Rose’s past move to Florence to paint full-time and immerse herself in the glorious remnants of the Renaissance—and her whirlwind love affair with Italian real estate agent, Lyon—were the focus of her first adventure with Beatrice. Now, with a gallery show under her belt, she’s focused on her future, but pre-wedding jitters lead to a revelation and shattered engagement. In Rome, Beatrice remains a devoted guardian of art history, even when her attraction to nomadic muralist Mike (whose intensity and talent recall Michelangelo) inspires the realization that she’s funneled all her passion into her work. Beatrice is determined to uncover a lost Leonardo, and Reid deftly balances an enticing art history mystery with heady romance.
Rose and Beatrice’s Italy is a living museum complete with street artists as besotted with the Renaissance as the leads. Sleek charmer Vince continually re-populates da Vinci’s Last Supper table, and the vigorous, unpolished Mike reconfigures classical and mythological iconography. While these rivals challenge societal norms with their confrontational murals, their world–as well as Rose and Beatrice’s–feels removed from contemporary life, a Cinquecento fantasy of art for art’s sake. But readers looking for a romantic escape to an Italy as full of glorious art is as revitalizing as brilliant sunlight and abundant pasta will relish this tale.
Takeaway: Lovers of Renaissance art and lost-masterwork mysteries will appreciate this escape-to-Italy romance.
Great for fans of: Iain Pears’s The Raphael Affair, Paul Christopher’s Michelangelo’s Notebook, and Charlotte and Aaron Elkins’s A Dangerous Talent.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A