I hope fall is treating you well…
Presently, my work world revolves around a manuscript due on October 15th and a book launching on November 1st. “Launch” is such a strange term – it sounds like we are throwing A Portrait of Emily Price out there with the hope she lands safely. Perhaps we are…
When the book does release, here is what you’ll find on the back cover…
Art restorer Emily Price has never encountered anything she can’t fix—until she meets Ben, an Italian chef, who seems just right. When Emily follows Ben home to Italy, she learns that his family, however, is another matter . . .
Emily Price—fix-it girl extraordinaire and would-be artist—finds herself in Atlanta, repairing objects damaged in a house fire. As she works to restore the home and dreams of one family, she strives to keep the pieces of her own life in perfect or
der and secure her own happy ending—a gallery show of her own. There is no time for distractions, especially not the ultimate distraction of falling in love.
But Chef Benito Vassallo’s relentless pursuit proves hard to resist. Visiting from Italy, Ben works to reconnect with his brother and breathe new life into his aunt and uncle’s faded restaurant, Piccolo. And soon after their first meeting, he works to win Emily as well—inviting her into his world and into his heart.
Emily astonishes everyone when she accepts Ben’s proposal and follows him home. Upon landing in Rome, she is enchanted with Italy. But instead of allowing the land, culture and people to transform her, Emily imposes her will upon everyone and everything around her, alienating Ben’s tightly knit family. Only Ben’s father, Lucio, gives Emily the understanding she needs to lay down her guard. Soon, Emily’s life and art begin to blossom, and Italy’s beauty and rhythm take hold of her spirit.
Yet when she unearths long-buried family secrets, Emily wonders if she really fits into Ben’s world. Will the joys of Italy become just a memory, or will Emily share in the freedom and grace that her life with Ben has shown her are possible?
And here is a little something you won’t find on the back cover…
Emily Price has a lot of Emma Woodhouse to her – she wants to fix things, arrange people, and order her world just so. She has studied art restoration and made both a life and a career out of knowledge, precision and, for the most part, a delicate touch. But unlike Emma, who orders her world as she imagines it best – Lady Bountiful at her finest – Emily operates from a scarcity perspective. Without her involvement and control, all will be worse. Like the Little Dutch Boy, without her finger on the dyke, all would be lost – for herself and her sister, Amy.
And there is where the beauty in her journey begins… Attraction is not about control, which is an illusion regardless. And once Emily does realize that she is beyond herself, she recognizes the harm in holding too tight
and the beauty in letting go. Of course, it certainly helps that there is plenty of beauty to be found in her new home – Italy!
I hope, at some point, you’ll give Emily Price a try. And I’m offering a giveaway here because we are definitely Literary Kindred Spirits on this blog! I have 2 hard copies of A Portrait of Emily Price for those who comment below. The Giveaway will end at midnight EDST, October 7, 2016.
Publishers Weekly STAR REVIEW. Romance novelist Reay (Dear Mr. Knightley) crafts another engaging and sprightly page-turning bildungsroman. Emily Price is an art restorer and artist with underdeveloped talent and some personal blind spots. She works for an Italian expatriate based out of Atlanta, who has an exquisite art sensibility and a family that includes a handsome, sexy brother, Ben, who can cook and charm. After Emily falls for Ben, she acquires a set of Roman in-laws with secrets and another way of life. When Emily heads to Rome to meet the family, everybody has something to learn, not least the young American woman who discovers how to look at people and art with more care and consideration. The American-goes-to-Europe plot is a real chestnut, familiar but nicely revived by Reay who hits a sweet spot between adventure romance and artistic rumination; the novel finds a fantastic groove where chick lit meets Henry James. Reay’s well-realized characters enliven the formula, and the moral development of the heroine owes a lot to the Jane Austen novels that Reay has echoed in other works. Though not every detail of Italian culture rings quite true, on the whole this is another delight from Reay. Agent: Claudia Cross, Folio Literary Management. (Nov.)