Sunday, 13 May 2007

The Wedding Officer by Anthony Capella

The Wedding Officer
Anthony Capella

IT'S the war: Italy is covered with a roaming mass of German, Italian, British and American troops, fighting their way back and forth.

In Naples, terribly correct 22-year-old James Gould is arriving to take up his duties as the Wedding Officer.

Basically, he has to stop British soldiers from marrying prostitutes. And since Naples is starving, almost every woman is prostituting herself.

James is wrecking the black market trade in penicillin and prostitution, so the Mob decide that he must be made happy - and what would make a young man happier than falling in love?

Fiery, feisty, funny Livia is parachuted in to cook for James, with ensuing star-crossed love.

As James learns the wonders of Italian food and Naples lovemaking, his icy British reserve is thawed by Neapolitan sunshine, and he's soon signing permission for the lads to marry their girls.

But of course there's a villain - the precursor of the CIA, plotting to kill off the Communists who were the backbone of the European Resistance movements.

The finale, with James and Livia fighting their way through the mountains, is less than convincing, but it fails to take from the enjoyment of this adorable story. Spicy, funny, delicious and sexy, this is the perfect holiday book.


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