Fun, moving, and filled with the good sort of nail-biting anxiety -- this new series by Christie Ridgway is something to look out for. From the first fiery meeting between Alessandra and Penn, I couldn't help but be drawn into the world of the Baci sisters and the Bennett brothers. Sidenote -- isn't Baci and Bennett verging on the too-precious realm?
The Baci sister's relationship with each other, their desire to hold onto their heritage, and their roots in their hometown were all described in vivid, loving detail. I especially enjoyed how Ridgway carefully wove the stories of all the secondary characters into the story of Alessandra and Penn. Not only were they all people in their own right, not just scenery, but their stories were riveting and made me want to follow the series to see how their lives would unfold.
Sometimes I did feel that the sparks between Alessandra and Penn seemed to be a bit contrived, particularly that oh-so-useful lust that seems to drive all intelligence out of people's heads -- but the rest of the book more than made up for that. I also hoped for a little more backstory on the Bacis and Bennetts beyond what was given. I'm definitely looking forward to the next book to see what will happen next and hoping for some more backstory along with it.