Author: Rosanna Chiofalo

Publisher: Kensington

Release Date: August 27, 2013

Blue Ribbon Rating: 4.5


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What do you do when life deals you lemons? Move to New York! Pia Santore, a renowned journalist in the making, is traveling to New York to make her mark in life. The trip is a little late in coming because her sister Erica died a couple years ago. They were supposed to be making this trip together. Pia is still reeling from her sister’s premature death. Pia is guilt-ridden since she is the one striking out on her own and not with her sister by her side. She hopes that staying with her aunt in New York, a break from the norm, will help her deal emotionally. Her first big break is landing an intern job at a prestigious magazine firm. Hurray! However, how long does her newfound happiness last?

In blows a big movie star to New York, Francesca Donata, Italian movie starlet and glamour idol, who steals away to her sister’s house in Astoria. After she receives an urgent message to visit her sister in New York, Francesa hopes to repair the rift between them that formed many years ago out of a love match gone terribly wrong. Rumors of Francesca’s diva nature and hot temper have preceded her to Astoria. Fans hog the sidewalk outside of her sister’s mansion anyway, hoping to catch a glimpse of the star along with the paparazzi. Will Francesca succumb to the pressure? What actually happened between her and her sister? 

Upon happenstance, Pia meets a very handsome, sincere artist who knows Francesca Donata and her family. As Pia gets to know him better, she coerces him to waggle an introduction with her and Francesca. She hopes to convince Francesca to do an interview. Hopefully, the interview will garner her attention at her intern job, quite possibly a promotion, perhaps. Oh happy day! Pia gets approval from her boss to interview the star at least three times, so she can compose an article for the firm’s magazine. Big changes are in store for Pia and Francesca as they forge a surprising friendship. Francesca even invites Pia to travel with her to Rome, Italy to interview her there also. What a lucky break for Pia! Does she take the chance?

Author Rosanna Chiofalo’s new novel, CARISSIMA, is a stunningly beautiful and poignant story of Pia Santore, a commitment phobe whose breezy manner hides a vulnerable heart. When her sister dies, she is left feeling guilty. Flying to New York to escape family and tearful memories, Pia resides with her aunt, who owns a bakery down the street from Signora Tesca, the sister of a movie star. What starts as a deceptively simple story in the beginning builds into quite a complex and multilayered novel that is sensitively charged and often quite artfully perspective. Pia’s obsession with her sister’s death, along with her insecurities, quite literally debilitates her. I often wondered if she was going to make it, but Ms. Chiofalo did a pitch-perfect job of handling a heartfelt transformation. Pia wins a job as an intern at a high profile magazine firm. Luck comes her way when she meets a handsome man who knows Francesca Donata. He introduces them and an interview follows with the difficult diva movie star. The dialogue crackles with electricity between the characters, especially Francesca and her sister. There are so many secrets and much anger between them! There is a burgeoning love story, many romantic entanglements, surprising secrets, along with beautiful depictions of Rome and New York. Warning; this story will make you hungry! Pia eats many wonderful pastries at her aunt’s bakery. CARISSIMA is the most beautiful, heartfelt story I have read this year! Perfectly balanced like a nice red wine!

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Michele Rioli

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