Title: Can't Stop Loving You
When it comes to her heart, Arabella D’Angelo has moved on—even though she still lives in Mirror Lake, Connecticut, a little tourist town with a long memory for mistakes. Ever the dutiful daughter of a cantankerous widower who holds grudges, Bella has spent the past twelve years raising her younger brother and making a name for herself as a successful psychologist. Now, when she isn’t counseling a lonely-hearts club for senior women, she’s humoring her matchmaking girlfriends. Bella resists the romancing of their blind dates, yet her friends hope she’ll fall for a local and scrap plans for a fresh start in Chicago.
Then, just before Bella’s thirtieth birthday, her first love, Roman Spikonos, returns to Mirror Lake. When he moves next door to her family’s garden-center business to run his grandparents’ orchard, it stirs up gossip—and a tempest of passions—just in time for pumpkin harvest. As Roman and Bella once again get caught up in a swirl of desire and heartache, not to mention her overprotective father’s fury, Mirror Lake will soon find out whether the Italian hometown beauty and her unforgettable Greek god can stand a second chance.
Author: Miranda Liaison
Published by Montlake Romance Source: Publisher
Published: December 6, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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This book nailed Italian-American families on the head! Coming from one myself, I found that I related so much with the interplay between the family members. It was actually quite unexpected – Bella’s still working for her father’s approval, even at the age of thirty. And while this may seem a bit off-kilter from most of the female protagonists in romance novels, this novel wouldn’t have been so wonderfully done if that all-too-true dynamic wasn’t there.
Bella’s desire to gain such approval from her father is actually what made her a strong character, in my opinion. She had a teenage pregnancy – definitely a nightmare for most, but even more so when brought up in a strict Roman Catholic household – and felt like she could never redeem herself. And in a patriarchal family dynamic such as that of Italian-Americans, I really felt for Bella. She’d been raised to believe she was second-best (because she’s female) and it takes her a good long time to realize that she isn’t.
Roman was also the product of a strong family dynamic of Greek-Americans, and while I’m not as familiar with that culture, Roman definitely did not see Bella as inferior in any way. I liked him; he was level-headed but passionate, and really understood Bella’s driving need for paternal acceptance. Most men in real life would be rolling their eyes or telling her to get over it, but not Roman. I loved him a little bit extra for that!
The passion between these two was quite explosive, and I loved their back-and-forth banter/bickering. The ending was perfect – sweet, truthful, and oh-so-satisfying. Four strong stars.