Book Review: Rooted

Rooted (Pagano Family #3) by Susan Fanetti: When her mother died, Carmen stepped into her shoes and became the woman of the family, shouldering much of the responsibility for raising her two youngest siblings and keeping the family running. Even though Joey and Rosa are now grown, she’s found it difficult to let that role go.

When Rosa graduates from college, Carmen takes her to Europe for the summer. She means the trip as not simply a gift, but a way to strengthen their bond as sisters and to help Rosa, the youngest sibling and the pampered family princess, become a more fully-realized adult. She has no intention of spending time with anyone but her sister.

Writer and widower Theo Wilde is living in Paris for several months, with the mission to write his next book. His grown sons, worried that he is too much alone, push him into the city to meet someone new. He’s not enthusiastic, but he makes a promise to try. It’s Carmen he meets.

What begins as a summer fling against the beautiful, romantic backdrop of Paris becomes something that neither of them expected, something Carmen is not prepared for. She has always placed her family first, but to be with Theo, she’ll need to stretch beyond her roots and grow.

NOTE: explicit sex, some violence.

TeriLyn's thoughts: Susan Fanetti books should be classified by their rating system. Each and every one of her stories proves to be a five star read. You can’t deny the unbelievably flawless writing of this gifted author. The plots that keep you guessing leaving you breathless are unlike any other. The characters in which you find something to relate to every time, intrigued and compelled by the motivations. They are books you won’t be able to put down from start to finish. Susan Fanetti makes romance more real than other romance author I’ve read.

It's fair to say Carmen and Theo’s story in Rooted doesn’t hail as my favorite from the Pagano family saga. There were times I distrusted Carmen and Theo both becoming increasingly angry with each of them. But the beauty of a Fanetti story proves Rooted doesn’t have to be my favorite of the series and I can love their story all the same. Reaching deep to understand their motivations, their wants and needs made me not only fall in love with their tale but more importantly – thanks to and fueled by this author’s unbelievable gift – I deeply respected their journey to each other.

With each book, Fanetti solidifies my belief that life is as much about the pain as it is the pleasure. The belief in the strength and growth from pain. The maturity. Theo Wilde stands a proud man both desirable and complex. Carmen Pagano stands a proud woman both strong and conflicted. Two beautiful, intelligent people embark on a coupling that makes limited sense to them both yet total sense to the readers. Their relationship cushions the pages with real conflict and issues. Rooted centers itself around Carmen & Theo but increases our insight into the other Pagano’s as well as some new characters helping to make the story whole. This author has this incredible way of pulling family together so while we learn of the new characters we're still in entrenched in the stories of the others.

The nuances of time, of letting go and moving on, of staying rooted combined with the faith in oneself, in their family, in their past. My god the strength in all of that. It’s breathtaking reading both poignant and beautiful each story providing a quality, a kinship, a single line that resonates fully with me as a reader making me feel even more deeply for the characters because of the feelings evoked. I’m left breathless and sated all at once.

This author wastes none of your time. She gets to the passion, she gets the conflict, she gets to the resolution all before you even realize 6 hours of your Sunday has passed. She’s ruthless with the ability to quickly rip out your heart and then delicately sew it back together.

Fanetti writes stories true to herself, to her muse, relishing on building, breaking, and building again. The depth and pain of triumph. The bliss in discovery and love. They hurt and heal at the same time. With blunt logic and poignant prose – this author captures it all. I can’t recommend this series, this author, this writing enough. Do yourself a favor and discover their greatness. Get Rooted which can be read as a standalone but I would NEVER recommend doing so as you’d miss the beauty of the compounding series.

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Lori L. Clark

She Reads New Adult Admin: Lori L. Clark

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