Hot Best Seller

Lizzie & Dante

Availability: Ready to download

The insightful, audacious, and deeply romantic story of a woman whose life turns upside down after she meets an enigmatic chef on vacation in Italy--perfect for fans of Beautiful Ruins or Under the Tuscan Sun . On the heels of a difficult break-up and a devastating diagnosis, Shakespearian scholar Lizzie Delford decides to take one last lavish The insightful, audacious, and deeply romantic story of a woman whose life turns upside down after she meets an enigmatic chef on vacation in Italy--perfect for fans of Beautiful Ruins or Under the Tuscan Sun . On the heels of a difficult break-up and a devastating diagnosis, Shakespearian scholar Lizzie Delford decides to take one last lavish vacation on Elba, the sun-kissed island off the Italian coast, with her best friend and his movie-star boyfriend. Once settled into a luxurious seaside resort, Lizzie has to make big decisions about her future, and she needs the one thing she may be running out of: time. She leaves the yacht-owners and celebrities behind and sneaks off to the public beach, where she meets a sardonic chef named Dante, his battered dog Lily, and his wry daughter Etta, a twelve-year-old desperate for a mother. While Dante shows Lizzie the island's secrets, and Etta dazzles with her irreverent humor, Lizzie is confronted with a dilemma. Is it right to fall in love if time is short? Is it better to find a mother briefly, or to have no mother at all? And the most difficult question of all: What if falling in love inevitably leads to broken hearts? A transporting, all-consuming story about love, courage, and Italian wine, Lizzie & Dante demands to know how far we should travel to find a future worth fighting for.


Compare

The insightful, audacious, and deeply romantic story of a woman whose life turns upside down after she meets an enigmatic chef on vacation in Italy--perfect for fans of Beautiful Ruins or Under the Tuscan Sun . On the heels of a difficult break-up and a devastating diagnosis, Shakespearian scholar Lizzie Delford decides to take one last lavish The insightful, audacious, and deeply romantic story of a woman whose life turns upside down after she meets an enigmatic chef on vacation in Italy--perfect for fans of Beautiful Ruins or Under the Tuscan Sun . On the heels of a difficult break-up and a devastating diagnosis, Shakespearian scholar Lizzie Delford decides to take one last lavish vacation on Elba, the sun-kissed island off the Italian coast, with her best friend and his movie-star boyfriend. Once settled into a luxurious seaside resort, Lizzie has to make big decisions about her future, and she needs the one thing she may be running out of: time. She leaves the yacht-owners and celebrities behind and sneaks off to the public beach, where she meets a sardonic chef named Dante, his battered dog Lily, and his wry daughter Etta, a twelve-year-old desperate for a mother. While Dante shows Lizzie the island's secrets, and Etta dazzles with her irreverent humor, Lizzie is confronted with a dilemma. Is it right to fall in love if time is short? Is it better to find a mother briefly, or to have no mother at all? And the most difficult question of all: What if falling in love inevitably leads to broken hearts? A transporting, all-consuming story about love, courage, and Italian wine, Lizzie & Dante demands to know how far we should travel to find a future worth fighting for.

30 review for Lizzie & Dante

  1. 5 out of 5

    noelle

    I sobbed...........wow

  2. 5 out of 5

    Gabby

    I was once again reeled in by that GORGEOUS cover, but this book was just fine. The characters were low key frustrating at times.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Melcat ♡

    It has been days I have finished this book and I still do not have much idea what I want to say about it. Don’t read further if you want absolutely no spoiler, but you find out in the very first pages what is happening, so I am not sure it counts as one ? I was intrigued by this story of a woman having terminal cancer, taking a sunny vacation in Alba, Italy and figuring out where she really stands after her life and projects are ruined by her diagnosis. It’s not overly dramatic, and not as sad a It has been days I have finished this book and I still do not have much idea what I want to say about it. Don’t read further if you want absolutely no spoiler, but you find out in the very first pages what is happening, so I am not sure it counts as one ? I was intrigued by this story of a woman having terminal cancer, taking a sunny vacation in Alba, Italy and figuring out where she really stands after her life and projects are ruined by her diagnosis. It’s not overly dramatic, and not as sad as you could expect. You do not spend that much time inside a brooding, depressed condemned head but you get to enjoy the beauty of life and a summer that may never repeat itself. I am not really conquered by this book, but it was interesting at least and different from what I expected.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Éimhear (A Little Haze)

