Peri Logan is finally opening her own office as a newly licensed private investigator. Her first client and the person fronting her business is her recently deceased great-grandmother. All Peri was left with was start-up cash, a locket and a simple note that says, “find her.” From stories told by her grandmother and mother, Peri knows her great-grandmother spent time in Italy before she settled down to get married.
Peri travels to Italy to find the mysterious woman whose picture is in her great-grandmother’s locket. Her travels prove fruitless until she makes her way to the small town of Sequina. While at an open-air street market, she’s shocked when she comes face-to-face with a beautiful drawing of the woman in her great-grandmother’s locket. This must be her big break.
Camila Barnes is nothing but skeptical when she finds a tourist in her artist’s booth groping her finest drawing of her precious great-grandmother. When the pushy American insists she needs to deliver a package to the woman in Camila’s artwork, Camila goes on high alert. Her family means everything to her so she’s not about to take a stranger to the family villa. The woman won’t reveal what business she has with Camila’s great-grandmother, so she decides to take the interloper on a wild goose chase around her sleepy little town.
When the truth is finally divulged, Peri and Camila recognize they are part of something grander than just delivering a trinket to a stranger. The two women are connected by a story that began well before they were born. They soon develop feelings for each other, but Peri has a life to return to in the United States. Do they pass on this once-in-a-lifetime love, or do they go to any lengths to make it last for always?
Pros And My Favourite Parts
Always features two very attractive main characters. While Peri and Camila are physically beautiful, each of them has a fire inside that’s evident in the way they passionately pursue what’s important to them. The story is told in present tense from each woman’s point of view. I liked seeing their perceptions, motivations, fears, and happiness played out simultaneously in chapters that alternate between their voices. This gives readers two perspectives of the same moment and makes everything feel immediate and like we are right there in the thick of things.
Cons And Heads Up
I’m not sure if this is a pro or a con. I found myself wanting more when I finished Always. I feel like I missed out on the beginning of Peri’s search for Isabel before she arrived in Sequina. I would have liked to spend more time watching Peri and Camila fall in love, and I would have loved more history. I don’t think the book suffered because of this, but I just wanted more.
I love Italy. Bryant peppers Always with enough descriptors to make the story feel authentic without getting bogged down in overly long descriptions of architecture, scenery, food, etc. She sets the mood and follows through with a story that hits all the right notes. Did I know Peri and Camila would get their happy ever after? Of course, I did, this is a romance. Watching them navigate their complicated feelings and then live on separate continents kept me hooked. I can’t even comment on what makes this romance so special because…spoilers, so you’ll really have to read it and get back to me.
Excerpt from Always by Kris Bryant
Peri took Bisnonna’s hand. “You called me Hilde. I’m Peri, but Hilde was my great-grandmother.”
She touched Peri’s face. “You look just like your beautiful great-grandmother.”
“We called her Amma.” Peri pulled out a small velvet satchel. “She hired me to find you and give you this.”
I figured Bisnonna would have problems with the small bow so, at Peri’s nod, I untied it for her and shook out a gold locket. I placed it in the palm of her hand.
“Open it,” Peri said.
It housed photos of two beautiful women. One I recognized immediately as my bisnonna. The other woman looked very similar to Peri. I watched as Bisnonna brought it closer to her face. So many emotions crossed her features, and I felt like I’d just lived the memories with her. It dawned on me that she was in love with the woman in the photo. My heart crashed, and I put my hand on Bisnonna’s shoulder. “She’s beautiful.”
“That’s my great-grandmother,” Peri said.
“You look just like her,” I said. For the first time since arriving at the villa, Peri looked like she didn’t want to murder me.
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Bits and Bobs
ISBN number: 9781636790275
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
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