10 February 2015

L'Amore Perfetto by Cynthia Kimball

 Romance and a modern-day fairy-tale.

Nicki hates to date; the whole putting herself out there night after night after night is not her thing. Unfortunately, her roommate is the exact opposite. When Kristen comes up with her newest man-catching ploy, joining a discriminating dating service that accepts less than 5% of its female applicants, Nicki sees an opportunity and gets Kristen to agree that if she applies and does not get accepted, that Kristen won't bug her about going out for nine months.

Full steam ahead, she jumps into the multi-step application process. Each step increases her desire to make it to the next one and when she makes it, she is thrown into a world she didn’t know existed. Will she falter in this new life or will she make it to the end and meet her soul mate?

The inside of this book is the same, the difference in this edition is the new cover.
Upon reading the blurb for L’Amore Perfetto, I was expecting a cute story about a young woman who meets her future husband through a dating service – basically a sweet and fluffy, no-fuss, no-muss, easy reading romance. Yes, some days even I need a sweet, happily ever after romance. That said, as I read the first chapter of L’Amore Perfetto I became a bit nervous that my anticipated easy read wasn’t going to be quite what I expected. As Nicki’s roommate Kris reveals the details about the application process one must take to become a member of L’Amore Perfetto (LAP) I knew there was no way that the multi-step application process would translate into the fluffy romance I signed on for. Turns out I was right … it was so much better.

Nicki is not a dater, thus she and her roommate Christina are subjected to the man-hunting methods of their other roommate, Kris. When Kris introduces the idea of the exclusive dating club, L’Amore Perfetto, to her, Nicki seizes the opportunity to force a moratorium on the man-hunts for nine months as long as she gives LAP an honest try. I thought this was a brilliant move on Nicki’s part and Kris’s taste in men proves that it was indeed a great idea. As Kris’s character exuded desperation so thick I felt it oozing out of my Kindle, I wasn’t surprised that she didn’t make it past the first round. However, I was surprised at how petty she became toward Nicki. Her jealousy manifested in such a way that at one point I was actually concerned for Nicki’s physical safety. <= See? Not fluffy! Needless to say, I was probably as excited as Nicki was when she moved out of the apartment and began her training. Yep! You read that right. TRAINING. That was the other part that concerned me. Each girl would be trained for the lifestyle of their intended. Turns out, my concern was unwarranted because the training is not as nefarious as it sounds. The ladies are taught etiquette as well as individualized skills appropriate to their husband’s lifestyle and profession – say a girl is marrying a rancher, she might take horseback riding lessons whereas a girl matched with an executive would learn how to plan and host small dinner parties. At the same time, the men are taught how to be romantic and to express their feelings toward their partner. In all actuality, it was quite sweet and went a long way in building each of the lady’s confidence.

The twist that really made L’Amore Perfetto interesting to me was that the couples did not meet until after the ladies completed six months of training. Because this does not occur until the very end of the book, there are no sexual exploits. That does not mean that there is no sexual tension as LAP takes steps to keep the men invested by allowing them to monitor the ladies’ progress. In fact, it is one such appointment that ended up being favorite chapter in the book – when Jasmine’s brothers meet her intended. As much as I enjoyed the girls’ exploits, it was refreshing to meet the guys and get their views on the process. Of course, when you house seven women together there is bound to be drama and Ms. Kimball does not disappoint. Even though I didn’t get the fluffy part of my read, L’Amore Perfetto was a sweet romance and I thoroughly enjoyed it as evidenced by the smile that occupied my face during most of the read. Oh, and the final chapter that gives the reader a look into the couples’ lives five years later was much appreciated. 


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