    Content Warning Ableism Terminal Cancer Death from alcoholism Review I need to pay better attention to book blurbs. I sometimes hate reading them because I enjoy knowing very little about a novel before I start it, so often times I quickly scan the blurb just letting one or two words pop out at me and make a snap decision to read. Yeah that didn’t work so well for me this time. What leapt out at me was the “perfect for fans of Beautiful Ruins” line. Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter is one of my all ti Content Warning Ableism Terminal Cancer Death from alcoholism Review I need to pay better attention to book blurbs. I sometimes hate reading them because I enjoy knowing very little about a novel before I start it, so often times I quickly scan the blurb just letting one or two words pop out at me and make a snap decision to read. Yeah that didn’t work so well for me this time. What leapt out at me was the “perfect for fans of Beautiful Ruins” line. Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter is one of my all time favourite books so I just thought that if this novel conjured anything like the atmosphere and storyline of that book well turn I’m in for a treat. And I saw something along the lines of summer romance and thought yup okay, I’ll request this book. What I missed was this key line “a devastating diagnosis”.... oh if I’d noticed that warning bells would have rung out in my head. The devastating diagnosis in this instance is cancer. Stage iii cancer. Honestly I think cancer should have been mentioned in the blurb as I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that this book is ALL about cancer and a terminal diagnosis. It’s a content warning that potential readers need to be aware of. So the story follows 32 year old Lizzie who escapes for the summertime to an Italian island (Elba, the island made famous by Napoleon) with her long time friend Grey and his Hollywood star boyfriend Rohan. Lizzie is there under the guise of being an advisor to Rohan on his newest film project, an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet as she is a Shakespearean scholar. And while there Lizzie meets Dante. He’s a bit of an enigma. Salt of the earth kind of guy who’s a bit rough around the edges but devastatingly charming. And he has a precocious twelve year old daughter Etta who’s basically looking for a mother; her birth mum died from liver cirrhosis brought on by alcoholism. And over the next few weeks Lizzie tries not to fall in love with Dante because she’s got terminal cancer and wants to protect Dante and Etta from grief. There are quite a lot of heavy emotional issues woven throughout this novel despite it being a very light sort of summery read. Lizzie and best friend Grey have a bunch of issues to work out many of which stem from the time he came out to Lizzie; they were dating at the time and for some baffling reason Grey is angry that Lizzie bailed on him at this point.... eh she thought he was proposing and instead he was telling her he was gay and sort of expected their relationship would remain the same??? Make it make sense Grey! Can’t have your cake and eat it too. And through all of this Grey somehow feels like he has ownership over Lizzie... I’ll try to explain. He constantly questions Lizzie’s cancer treatment plan and pressures her to go for a painful and risky operation that she’s unsure about having. And in many ways he acts like the cancer is happening to him rather than to Lizzie, and guilts her into feeling like she’s not *fighting* the cancer as strongly as she could be... So I really didn’t like him as a character. He seemed very selfish for much of the book... which okay. That’s not a critique on the book because the world is full of selfish people and fiction would never be believable if it didn’t authentically represent all the AHs out there! But this guilting a person into medical treatment... don’t like it. It happened to a lesser extent with the romantic love story between Lizzie and Dante, and the love story whereby Lizzie felt herself becoming a mother to Etta... but basically the whole moral of the book seems to be that if you’ve got love in your life you’ll put your body through all sorts of horrific medical treatment just to somehow prove your love for these people? That when you eventually die from your utterly cruel illness that at least the survivors will know you *tried everything* to stay with them and that you suffered so much but wow what an inspiration you are to us all for fighting through the illness and the pain and the torment etc etc etc etc.... That epilogue in particular just made me want to vomit from all the cancer inspiration porn of it all. Look I get it. Lizzie was becoming detached from the world because of her cancer diagnosis. She thought that the best way to leave this world was quietly so no one would grieve her. She had a whole tonne of internalised ableism going on and that was sad to read about. But also I feel that her physical and emotional pain was somehow dismissed by the people who supposedly loved her? It just felt as if she were railroaded into going for experimental treatment and damn the consequences of side effects that she’s have to endure. Like this book just had a whole overriding stench of ableism. There could have been a way to navigate both the internalised ableism that Lizzie felt (re wanting to protect others from grief) and the ableism that is the inspiration porn of someone *fighting* their disease to satisfy their loved ones. But this book just didn’t understand the nuance of those two forms of ableism. Instead it’s all a very heteronormative weepie about living life to the max and just nope. Not for me. *An e-copy was kindly provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley for honest review* Publishing 1st July 2021, Piatkus For more reviews and book related chat check out my blog Follow me on Twitter Friend me on Goodreads

