Book Title: Venice in the Moonlight by Elizabeth McKenna
Category: Adult fiction, 194 pages
Genre: Historical Romance Fiction
Publisher: Elizabeth McKenna
Published: October 2013
Available in: Print and ebook formats (mobi for Kindle, ePub, PDF)
Content Rating: R
A Story of Vengeance, Forgiveness, and Love
After her husband's untimely demise, Marietta Gatti is banished from the family's villa by her spiteful mother-in-law. She returns to her hometown of Venice and her only kin-a father she hasn't spoken to since her forced marriage. Her hope of making amends is crushed when she learns she is too late, for he recently has died under suspicious circumstances. Grief-stricken, Marietta retraces her father's last night only to discover someone may have wanted him dead-and she may be next. When the prime suspect turns out to be the father of the man she is falling in love with, Marietta risks her future happiness and her life to avenge the death of a man she once hated.
The last artistic experience I had with the activities of Carnival was the 1990 film "Henry and June". I found this Italian version of Carnival even more engaging and memorable.
Marietta was married at her father's insistence, to Dario Gatti, from a wealthy family and with an unfortunate (at best) predilection towards mass quantities of wine and young women. Their marriage has been five years of torture and loneliness because her mother-in-law does not care for Marietta and her father-in-law doesn't wear the pants in that family.
The opening chapter of the book starts with a supper in which the lamb is badly cooked and Dario is flirting mercilessly with the young maid who serves at the table. Before the chapter is over (and several weeks later), Dario is at death's door. Unfortunately, once Dario goes through that particular door, 'La Signora Gatti' kicks Marietta out.
But Marietta's troubles are not over. She returns to Venice, to find her father dead, and it doesn't look like natural causes. (I think I watch too many police procedural shows.)
Even when describing the smallest of acts, such as Marietta squashing peas on her supper plate to mark the number of her husband's infidelities, Ms. McKenna's language is a model for descriptive prose. It reminds me of an old fairy tale: some books have too much description and it drowns the story; some books have too little description and are, as a result, dry - kind of like eating a sleeve of dry saltines with nothing to wash them down. However, in Venice in the Moonlight, Ms. McKenna gets it 'just right'.
Elizabeth McKenna works as a full-time technical writer/editor for a large software company. Though her love of books reaches back to her childhood, she had never read romance novels until one Christmas when her sister gave her the latest bestseller by Nora Roberts. She was hooked from page one (actually, she admits it was the first love scene). She had always wanted to write fiction, so she combined her love of history, romance and a happy ending to write her debut novel Cera's Place. Her short story, The Gypsy Casts a Spell, is available for free on her website. She hopes you will enjoy her latest novel, Venice in the Moonlight, as much as others have enjoyed her previous works.
Elizabeth lives in Wisconsin with her understanding husband, two beautiful daughters, and a sassy Labrador. When she isn't writing, working, or being a mom, she's sleeping.
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(Disclosure: I received a print copy of this book from the author and publisher via Italy Books Tours in exchange for my unbiased opinion.)