. To do her justice, she realises she shouldn’t have been trying the dress on, but when she sees the gorgeous stud who answers it, and tries to hide. But he’s gorgeous and she agrees to go out to dinner with him, without telling him who she is.
Fair enough, because the owner of the flat, or her daughter, I wasn’t sure which, was concealing the fact that she’s in rehab and she doesn’t want people to find out. One night. Cristiano is intrigued and wants to sleep with Bethany, or Amy, as he thinks she is. The scene ends when she confesses to him that she’s a virgin.
The next chapter starts several months later. Wha..? I wasn’t happy. The reader misses their first kiss, when he takes her virginity and the two weeks they had in Barbados. Wait–she went back to his apartment? She made love with him for the first time in her life, and then flew off to Barbados with him? How did she manage that when the name on her ticket wouldn’t have matched the name on her passport?
That’s a whole chunk of story skipped over in a sentence. I felt like I’d missed the actual story. Their falling in love. I didn’t get to ‘see’ a vital part of the process and this is supposed to be a romance? WTF? Listen, a romance is about two people falling in love, the process. I want to experience the first time they touch, the first eye contact, the first kiss, the first lovemaking and the development of the relationship. To skip like that isn’t on.
I read on to see if Ms Williams could redeem herself. Bethany is living in Ireland, at her parents’ place, and she’s pregnant. She’s given up her university course in London and gone home. She had no intention of contacting Cristiano to tell him about it. Moreover, she’d lied to her parents, too, told them that she was engaged and that he was in Africa building schools (or something, she’s not quite clear) for the underprivileged.
That was where I stopped. I didn’t want Cristiano to fall in love with someone who was, let’s face it, a lying cheat. I felt very sorry for him and I really, really wanted him to walk away and find somebody nice who he could trust, but by this stage I knew he was fated to end up with this awful person. Bethany had lied to everyone she claimed that she loved—her parents and the father of her child. Although Cristiano was a wealthy man, she refused to give her child, another person she should love, with the privilege he or she is entitled to. She thought of herself rather than the child. That was where I closed the book because I was pretty sure that they wouldn’t sit down, have a civilised conversation, and then check Bethany into the nearest psychiatric unit where she could recover from her compulsive lying. If they’d taken the baby away from her I wouldn’t have been sorry. So there it ended.
At this stage I would have taken an amnesia plot rather than what she knowingly did, which shows you how desperate I was, because I’m not a fan of the amnesia plot. But at least that would have given Bethany a valid reason for walking away.
This is supposed to be a romance. I want a romance, and I want to read the developments along the way. And the characters I read about should be flawed, but should have some redeeming features.
Pregnant with De Angelis baby! Seeing Bethany Maguire’s captivating curves in a tantalising silk dress, Cristiano De Angelis indulges in one night of passion with this beauty. A string of society heiresses have graced his bed.. .what difference will one more make? Except virgin Bethany is no socialite. She was just house-sitting a glamorous apartment when she gave in to temptation and tried on one of the owners designer dresses She doesn’t belong in Cristiano’s jet-set life, and when she discovers shes pregnant she flees. But the billionaire wont let her go that easily…
No excerpt found.