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Bella Fortuna

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  899 ratings  ·  140 reviews
In this warm, enchanting debut novel, Rosanna Chiofalo evokes the extraordinary beauty of Venice, the charm of a close-knit New York neighborhood, and the joys of friendship, family, and surprising second chances...

Valentina DeLuca has made hundreds of brides' dreams come true. At Sposa Rosa, the Astoria, New York, boutique where she, her sisters, and their mother design a
Paperback, 368 pages
Published August 28th 2012 by Kensington (first published January 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.48  · 
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 ·  899 ratings  ·  140 reviews

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Jon Peyton
Oct 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Great book from a first time author.

I admit, I won this book in a give-away on some other site and it was sitting on my shelf for a few weeks before I read it.

Actually, what got me to read this book was the hot-headed, very rude and hateful review by Amy S. Foster! Yes, a one star review got me to take notice and see what all the emotion and hateful rudeness was all about.

I am at the other end of the spectrum and loved this book. The characters were interesting and funny at times. The story was
Amy Foster
Oct 17, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up-on
As an author, I rarely talk smack about books because I know how hard it is to not only write one but to get one published. I hate having to do this because I am sure the author is a lovely person and it's heartbreaking to read negative reviews (if she's smart she'll avoid them altogether) But her acknowledgement "page" went on for pages. She thanked everyone in the world. It was off putting. I got to page 10 before I had to put it down. She writes like english is not her first language. Her phr ...more
Dec 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
Where do I begin?
I devoured this book not because of the high-intensity interest in the storyline, but because I am too stubborn to start something and discontinue. Actually, I didn't devour this book, I gulped it down.
This book was a bad book. It pains me to call a book bad, but this was just a bad book.
From the atrocious grammar mistakes to the terrible description and lack of growth of characters to the redundant and useless information, I have so many issues with this book.
Since I can go
Feb 05, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction, venice
I had higher hopes for this book than it was capable of delivering, unfortunately. With some strict editing it could have been salvaged, even if it does fall into the "girl disappointed in love, travels, finds herself and a new romance" trope. As it is, there's way too much extraneous description and nonessential information about the characters clogging up the text. And despite the book prominently displaying an illustration of a Venetian scene on its cover, it takes a full 2/3 of the book to e ...more
Aug 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: galleys-arcs
Bella Fortuna – by Rosana Chiofolo

*ARC Supplied by Publisher*

This was one of the most romantic books I have read so far this year. It is not a novel that mistakes sex for romance …in fact, there is only one sexual scene and it is hot without being vulgar. This is a debut novel and I see that the author still has some seasoning she needs to do, but for a first –wow - I can’t wait to see what Ms Chiafalo will do for an encore!

This is a book of second chances, of close Italian –American families, o
Kaylie Smith
Jul 14, 2013 rated it did not like it
It's rare that I will give a book just one star, particularly a book that centers around Italian culture. I am such a fan of Italian authors like Mariana Fiorato and Adriana Tringiani that I thought I might enjoy this book as well. Sadly, I was mistaken. Not only was the writing clunky, but the plot lines were absolutely ridiculous. Skip this one.
Jane Lump
Oct 07, 2012 rated it did not like it
The writing was so forced and awkward and the travel descriptions were overdone and felt like they were lifted from Fodor's. I liked the bridal industry as a backdrop, but this was way too corny for me! I found myself scanning parts that were just too dull!
Oct 25, 2012 rated it did not like it
Insipid...don't bother...I only finished it because I'm a tightwad and I bought it before coming to Italy. Terrible.
Jan 05, 2014 rated it did not like it
Can I rate this zero stars? Sheesh, I'll never get the hours wasted reading this book back.
Author: Rosanna Chiofalo
Published By: Kensington
Age Recommended: Adult
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Book Blog For: GMTA
Rating: 5