  5. 5 out of 5

    Janna MacGregor

    This is the best book I've read all year. Truly. I was fortunate enough to receive an arc. I couldn't help but fall in love with the Lizzie, Dante, and their family and friends. It's a love story about all the wonderful things we hold dear, and a lesson in how to live your best. Lizzie and Dante reminds us to savor all those glorious moments that make us who we are. As importantly, never underestimate the impact you have on others. I loved this book so much that I purchased a copy for my keeper This is the best book I've read all year. Truly. I was fortunate enough to receive an arc. I couldn't help but fall in love with the Lizzie, Dante, and their family and friends. It's a love story about all the wonderful things we hold dear, and a lesson in how to live your best. Lizzie and Dante reminds us to savor all those glorious moments that make us who we are. As importantly, never underestimate the impact you have on others. I loved this book so much that I purchased a copy for my keeper shelf. I'll be rereading it soon. I hope you pick it up.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Pj Ausdenmore

    This beautifully rendered love story reminds us of the fragility of life while celebrating the joy - and strength - to be found in loving and living each day with every fiber of our being. I don't have enough stars to do it justice. Word of advice: keep the box of tissues handy. Edited to add from 5/5/21 post at The Romance Dish Blog: I've been reading historical romances written by Eloisa James for the past 15 years. I adore her wit, her sparkling dialogue, and characters that leap from the page This beautifully rendered love story reminds us of the fragility of life while celebrating the joy - and strength - to be found in loving and living each day with every fiber of our being. I don't have enough stars to do it justice. Word of advice: keep the box of tissues handy. Edited to add from 5/5/21 post at The Romance Dish Blog: I've been reading historical romances written by Eloisa James for the past 15 years. I adore her wit, her sparkling dialogue, and characters that leap from the page. I wasn't sure what to expect when I heard that she had written a contemporary fiction novel, a love story but not a romance, under her real name of Mary Bly, but I trusted that, whatever the outcome of the story, she would give readers her best. And she has. First, Bly takes us to the island of Elba, a place she knows well, as is evidenced in the exquisite descriptions that immersed me in the beauty of black sand beaches, the aroma of mouth-watering food, and the rich cultural heritage of the local population. Then she introduces us to a disparate group of people - long-time friends and newly-met strangers - at different stages of life. People who she begins to slowly weave into one another's lives. People who gradually open hearts and minds to the realities of life, to the possibilities of love, and to the impact one special person can have on many. They may experience great sorrow but they also experience great joy. This book is not only a beautifully rendered love story, it's a masterfully written triumph of the human spirit over the worst possible consequences life can throw at us. And, in my opinion, it's the best book Bly has written under any name. She offers readers a woman's courageous, emotional, and inspiring journey, ties binding her chosen family of the heart that may strain but never break, and a deeply romantic love story that I will not soon forget, reminding us that pure, unconditional love, wholeheartedly given, and received, is a gift to be treasured, no matter how long - or short - its duration. CW: Cancer *ARC received for fair and unbiased review

