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.
I just loved this book!
This book has an old feel to it. But set in modern times. It kind of reminded me of that old movies A Walk In The Clouds. (Not the story line.) but The love and appreciation the movie had about making wine. And the pride the family had about it’s wine. And doing things the old way.
At times in reading this book I would forget what era I was in. I would get lost in time. Because every time Caresa would visit Achille’s at his home. It was truly like you were stepping back in time.
I can’t imagine someone having Achille’s problem this day in age. And definitely not having it addressed for so long. It kind of explains why he lived the way he did. Alone and by himself.
If I had to describe Achille personality. I would have to say he was an old soul. Stuck in a young persons body.
Having been raised my his father. He was brought up in the ways of his elders. A rarity in men these days. Because he preferred slow and easy instead of fast and accessible.
Achilles manage to live like old times but in modern times. Somewhat of a fairytale life. There was a reason for that. A big secret surrounding his birth.
Caresa was doing her duty as the Duchessa di Parma. It’s strange for us Americans to even think about arranged marriages. But in old time and especially in the times of kings and queens. Marriage was not about love. But about binding families together politically & in business. And in Caresa case. Her marriage binding was for business. To secure the family businesses.
She accepted it at first. That was until she accidentally ran into Achille. At first it was pure fascination that brought her back to him. And her love for her favorite wine. But once she started to get to know Achille. She started to fall for him. And her duty to get married was getting harder and harder for her to accept.
This book was so romantic. The settings of some of these places that were described were so beautiful. The food and wine added to the story.
It was all so realistic.
At times it felt like I was in Italy.
This book diffidently was a fairytale. Complete with a happy every after ending.
“Mi amore. Mi amore per sempre.”
My love. My love forever.
*ARC provided for an honest review*
As my papa’s G5 began its descent, I looked out of the window beside me and waited for the plane to break through the clouds. I held my breath, body tense, then suddenly the burnt-orange remnants of daylight flooded the plane, bathing the interior with a soft, golden glow. I inhaled deeply. Italia.
Fields and fields of green and yellow created a patchwork quilt below, rolling hills and crystal-blue lakes stretching as far the eye could see. I smiled as a sense of warmth ran through me.
It was the most beautiful place on earth.
Sitting back in my wide cream leather chair, I closed my eyes and tried to prepare myself for what was coming. I was flying to Florence airport, from where I would be swiftly taken to the Palazzo Savona estate just outside of the city.
I would meet Prince Zeno.
I had met him twice before—once when I was four, of which I had no memory, and again when I was ten. The interaction we’d had as children had been brief. If I was being honest, I had found Zeno to be arrogant and rude. He had been thirteen at the time and not at all interested in meeting a ten-year-old girl from America.
Neither of us had known at the time that that our betrothal had been agreed upon two years prior. It turned out that the trip my papa had taken to Umbria when I was eight was to secure a forever-bond between the Savonas and the Acardis. King Santo and my father had planned for their only children to marry. They were already joined in business; Zeno’s arranged marriage to me would also strengthen both families’ place in society.
I thought back on my New York farewell of nine hours ago and sighed. My parents had driven me to the private hangar and said their goodbyes. My mama cried—her only child was leaving her for a new life. My papa, although sad to see me go, beamed at me with the utmost pride. He had held me close and whispered, “I have never been more proud of you than I am right now, Caresa. Savona Wines’ stock has plummeted since Santo’s death. This union will reassure all the shareholders that our business is still strong. That we are still a stable company with Zeno at the helm.”
I had given him a tight smile and boarded the plane with a promise that they would see me before the wedding. And that had been that.
I was to marry Zeno, and I hadn’t protested even once. I imagined to most modern-day women living in New York, the process of arranged marriages sounded positively medieval, even barbaric. For a blue blood, it was simply a part of life.
King Santo Savona died two months ago. The shareholders of his many Italian vineyards, the stakeholders in Savona Wines, had expected his son, Zeno, to immediately step up and take charge. Instead, Zeno had plunged himself into the party scene even harder than before—and that was quite a feat. Within weeks my papa had flown out to Umbria to see what could be done.
The answer: our imminent union.
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.