Review: Love and Famiglia (The DiDominzio Novellas), by Lyssa Layne Reply

4 out of 5 Stars

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Get the first book in the series,

The King and the Pawn,

for FREE at Amazon


This book consists of 4 novellas, each one about one of the 4 DiDominzio siblings — Francesca, Antonia, Gianna, and Carmine — and how they find love and happiness, each in their own way and in spite of their old school, Italian father, Andrea. Through it all, you see how the bonds of family are strong, indeed. I knew I’d love these stories the minute I came to the “Glossary of Italian Terms” and cracked up as I read through them. There’s one word in particular I say a lot, and that comes from growing up around Italian relatives. I never met any who came “off the boat”, but I could relate very well to the four stories in Love and Famiglia
Novella 1 — The King and the Pawn — is about the youngest sibling, Francesca, who wants to follow her dream, which doesn’t coincide with the wishes of her father, so she comes up with a pan to try to get him to come around and ends ,up with so much more with the help of former Sgt Guy Sillars, who is not Italian, which is why she needs him for her plan.
Novella 2 — Not In Love — is about the second to youngest sibling, Antonia, who is the wild one but thinks she’s found the love of her life. Things take an unexpected turn, but not necessarily in the way Antonia would’ve liked However, a family friend, Lorenzo, steps up and becomes her strength and support through a difficult phase of her life.
Novella 3 — One Day as a Lion — is about the oldest sibling, Gianna, who has done things in accordance with her father’s wishes by marrying an Italian man and working in her father’s restaurant. However, things aren’t what they seem or should be in Gianna’s world, and soon one dark secret kept from all those she loves soon leads to an even bigger, and shocking to this reader, secret.
Novella 4 — Destined For You — is about the only male DiDominzio sibling, Carmine, who has helped his father with his siblings since his mother’s death and has also dubbed himself an eternal bachelor. Between running his business and trying to keep his younger siblings in check, he has no time or desire to settle down with one woman, Thanks to one of his siblings though, his bachelor days could come to an end sooner than he ever thought possible.
You won’t regret taking the journey to happiness with this family. It was heartwarming, fun, and shocking with lots of laughs and tears. I’m looking forward to reading more about this family!

Reviewed by Vampire Fan

Our Blog was given this book in exchange for an honest review.


Meet the DiDominzio family—fiery, loud, Italian. Francesca, Antonia, Gianna, and Carmine were raised by their strict, old school Italian father. Each sibling has their own journey but how they find their happily ever after definitely isn’t easy.

The King and the Pawn – Francesca, the baby of the family, wants nothing more than to fulfill her dream of being a fashion designer. Unfortunately, Papa DiDominzio will stop at nothing to squash her dreams and lead her toward the traditional career of the women in their family. Francesca concocts the perfect plan to bring home a man her father will hate in hopes that he’ll make a deal so she can still reach her dreams.

Not in Love – Antonia, the sexy second to youngest DiDominzio, exudes nothing but sex appeal, especially with her non-traditional blue eyes. After dating one man after another, Antonia thinks she’s finally found the man of her dreams until she realizes the one she really wants has been right in front of her since they were children.

One Day as a Lion – Gianna, the eldest DiDominzio sibling, is the only one that has followed Papa’s wishes by marrying an Italian man and working in his restaurant. While her brother and sisters suspect something isn’t right with her marriage, none of them can prove any differently. However, there is one man that will do everything in his power to save Gianna from the man she calls her husband.

Destined For You – The only male sibling, Carmine is more like a second father to his sisters than their brother. There’s only two things that are important to Carmine-his family and his club. Keeping up with his sisters and running his successful business leaves him no time to find a mate. As luck would have it, fate falls into his lap, changing his world, in more ways than one… and not necessarily for the best.


“But, Papa, this is the opportunity of a lifetime! Do you know how many aspiring fashion designers have the chance to build their own line of clothing at only twenty-four?”

Desperation. Yes, there’s definitely desperation in my voice, but there’s nothing left. I’ve begged, I’ve pleaded, I’ve cried, but nothing has broken my father’s old-school Italian demeanor. This is a last ditch effort to convince him to sign off on the trust my Noni DiDominzio left for me so I can fulfill my career aspiration of my own women’s fashion wear. My boss is moving to France and has offered me to take over his line, giving me free reign on designs. All I have to do is come up with three months rent and it’s mine.

“Francesca, in nine months, the trust will be yours to do as you please. However, I suggest you look at how your siblings used their inheritance. Their money was used to buy a house, a car, even start a business which is how Noni intended for you children to use it.”

I throw back my head and let out an exasperated sigh. Lifting my head up to look at my father, I take a deep breath, knowing that I’m walking on thin ice. My father, Andrea DiDominzio, is Italian through and through. He’s got the full head of dark hair, the olive skin tone, brown eyes, and the man sticks strongly to his Italian beliefs despite the change in times. My siblings and I look exactly like our father, except for Antonia, my middle sister, who has blue eyes. However, we all share the loud, feisty attitudes which we’ve inherited from our father, his father, and his father’s father. Being the baby of the bunch, I have to fight louder than the others to be heard, but it still doesn’t mean I get my way.

Speaking calmly, I nod, “I would be doing the exact same as Carmine. He used his money to buy the nightclub. I’ll be starting my career with Noni’s money. Papa, this is just the beginning of what I can do with my skills.”

Papa leans back in his plush leather chair on the other side of his desk, his fingers steepled together. He’s not smiling with his lips but I can see it in his eyes. “Francesca, you know I don’t agree with your choice of profession and I can assure you Noni wouldn’t either. When you turn twenty-five, the money is yours so you can do as you please then.”

“But, Papa, the opportunity will be gone by then and I’ll be out of a job!” I stomp my foot like a child not getting their way.

“Mia figlia, you know that you always have a job at the restaurant which would be an excellent place for you to meet a good Italian man to settle down with.”

He’s smirking. The man is seriously smirking at me while he stomps all over my dreams. I’m not even going to entertain his suggestion. Turning my back, I grab my jacket off the chair and mutter under my breath in Italian.

As I open the door, my father calls to me. “Francesca, ladies don’t speak that way. I’ll see you in a few days at our Christmas celebration weekend.

With a huff, I slam the door to his office and let out a scream. My father is infuriating but I’m not giving up on my dream. One way or another, I will have my clothes in a show in New York Fashion Week. Just wait, Papa, I’ll make you proud despite not having your blessing.

About the Author:

Lyssa Layne is first, and foremost, the proud momma to her precious daughter, AR. In addition to working full-time and being a mommy to AR, she is also an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan, a runner, blogger, and an infertility survivor.

Having watched one too many medical dramas and being inspired by author Rachelle Ayala, who introduced her to the world of indie writing, Lyssa decided to try her hand at writing a romance story.

Her attempt turned into the Burning Lovesick series. You can find Lyssa’s own interests throughout her stories although all stories are fictional.








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