  7. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

    Not a fan of this book. Way too much going on here and it all felt like forced sentimental rubbish. “Deeply romantic” - Where was the romance? I didn’t get any ‘romance’ in this book. There was no building of this relationship. It went from ‘I’m not interested in you’ to ‘I’m having fabulous orgasms all the time.’ That is not romance. I never felt that undeniable connection. I didn’t care about any of the characters. Not one. Romeo and Juliet? Really?? 🙄 Everything was forced here - the literary Not a fan of this book. Way too much going on here and it all felt like forced sentimental rubbish. “Deeply romantic” - Where was the romance? I didn’t get any ‘romance’ in this book. There was no building of this relationship. It went from ‘I’m not interested in you’ to ‘I’m having fabulous orgasms all the time.’ That is not romance. I never felt that undeniable connection. I didn’t care about any of the characters. Not one. Romeo and Juliet? Really?? 🙄 Everything was forced here - the literary references, cancer, mommy issues, lgbtq ... I’m sorry, but Etta is unbelievable as a 12 year old. And that ridiculously long conversation about why they broke up after he announced he was gay. Really? I kept hoping it would get better. It didn’t.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Monica (crazy_4_books)

    Staying away from spoiler territory would be so hard if it wasn't that the Goodreads summary pretty much says it all? 😁 We've got Lizzie (32, college professor) taken "against her will" to the beautiful, idyllic Island of Elba in Italy by her ex-boyfriend and BFF, Grey and his famous Marvel actor and "closeted" boyfriend Rohan, who's paying the expensive getaway 🤫 So, Lizzie goes to the beach and meets "the story hot guy" Dante (40, single dad, restaurant owner, solid wallet, and: did I say "hot Staying away from spoiler territory would be so hard if it wasn't that the Goodreads summary pretty much says it all? 😁 We've got Lizzie (32, college professor) taken "against her will" to the beautiful, idyllic Island of Elba in Italy by her ex-boyfriend and BFF, Grey and his famous Marvel actor and "closeted" boyfriend Rohan, who's paying the expensive getaway 🤫 So, Lizzie goes to the beach and meets "the story hot guy" Dante (40, single dad, restaurant owner, solid wallet, and: did I say "hot" right? 😏 Lizzie's sex dry spell will soon be over, yeah right 😏😏 Anyway, knowing from page two, that our heroine has stage three cancer, you know we're entering melodrama territory. It's manageable until the entire cast sings a Beatles tribute ending with "In My Life" and we're stuck in "cheesy land" 😒☹️, and she lost me there, I've never been a fan of Nicholas Sparks books or, as the summary well put it "Under the Tuscan Sun". I just finished a book that had a lot of drama, but cancer is the "cheesiest" trope a romance writer can use for me NOT to cry. The writing is good, not cringy at all and having older characters is a plus, but I just can't rate it higher 🙄

