|Sadly, there is nothing that I liked about this tale.
The Rossellini in the title is Raffaele Rossellini, a rich man who lives in Italy but has decided to branch out into New Zealand. His partner is Kyle Whittaker. Despite the fact that Kyle was a married man, Raffaele introduced him to his sister and watched as they fell in love. Kyle kept telling him his wife would not give him a divorce. Then Maria becomes pregnant and she and Kyle want to marry. But still the society wife does not want to grant him a divorce. Now, Kyle is dead, and Maria is being kept alive only by a machine following a car accident. Raffaele is in New Zealand and agrees to allow them to keep Maria alive in order to give her baby a chance to survive.
The society wife is Lana Whittaker. Her version of the story is much different from Raffaele’s. She was aware that Kyle was working with some new partner and that he traveled at least one week out of every month. But beyond that, she thought their marriage was secure and loving. Their lovemaking had not tapered off, Kyle talked to her of his investments and she was happily involved in her charity work. No mention of a divorce had ever been made. The only slight issue in her life was the fact that she was sterile and despite all efforts, would not be able to bear a child. Luckily for her, Kyle stated that this was not a problem.
But now, he is dead. His friends and hers have abandoned her, especially as news of his dying with his pregnant mistress and his unsuccessful and in fact, disastrous investments start coming to light. Her assets have been frozen and her lawyer informed her that according to Kyle’s will, she will be the child’s guardian. Raffaele is determined to ruin her and vows to get his own custody order. In the meanwhile, he believes in keeping his enemy close. She ends up in his suite and then his bed. They actually agree to work together until Raffaele’s legal issues can be resolved. They fall in love, or so Lana thinks. But Raffaele is out for revenge…or is he just fooling himself?
Raffaele opens the book with this thought:
“He despised and loathed her with every breath of his body.”
A few more pages go by:
“He would make her pay…Lana would know regret as he knew it. She would know loss.”
Later after they have literally moved in together:
“How could I ever love the woman who destroyed the light in our family?”
These are just a few examples of the “love” Raffaele shows to Lana. Oh they make love all right, but there is no relationship. Lana doesn’t even know what he does. She has gone from her father, who threw her out when she married Kyle, to Kyle who was not a role model for husband of the year, to Raffaele. Her ability to choose men is questionable. Her only skill is as a diplomat’s social secretary and a man’s trophy wife. There are few other redeeming qualities in her. At first, she isn’t even willing to say she will take care of the baby…until she realizes she is destitute and Raffaele’s offer gives her clothing and some money. Raffaele meanwhile doesn’t trust her and yet feels she is vulnerable. He is beginning to think he may have it wrong, but then he convinces himself that Lana is the villain. There is no development of love, just vulnerability and lust. These do not make a romance to me. Then they have a misunderstanding.
Even at the end, the turnaround is quick. Raffaele decides he misses her in his bed and ta-da…he is in love with her.
Spare me from this type of romance. And spare yourself by avoiding Rossellini’s Revenge Affair.