"Bella Fortuna" by Rosanna Chiofalo was a good chit lit fiction romance. I found this novel of a 'Italian American Family' who lived in Queens but also there is some twist in this journey of the story that end up in in Venice. The main character Valentina (the oldest sister), with her mom (Olivia/Sera) and sisters(Connie & Rita) are the owners of a bridal shop called S
Oct 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
I thought this book had a lot of potential. It just did not quite get there. The story follows Valentina and every once in a while her mother Olivia. The changes in POV were a bit abrupt sometimes and definitely skewed as to how many pages each were given. 90% of the story was from Valentina's POV while the rest was from Olivia's. It was an awkward amount which I think ended up detracting more than helping. I think Olivia's story would work better as its own separate story.

I didn't mind this sto
Sue Seligman
Nov 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read this book after reading a recommendation on Adriana Trigiani's facebook page. I enjoyed this book very much. The story is about a young woman who owns and operates a bridal shop in Astoria with her mother and sisters; they are Italian American, and very much a product of their culture. The progression of the novel varies between the first person narrative of the young woman, Valentina, and the third person perspective of her mother, Olivia. I enjoyed the glimpses into their early lives, a ...more
Marie Schuh
Sep 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
I take issue with a book that seems to treat you like you're in elementary school with the quality of writing, but doesn't explain the things you wish it did (such as all the Italian.) Believe the warnings to stay away!
Florence Csage
Aug 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing

My Sicilian heritage made me absolutely love this book! Valentina and her family and neighborhood friends were delightful and charming. For a debut novel, it is fantastic!
Pop Sugar Challenge 2019: book that features a wedding

I enjoyed the family dynamic of this book and thought the first half was fantastic. The second half of the book, with Valentina’s time in Italy, felt so rushed. I get that sometimes you can fall in love quickly, but when it comes to a novel, it just feels like there was a need to figure out how to wrap up the storyline and blast the consequences or continuity of the rest of the book. 🤷🏻‍♀️
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
This started out as an enjoyable read. But half way thru,it became a dud.The author went off on tangents that had nothing to do with the story,only seemed to fill pages.I couldn't wait to finish it.I spent enough time getting into the story and was not going to quit. Too many good books waiting for me to read.
Chelsey Wolford
Oct 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Everything about this book was truly heartwarming. I especially loved the wonderful and sometimes crazy DeLuca family. They embodied their Italian heritage and I was able to feel right at home when they were together. I really love books like this that can really take on a culture and a heritage and portray it through the characters and their actions. Valentina was our main character and the DeLuca sister that was preparing for her wedding day. I was glad to learn that our author, Rosanna, is It ...more
Jun 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Bella Fortuna…… Rosanna Chiofalo
I received this ARC from Kensington Books for an honest review.

This novel captured my heart and soul. It is set in Astoria, a neighborhood of small shops and homes, in Queens, N.Y. We follow an Italian couple who immigrated to New York from Sicily, both husband and wife trained in tailoring. They have three daughters, and fulfill the dream of opening a bridal shop, after struggling for years. The shop is called Sposa Rosa, the Pink Bride.
Olivia, the hard wor
Oct 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Bella Fortuna by Rosanna Chiofalo

Valentina DeLuca has made hundreds of brides' dreams come true. At Sposa Rosa, the Astoria, New York, boutique where she, her sisters, and their mother design and sew couture knock-off gowns, she can find the perfect style for even the most demanding customer. Now, it's her turn. Valentina has loved Michael Carello ever since he rescued her from a cranky shopkeeper when she was ten years old. He's handsome, chivalrous, and loyal. And in a few weeks, she's goi
Sep 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Bella Fortuna by Rosanna Chiofalo is a great read that is packed with personality. The novel centers around the DeLuca family – Olivia and her three daughters who work together at their wedding dress shop, Sposa Rosa. Olivia and her husband came to America after World War II looking for a better life and had it until he passed away fourteen years ago. With stubborn determination, Olivia transforms their tailor shop into a designer wedding dress boutique that she runs with her three daughters, Va ...more
Julie Barrett
Jul 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Bella Fortuna by Rosanna Chiofalo
Through the years Valentina DeLuca, Italian and Christian has endured the neighbors and others and loves Michael but he's into others. Years later when she's grown and is a wedding dress designer who is getting married to Michael we find out about her and his past histories having been raised in the same neighborhood.
Her sisters and mother are also in the sewing business-different aspects of it. They are finally to be married in Italy and she's just finished her
Jessica at Book Sake
Sep 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
ARC reviewed by Gabi for Book Sake.

