I wasn't sure about this book when I picked it up. It sounded like it might be a sappy love story with a weepy main character.
Not. Even. Close.
I loved this book. Gabi is a great main character. She's got spunk, fire, and determination. But she's also smart, and can cool her heels when the situation needs it. Her loyalty to her sister, her ability to empathize with strangers, and ability to think on her feet make her my favorite kind of character.
The story itself holds its own in a very good way. Gabi presents herself in a believable way so everyone thinks she's a lady and not a commoner. The only thing that bothered me was her ability to pick up ancient Italian as well as she did. She spoke Italian fluently, but ancient Italian is something else entirely. She did question this, so I'm hoping we'll get an explanation in a later book.
I liked the conflict between Gabi and Lady Rossi. It was full of tension, but wasn't over the top. And there was plenty of motive for that conflict, too.
The romance aspect felt like a good, slow build up, even though it happened rather quickly if you count out the days. But there certainly wasn't any "OMG he's hot, I must throw myself at him" moments going on in this story, which I found very refreshing.
Overall, this was a very compelling and interesting story that grabbed my attention and kept it. I was even still reading at 2am and telling myself over and over that I *had* to go to bed (which I did), and yet I kept reading. I think teens of all ages will enjoy this story, and I'm definitely looking forward to the next book.
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