Trope: Close Proximity, HGTV Romance, Slow Burn
It Takes a Villa is a very slow burning romance.
Natalie Malone, an actuary from Urbana, Illinois, takes on a risky investment and finds herself needing to rely on the sexy architect, Pietro Indelicato, to meet renovation deadlines. Natalie purchased Pensione Benone, an 18th-century classic Renaissance-style villa, with dreams of restoring it to its former glory. Unfortunately, the fine print on the contract set out by the Economic Development Council made finishing and owning the property very difficult.
As she begins the restorations of her building, she finds unforeseen difficulties. There is a potential solution with the sexy architect, Pietro.
Natalie is not portrayed as an American damsel in distress needing to be rescued by a sexy Italian. The author really made us see that Natalie was capable. Just complications created the havoc in her plan. As Natalie and Pietro work together, they cannot deny their attraction. The restoration becomes more and more challenging, Natalie realizes her funds are low and her dreams are at risk.
The trend in romance to write these HGTV based stories has an appeal, but I am not sure it is me. I loved the setting of Italy and all the fun that comes with that. The rehab creates its own outside angsty that does add depth to the story. I did struggle with the wordiness of the story. I felt like there was so much world building happening that at times it made the story feel stogy and lost some of its anticipation and luster of the romance. Nonna’s added story line add a lot to the feels of the book but it was not always enough to keep me engaged.
I think this is a romance more geared toward to sweet romance reader who wants to add a little more steam to their stories.