"Her breathing came short and fast as the enormity of the discovery struck her. All of her senses were alive."

Twenty-seven-year-old Rose chooses adventure over conventionality when she leaves her safe American schoolteacher life and moves to Florence, Italy. There, in a tale that pays homage to stories of women heading to Italy in search of art, love, and adventure, such as Under the Tuscan Sun, Enchanted April, Three Coins in the Fountain, Roman Holiday, and Eat, Pray, Love, she buys a home, juggles two love interests, investigates an art history mystery reminiscent of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, edges toward resolving her relationship with her demanding mother, and chooses her adult path forward.

Rose's starry-eyed arrival in Florence is rich with an expatriate's happiest expectations: Italian food, art, homes, rustic markets, new friends, and attentive men. When two of those men—an old flame and a new acquaintance—emerge as contenders for her heart, Rose must navigate one's sinister motives and face her mother's influence as well as her teenage dreams to be clear about what kind of future she wants.

While Rose seems unclear about the direction she will choose, there is little question about which guy and which city will win her heart and commitment. Still, what the story lacks in urgent conflict, it fills with a rich sense of setting and the immense joy Rose finds in her European adventure and her engagement with art and the history she loves. The story begins and ends with Rose choosing her own independence. These decisions come across like satisfying endcaps on a journey that takes her across the world and closer to her self.

A 2021 Eric Hoffer Book Award Romance Category First Runner-Up

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