Isabella (Book III of the Chantelle Rose Series) by Cristina Hodgson
Publication Date: September 26th 2018
Read Date: October 25th 2018
Genre: Romance / Women’s Fiction
Who is Isabella Gravachi, and what’s the mystery behind the trail of heartbreak left in her wake?
Having lost her mother as a child, Chantelle is desperate to trace this side of her family and confront the ghosts of her mother’s past. So when a surprise invitation arrives, promising to take her to the place that holds the secrets to both Isabella’s past and Chantelle’s future, she doesn’t hesitate.
But unravelling this Sicilian mystery that’s been locked away for centuries, under the guard of looming Mount Etna, will test Chantelle in ways she never imagined.
As new love challenges old, and bonds are formed and broken, will Chantelle’s quest for the truth destroy everyone she loves or will it bring her peace at last?
Previous Books in series-
Third and last in Chantelle Rose Series, Isabella, was a romcom, family suspense and drama that revolved around Chantelle’s motherhood, her quest of finding her maternal lineage and her mother’s life journey, Isabella. The book was about love, family secrets and betrayal, sacrifices, magic and belief.
As usual Chantelle was fun to read. She was witty, sarcastic, lovely mother of 2 year old Bella. If you have read earlier books, you can visibly see the development and maturity in Chantelle. Her feelings for Bella, Robbie and her loved ones were realistic and genuine.
I loved the trio of Chantelle, Vivien and Tammy from the very beginning. Vivien was just the same- madly in love diva, but this time she has started to come out of Lionel’s shadow. And what do I tell you about Bella! She was such an adorable child. This little swearing monster made me laugh out loud while reading about her.
Isabella– Chantelle’s mother was such a lovely and wise lady. She was most developed and mature character in the book. Even though she had suffered from her visions, love, and family, she never stopped in life. It was admirable to see her keep moving through thick and thins of life. I wish I could see her present in Chantelle’s life.
This book focuses more on female characters than their partners. Marco was exceptional in Isabella’s story. He was wonderful in his own way. His love for Isabella was heart touching, I felt his pain and sacrifices strongly. His development in the book was beautifully written and I loved the way author depicted his emotions.
Plot was written in first person narrative from PoV of Chantelle and and in third person narrative from Isabellea and Marco’s PoV alternatively. Chantelle represented her present life and her quest for finding her family roots and relatives from her mother’s side that she hopefully was going to find out in Catania while Isabella and Marco told their charming but poignant love story that took place in late 1980s in Sicily.
Both the narration started with unusual dreams that held family mystery. Author did a wonderful job in narrating two stories together with a magical element and seamlessly connecting them to the present life of Chantelle.
It was pleasant to read old characters. In the beginning author gave brief intro to all of them as and when necessary that brought back the memory of previous books. This series and the book had the best cast. I enjoyed reading them all.
The mystery of Chantelle’s mother and her family was gripping that hooked me from the very beginning. It was interesting to solve mystery of wedding invitation, plot against Chantelle, family scheming, and who Vivien was busy chatting with. Robbie and Lionel’s insecurity, Chantelle’s thoughts and difficulties in handling both Bella and Vivien together on their trip to Catania were added fun to the story.
What made this book different from the previous books of the series was flowery descriptive writing which was enticing with an exotic description of Mount Etna, its legends and myths and swoon worthy beautiful characters. What I loved most about this book was,
Chantelle’s voice- as usual entertaining and humor dripping,
Isabella’s life story, and
how Chantelle finds about her family and its secrets.
Climax was unpredictable and highly entertaining. Oh my and the end was most beautiful. It left me smiling a sweet-smile. It was the best end of the series and I’m going to miss Chantelle terribly.
Overall, it was humor dripping, entertaining, refreshing adult romance with mystery and family darma. I highly recommend this series to fan of this genre.
*** Note: I received e-copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. ***
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