SPOILER ALERT ⚠
Lynne Graham’s The Italian’s Wife is unusual from her other books I’ve read in the past.
Holly Samson is the first Graham heroine I can recall who was not a virgin, and who’s borne another man’s child. The hero is typical of her heroes: dark-haired, ultra-masculine, ridiculously wealthy, smitten with the heroine, and of
Greek Italian descent.
The Characters and the Set-Up
The Italian’s Wife opens with Rio–a 6′ 3″ gorgeous, super-nice-guy, and celebrity billionaire extraordinaire–walking in on his supermodel fiancée in flagrante delicto with another woman.
Not only is he enraged at the infidelity, but he’s also repulsed by his fiancée’s suggestion of a threesome. (Only in an HP!)
Poor Holly, meanwhile, is down on her luck. Her old-fashioned parents kicked out their pregnant daughter because she didn’t do the right thing (whatever that means). Her boyfriend, whom she only had sex with once and hated it (natch), wanted nothing to do with the baby or Holly. Mother and baby are all alone in this cruel world.
The English Woman’s Hero
Holly is pushing her pram through the street of London, drowning in her sorrows. She’s homeless, jobless, and hungry. At the end of a rope, Holly decides she must hand over her son to Social Services Distraught at the enormity of her decision, Holly is lost in thought when she’s almost hit by Rio’s limo.
This occurs a mere hour after he walked in on his girlfriend having sex with someone else.
Ever the hero, Rio whisks Holly off to his luxurious penthouse. He is entranced by her loveliness and aghast that this young mother is in such dire straits.
Rio buys her designer clothes and gets a nanny for her baby. Soon after, he declares they must marry. Holly, like any princess from a fairy tale, falls in love with her princely benefactor. And Rio is besotted with his damsel-in-distress.
(This is where a rational person would consider maybe the guy is seriously rebounding after being cheated on by his once-future-wife. But don’t think about that stuff. Just go with the story.)
The Italian’s Wife
These HPs are crazy, silly fantasies. Sometimes I don’t know why I like them so much with weird tropes like this.
During a steamy love scene, Rio does all the work, giving, giving, and giving some more. Despite doing absolutely nothing but having orgasms, Rio notes that Holly’s the best sex he’s ever had because she enjoys it so much!
(Earth to Rio: maybe the fact that his former fiancée was a lesbian might have been a reason why she wasn’t that into it.)
When Holly asks what she can do to make it better he replies:
“Just lie there. I’m in a very uncritical mood… And during the next couple of weeks, I intend to teach you everything I want you to know, bella mia.”
I really don’t know what to say about that, other than I can accept many things in a romance novel that I’d never ever tolerate in real life!
Holly is your typical Lynne Graham heroine: beyond clueless and helpless. She doesn’t read The Daily Mail, so she is unaware of Rio’s stardom. (In HPlandia Greek billionaires are the equivalent of Korean Boy Bands regarding fame and fans.) As a result, Holly’s all agog at the crowd of paparazzi at their wedding.
She’s not an erudite intellectual. She doesn’t have hobbies. There is nothing of interest in Holly’s life outside of her baby and problems.
Even so, there’s something charming about The Italian’s Wife. It’s so dumb in a typical Lynne Graham way, that it veers into entertaining.
However, I dislike that Holly is so “gracious” to those who wronged her. She thinks:
“That her parents could forgive her all the grief she had caused had been a tremendous comfort to Holly, as was her mother and father’s loving acceptance of their baby grandson.”
Um, hello? Her parents kicked out their barely-out-of-her-teen-years daughter from their home. They didn’t give a rat’s ass about Holly and their baby grandchild. That was until Holly returned home and was married to a billionaire. Only then did they welcome her and the baby.
Uggh. I dislike that kind of martyrdom in a female main character. I like my heroines with claws.
Holly’s too sweet and nice. Then again Rio is just kind and generous as she is. So it all works out in the end.
Final Analysis of The Italian’s Wife
The Italian’s Wife was a nonsensical story, as many Lynne Graham romances are. For some reason, though, it clicked for me.
I’m a mercurial reader. If I’m in a bad mood, it negatively affects my reading. If I’m feeling mellow, then it’s all good!
I appreciated The Italian’s Wife for being an escapist fantasy about a woman-in-need swept off her feet by an amazing man.
A man who is beyond her wildest dreams and will cherish and love her forever and ever.
|Rating Report Card|
Will he take a stranger to be his wedded wife?The Italian’s Wife by Lynne Graham
Abandoned by her boyfriend and family after the birth of her son, Holly Sansom collapses in the street. Rio Lombardi, M.D. of Lombardi Industries, comes to her rescue.
Rio insists that Holly stay at his luxurious home, and proceeds to lavish her and her baby with all that money can buy. But Rio’s emotions are caught off guard by Holly’s natural charm and indifference to his wealth. In fact, Holly would make a perfect wife….