Love Among the Ruins by Catherine MaiorisiLove Among the Ruins by Catherine Maiorisi is a beautiful contemporary about love and healing during a month-long tour of Italy.

Calliope DeAndre and Dana Wittman are two women navigating their own unique lives, each having experienced recent heartache and life-changing events.

Now the two find themselves on what should have been two separate romantic Italy tours. Each alone instead of part of a couple.

When Callie wants to leave the tour on the first day, Dana convinces her to stay and together, the two form a bond unlike any either has experienced. As days turn to weeks, healing begins and the two find themselves with strong feelings that neither was prepared for. Callie feels guilty while Dana is hesitant.

Can these two women overcome past heartaches and allow love into their hearts?


Catherine Maiorisi’s love of Italy shines brightly throughout Love Among the Ruins. The care she took putting together this month-long romantic tour is apparent in every word. The cities, architecture, people, culture, food, and wine are exquisitely detailed. There were times I felt like I was right there in a city center smelling the food while taking in a cathedral’s spires and hearing the murmur of the voices surrounding me. Being completely immersed in all things Italian was truly a moving experience.


Abby Craden’s narration skills are impressive. She has a remarkable ability to bring characters to life, maintaining consistency and distinctiveness in their voices. Her performance is filled with emotion and depth, making the listening experience truly immersive.

Pros And My Favourite Parts

Callie’s journey through grief and isolation to finding solace and connection is an authentic human experience. Her struggle to leave the house and engage with the world again, despite the support of her friends, highlights the depth of her loss and the challenge of moving forward. The romantic tour of Italy serves as both a literal and figurative journey for Callie, offering her the chance to find inspiration and healing in a new setting.

Dana’s presence on the tour provides a crucial lifeline for Callie. Their evolving relationship, marked by mutual support and vulnerability, shows the transformative power of companionship. Callie’s gradual opening up to Dana shows the non-linear nature of healing, while Dana’s own journey toward vulnerability adds depth to their connection.

The gradual evolution of Callie and Dana’s relationship from a supportive friendship to a romantic connection makes their story believable and relatable. The authenticity of their bond comes from the foundation of trust and understanding they build as they navigate their vulnerabilities. The picturesque Italian backdrop adds a layer of enchantment and beauty to their journey. The shared experiences and intimate moments they encounter along the way create opportunities for their relationship to deepen naturally. The slow burn is delicious and heartwarming allowing my romantic heart to swoon.

There is a diverse cast of supporting characters who all add richness and depth to the narrative. Catherine Maiorisi’s skillful detailing helps readers keep track of each character, making the story more engaging. Each member of the tour, including the tour guide, contributes significantly to the overall narrative, enhancing the realism of the story. These characters provide various perspectives, support systems, and interactions that help to flesh out the world of the story. Their individual journeys and personalities add layers to the narrative, making it more than just a backdrop for the central romance.

Heads Up

Grief over the loss of a spouse and panic attacks.

The Conclusion

Love Among the Ruins is a beautiful and powerful journey through Italy, which offers Callie the sanctuary she needs to heal from her devastating loss. The Italian setting, with its rich culture and stunning landscapes, becomes a catalyst for Callie’s creative and emotional revival (it also makes me want to shirk all of my responsibilities and hop on a plane to Italy). Maiorisi intertwines Callie’s personal healing with the exploration of a new place, with a wonderful cast of characters who add depth to the overall narrative. It’s an authentic story about loss, healing, vulnerability, and love. It shows the resilience of the human spirit in the most breathtaking and heartfelt ways. I highly recommend grabbing a copy and immersing yourself in Callie and Dana’s journey.

Excerpt from Love Among the Ruins by Catherine Maiorisi

Writing was her life. She’d never not delivered, so she’d have to write the book. But if she hadn’t experienced the romantic atmosphere herself, the book wouldn’t have the authenticity, the real feeling for the setting that her readers had come to expect. She needed to go to Italy, wanted to go.

If the half hour drive from Montclair to Newark Airport seemed overwhelming, though, how in the world could she fly to Italy and then spend a month confined with eleven strangers? Would she have to talk about Abby? About herself? Could she protect the privacy she’d fought so hard for? Callie’s eyes fell on the letter lying on the table and the last sentence jumped out at her. “So get your sweet ass out there.” She could see the mischievous glint in Abby’s eyes and the smirk that surely would have been there when she wrote that sentence, knowing she would recall the many times in their life together she’d followed a pep talk with those very words.

Abby was her muse and her sounding board. Her love for her, the sexual passion they shared, had inspired her romantic imagination. Could she write a romance about two unlikely people who fall in love on a tour of the romantic sights in Italy without Abby? She doubted it. But Abby would insist she at least try.

She took a deep breath. “You know they book these ads way in advance. The tour starts May first, just sixteen days from today, and it’s probably sold out by now.” Callie held her hand up to forestall any more efforts to convince her. “But I’ll try to book it tomorrow.”

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Bits and Bobs

ISBN number: 978-1642474640

Publisher: Bella Books

Audiobook Publisher: Tantor Audio

Narrator: Abby Craden

Catherine Maiorisi Online


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