22 February 2015

Dog Day Wedding

Synopsis from Goodreads: Giovanni Roma was jilted at the altar. Twice. Meeting Natalie is an enchanting distraction—too bad she’s engaged to another man. To top it off, Giovanni’s mother has a mouth with no filter and is obsessed with finding her son a suitable baby-maker.

Natalie DeMarco is a good cop with one problem. Cold feet. Her fiancé is a decent man, but she’s starting to wonder if decent is good enough. Maybe the doubts could be blamed on Giovanni, that guitar-making Italian hunk next door.

Giovanni knows he must do something, but things get out of hand when he learns he’s not the only one who objects to the wedding.

Stats for my copy: Kindle edition, published by Season Publishing, 2015; received through Netgalley for review.

First line: “Somebody kill me,” muttered Giovanni Roma, fiddling with his cufflinks.

My thoughts: If I had to describe this book in one word, that word would be Fun. With a capital F.

The story opens with Giovanni being stood up at the altar. As he drives away from the church, he stops to help an elderly woman catch her runaway dog, and almost gets a ticket for leaving his car parked in the middle of the street, but the officer takes pity on him and lets him off with a warning. Later he meets that officer again – turns out she's his neighbor's granddaughter.

Natalie is about to marry Jacks, despite the fact that he seems more interested in his car than in her. He doesn't even know her favorite color or flavor of ice cream. After not giving Giovanni a ticket, she sees him again while at her grandfather's house – outside, in his yard, in his underwear. He certainly gets her attention.

I loved the banter between Giovanni and Natalie, and they seemed to click together right away. Most of the characters in the book were pretty memorable, with their own distinct personalities. Giovanni’s mother isn't very likable, calling her son rude names while obsessively trying to match him up with someone who will quickly produce grandchildren. But his friends Stevie and Danny were welcome additions who I enjoyed. There's also Precious, the runaway dog who Giovanni finds himself dog sitting, and who was the catalyst in putting Natalie and Giovanni into each other's company.

A new character was introduced towards the end of the book, and his appearance came out of left field. His involvement and the direction the story took disconcerted me a bit. I felt like the plot almost went over the top at that point. However it was all resolved very satisfactorily.

It's not a deep character study, but rather a light, frothy, funny story that made me laugh out loud several times. It's refreshing to find a cute romantic comedy written by a man, and I've already bought, and look forward to reading, Mr. Amooi's previous book, FIVE MINUTES LATE.

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