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Monday, February 28, 2011

Solo Honeymoon by Jillian Chantal



Solo Honeymoon by Jillian Chantal
Publisher: Bookstrand
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (139 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3.5 books
Reviewed by Camellia

Emma Chauncey finds her fiancé naked with one of her bridesmaids on top of him three days before her wedding. Burned by the experience, she takes a friend on her honeymoon. They travel to an Italian villa where Emma plans to nurse her broken heart.

Wealthy, titled, and handsome women’s shoe designer Dario de Luca is also at the villa. In disguise as a dance instructor, he’s determined to find a woman to love him for himself, not his wealth and title. Sparks fly between Emma and Dario, until she learns his true identity. Hurt that another man has lied to her, and distrusting her own judgment, she flees. Dario follows her to New York. But Emma’s former fiancé is back with an agenda of his own. Can Dario convince Emma he’s the man for her even though he lied about his identity? Can he convince her she deserves true love?

Emma Chauncey, having naively chosen a scoundrel for a fiancé, feels sad and mortified but she had no intentions of taking anything off the arrogant, pompous Dario who has the audacity to call her “the groomless bride”.

With her best girl friend Gwen at her side, Emma determines to use the honeymoon suite in the Italian villa to get over the despicable ex-fiancé Calvin and put her life back together. Gwen, with her irrepressible, wicked sense of humor, her “appreciation” for men, and her never-failing cheerleading for Emma, makes Solo Honeymoon sparkle with laughter and a joy for life.

Dario, with a deep need to be loved not for his money, title, and prestige, but for himself fails to be open and honest with Emma, even after they call a truce and find they are compatible in so many ways -- and, WOW, and what ways they are. His sin of omission sets off a firestorm and his overbearing relatives add fuel to the fire. Emma runs. She refuses to be a victim of a liar again.

Crude slang is a little detracting at times, but Jillian Chantal does entertain with delightful humor, an ominous undercurrent of Calvin’s dark side, and a special need that drives much of Dario and Emma’s actions. As Ms. Chantal whisks the reader from Italy, to England, then to New York, the action reaches a fever pitch.

Emma’s wounded, shriveling heart gets shocked back to adrenaline-pumping life when Calvin and Dario both show up in New York. Bone-chilling fear, deep-down joy, and a happy-ever-after to shout about makes Solo Honeymoon a delightful way to escape the mundane world for a while and celebrate LOVE.

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