Genre: Women’s Fiction
Publication Date: 01/01/2018
Length: 325 Pages
Purchase Link: click here to purchase from Amazon
When the daughter of an elite Italian family, fashion photographer Francesca Garancini, meets star soccer player Paolo Romaldo their chemistry is immediate and electric. If the two aren’t tearing off their clothes (Tom Ford and Valentino, naturally), they’re jet-setting from Capri to St Kitts to Istanbul. Amid their lifestyle of fast cars and high heels, can their relationship survive the distractions, dalliances, and differences that threaten to tear them apart?
The only thing to which Francesca has ever committed wholly is her career as a photographer. But in Paolo, she finally finds someone she can’t give up. The two dodge paparazzi while taking in an opera at La Scala, share an intimate, champagne-fueled romp on Christmas Eve, and make a pizza delivery man more than a little uncomfortable. On the surface, they’re the perfect couple: beautiful, glamorous, and successful. And then, on a trip to Turkey to shoot for a controversial magazine, Francesca meets Selim, married scion of a powerful Istanbulli family. Selim is magnetic, and intent on seducing Francesca amidst the glittering lights of Topkapi Palace.
In the glamorous tradition of Judith Krantz’s Scruples, Paparazzi explores an erotically-charged relationship between beautiful people in a sexy, international setting.
Christina Dennison lives in New York City. She discovered a copy of Judith Krantz’s novel Scruples on a high bookshelf when she was young and has been writing ever since. She does her best writing on planes, eats pasta unrepentantly, and loves a still Negroni in a dark cocktail bar. Paparazzi is the first book of the Francesca Trilogy and her first novel.
A special thanks to Christina for taking her time to answer some interview questions for this post!
1.) Aside from the Francesca Trilogy, do you have any other books in the works?
I do! I’ve got two concepts I can’t wait to start writing in earnest. One is a family saga that takes place in a New England town similar to where I grew up, and the second idea is inspired by a trip I took to the Dominican Republic. Both of them would have romantic elements.
2.) Who are some of your favorite authors and books?
I embarked on a project in 2014 to spend that year only reading books written by women, and it actually changed my life. I read novels, non-fiction, genre fiction, anything that was recommended to me, as long as it was written by a woman. I discovered so many great writers and books, so here are some of them:
– Salvage the Bones, Jesmyn Ward
– The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller (I studied classical Greek in college and this is a poignant love story)
– What Happens in Scotland, Jennifer McQuiston
– Green Darkness, Anya Seton
– The Warmth of Other Suns, Isabel Wilkerson
3.) What is your favorite part of Paparazzi?
I like the really hard parts, maybe because I’m a masochist when it comes to my characters. Two moments stand out really clearly for me–the first is Francesca and Paolo’s trip to Naples, particularly the cemetery scene and the sex scene right after it, because it shows them trying to connect and failing, but pushing forward anyway. And the second is the scene toward the end, when Francesca and Giulietta are drinking champagne and eating oysters on the roof of the department store in Milan, because I think it’s some of the best writing in the book and gets to the heart of how complicated it is to be an adult, regardless of money.
4.) What character in your book are you least likely to get along with?
What an interesting question! I’m terribly intimidated by beautiful people, especially when they have kind personalities and clairvoyant powers, so I have to say Natalya, the model / friend with whom Francesca and Paolo go on vacation to St Kitts.
5.) Are any of your characters based off real people?
Oooh, the kiss-and-tell question… Yes, and it’s Selim.
6.) If you could spend time with a character from your book, who would you choose and what would you do?
I think the only acceptable answer is to go to the opera with Paolo, no? Actually, I would love to take Francesca to volunteer somewhere, maybe at God’s Love We Deliver (where I volunteer weekly). Or go to the playground with Leo, because that’s something my nieces and I love to do together.
7.) When you aren’t reading or writing, what are some of your favorite things to do?
I work full time in the fashion industry, and I love my job (it also provides me with lots of inspiration). I travel a lot, for work and for pleasure, and I love observing different people and the ways they live. When I’m home in New York, you can find me spinning at Flywheel. And I love just spending time with family and friends, sitting on the couch with a glass of wine.
8.) What do you love most about the writing process?
I love actually sitting down and writing a first draft, because I get to take the story from my mind and see it take shape. And though I don’t like revising, I love when changes lead to significant improvements, and I can tell when a scene is better than when I started.
9.) What gives you inspiration for your books?
Art–when I travel, I try to visit museums and galleries, if only to absorb art and find new ways to see the world. Relationships–I am always trying to understand how people connect, what causes us to love, what drives us apart. I’d be remiss not to say food, there are many memorable meals that work their way into my writing–I’ve plotted whole scenes around certain foods!
10.) Anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Thank you! It’s so important to read, share, and promote women’s writing. Our voices become stronger as we amplify them together. When we write about our desires, we start a conversation about sexuality. When we talk about sexuality, we become accustomed to the language of our bodies and that gives us power. Women can bring about positive change when we speak truth to power.
My Rating: 5 Stars
Christina is a new author I recently discovered. She reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in reading and reviewing Paparazzi. After reading the synopsis, I knew this would be something I would be interested in. I’m so glad I decided to give it a go. I LOVED this book. Christina is a very talented author and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the Francesca Trilogy!
Francesca is an inspirational woman. Her family is well known and very wealthy, but she doesn’t want to use that power to influence her career. She works with a professional name so she can succeed on her own. I think I would do the exact same thing if I were ever in that position. I would want to know I got to where I am without the help of my families name. I’m very independent like she is and I feel so accomplished when I do something without the help of others.
I enjoyed reading about Francesca’s travels. Unfortunately, that isn’t something I will be able to do a lot of in my own life, so it was fun pretending I was her while I was reading. What woman wouldn’t want to have a lavish lifestyle of travel, a successful career, and clothes to die for?!? I loved her style…Prada, Gucci, Valentino…a girl can dream!
The relationship between Francesca and Paolo is hot and heavy, but is that enough for a relationship to last? I loved the chemistry between them and the steamy sex scenes, but I was conflicted with how I felt about Paolo. There were a few scenes where I wanted to reach in the book and slap him.
I am very interested to find out what happens next with Francesca and Selim! The ending of Paparazzi is a cliff hanger and I am counting down the days until I can read the next book in the trilogy!
Paparazzi is definitely a book I would recommend to my book friends!
Thank you for taking your time to read my review!