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    For those who don’t know, Mary Bly is Eloisa James who is one of my favorite historical romance writers. I was excited to read this because I am such a fan of her work and was intrigued by what a book written under her own name would be. This novel is a beautiful piece of fiction. It’s not one of those contemporary romances that gets a cartoon and “a novel” on the cover in hopes of being taken seriously (which I very much enjoy, but they’re fluff). Though most would probably consider this “women For those who don’t know, Mary Bly is Eloisa James who is one of my favorite historical romance writers. I was excited to read this because I am such a fan of her work and was intrigued by what a book written under her own name would be. This novel is a beautiful piece of fiction. It’s not one of those contemporary romances that gets a cartoon and “a novel” on the cover in hopes of being taken seriously (which I very much enjoy, but they’re fluff). Though most would probably consider this “women’s fiction” as it centers Lizzie’s story, I consider this to be true fiction. From the first page this book has a certain gravitas to it. It made me slow down my reading and savor the words. I found myself highlighting fun turns of phrase, clever descriptions, and certain quotes I wanted to remember and found things to highlight throughout the book. One of my favorite quotes from the book is, “She found herself asking unanswerable questions rather than avoiding them. How did she feel? She felt curious. Were there ever dinosaurs on Elba? Had they looked up at the stars, or out at the darkening sea?” I’m not a big Shakespeare person, but I loved the references in this book. Lizzie is a Shakespeare professor (like Mary) and Rohan is writing a move based on Romeo & Juliet. I’m sure there were a lot of references I didn’t pick up on, but I enjoyed the ones I caught. I also enjoyed Lizzie’s internal commentary every time Rohan misinterpreted the Bard. I loved all the characters in this book. I found Lizzie’s brain to be absolutely fascinating and being in her head made me feel smarter. I loved the little things like her grouping similes in groups of three. I thought it was clever for Mary to mark the book as not a romance by having the alternative voice to Lizzie’s be Etta’s and not Dante’s. I enjoyed Etta’s chapters. The voice was correct for that of a 13 year old, a lot of writers struggle to have the voice match the age and this one worked perfectly. The men were absolutely wonderful as well. Dante is a dream. I loved the complicated relationship between Grey and Rohan. Each person felt full and had a distinct enough voices that sections of dialog didn’t need a lot of dialog tags. The entirety of this book takes place on Elba and now I am absolutely dying to go there. The setting was absolutely part of the magic of the book. It made me want spend a summer on the beach on Elba and fall in love with a chef who will make me a hamburger when I don’t want his fancy food. Lizzie and Dante’s romance was just beautiful. Some non-romance readers might think that they dive in unrealistically fast, but I had no problem with that at all. I actually enjoyed not being in Dante’s head because it made me pay attention to his words and actions when he interacted with Lizzie and showed his love. I better stop there or else I’ll go on forever. Thank you to Net Galley and The Dial Press and Random House for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. Spoilers addressing the ending of the book below (view spoiler)[ Now on to the question of time and why this book isn’t a romance. Lizzie, you learn in the first chapter, has stage-three cancer and doesn’t have long to live. This automatically means that the book can’t be a romance because there can’t be a happily ever after as Lizzie and Dante’s relationship has an end date even before they get together. I was prepared to have to deal with Lizzie’s death on page and was very pleasantly surprised to find that this was not the case. The last chapter ends with Lizzie and Dante going off together. If you stop reading there it technically can be a romance. The epilogue however takes place after Lizzie’s passing when the characters gather to scatter her ashes on Elba. This moment may be a tear jerker for some. I was just pleased that the book didn’t fill the book with suffering and death, just the melancholia of someone who knows they don’t have long. (hide spoiler)]

  10. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    *spoiler alert*-a reviewer remarked that this could contain spoilers. I thought that I was careful but just in case-you may want to skip my review until you've read it! If I could give this 6 stars I would. This book had everything that I look for-some escapism, a beautiful yet somewhat realistic romance, and wonderful secondary characters. Mary Bly is also known as Eloisa James whose historical romances I've always enjoyed. Lizzie has been diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer and has gotten to the poi *spoiler alert*-a reviewer remarked that this could contain spoilers. I thought that I was careful but just in case-you may want to skip my review until you've read it! If I could give this 6 stars I would. This book had everything that I look for-some escapism, a beautiful yet somewhat realistic romance, and wonderful secondary characters. Mary Bly is also known as Eloisa James whose historical romances I've always enjoyed. Lizzie has been diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer and has gotten to the point where she's ready to let her life go. She accepts a 5 week vacation to Elba (a small island off the coast of Italy) with her ex/foster brother Grey and his boyfriend Rohan (a movie star). While snoozing on a public beach, she meets Dante-an Italian chef, his 12 year old daughter Etta and their goofy dog Lulu. Lizzie has to make decisions while in the Italian sun-does she let love happen? Does she give Etta the mother that she urgently desires? Does she just fight to die as she wants to? There is some definite sadness given her cancer diagnosis but it really doesn't hamper the story. I just loved all of the secondary characters: Grey- who's angsty over his love for Lizzie, Rohan-the flighty star who can't relate to Romeo and Juliet without Lizzie's help and Ruby, the childhood friend of Rohan's who has also suffered with cancer. Pieces of the story are told from Etta's POV as well which definitely added to my understanding of the story as a whole. Thank you to Random House and NetGalley for the ARC in return for my honest review!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Virginia

