Having known each other since birth, Mario De Palma and Melania Barone fought worse than siblings. That all changed one evening when dueling tempers exploded into a night of passion and desire under the Tuscan Heat.
Three years later, Melania finally has all she’d ever dreamed of… a successful Italian restaurant… a group of close knit friends who were more like sisters… and a single lifestyle on the shores of South Beach. Occasionally she wanted more, but two out of three wasn’t bad.
After enjoying world-wide culinary success, Mario returned to South Beach intending to open a restaurant of his own. That isn’t the only reason he returned to Florida, though. He moved home to claim the one woman who hadn’t left his mind since their night together in Italy.
More than tempers explode when they reunite, especially once she believes that he’s out to sabotage her restaurant. Will Mario be able to convince Melania of the truth before a force of nature threatens to end that dream forever?
“Tuscan Heat” is a new book from Anise Storm, and it follows Melania and Mario from childhood to adulthood.
Melania is basically a high-functioning brat. She is just such a high-tempered, over the top personality. The thing is, she is only that when she is interacting with Mario and her family. With her friends and employees, it was like an entirely different person. It was somewhat off-putting to me because she is living in a luxury condo, with everyone driving a luxury car, and then she’s sort of treating her core family group like garbage.
Mario, on the other hand, actually comes off fairly endearing throughout this book. Basically, he’s been in love with Melania for years, and is now trying to actually act on it. However, I didn’t think he went about it in the best way. He went from being very endearing to sex obsessed and then semi-dominant at the end. This book went from focused on love to focused on sex and kept swinging.
I know people, and ultimately characters, can be multi-faceted but these characters gave me a bit of whiplash.
One thing I did really like about this book is that we do see Melania’s friends throughout the book and the great relationship she had with them. However, what confused me on that was why it was mentioned so much in the book. Partway through, I was not entirely sure if the book was focusing on the love story of Melania and Mario, or the friendship with her friends.
I think this book has great promise and I can say that I read the book fairly quickly as its 156 pages in length. This is just my personal opinion, but I feel like if the author chose a focus and stuck with it, this book would be even better. She has a great story going and it definitely kept my attention. It was just that several times I found myself sort of feeling like the characters behavior seemed off-kilter or the book went in a direction that not aligning with the story well.
I liked the overall premise of this story, but one thing that sort of left me feeling conflicted was that this seemed to be a lot of stories in one. We go from this friends to enemies to lovers story, great friendship story, sort of luxury Miami living and back and forth. Then at the end, there is a slight touch of BDSM. Because things kept moving, it made it hard for me to really cement in my feelings on the characters or the love story itself. This may not bother the average reader and I don’t really deduct “stars” based on my feelings for this.
I would definitely love to read more from this author and I would be excited to see what she comes up with in the future.