“Secrets of Bella Terra
Didn’t Like It
“Resounding sneh. I did pretty much finish it, but it was ultimately kind of a bore. I've enjoyed Dodd's historical romances in the past, but this is a contemporary and has a bit of romantic suspense to it, which is not my favorite genre. The characters were not particularly compelling either.”see full review » see other reviews »
“All in all this was a pretty good book. I liked that the setting of the mystery didn't overwhelm the story; instead it blended and added to it. 3.5”Corryn V wrote this review Thursday, September 6, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Liked all three of these.....always enjoy series that follows a family”Betty wrote this review Friday, December 21, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Resounding sneh. I did pretty much finish it, but it was ultimately kind of a bore. I've enjoyed Dodd's historical romances in the past, but this is a contemporary and has a bit of romantic suspense to it, which is not my favorite genre. The characters were not particularly compelling either.”librarycarol wrote this review Monday, April 16, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Secrets of Bella Terra
Reviewed by Francesca & posted at Under The Covers Book Blog
Where to start with the things about this book that hit a great spot with me? Well, for one this series revolves around a family in a small town. However this is no ordinary family, their mother is a Hollywood star, they own a succesful vineyard, they're some of the most looking people in town, they own a resort, yeah, way above average right there. But they are all so nice and with a wonderful feeling of family unit.
They're of italian descent, and from the north of Italy more specifically. Me being northern italian and seeing a lot of people always show us with the wrong stereotypes, I was very happy to see that the ways this family was portrayed, the things they say, the way the act, and even the food they eat, was very accurate! And I enjoyed the food descriptions in the book, they were making me hungry!! Polenta, prosciutto wrapped canteloupe, and all with a nice glass of wine! *sigh*
Now the story is a bit of romantic suspense actually. Someone is after the Di Luca's, starting with the grandmother being attacked, a dead body shows up, among other things. Rafe Di Luca has been away for a long time, after being in the military now he has his own private security type firm. He comes back to investigate what's going on in his town and with his family.
To do this he enlists the help of his old high school flame and the girl he hasn't been able to forget. Brooke is now working at his family's resort and they're relationship had ended because she couldn't deal with his profession.
The sparks are still there between them, and between fighting them and giving in they will also have to catch whoever is after Rafe's family. Overall, I enjoyed the story, the intrigue, and the family most of all, so I am looking forward to reading the next book about the sexy Di Luca brothers.
“I don't think that I have read a book by Christina Dodd that I didn't enjoy. This new trilogy is excellent and a quick read.”Deb R wrote this review Sunday, September 11, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This was my first Christina Dodd novel - I'm not sure how I've missed her before, as she has a lot of books in print. This if the first book of a new series featuring the DiLuca brothers, and I'm assuming each brother will get his own book. The brothers share the same father, and each has an exotic and dangerous backstory. Rafe's mother is an internationally famous actress and beauty, and he is also shockingly handsome. And tough - after the military he started his own security firm and now has secret, dangerous missions all over the world. Which is why he left the first and only love of his life, Brooke, back in Bella Terra.
Brooke has grown up since he left, becoming the concierge for the DiLuca brothers resort. And by conceierge the author really means hotel manager, because Brooke seems to be in charge of the whole place and the staff, to include the hiring and firing. There were a few things about this book that irritated me to the point of distraction. The discrepancy between Brooke's job title and her actual duties was one. A second was the history of Brooke's mother, Kathy, a medically retired USAF helicopter pilot who ran secret government operations, and who seemingly lacks compassion for her daughter. The author explains this by stating "for a woman to thrive in the service, she had to let her grasp of the subtleties of human emotion slip away." (Quite the opposite - one MUST understand the human subtleties to be a good leader - showing compassion, however, could indeed be seen as a sign of weakness.) As a retired Army officer this was like a red flag of WTFness, made me question other claims in the book, and took me out of a mystery that I otherwise really enjoyed. I know this may seem nitpicky to some, but it's my review, right? It's funny how one "off" detail can yank a reader right out of an otherwise well-constructed world - anyone else find that to be true?
So after Rafe's grandmother is attacked as the result of a decades long feud, Rafe is determined to investigate and needs Brooke's help. They both still love each other, but don't communicate well, so there is a lot of anger and resentment fueling their simmering passion. Pretty soon Brooke stumbles upon a horrific find, and while helping her deal with the shock, Rafe tenderly cleans corpse goo off Brooke in the shower. Before you know it they are having amazing shower sex on the hard tile floor, and Brooke is desperate, because after having one spasming/firework-seeing orgasm, she is still waiting for the "ultimate orgasm". The phrase "ultimate orgasm" is used three times on one page, so it must be good, right?
Anyway, I digress with my sarcastic self. The good points of this novel were many - a really interesting mystery, a nicely developed cast of characters who were believable and enriched the story, and a setting so well described I can still see it in my head. And the best part - I wasn't sure who did it until the end! The author is a great story-teller, and I would like to read the next book in the series, Revenge at Bella Terra.”