Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson

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Title: Flirting in Italian (Flirting in Italian #1)
Author: Lauren Henderson
Release Date: June 12, 2012 (hardcover)
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pages: 336
Source: ARC provided by publisher

Overall: 3.5 Stars

Summary:
Four girls. One magical, and possibly dangerous Italian summer. Family mysteries, ancient castles, long hot nights of dancing under the stars . . . and, of course, plenty of gorgeous Italian boys!

My Thoughts:
When I first picked up a copy of Flirting in Italian, I was expecting a light contemporary read filled with romance and gorgeous Italian boys, but there's definitely more to the novel than meets the eye! Lauren Henderson has written a novel that's both fun and flirty, but also has a touch of mystery to give Flirting in Italian an irresistible appeal.

Violet has always wondered why her parents look nothing like herself as her mother's Scandinavian looks and her father's Scottish background cannot explain why her own appearance is one of Mediterranean descent. She's always toyed with the possibility that she's adopted, but could never work up the courage to really ask. So when Violet sees a portrait at a museum featuring a girl with a striking physical resemblance to herself, she becomes determined to learn more about the young Italian noblewoman featured in the painting. Convincing her mother to send her to Tuscany for a study course to prepare her for university, Violet secretly plans to learn more about the girl in the picture... And if she just happens to meet pretty Italian boys and attend parties in the countryside along the way, well, no one's stopping her from having a fun time.

As I continued to read Flirting in Italian, I felt the romance could have been stronger. A part of me didn't believe Violet could fall under Luca's spell so quickly because it certainly felt like she was more enamoured with his handsome looks, rather than his actual personality. Sure, he definitely had his charming moments, which combined with his Italian accent, simply made you want to swoon, but my initial first impression of Luca left a wariness of his character that I couldn't quite shake off. I think a part of this reasoning was because when it was just the two of them together, Luca was sweet and thoughtful, but when others were around, he was more distant. However, potential romance aside, Flirting in Italian was also a story of budding friendship, and I liked seeing Violet getting closer to her new classmates: Paige and Kendra, both American, and Kelly, an English scholarship girl.   

While Lauren Henderson's Flirting in Italian deviated from my expectations, I'm still very much curious to see what will happen next in the sequel, Following in Love in Italian. It's a perfect summer novel that will leave you wishing you could board the next flight to Italy and experience the culture through your own eyes!

Thanks so much to Random House Canada for providing this review copy! 

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