Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Date published: June 1, 2012
Reviewed by Lynne
Obtained via author.
Thirty-something Helen Hayes, a seemingly uptight Manhattan literary agent, shares an apartment with Marleen Walker and has a boyfriend, Mark, she rarely sees since he travels a lot. When Marleen intends going away for awhile, they decide to place an ad on Craigslist for a temporary roommate.
When Tiziano Conti from Florence, Italy appears at their door, Marleen is quick to offer him the sublet, despite Helen’s reservations. Helen has never lived with a man and, due to her extremes regarding organization, scheduling, and rule making, finds him totally unacceptable. Especially since her boyfriend may not like the idea of her living with a complete stranger. And a sexy one at that.
Right away, Helen remains difficult, imposing a rigid set of rules on her new roommate, fully expecting him to comply with her way of doing things. Fortunately, he maintains a resolute attitude about the whole thing.
After the first week, Helen decides to establish some sort of rapport with Tiziano who, by all appearances, is confident, charismatic, and very good looking. Inviting him to join her and a friend for pizza one night soon opens the door.
As time goes on, Helen learns more about Tiziano than she had expected and soon finds herself growing enamored with him. Time spent talking reveals how intelligent and well-read the man is, and this impresses her since she is an educated book worm herself.
When her infatuation with Tiziano grows steamy, she soon begins questioning her relationship with her long-distance boyfriend. Confused over her feelings and behavior, she suddenly bolts to spend time with Mark, to sort everything out.
Time away clears her mind, and she seeks out her friend, Emily, to help deconstruct her infatuation with Tiziano. But when she decides what to do about her relationship with him, she hurries home to tell him, only to find him gone from her life.
DECONSTRUCTING INFATUATION by Mercè Cardús is a sophisticated story that delves into the affairs of the heart, in a fascinating, unique way.
Although I liked this romance, it is a bit difficult to review. Ms. Cardús has a knack for writing, yet I feel DECONSTRUCTING INFATUATION should have been lengthened to include more details about some of the characters. I felt frustrated at the end of the story because some of my questions were never answered. I wanted so much to learn more about Tiziano but, other than the fact that he is kind, a good cook, and extremely well read, there isn’t much else. Perhaps some scenes from Tiziano’s point of view would help the reader to connect more with him. As it stands, he seems to be only someone standing in the background who steps into the picture when it is his cue to do so. I did like him, however, as a main character. I just feel that something is lacking in order for him to be more real to me. Perhaps some aspect of how he spends his days while Helen is at work or elsewhere and of how he feels about Helen’s treatment of him and their living arrangements.
Helen, the main female in DECONSTRUCTING INFATUATION, although educated and a bit uptight, perhaps because of job-related stress, seems to jump too readily into bed with Tiziano, in my opinion. I do understand why this happens and why it is necessary for this story to play out, but considering how rigid Helen is initially, it just seems odd that she would suddenly break all the rules and do what she does. She seems to barely consider her behavior as an act of unfaithfulness to Mark.
Regardless of the literary connection she has with Tiziano, it still isn’t clear how Helen really feels. I feel that if her heart palpitated more or her palms grew sweaty whenever she is around this Italian hunk, perhaps it would give the reader more understanding of why she is so infatuated with him. And of why she is willing to jump ship in order to be with him later.
All of the characters in DECONSTRUCTING INFATUATION are likeable. But I believe deeper development and more descriptions of them would enhance the story even more.
Ms. Cardús has some great dialogues in this story, and I especially enjoyed reading the discussions on Italian cuisines and on Dante’s Divine Comedy. Such an original addition to this story.
I love the overall concept of DECONSTRUCTING INFATUATION. The title is perfect, in my opinion, and the story plays out well. I just feel that with more editing, this story would become even better than it is. It needs to be more believable. Readers need to feel what Helen is feeling for Tiziano at the moment things begin to really change between them,
DECONSTRUCTING INFATUATION is fast-paced and written with a skilled hand. Overall, it is a great love story, and I would recommend it to anyone interested. A highly original plot causes the reader to think more deeply about relationships, especially when deciding between infatuation and true love. It is well worth a read.
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.