Romance is not my first choice for genre but I enjoy reading it, although more recently my preference has been for contemporaneous, light and humorous takes on the matter, and chick-lit. ‘Echoes of Love’ isn’t that kind of book. The story of Venezia, an English young woman whose godmother is Italian and therefore her name, and Paolo, the man he meets in Italy and feels irresistible attracted to from the very beginning, is a story of star-crossed love, fate, damaged and wounded lovers, in the setting of Italy (mostly Venice, but also parts of Tuscany and Sardinia). There is also an element of intrigue that I must confess I guessed from very early on in the story, but was curious as to how the writer would build into the story. It is one of these books where readers and those around the main characters have more insight and can see more clearly what is going on than the couple at the centre of the action, and where the “will they, won’t they” tension is a driving force of the narrative.
The author surrounds the story with luscious and detailed descriptions of everything, from architecture and interior design, clothing, characters’ looks, to food and landscape. I’m not usually a big fan of descriptions and prefer to leave some space to imagination, but I enjoyed the use of quotations, settings and the local stories and customs that illustrate the characters’ journey. Sardinia in particular, although only occupies a short part of the story, sounds amazing.
The story is well-written, it picks up the pace in the last third of the book, all details of the plot are important (there are no clues given for no reason), and most of the characters seem ruled more by their passions than by their heads. Their very luxurious life-styles and lack of real-life problems (money is never a consideration), give the story the dream/wish-fulfilment quality that is one of the attractions of the genre.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for a story rich in details, that will make you feel as if you’re sharing the total experience and getting under the skin of the characters, and you fancy a romance in Italy with a touch of darkness and intrigue, this is your book.