A Venetian Affair ~ Dana Mitchell

  • Title: A Venetian Affair
  • Author: Dana Mitchell
  • Genre: Romance
  • Format: eBook
  • Source: NetGalley
  • Reviewed by: Soo
  • Rating: 3 out of 5

Description:  When cool, reserved Helen Stoddart dons a mask in magical Venice, it changes her life forever. Her identity protected, she succumbs to a night of wild lovemaking with gorgeous Italian, Gabriel Venier. Convinced she’ll never see Gabriel again, Helen returns home to Australia, where an old family scandal sees her hunted by the paparazzi. Then Gabriel arrives, looking for the mystery woman he can’t forget. But the Helen he encounters is withdrawn, arctic, nothing like the gorgeous, sensual woman seared into his memory. Despite Helen’s reluctance, Gabriel makes time for them to get to know each other, and for slow, delicious seduction…

Review:  3.5 Stars for being a light, romantic read with a large dose of passion.

What a fun, fast read! I picked up the story and read it in a few hours. I was immediately drawn into the mysterious attraction between Gabriel and Helen. Sometimes, an unspoken exchange has more power to influence your mind and emotions because it’s mostly instinctive response and instant fantasy.

The skeleton’s in Helen’s family were thrown into the limelight and Helen’s guilt becomes the truth no matter how much she professed her innocence. Tired of defending herself to deaf ears, Helen retreats into herself and shows the world an icy exterior. It’s the only way she knows how to protect herself and keep the promise she’s made to her mother.

For one extravagant night, Helen finds alarming passion in a stranger’s arms and stubborn flames of desire spark to life in her heart. A desire for normalcy, love, acceptance and a future with a family of her own. With dawn edging up over the waters of Venice, Helen leaves her hopes and lover behind to return to her life. Several months later, Gabriel and Helen are thrown together by chance and a storm of emotions overtake them both.

I found the story to be a warm, engaging read that I really enjoyed. The mixture of mystery, music, taking chances was the right mix of elements to draw me right in from the get go. I’m a fan of strong characters and this story has it with Gabriel. Helen is a nice clash of stubbornness, independence and child-like hope for approval. It’s all believable to me.

The only big complaint I have about the story is towards the end. There are so many ways to say, “I love you.” I felt let down by the exchange that actually occurs. I full heartedly love the way the Veniers fall en mass on Helen and put her firmly into the center of their family. There are other elements that felt rushed, perhaps skimmed over and characters that could have been filled out more (like Helen’s only friend) but overall the book was fun to read and I enjoyed it. A nice intro to a new author in Australia! I look forward to reading more from Dana Mitchell.