I got Something New last summer at the airport because I needed something quick and easy to read during my flight and at the beach while on vacation. I haven't read many books in the romance genre, although I am a HUGE fan of Judith McNaught. Nora Roberts is another popular romance novelist, but somehow all of her books seemed a little trite whenever I thumbed through them at Target so I never picked one up.
Something New is actually two unrelated short stories: Impulse (1989) and Lessons Learned (1986). When I read the plot synopsis on the back of the book I was sold with the words "Italian" and "chef." If a love story involves two of my favorite things, it can't be that bad, right?
Impulse is the shorter story of the two, and it was over before I really got connected to the characters. Rebecca Malone is very meticulous and predictable, that is until she meets a Greeek man while taking a very out of character spontaneous trip to Greece. I can't say much more without giving away the entire story in one sentence, but I bet you can already guess how that story ends. (Hint: Romance novels always have happy endings!).
Lessons Learned was my favorite story of the two. It was the perfect poolside or oceanside read: a light and entertaining feel-good story. The love interest, Italian chef Carlo Franconi, is stereotypically a ladies man and insatiable flirt, but that can be forgiven because he's so darn charming (even on the pages!). Carlo is the type of man women dream about. Even though I knew a happy ending was inevitable, I was like a man watching Monday Night Football yelling at the TV. In my head I kept yelling at the characters because I felt like I knew them so well that I knew what they should do!
I realized why the romance genre is so appealing to women; it's part realism, part fantasy. Not to mention the guaranteed happy ending despite the obstacles helps us believe in love. I would definitely recommend this book for a fun read when you want something fun and light rather than intellectually stimulating.0