Friday, June 10, 2011

The Man Who Could Never Love (Royal Secrets)- Kate Hewitt



Kate Hewitt has written a dynamite romance with a lot of heart in The Man Who Could Never Love. The message?   Can old wounds be healed?  Beauty is only skin-deep; it's what's inside that counts.

It was time to marry and he was done playing around. He needed to take his rightful place as Vittorio Ralfino, the Count of Cazlevara. He also needed to broker a marriage of convenience.  The perfect wife would be Anamaria Vialo, a woman with a passion for wines, a vintner whose property was near his estate. Therefore, he went to her father to propose the union and then shocked her with his proposal.

After her mother died, Anamaria went to boarding school and was labeled all sorts of things from "large" to "unattractive”.  Her only encounter with a man had  been a disaster and she felt such the fool. She only had one friend she could count on and after her father somewhat got over the death of her mother, she returned home to the winery to manage it on behalf of her father. Shocked was the only way to describe her reaction to Vittorio's proposal because he was known for dating beautiful women, not women who dressed in clothes to hide their figure in manly pantsuits.  No dresses, no skirts and definitely no designer clothes like the women he once dated. In addition, there was fact that she had no sexual experience and was a virgin.

Being the oldest Vittorio was favored and groomed by his father to lead his country when his father died. So in retaliation for the lack of love and attention from her husband, when his younger brother was born, his mother favored him and turned her back on Vittorio. From the time he was a toddler he was shunned and ignored. These hurts were like an open wound and still hurt deeply. When his father died, his mother tried to take not only the estate from him, she had tried to give the throne to his younger brother. However, there were also things he did not know about his parent’s relationship, things that had been kept secret and misunderstandings about the past. The memories held a lot of power and pain. He had seen first hand how love could destroy.  Therefore, his marriage would be of loyalty, friendship and respect, never love.

A few dates in over-sized clothing, friendly kisses and then the agreement was made with Ana and her father. He stirred things in her and she wished he desired her in the way she desired him. She felt an ache inside her and she told him she did not want to marry a man who did not find her attractive. And then, her father found her mother's wedding dress,  Out of date was the wedding gown.  However, her father asked her to wear it and out of love and respect, ruffles and all she wore it even though she knew Vittorio would be embarrassed by it.  He was horrified when he saw his bride walk down the isle but said nothing. Even though she knew she would look horrible, she wore it for her father and that said so much about her character. I kept wondering how this marriage would work out especially in light that he physically ignored her after they were married or so it seemed.

Vittorio's entire adult life had been focused on NOT loving yet he wanted to consummate the marriage. He had tried everything, to be her friend, to ask her not to betray him ever. He even took her  to Venice to purchase designer clothing which she did not want and fled the boutique. Yet somehow, Ana had slipped through his defenses and he really wanted her and her lush curves. There was to be a formal function at the castle. Ana being the person she was went back to Venice to seek out the sales girl who had wanted to originally dress her.  She asked her for help as she wanted to please her husband. Oh boy did she; Ana astounded him. She was stunning. He desired her so much but did not want to hurt her because he was very sure he could never love her due to the situations of his childhood. 

There was so much pain in Vittorio's family and secrets. When it was all exposed, his mother actually felt compassion for Ana and she tried to reason with her oldest son. She actually begged him not to hurt Ana. Family secrets all came tumbling out and all Ana wanted to do was to comfort Vittorio. However, to him love was destructive and he wanted no part of it. However, Ana felt, no actually knew, she wanted to not only comfort him but also be at his side. She wanted to find a way for his family to heal.

When he was away on business, her had her oversee both wineries. She made a decision concerning Bernardo and a wine he was working , one she thought would be a success.  As he was employed at Vittorio’s winery, the Cazlevara Vineyard, she wanted his brother to take credit for the wine. His Caterpillar had become a butterfly and he realized he loved her. Really loved her until he found out about her decisions and commitment she had made with his brother. He was gutted; it was too much to take in because the woman he realized he loved had betrayed him! 

Past hurts and betrayal were not forgotten. However,  all she wanted was for the family feud to end for her husband's sake. Did he think so little of her?  Was this how his mother had felt about her husband who had a heart encased in ice just like her husband? I wondered how could their marriage survive this because Ana, the lovely person she was only wanted to heal her husband and his family.

Kate Hewitt is an amazing author and she gave The Man Who Could Never Love an amazing happy ending.   The main poinits being Vittorio forgiving his mother, brother and healing them all in the process thanks to Ana.  Also he realized he loved his wife due to her inner beauty even though in the end, he found her lovely.  As for Ana, she realized she needed more than his trust; she needed his love and she got it!  If you're a romance reader, you won't want to miss this summer. read; take it to the beach.


A Cinderella Story or Not?  At the Harlequin Presents Blog





Book Description:

Vittorio Ralfino, the Count of Cazlevara, is back in Italy to make a business proposition. He wishes to marry a traditional wife, and Anamaria Viale—sturdy, plain and from a good vintner's family—perfectly fits his bill.

Ana is stunned that Vittorio is offering her—an ugly duckling!—marriage. She'd stoically resigned herself to a career and singledom.

But Vittorio is persuasive and Ana would like a child of her own. Although she's under no illusion that this is anything but a convenient marriage—Vittorio will never offer her love. So when the time comes for him to claim her as his bride, she's surprised—and amazed—at the strength of his passion….

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