Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Is ‘Flirting with Italian’ the Most Sensuous Liz Fielding Romance Ever?

US and NA Cover

Earthy, Vibrant, Sizzling: a Romance You Can Feel, Smell, Taste, Hear and Savor!  

Harlequin Romance
Dec 2011
Classic Romance
Paperback & Kindle

“Flirting with Italian”  is one of my three all time favorite Liz Fielding romances. The others are: Wedding at Leopard Tree Lodge” and “City Girl in Training”. 

"Flirting with Italian" offers wit, charm and passion!

I must say I’ve been a Liz Fielding fan for a long time – even before I thought she wrote, “Bridget’s Jones’s Diary”.  (It took me a long time to learn how to field* my Fieldings. There’s Joy, there’s Helen, there’s Liz and there’s Henry. I like them all!)  

In “Flirting with Italian” all five senses seem to vibrate right off the page. At times I felt like I was reading Henry Fielding’s “Tom Jones” -- especially the sensuous eating scene so well depicted in the movie!

Indeed, if you are allergic to the outdoors or spicy foods, “Flirting in Italian”  might make you sneeze!  So by 'sensuous' I mean that the story appeals to the senses. 

Here's a sample of the author's sensuous writing:

 A grape?’
   She laughed. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d laughed as much.
   ‘No,’ she declared. ‘Not even a grape.’ But, refusing to take no for an answer, Matteo reached up and plucked a huge drak grape from a bunch growing above his head. Held it close enough to her lips for her to smell the sweetness.
   ‘Resistance is futile’, he said and she felt herself sliging into temptation.
   Everying today had been about the senses.
   Vivid colour, the scent of herbs and the sun-baked earth. The touch of a man’s lips for the first time in months.
    Languorous in the still heat of the early afternoon, lulled by the faint hum of drowsy insects, mesmerized by Matteo’s dark eyes gleaming softly in the shade, urging her to this one last pleasure, she leaned forward the inch required to take the grape, closing her lips around it. Around the tips of his fingers.
    The grape exploded on her tongue, the juice dribbling over her lips, over his fingers. And it seemed the most natural thing in the world to lick it up…”

Writing like this is just unfair to other writers! Readers might come to expect great writing like this and not every author can do it! I object but I’m going to go ‘to school’ on this passage anyway!

The Story:

The heroine, Sarah Gratton, is an English high school history teacher who was dropped like a hot potato when her lover, Tom,  sees a sumptuous new hire. For him it was love at first sight. The problem for Sarah is that Tom is a much beloved winning coach of the school athletic program and he feels he must leave the school after his betrayal of Sarah.

To complicate the situation, their place of employment, Maybridge High School, is one of the best teaching positions in the country. Sarah could not expect to get a better job if she left. But leave she feels she must. 

Sarah applies for a job in Rome teaching at the school for foreign students which is taught in English. Her school was so happy to have her leave (and keep their coach) that she got an excellent report and was hired. 

Sarah goes to Rome.  She is advised by her great-grandfather, Lex, to have a meaningless affair with a handsome Italian as soon as possible to get Tom out of her system.

There is a back story here. Lex was saved during WWII by an Italian woman who risked her life to nurse him back to health and hide him from the Germans. This story echoes a real story reported by the English flyer, Eric Newby in his book Love and War in theApennines”. The irony here is that in the real life story the hero returns to Italy after the war and marries the Italian girl and the story has a very happy ending. In the romance the hero loses tack of the heroine in the fog of war and they do not get married! (Tell that to the critics who don’t like the HEA in romances!) 

Sarah knows about her great-grandfather’s lost love and decides to see if the woman is still alive. She even goes to the location where a photo was taken of her grandfather and the Italian heroine. It is here where Sarah is confronted by the hero, Matteo, who is the current owner of the estate! He is a rich Count!  He's also drop-dead handsome and he speaks English.

From here the story really gets interesting! 

“Flirting with Italian” is a wonderful 5-Star romance that I am sure will win some very important romance awards in the next year!

Australian Edition
UK edition

Note: Only the US and NA edition 'says' Italy in the cover art. It is by far the best cover.

 * 'Field'  is an American baseball term which means catching the baseball without making an error. 


  1. Thanks so much, Vince - and yes, totally agree about the covers.

    Happy Christmas!

  2. Hi Liz:

    I just can’t wait to see what the Italians do with this story in the Harmony edition. What title will the select? “Quando il passato e presente si scontra nell'amore”. (“When the Past and Present Collide in Love”).

    Wait and see. : )