summary from Goodreads:
“Ms. Gates, would you like to earn a quarter of a million dollars?”
Phoebe must be dreaming. She’s bowled over by gorgeous Italian billionaire Matteo Bianchi’s offer of redecorating a spectacular house in the Hamptons and a mansion in Rome…and Phoebe can’t refuse! It’s just what she needs to take her mind off losing her fiance.But when they’re snowed in together on New Year’s Eve, their attraction explodes like the fireworks outside. And as Phoebe works her magic across the two properties, Matteo wonders… Could he finally open his heart and make her his bride?
I wish someone would call me and ask me if I wanted to make $250k dollars! Sign me up! But I’m not an interior decorator and I don’t think my current skill set would warrant that kind of money. LOL!
The story started off strong. Matteo and Phoebe are both dealing with tragic losses from their past. Neither one is in any rush to be in a romantic relationship. I could understand Phoebe’s reasoning more than Matteo’s. Matteo’s tragic loss happened when he was a child so I found it difficult to understand why as an adult, he’s still anti-relationship.
Matteo and Phoebe’s relationship starts off as platonic for the majority of the book. Phoebe is attracted to Matteo but is put off by his attitude. Matteo is abrupt and standoffish. The house in the Hamptons that Phoebe is remodeling for him holds bad memories for Matteo but that’s no excuse to be rude when Phoebe is just trying to do her job.
It takes the majority of the book before Matteo and Phoebe give in to their attraction. I didn’t feel the attraction was intense and it was hard for me to believe that these two will end up as a couple. Phoebe felt guilt for moving on with her life even though her fiancee had been dead for two years. I can understand feeling guilt. If she’s not ready to move on, then don’t force. I also found it difficult to believe that the jump from guilt to love happened so face. There was no build up. Matteo and Phoebe were fighting their attraction for so long that when they finally gave in to the attraction, it came out of nowhere.
The only heat in this book is kissing. The sex scenes are fade to black. Which is fine if that’s what you’re looking for in a romance. That’s not MY cup of tea. My main issue with The Italian Billionaire’s New Year Bride is that I didn’t believe in the romance and I wasn’t here for Matteo and Phoebe as a couple. To me, they’d be better off as friends because the attraction and heat wasn’t there for me.
Note: FYI – The author is not a WoC. I assumed she was because the heroine is African-American.