Monday, September 17, 2012

My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century

Author: Rachel Harris
Format: eARC
Print Length: 304 pages
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Published: Sept. 18, 2012

On the precipice of her sixteenth birthday, the last thing lone wolf Cat Crawford wants is an extravagant gala thrown by her bubbly stepmother and well-meaning father. So even though Cat knows the family’s trip to Florence, Italy, is a peace offering, she embraces the magical city and all it offers. But when her curiosity leads her to an unusual gypsy tent, she exits . . . right into Renaissance Firenze.

Thrust into the sixteenth century armed with only a backpack full of contraband future items, Cat joins up with her ancestors, the sweet Alessandra and protective Cipriano, and soon falls for the gorgeous aspiring artist Lorenzo. But when the much-older Niccolo starts sniffing around, Cat realizes that an unwanted birthday party is nothing compared to an unwanted suitor full of creeptastic amore.

Can she find her way back to modern times before her Italian adventure turns into an Italian forever?

My Thoughts

I received this book via the publishers through NetGalley. That in no way influenced my review.
When your momma is Caterina Angeli, there is little doubt that you grow up wary of love.  Being cynical of anyone who enters her world is just a part of who Cat is.  So when her daddy agrees to a sweet sixteen party for her by the urging of her step-witch-in training (best phrase ever used to refer to someone’s future step-momma) he knows he has to sweeten the pot.  Knowing Cat the way he does, he takes her and his fiancĂ© to Italy.  While exploring the city, Cat comes across a gypsy tent.  The talented gypsy sends her to the Renaissance, so learn a lesson.  This is where Cat meets Alessandra and Cipariano, her cousins.  Cipariano has an adonis for a best friend- Lorenzo.  Cat sees him for what his is- a gorgeous face that knows he is hot.  With indifference she does treat him, causing him to become intrigued with her.  Unfortunately, her uncle agrees to a match with a much older man- Niccolo.
Upon meeting Cat, you cannot help but like her.  Cynical in an endearing way, she will make you smile.  Her daddy letting her walk the streets of Florence, Italy by herself for a few hours seemed a little unbelievable to me.   Her lack of panic over being swept away to the sixteenth century also seemed a little hard to swallow.  Although, the author does pull it off very well.  With all of her social mistakes, one cannot help but wonder why no one else questions her actions. 
The best thing about this book is all the historical references.  From the description of the meadows to the lack of swimming in the river, one could not help but feel as if they were swept away.  Unfortunately, the same could not be said for the romance.  I just was not feeling it from Lorenzo.  Maybe it was his inherent sweetness but I could not help but feel that he was only in her because she did not fall at his feet like most gals.  I also felt like Cat kinda invited Niccolo to become one of her suitors.  I get that she was from our times, but seriously she does something that could have been mistaken for a declaration.
A charming tale, that reads smoothly and effortlessly.  You can curl up on your front porch with a class of sweet tea and this book to race the hot Georgia  sun away.  Harris ends the story on a bit of a cliffhanger, one in which I am very excited about. 

My Rating 3 out of 5 stars

Other Characters

Alessandra- Distant cousin of Cat’s, amazingly observant
Cipriano- Cat’s protective distant cousin, Lorenzo’s best friend
Niccolo- Much older business associate of Cat’s uncle, kinda a sleaze ball
Lucia- Cat’s maid in the sixteenth century, there is something about her that just speaks of common sense.

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