Review of ‘Letters to Cupid’ by Miranda MacLeod
Audiobook narrated by Stephanie Murphy
This is book 4 of the ‘Americans Abroad’ series of standalone romances by this author comprised mostly of Americans finding love in Europe. Andi is an American celebrity chef forced for an extended stay abroad after she’s left in the middle of a media scandal. The TV network she works for rents a flat in Montemore, a small Italian town in Tuscany. There, she meets single-mother and chocolate-maker Valentina, who introduces Andi to Italian food and traditions. Andi cannot help being attracted to the gorgeous and intriguing woman but her stay is only temporary and Valentina is straight, isn’t she?
This is equal parts a culinary trip to Italy and a slow-burn lesbian romance audiobook. With respect to the culinary part, be warned that the descriptions of the traditional food and the chocolate delicacies might tempt you. I suggest avoiding reading/listening while hungry as the author gives detailed accounts of the different types of food that Italy has to offer. The romance is very slow-burn as the characters take their time in getting to know each other. Both leads are well-written and their personalities are well defined. Their chemistry grows slowly but surely, though for my personal taste it was a bit drawn out. The cast of secondary characters is large but they are all distinctive in their personalities.
‘Letters to Cupid’ is my first book by this author who has written around a dozen novels. Even though this story wasn’t a favourite of mine, there’s no doubt that Ms. MacLeod can write an entertaining book. I’m sure that readers/listeners who enjoy thorough attention to detail in every description and like slow-burn romances will appreciate this story much better.
I listened to the audiobook narrated by Stephanie Murphy which is available on Audible but not on the Escape subscription, though its length is of more than 12 hours so you’ve got value for your money. The narration is ok but, in my opinion, the pace felt a bit slow on top of the slow-burn feel of the plot. I listened to it on a playback speed of 1.2x and it worked a bit better. The narrator’s performance was good in creating different voices and conveying emotions but my only minor critique is that the accents of the Italians speaking English could have been more authentic.
Overall, an entertaining slow-burn romance with lots of Italian food and chocolate. 4 stars for the story, 4 stars for the narration.