Series: A Musical Interlude #1.5
Publisher: Self Published on April 22, 2014
Reading Challenges: 2014 Standalone Reading Challenge
Amazon • Goodreads
His goal…One night with the ballerina.
Her goal…To beat the player at his game.
The outcome...Something completely unexpected.
Adriana Dostov pegged Luca Martuccio from day one: gorgeous, talented, arrogant, a man who has had difficulty committing to one woman in the past. He is known in fashion circles as the player with a scandalous history. So when the girls in her ballet troupe suggest she gives up her virginity to him, she doesn't say no. But she’s not sure that a ‘yes’ is the right answer either. Yet, she can’t stop herself from making the offer...a one night stand in Venice.
Luca wanted fiesty little Adriana the moment they first met - and he fully intends to have her, hence why he's agreed to accept her proposal. In the end, he'll get what he wants. No commitment. All sex.
But, as Luca discovers, there's more to the ballerina with the overbearing mother - and he can't help but care about the frightened girl behind those sad eyes.
Adriana discovers Luca isn't just walking sex on a stick - he has a wildly passionate side, a lost soul who has suffered just as much grief as her. And it could be, they're exactly what the other one needs.
Check out my review of The Prelude (A Musical Interlude #1)
“‘After all the crazy shit you just heard, you’re still willing to take a chance on me?’ he asks, closing the distance between us. ‘Everybody deserves to have someone who believes in them,’ I answer, keeping my gaze locked inside his.”
“Life doesn’t always wind up fixing itself and leaving a happy ending that comes complete with a boat made out of gold waiting to carry its passengers off into the sunset.”
I loved The Prelude and couldn’t wait to read Adriana’s story!
This novel follows Adriana, Alek’s sister, as she fights her long-standing affection of Nikolai and her growing feelings for Luca. I really enjoyed the plot and pacing of this novel. It focused on the romance, primarily, but it also had some other elements thrown in that made it all them ore interesting. This novel runs parallel to The Prelude, so we also see some of Alek as her is pursuing Erin. This novel kept me enraptured for the whole book. It was a really interesting read.
Adriana was the female protagonist in this novel. I liked her. She was a very different character than Erin, the lead in The Prelude. I loved that Leigh was able to make two completely different characters that I loved equally in their own ways. Adriana was kind, slightly rebellious, adventurous, and determined. She didn’t let people walk over her for the most part and fought for what she believed in even when everyone around her was discouraging it. She had a terrible backstory that was hinted to in The Prelude, and we get to see that past. It was sad but made me love her character even more because she didn’t let it hold her back.
“Here comes the twist. But…he’s off limits. He’s my brother’s best friend. Even if he were to notice me, then that little tidbit keeps us from ever being able to be any more than friends.”
The two male leads in this novel were Luca and Nikolai. I did not enjoy either of them as much as Alek but they weere very well written. Nikolai was stoic so I wasn’t really able to get a good feel on him. Therefore my affections lie more with Luca. Nikolai was hot and cold and kind of harsh, and I just couldn’t get myself to like him much. Regardless, I’m interested to see what becomes of him in any future novels.
Luca was an entertainment all in himself. He was sarcastic, kind of flamboyant, and just an amusing character to read. I thought he was a much better fit for Adriana as their personalities seemed to complement each others better. Luca was kind of a player. However, it was endearing for the most part. He wasn’t mean about his man-whorishness. He just was. But he was faithful to Adriana and that’s all that matters. And his lines that he would say…they were just so poetic and smooth. Swoon.
“Moving closer to where I stand, he places his hands over mine, our gazes locking, and I can’t help but recall the way he stood up for me against his older brother. Why did he do that? He didn’t have to. This is a game we’re playing, a charade, nothing more; yet, clearly Luca’s taking our game a bit more seriously than I thought he would. And now he’s choosing to open up to me. The more I learn about the famous designer with the scandalous past and an inability to keep his hormones in check, the more intrigued I become.”
I liked the romance in this novel. There were two times: hot and passionate, which was Luca and Adriana. This was my favorite of the two. It started off as a not-really relationship to please Luca’s mother, and then turned into more. They had the chemistry and the adorable factor. And Luca’s mom loved them together! They were pretty much perfect. Then there was the tense, somewhat withdrawn and forbidden romance. This was between Nikolai and Adriana. Adriana had always loved Nikolai but Nikolai refused to act on it because she was Alek’s younger sister. I feel like if it weren’t for that, it wouldn’t have been as awkward of a romance for me. I still feel for him though, because he did love her.
As I mentioned, we get to see some of the events from The Prelude from the Dostov side. It was really cool how Leigh was able to make these novels parallel with the same events.
I also wanted to mention that I absolutely adored Luca’s mother, Simona. She was an integral part of the novel and I positively loved her.
An Aria in Venice was another fantastic addition to the series, even though it can be read as a standalone. It’s definitely one that I can recommend, especially if you have a thing for romance and a great setting!
You must not eyeball another man.
Repeat after me.
You must not eyeball another man.
Nikolai is the goal, keep that in mind as you eyeball—no, that’s too nice of a description—as you eyestrip another man’s body. Too late. The drooling has begun. Maybe he’ll let me borrow that towel he’s wearing around his muscular torso to wipe it away.
Oh my God, get your mind out of the V-line … no, I meant to say gutter. That’s what Mother always tells Alek, but somehow I think my brother’s mind has a permanent space inside the world of the wet and wild, along with Nikolai, although he tries to act like he’s the innocent one of the two. What neither of them knows is that I’ve heard all about the underground parties they throw at Nikolai’s place, and I don’t need to be experienced in sex to know all about the things they do, especially when my brother makes it a point to take Nadya along each time.
Speaking of my handsome bodyguard, he should be here at any moment, ready to pick me up and take me home. Always the faithful servant to Mother, and never a minute too late or early. My paranoid, and yes, overly protective brother wants me to be escorted everywhere these days. So when my mother’s driver, Hagar, isn’t available, Nikolai becomes the bodyguard. Checking out the designer guy, who has been acting like he’s not watching me ever since he strolled through the doorway, gives me an idea, and a grin spreads across my face. So Nikolai wants to ignore me and treat me like I’m still a little girl, huh? Then I’m going to give him a show he won’t soon forget.
“Luca, how’s it going?” I ask, reaching out my hand to him. Before answering my question, he takes my hand, shaking it, and glances up and down my body, a quick rake-over that kind of surprises me considering his reputation as a player. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but for him to quickly take my hand and then look away as though my skin is made out of fire really confuses me. And what’s with the flush in his face? I know he’s not blushing. I blink several times to make sure I’m not seeing things. I mean, I know the golden Gucci two piece I’m wearing gives J-Lo a run for her lack of a cover up, but still, this should be just the kind of thing he loves.
“The girl with an ocean inside her eyes,” he finally says, and right away, I feel like we’re back in familiar territory … one where the puppy uses his play on words to attract the kitty cat’s natural ability to be too curious. A flirtatious look crosses over the cautious one I just saw on his face, and he flashes one of those perfect smiles that highlight his dimples. Oh my! He has the hottest dimples and he knows I’m checking him out. I can tell by the way he not so innocently runs that tongue ring across his top lip as he smiles at me with his eyes. Distraction time. With a man like this one, you don’t ever let him know how much he affects you, and I’m failing at this thing.