Author: Wendy Markham
Publisher: Forever Hachette Book Group
ISBN-10: 0446618446
ISBN-13: 978-0446618441

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Wendy Markham’s That’s Amore’s Daria is exhausted with the California earthquakes, she has relatives and contacts in New York City, on the other hand, perhaps Phoenix is where she should bring her restlessness to an end and put down roots.  Maybe not. 

Daria tends to keep on the move and not settle too long in any one spot.

It is August in Phoenix, Arizona; Daria Marshall’s concentration is not centered on her dining companion, George.  Rather she is focused on the Native American woman who, seeming unmindful to the lunch hour swarm hastening to the counter of the Tex Mex Restaurant, is sitting crossed legged on the floor.  George, of course, has not noticed her.

Daria, who did not ask for her particular – endowment - she sees dead people; tends to pay no attention to her uncanny ability.

Sitting on Madame Tamar’s sofa in Manhattan during late December Daria considers the last 6 months.  Her sister Tammy, Madame Tamar, and Daria are not much alike.  Tammy tends to wear her salt and pepper hair trapped in an elastic band, steers clear of make up and has no yearning to ever leave the reassurance of her New York home.

Daria, a fashionable gadabout, is an interior designer who would love to do a renovation on Tammy’s apartment, won’t happen.  Tammy and her now departed husband Carlton resided in these rooms together, and Tammy is convinced Carlton’s spirit continues to move in the place.

Followed along the streets of New York by a rather down in the dumps old gent who is, of course, unnoticed by others; Daria lives for exhilaration, and renovation and modifing.  She has become quite proficient at ignoring all those dead people who have a propensity for following her everywhere, on balance, she has had lots of practice at it. 

A New Year’s Eve party conveys Daria nose to nose with one Ralph Chickalini.  He and his extensive extended family have deep roots in the area.  Daria feels Ralph might be perfect for her, apart from, he already has a fiancée and he is gloomy over the recent demise of his father. 

Lenore and Mia, Mia’s soon to be husband Dominic, and the latest Chickalini wedding all provide grist to move the tale along.

Meeting Ralph in Astoria; he does give the impression he shares Daria’s feelings of interest, however, Ralph is engaged, and Ralph does not care much for change. Whoops, the engagement is off.  

Now Ralph grieves both the loss of his father and his broken engagement. While Daria longs for steadiness, permanence and family, she has no real desire to settle down anywhere.  Enter Papa Chickalini’s ghost. 

That’s Amore is a swift, entertaining read.  Characters are nicely represented; those who have read preceding Markham works will hail renewing their acquaintance with the Chickalini kinfolk. 

The disparity between big city and small town are agreeably illustrated; local allusions do much to brign the ambiance of the neighborhood to life.

While I’m not much of a fan of romance centered tales; Writer Markham crafts an enjoyable, easy read that even held my interest beginning to end.  Not many chick lit type works do. 

Overflowing with out of the ordinary Chickalini’s who add much to any situation, Daria and her affinity toward the numinous and just plain first-class writing go a long way to generate an agreeable anecdote.

Happy to recommend Wendy Markham’s That’s Amore.

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