I was excited to get this book for review, because I have been itching to travel and since I can't right now, I enjoy living vicariously through stories. Bella Fortuna was easy to get into and I read it in just two sittings because I didn't want to put it down. While the initial love story had some predictable points, there were many surprises and twists that I really didn't see coming and it made the story feel more real to me. The dynamic of the DeLuca family
Stacey Pagan
Dec 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
What a wonderfully romantic story; however, I did find it predictable. Valentina, her sisters and mother operate and own their own bridal shop that had recently been featured in Bride magazine. The girls all design their own gowns and the shop is very popular. You receive both Valentina’s point of view along with Olivia, her mother’s. Valentina is planning her dream wedding with the man of her dreams, Michael. The wedding is to take place in Italy and everything is set; however, Michael drops th ...more
Aug 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Predictable and Formulaic – OK for the beach

Neighborhood girl is engaged to her childhood crush, planning a Venice wedding. Engagement ends badly with crush revealing a secret. Shortly thereafter, girl decides to grow a backbone and go to Venice anyway. Girl meets and falls for a tour guide/art historian. She realizes how much she loves him, what true love really is and how little she actually loved Guy #1. She moves to Venice permanently to marry the Italian and everybody lives happily ever aft
Apr 09, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: grown-up, merde, 2013
Bad book. Bad writing. Dull plot.

First-gen Italian-American main character, in an Italian neighborhood, says "cannolis." Enough said.
Jul 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
i just loved this book....the italian words, the dress shop, was hard to put down.
Summary 📖: Valentina, a talented wedding dress designer and creator works along side her two sisters and mother at their family owned boutique - Sposa Rosa. Her traditional Italian mother, Olivia, immigrated from Italy to Astoria, New York, an Italian dominated community. The Italian culture traditions, superstitions, food and sayings are embedded throughout the book and the different characters. Valentina is engaged to her childhood crush and is set to wed in the romantic city of Venice, Italy. ...more
Alice Kimsey
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enchanting book!

This is not my normal genre I usually read but I truly enjoyed it. I was attracted to the cover. Venice is one of my favorite places I've ever been. The only reason I didn't give it five stars is that there are a lot of lines written in Italian and I don't know Italian. This would have been ok if the author had translated, maybe in parentheses, after the lines. I sometimes felt like I was missing something. Otherwise, I loved the book and want to read more by this author.
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lovely book! As someone who sews, I really enjoyed the "insider's tour"of a speciality dress shop and the details behind the styles, fabrics, and bridezillas that make up the wedding industry. My biggest problem was all the Italian, with little to no translation, and the latter part of the novel, which seemed tacked on to tie up the loose ends. So much in the beginning...but rushed in the end. It was a shame because other storylines could have been enhanced more. All in all though, it was an enj ...more
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
I listen to the audio book it was disappointing. The Author set this book in Astoria, Queens with a the main character having an Italian background and the person reading the book sounded as if they put on a false Italian accent like someone that was more from Jersey then New York. On top of that Astoria is more known for Greek Heritage then Italian. I think people need to do better research before writing.
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Rosanna Chiofalo is a first-generation Italian American whose parents emigrated from Sicily to New York in the early 1960s. She is the author of Bella Fortuna, Carissima, Stella Mia, Rosalia's Bittersweet Pastry Shop, and the novella "Seven Days of Christmas" which appears in the WHEN THE SNOW FALLS collection. She lives with her husband in New York City. Visit:

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