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The Roman Phalera (The Vines of Bordessi Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 221 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Perna writes with grace and style. Her descriptions of California, ancient and modern Italy, the inteiors and exteriors of buildings and much more are exceptionally well written.
When I read this author’s novels I am always impressed by her extensive research which becomes an enjoyable part of them. In The Roman Palera I appreciated the wealth of detail about vineyards, wine and a vintner’s function. I congratulate the novelist on her cast of believable characters who will stay with me long after I reached the end.
In the author’s notes Perna explains “Roman history is rich in legends, a fact that is a blessing for anyone caught up in the romance of antiquity.”. She has used this to sweep the reader back in time from Sonora Valley California, where Elena and Ludido Cavaleri guarded their grape vines with the jealous zeal once accorded to the virtue of unmarried daughters. They have three sons. The eldest, John Christopher, is serving in the army in Afghanistan. When he is released he will work with their father in the vineyard. Carlo is a vintner and his twin brother, Paolo, an archaeologist and scientist is university lecturer in San Diego.
During a camping trip in the mountains Carlo has a feeling of unease about Paolo. “A shiver worked its way up his spine and he shivered in response.”
When Carlo visits a new neighbour, Allegrati, he doesn’t foresee how important her daughter Andiana, a lawyer, will be to him; and Paolo has no premonition about a confrontational student who “creeps him out”.
During a meeting in Andiana’s office “Carlo shook his head in sudden confusion, his breath shooting out in short gasps. He started up from his chair, his left hand clawing at his heart as pain sharp and bright blossomed in his chest. ‘Oh my God. No!’ he said and fainted. Paolo has been murdered by the dysfunctional student.
Carlo connects beautiful Andiana with the worst experience of s his life. He might never move on but he will always remember she was there when Paolo died and that she saved his life. He doesn’t want to be involved with her at any level.
From childhood Paolo was fascinated by ancient Rome. Somehow or other Carlo slips back in time and is reunited with his twin who says: “Come on, Car. Where’s your sense of adventure? ‘I’m already dead and you’re asleep by the fireplace in the Allegrati’s guest room. What could happen to us?”
After they take part in a battle in ancient Italy, Paolo tells Carlo to live for both of them and leaves. Carlo is then able to slowly move forward.
I recommend this novel which is sensual but contains no explicit sex.
It explores the bond that exists between brothers whose connection is even stronger than usual, because they are twins. It was very touching to see it unfold. They two men share a sixth sense about each other which causes Carlo’s near death when Paolo meets an untimely end. In the following weeks, Carlo is lost and does not want to go on living without his brother, when a strange dream and a trip to Rome begin to bring things into perspective.
While I’m not usually a fan of contemporary books, I found this one to be a unique blend of history, romance and the paranormal, and the unexpected surprise at the end put a neat twist on the story.
The development of the romance was intriguing and brought the reader in to the story.
The ending was very emotional and beautiful .I have read 2 of this author books and enjoyed them very much.
I am looking forward to reading another of Robbi Perna's books