Thursday, December 2, 2010

Blog Tour, Review, and a Giveaway: Brava, Valentine by Adriana Trigiani

I'm very excited to be able to participate in this blog tour for the second installment of Adriana Trigiani's Valentine series.  So first of all I want to give a special Thank You to Trish from TLC Book Tours for inviting to be a part of this!  After reading Very Valentine there was no way I wanted to miss out on this opportunity.  You can still read my review here for the first installment if you missed it.

Here is a summary of Brava, Valentine from the Harper Collins website:
Very Valentine, an instant New York Times bestseller, introduced the contemporary family saga of the Roncalli and Angelini families, artisans of handcrafted wedding shoes in Greenwich Village since 1903.

As Brava, Valentine begins, snow falls like glitter over Tuscany at the wedding of her grandmother, Teodora, and longtime love, Dominic. Valentine's dreams are dashed when Gram announces that Alfred, "the prince," Valentine's only brother and nemesis, has been named her partner at Angelini Shoes. Devastated, Valentine falls into the arms of Gianluca, a sexy Tuscan tanner who made his romantic intentions known on the Isle of Capri. Despite their passion for one another and Gianluca's heartfelt letters, a long-distance relationship seems impossible.

As Valentine turns away from romance and devotes herself to her work, mentor and pattern cutter June Lawton guides her through her power struggle with Alfred, while best friend and confidante Gabriel Biondi moves into 166 Perry Street, transforming her home and point of view. Savvy financier Bret Fitzpatrick, Valentine's first love and former fiancée who still carries a torch for her, encourages Valentine to exploit her full potential as a designer and a business woman with a plan that will bring her singular creations to the world.

A once-in-a-lifetime business opportunity takes Valentine from the winding streets of Greenwich Village to the sun-kissed cobblestones of Buenos Aires, where she finds a long-buried secret hidden deep within a family scandal. Once unearthed, the truth rocks the Roncallis and Valentine is determined to hold her family together. More so, she longs to create one of her own, but is torn between a past love that nurtured her, and a new one that promises to sustain her.

Brava, Valentine, Trigiani's best novel yet, delivers a hilarious and poignant mix of colorful worlds and unforgettable characters as only she can create them.

My Review:
Although this is the second installment in the series, I really feel that one could read this book without reading the first because of the good job that Trigiani does of bringing the reader up to speed.  She also provides stimulating descriptions of two destinations that I long to visit, both New York and Italy.  And after closing this book my desire to go to Italy has only blossomed.

The novel opens in Italy as Valentine and her entire family travelled to Tuscany for her grandmother's wedding.  And as you can imagine, with the joining of two Italian families there was not a dull moment during the entire event.  Valentine finds herself looking forward to laying her eyes on Gianluca once again, but will the reunion go as she would like?

Gram has a surprise for Valentine after her wedding when she explains to her that she has decided to take Alfred, Valentine's brother, as a partner.  With his financial background Gram figures that Alfred is just what is needed for the Angelini Shoe Company.  There has always seemed to be a friction between Alfred and Valentine so one would think that this partnership would never work, but not only did they make it work and help the business flourish at a new level, but they also found a deeper respect and understanding for each other.

Secrets are uncovered in this novel, both from the present and the past.  When Valentine takes a business trip to Buenos Aires she uncovers a long kept family secret that will not only strengthen Angelini Shoes but also the relationships with her extended family.  While in Buenos Aires she finds some time for pleasure as she is surprised by the handsome Gianluca.  She feels the pull of her heart towards Gianluca and enjoys the time that they spend together, but can Valentine make the commitment that is needed for this relationship to blossom?

I loved so much about this book, from the cobblestone streets in Italy to the family squabbles back in New York City.  I love how Trigiani brings out the real feelings in her characters-they do not live perfect lives and they do make mistakes.  With themes of family dynamics, love, friendship, and sacrifices, this book was an excellent follow up to the Very Valentine.  I recommend this series but even moreso if you feel like being whisked away to fabulous destinations.

And remember how I said this book makes me want to go to Italy?  Well someone out there is going to be lucky (hopefully me!) as Adriana Trigiani is giving away a trip to Italy!  Yes, she actually has her own tour company and you can sign up to win this fabulous vacation here.  You can also find out more about the author and view all of her works here.

My Rating:  4/5

Disclosure:  This book was provided to me by Harper Collins to participate in this blog tour and provide and honest review.

Thanks to the publisher I have a copy of this book up for grabs!
To enter this contest you must be at least 18 and live in the U.S. or Canada. No PO Boxes please.

For one entry leave me a comment including your email address below. Use a spam-thwarting format such as myemail.address AT gmail DOT com or myemail.address [at] gmail [dot] com.

For two additional entries, blog about this contest or add the link to your sidebar.

You will have until December 11th to enter and I will draw for winners on or after December 12th.  Just enough time to use this as a Christmas gift if you want!

**This giveaway is closed.**


bermudaonion said...

I love everything Trigiani writes and adored this book! I can't wait for the next one in the series to come out. No need to enter me.

TexasRed said...

I read one of her earlier books, but missed Very Valentine. Going to have to go back and read that before I look into this one.

Thanks for the reminder!

holdenj said...

I love Trigiani and try to keep up with all her new ones! I even liked her first Viola book, which was YA.

skkorman said...

Sounds like a good read—please enter me to win!

skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

Ellie Wright said...

I'd love to read this. Thanks for the giveaway!
eswright18 at gmail dot com

Pamela Keener said...

I have not read any of Adriana's books but they have been on my wish list for forever it seems.
Love & Hugs,

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your review and would love to read Brava, Valentine :) *Thanks* for the giveaway!

Anonymous said...

Linked the giveaway in sidebar, More Giveaways { 1 }

Anonymous said...

Linked the giveaway in sidebar, More Giveaways { 2 }

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

No need to enter me; I'll have to catch up with this one later rather than sooner. My TBR is about to spawn a new mountain peak.

I'm dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book for you.

Heather J. @ TLC Books said...

I'm glad to know that I could pick this up without having read the first one - I'm not ready to commit to an entire series but this one does sound like a lot of fun!

Thanks for being a part of the tour.

Andrea said...

I enjoyed Very Valentine and would love to read this one!


Harvee said...

I've been wanting to read one of her books! Count me in!

harvee44 (AT) yahoo (DOT) com

Esme said...

Thank you for this-I have always wanted to read one of her books.

chocolate and croissants at yahoo . com