💍 🔔 💒 "Falling For Her Convenient Groom" (Wedding Bells at Lake Como #2) (2021) 💒 🔔 💍 - Book Tour & Review
Italy’s picturesque Lake Como is the perfect destination for love, except the path to happy-ever-after isn’t always smooth...
Cousins Gianna and Carla aren’t looking for romance. Gianna’s nursing a broken heart and Carla’s wed to the family business. Until charismatic brothers Dario and Franco arrive on Lake Como’s stunning shores...and sweep them off their feet!
Find out what happens when a case of mistaken identity leads to a fake engagement in Bound by a Ring and a Secret
Will their business deal…
…give them more than they bargained for?
A mistaken identity…
…a proposal that changes everything!
About the Author
One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of BOUND BY A RING & A SECRET, winner's choice of print (US only) or ebook
Ends September 16, 2021
Thank you in advance to the author, Jennifer Faye, for providing a complimentary review copy of the book through Prism Book Tours. A positive review was definitely not required or requested in any way; all words are my own.
My first introduction to the author’s writing was the first book in THE BARTOLINI LEGACY, The Prince and the Wedding Planner. As a result, I ended up LOVING her writing and stories. I was able to read the other two books of that series, another book in the ROMANCE line – Fairytale Christmas With the Millionaire, in addition to two non-Harlequin novels, including her Christmas in Bayberry (Hallmark).
Jennifer Faye is the only author that I own books from in the ROMANCE line. That’s not to say I don’t like the other authors; I haven’t read them. And, with all the great books out there – it is hard to keep up. In addition, my TBR pile is on the terminal level. One writer put it best – “send help, I’ve been eaten by my TBR” (Amanda Cox).
Unlike some of the “cleaner” romances I read – Love Inspired (LI), Love Inspired Suspense (LIS), Heartwarming – there is some intimacy hinted or mentioned in the Romance line. Yet, as she always does, Faye is very discreet and the scenes are always “off page”, sometimes between chapters. Basically, you know **it** happened but it isn’t descriptive or thrown in your face. Not that I’m a prude, but I feel like an intruder or a voyeur when I read scenes that are a bit more – detailed.
Faye creates exciting romances without getting into the details of the intimacy leaving the private scenes just that – private.
Falling for Her Convenient Groom is the second book of the Wedding Bells At Lake Como duet. It is not a series per se as I consider series to be 3+ books, and this is specifically billed as a duet.
I HIGHLY and STRONGLY recommend reading the first book, Bound by a Ring & a Secret. Not only are Carla and Franco introduced, but characters from the first book will return in this one. That book sets this one up. As of note, I didn’t need to re-read book #1 in order to figure out what was going on here. It wasn’t rehashed in a dedicated way, but more as slight references where this plot intersected with the previous book.
In the story timeline, this is set two (2) weeks after that book so there is VERY little time between them.
Before I continue, I really have to add this about how hard this book was to put down …
This was about the first book I’ve read in LESS than four (4) total hours. I read it for about 90 minutes on the evening of 9/1, getting to about 57% in. I finished it in another 90 minutes in the early morning hours of 9/2. I haven’t done that in 20 years.
Actually, I don’t even recall doing that then. Usually, a book of this length or the LI/LIS line, is an off/on “day” read over the course of 12-24 hours. Though some have taken the off/on 48-hour route.
The Heartwarming line is usually with the 48-72 hour timeline due to how big they are.
I can say this was a hit! I had a feeling given the events in the first book and the couple on this cover.
I think a lot of the “can’t put it down” stemmed from Faye’s use of short chapters as well as a style and momentum that kept the story moving without stagnating, even for a moment.
As stated, this is Carla and Franco’s story. But, there is a great nugget in here regarding Dario and Gianna from book #1. So, if you haven’t read that book, there is a HUGE spoiler. Which is why I recommend reading the first book.
Since this mentions part of a plot carried over from Bound by a Ring & a Secret, Carla’s father will be featured in this book. I REALLY despised him for most of the book. He was a piece of work, and not in a good way either.
He shouldn’t have been so surprised when his attitude led to a fake marriage between Carla and Franco. And, truthfully, I knew it was going to work even if I hadn’t read the book. Sparks there were between these two.
