by Wendy Markham

July 2008
ISBN: 0-446-61844-6
Reviewer Graphic Button Grand Central Publishing
Mass Market Paperback

If youíre like me and a little behind in current releases and like to read books that might be somehow related to a holiday then October is the perfect time to read Thatís Amore by Wendy Markham.

When I asked for Thatís Amore to review I was expecting to get a straight contemporary novel, and perhaps a romantic comedy. I was not at all prepared for the paranormal element that is strong throughout this book. Here I have no choice but to be honest and say Iím not typically a paranormal reader, but when I am my favorite paranormal elements are ghosts, and haunted places.

Daria Marshall can and does see not only dead people, but also the occasional ghostly animal. While Daria is not thrilled with her sixth sense, her sister Tamara who also possesses a sixth sense embraces hers fully, and indeed makes a nice living from it.

Daria was raised rather unconventionally, and even as a young woman has yet to truly find her niche in life. Her wanderlust has now landed her at her sisterís apartment sleeping on her couch for far longer than she originally intended. Could it be that Daria is finally ready to put down firm roots, or could it be that the sad ghost she sees has a plan of his own for her future? Regardless Daria who should come off as a shallow one dimensional character is truly well rounded and concerned about her lack of direction in life, and knows that sooner rather than later she should make a firm decision and stick to it, but is she capable?

Ralph Chickalini was born into a strong loving Italian family. They are steep in tradition, and all have a close almost intrusive relationship. Ralphís mother died giving birth to him, and now with his fatherís death Ralph is also adrift. His siblings want to sell the family home, and while he knows it is the thing to do heís hanging on with all his might.

Fast-forward to New Yearís Eve and Ralph and Daria meet and sparks begin to fly, but both have other commitments and realize that theyíll probably never see one another again. However, that one spirit that seems determined to find a way to push Ralph and Daria together. Will he be successful? If he is, will he be able to move out of this realm and into the next?

I found as I read Thatís Amore I could hardly set it aside to concentrate on other tasks. I was truly surprised at the story line, and my total enjoyment of it. I felt that Ms. Markham used a perfect blend of romance, humor, and paranormal to write a nearly perfect story. The chemistry was honest between Daria and Ralph and while they had to struggle to find their happy ending they both ended up learning important things that enabled them to fully finally commit to their relationship, and that happened without any preaching from the author.

I donít believe Iíve read Ms. Markham before, but Iím now determined to hunt down her backlist, and add yet more books to an already overflowing TBR!

Reviewed in September 2008 by Sandi.

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