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Review: Lizzie & Dante by Mary Bly

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Review: Lizzie & Dante by Mary Bly

The insightful, audacious, and deeply romantic story of a woman whose life turns upside down after she meets an enigmatic chef on vacation in Italy–perfect for fans of Beautiful Ruins or Under the Tuscan Sun .

On the heels of a difficult break-up and a devastating diagnosis, Shakespearian scholar Lizzie Delford decides to take one last lavish vacation on Elba, the sun-kissed island off the Italian coast, with her best friend and his movie-star boyfriend. Once settled into a luxurious seaside resort, Lizzie has to make big decisions about her future, and she needs the one thing she may be running out of: time.

She leaves the yacht-owners and celebrities behind and sneaks off to the public beach, where she meets a sardonic chef named Dante, his battered dog Lily, and his wry daughter Etta, a twelve-year-old desperate for a mother. While Dante shows Lizzie the island’s secrets, and Etta dazzles with her irreverent humor, Lizzie is confronted with a dilemma. Is it right to fall in love if time is short? Is it better to find a mother briefly, or to have no mother at all? And the most difficult question of all: What if falling in love inevitably leads to broken hearts?

A transporting, all-consuming story about love, courage, and Italian wine, Lizzie & Dante demands to know how far we should travel to find a future worth fighting for.

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Actual Rating is 3.5 Stars!

Lizzie & Dante follows the story of Shakespearian scholar, Lizzie. On the heels of a difficult break-up and devastating heath diagnosis, Lizzie decides to take one last vacation to Elba with her friends. Lizzie knows she’s got some important decisions to make about the future and is quickly running out of time. The last thing she planned on was meeting Dante and his twelve year old daughter, Etta. For once, everything Lizzie ever wanted is right within her grasps, but time is a vicious and cruel character. Will Lizzie take a risk on love and happiness and enjoy the time she has left or will Lizzie let fear control her decisions? There’s only one way to find out….

Lizzie & Dante is a beautiful story that will take readers on one heck of a journey. It’s impossible to not fall in love with the characters, the setting, and of course the food. I adored Lizzie and her friends. I thought Dante was just amazing. Lizzie didn’t plan on finding love when she went to Italy, but love found her anyway. When Lizzie told him about her diagnosis, he didn’t get scared away. If anything, it made him want to fight harder for what little time they had left. And then you have Etta. Etta really stole the show for me. She was funny and had a huge heart. Her pov at the end, left me with tears in my eyes.

All in all, I found this book to be a really beautiful story. The reason for the low rating is for the pacing. As much as I loved these characters, I do feel that because of the slower pace for the first half of the book, it took me far too long to get invested in the story. Sadly, I am the type of reader that will get distracted easily, so the pacing needs to be on point right out of the gate. That being said, I am happy to report that the pacing did pick up for the second part of the book and once I was locked into Lizzie’s story, I never looked back.

Lizzie & Dante is a heartwarming tale of love and enjoying each moment life has to offer. This story made me laugh and swoon and at times, I had tears in my eyes. The pacing was the only issue I had with this story, and that was definitely a “me” problem. I do think this story has a lot to offer and will be enjoyed by many. So, keep tissues on hand and definitely give this book a try.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via the publisher & NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*

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