And, Franco was an absolute doll! He carried most of the burden and the weight of this – reluctant, but he planned everything and stayed honest to Carla, despite sometimes not trusting her. Then again – he has a reason to want this to work.
That’s how this starts. The proposal takes place a little over 5% into the book so there is no lead up to it. Faye hits the ground running with this one and doesn’t stop until the last page. She certainly doesn’t plow through it to make it look rushed, but she doesn’t plod along leaving the reader to nod off or wanting to skip ahead.
Fake marriages, to me, don’t really end well – someone finds out. But, this one? Kudos to the author (and characters) to making it work (spoiler: NO ONE FINDS OUT IT IS FAKE). The wedding is 100% real so they agree to separate after the six (6) months.
This is sweet, funny, and at times very dramatic. At times the bickering between certain characters was annoying. But, every good story needs some drama.
When it opens, Carla is in charge of the business (Falco Fresco Restaurants), which if it goes the way her father plans – it won’t be going any more. Where he is focused on expansion, she is focused on updates to the menu and perhaps the restaurants themselves.
And, I have seen it with other companies – expansion over updates and then falling due to success. So, on that, I side with Carla.
It was immediately clear that Carlo had issues with his daughter’s focus though. Some people get like that – their way or the highway.
This puts Carla into overdrive for a fake husband, just long enough to prove to her father she can do the job and get control so there is a company.
Enter (who was really already there) – Franco. He’s reluctant until he realizes this can get Marchello Spices back into a well-known restaurant and get the business jump started.
He knows he shouldn’t, he can’t – but, he will. But, it is is clear when Carla mentions “consummating the marriage” won’t be done, Franco doesn’t mind bending the rules. And, she is a bit willing to break some rules as well.
The wedding does have an issue, Carlo, but he is remedied right away. And, Carla decides to enjoy her husband – he’s hers for six (6) months, why not? Of course, he tries to put it out of his mind, but can’t. And, she can’t either.
Yet, to really make it work – the fake marriage, if only long enough to be believable; but their partnership – Franco encourages Carla to talk to him. They have to actually trust each other to make everything succeed. And, it is clear – he might want the marriage to be real.
Carlo Falco doesn’t take the marriage well. And, he’s really an a-- about it.
When Franco’s ex calls, Carla goes to confront him. I was laughing when he opened his bedroom door, in his boxers, and asked her “did you need something? More towels” as if he was a guest room attendant (maid). But, I had to admire him for confronting Rose about the call, yet I was also leery about it thinking it would backfire.
It is clear that Franco and Carla work well together – professionally. He is beginning to see more in their relationship.
He then has to have dinner with his grandparents and their marriage passes without question. Carlo assumes Franco will leave her, and he’s quite wrong – if he only knew what his daughter was planning ...
I understood Carla wanting to coddle her father, but I wanted to scream “he’s a bully”.
But, there is also something about Carlo that isn’t quite right – there is evidence that he was the one who caused the Franco/Marchello rift by cheating.
Carla can’t quite believe it and purposely avoids him. There’s also a problem with one of the workers at Falco who ends up causing a minor issue between Carla and Franco. She takes care of it.
As they work well together, Carla begins to feel unwell. I had a feeling something major was coming.
Franco definitely begins to see that while they’re good at work, they’re better at home. Yet, with what is going on with Carla, will he still feel the same.
Reading towards the end, I was REALLY nervous. I wanted Carla to let Franco know what was going on, but I wondered what was going to happen.
Can you see why I read this as fast as I did?
As always, there is a big climactic scene. Yet, this one I DID NOT SEE coming. At one point it should’ve been expected, yet it wasn’t. The scene felt like a literal kick in the stomach.
While it all comes down towards the end – I had to cheer Franco’s grandmother on when she confronted her husband. It actually led to a moment of truth for Franco and his brother. And, it definitely sets the stage for Franco’s ultimate choice.
And, I will say that Faye wrapped up the story with so much heart, reflection, and love. I couldn’t imagine a better ending to this sweet duet.
Fans of the author and those who’ve read the first book, won’t want to miss this one! I can’t wait to read Faye’s next series or standalone!
5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Goodreads
5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – BookBub
5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Personal Rating (see rating explanation in this blog: https://readingexcursions.blogspot.com/2020/01/rating-system-2020-changes.html)