Monday, May 26, 2014

Murder, Mi Amore by Cara Marsi

Murder, Mi Amore, a romantic suspense novel, begins with the protagonist, Lexie, an Italian-American woman, who is shopping in Rome, Italy.  We learn that Lexie:
...wasn't ordinary any more.  Not since she'd come to Rome.  And now she had a new handbag to go with her new attitude.  In the past two weeks, the cautious and always-do-what's-right-eager-to-please-everyone Lexie Cortese had become a confident, take-charge woman.  For all of her twenty-eight years she'd done what others wanted--her parents, her teachers, that louse Jerry.  But no more.

Lexie makes her wishes here, and meets her mystery-man here

In the first few pages, the new Lexie meets a "Mr. GQ Cover Model" with oodles of charm and an Italian accent that works like foreplay.  This modern romantic-suspense novel, which I received as a review-copy, features the obligatory two hot twenty-somethings.  It sets off on a quick start and then religiously follows the requirements of the genre. 

We get the mysterious/suspicious first meeting, the instant physical attraction, the electrifying first touch.  We even have the wounded woman seeking recovery in Italy, and the jaded man who's been betrayed by a woman he loved.  And the man is the invented, yet ubiquitous, Interpol Agent; Interpol has no agents, only liaison officers who work in offices.


The couple have an intimate moment in Rome's Pantheon

With all the usual pieces in place, the book progresses into the plot-line, which is not exactly original, but it is well developed.  Through the adventures, Lexie, of course, very quickly wonders if her Mr. GQ's "promise in his eyes would materialize into soul-shattering sex".

Lexie is rather shallow, she laments ditching her previous boyfriend because he later became a doctor, missing her chance to be a doctor's wife, but her experiences in Italy might give her some needed depth.  Lexie is also a late-bloomer, making decisions about her future and her love-life for the first time only at the age of twenty-eight.  Lexie is also happy to be protected by a big, strong man, who is destined to be her second and last lover in her life.

Lexie goes with her mystery-man on a tour of Abruzzo, the region her grandparents came from in Italy, to their hometown of Ripa Teatina. 

Here is a two-minute video-postcard of Abruzzo:

You'll find lots of "heat" and "electricity" traveling around Lexie's body when she is near her Mr. GQ, lots of sizzling attraction, lots of imaginings of her sex-filled secure life with him, lots of trembling.  And there is one detailed sex-scene, with protected sex which is wonderfully responsible.  Mr. GQ's "potent masculinity" is often on display, not just in the bedroom.

Here is the book's trailer featuring some VERY attractive people:

The book is written in simple English in a third-person limited narration that switches between the two main characters' perspectives, for the most part.  The book is well-edited.  There is what looks like an odd error in the Italian in the book, Madone for Madonna, but the author says it is an attempt to write a dialect version of the word.  The title, Murder, Mi Amore, is a mash-up of English, Spanish and Italian, but artistic license can excuse many things ;-) .  The book is a solid entry in the genre romantic-suspense-novel-set-in-Italy, with a strong sense of Italy throughout for a vicarious pleasure, and sizzling romance for the fun of it!

The couple have more than one run-in with the ubiquitous scooter in Rome

From the book's description (only read the first paragraph to avoid spoilers):
Murder, jewel thieves and terrorists intrude on an American woman's Roman holiday; can she trust the sexy, mysterious Italian man who comes to her aid?

2012 EPPIE Finalist for Best Romantic Suspense.
2012 Finalist in the Oklahoma Romance Writers First Annual International Digital Awards

Lexie Cortese is in Rome to forget. The last thing she expects is to meet a sexy Interpol agent who suspects her of being part of a terrorist plot involving a stolen diamond. Suddenly thrust into a world of murders, muggings, and kidnappings, Lexie doesn’t know what to think—or who to believe.

Dominic Brioni’s assignment is simple. Befriend the American and bring her to justice. Only Lexie seems the most unlikely terrorist Dominic has ever met. Sweet, determined, and direct, she faces life with courage and fire, a fire that sparks his protective instincts and a longing for something more—something he allowed himself to hope for only once before.

But that woman betrayed him, and his boss isn’t about to let him forget it. With his career on the line and Lexie in danger, will Dominic learn to trust his heart before they both get killed?

Lexie does her best to look the part of the fashionable woman in Rome, designer handbag and all, with dangerous consequences

The book is available via Smashwords, an on-line e-book seller, that sells each book in various e-book formats:

The book is also available via as either a Kindle e-book or a paperback edition.  Here are the direct links to Murder, Mi Amore:

Cara Marsi is the author of several romantic-suspense novels, and other genre novels.  Many of her protagonists are hyphenated Italians, celebrating her own hyphenated Italian heritage.  Here are direct links to several of them at

Here is a book trailer for one of Cara Marsi's Redemption Series books:

Gelato, something that is on Lexie's mind almost as much as Mr. GQ!  And I can't blame her ;-)

This review is by Candida Martinelli, of Candida Martinelli's Italophile Site, and the author of the cozy-murder-mystery novel AN EXTRA VIRGIN PRESSING MURDER, and the young-adult/adult mystery novel series THE VIOLET STRANGE MYSTERIES the first book of which is VIOLET'S PROBLEM.


  1. Thank you for your review of Murder, Mi Amore. I love your site and am bookmarking it. I'm glad you liked my book, and thanks for highlighting some of my other books. I wrote Murder, Mi Amore (I took literary license with the title) after a 2006 trip to Italy, my second trip there. We spent a few days in Ripa Teatina staying with relatives. Every meal mentioned in the story was one we ate while therein Italy. We stayed at a hotel on the Via Corsi in Rome, and we ate lots of gelato. Kiwi melon was my favorite, as it's Lexie's favorite. I tried to phonetically spell Madonna the way my grandmothers said the word with their Abruzzo dialect. I may not have been successful. Thanks again for reading and reviewing my book. Now I want to go back to Italy. Congrats on a great blog site too.

  2. My pleasure! Thank you for the message. I am off to find some new images to add to my review: gelato, Ripa Teatine, Via Corsi... And thanks for the tip for the book trailer. I will add that, too. Success with your books! Grazie e tante belle cose,