    An intelligent, sensitive love story, deeply felt and beautifully observed. In painting, artists use chiaroscuro, the play between dark and light, to heighten effects and create three-dimensional characters. That’s what Mary Bly has done in Lizzie and Dante. All the stuff I love in Eloisa James–the clever dialogue, the romantic chemistry, the complicated negotiations between the sexes–is here, but sharpened and deepened to make poignant contrasts. I loved it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Brandy

    Everything. This book is everything. Heartbreak and healing and so much love. It was such a beautiful love story, with passion and heart and fear. I loved Lizzie from the very beginning, with all her scars and her pain. She has (mostly) come to terms with the fact that she is dying and wants to enjoy the moments here and now. I also fell in love with Dante, who is secure in himself and his life and his beautiful daughter. He was just so gentle and giving! And Etta, my heart. I might have cried ( Everything. This book is everything. Heartbreak and healing and so much love. It was such a beautiful love story, with passion and heart and fear. I loved Lizzie from the very beginning, with all her scars and her pain. She has (mostly) come to terms with the fact that she is dying and wants to enjoy the moments here and now. I also fell in love with Dante, who is secure in himself and his life and his beautiful daughter. He was just so gentle and giving! And Etta, my heart. I might have cried (ok sobbed) but it was a good cry and I will be rereading this book a million times. Special thanks to the amazing author for the arc, it was great to read it a week earlier than my pre-ordered book will arrive!

  13. 5 out of 5

    TeriLyn

    **Lizzie & Dante generously provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.** 5 "...to go home with you." Stars An incredible story of love and possibility. The setting of the book whisks you away to the Italian island of Elba and follows a cast of characters who are discovering, growing and attempting to heal as they navigate their time and glowing energy into the beauty of the island. Lizzie & Dante lead the cast with a subtle, sweet, and simple yet complex romance. The **Lizzie & Dante generously provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.** 5 "...to go home with you." Stars An incredible story of love and possibility. The setting of the book whisks you away to the Italian island of Elba and follows a cast of characters who are discovering, growing and attempting to heal as they navigate their time and glowing energy into the beauty of the island. Lizzie & Dante lead the cast with a subtle, sweet, and simple yet complex romance. Their relationship, so easy and reassuring in it's simplicity becomes incredibly sweeping and epic in a way that just sneaks up on you as a reader. The romance is sexy and so fitting to the setting as you can imagine. It was so wonderful to live it through the words of this gifted author. The story is charged with a lightness and a freedom while simultaneously being heavy. It's friendships and new found relationships of all sort but the abundance of love reigns supreme and so important. Each relationship is rich with emotion and deeply thoughtful. The whole story is thought provoking that it's a heady reminder to live and to love in excess. I love the way it's structured. Mary Bly's writing proved to be extraordinarily welcoming, forthright and honest, and just beautiful. This book was a gift to read. I'm in awe of the story. And feel so grateful to have read it and bask in it's simplistic brilliance. A physical copy is going to look amazing on my bookshelf. For fans of sweeping romance with lovely characters, amazing settings, and great writing don't miss Lizzie & Dante.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Meagan (Meagansbookclub)

    Definitely a book where I expected a certain story based on the cover and title but read something I really wasn't expecting. I think Lizzie and Dante started out ok, but at the halfway point thing started to go down hill. Character driven stories are always difficult for me because I'm always waiting for that THING to happen. One of my biggest issues with this book was the flipping title. Lizzie and Dante...you're expecting a story about Lizzie and Dante. I honestly don't know anything about th Definitely a book where I expected a certain story based on the cover and title but read something I really wasn't expecting. I think Lizzie and Dante started out ok, but at the halfway point thing started to go down hill. Character driven stories are always difficult for me because I'm always waiting for that THING to happen. One of my biggest issues with this book was the flipping title. Lizzie and Dante...you're expecting a story about Lizzie and Dante. I honestly don't know anything about those two and everyone else took the stage away from them. Etta and her coming of age story. Grey and his drama. Even Rohen...and Ruby! Who are Lizzie and Dante??? Ughh. The ending had a moment of heart and I was feeling it with Lizzie and Etta but that's about it. Grey, get over yourself. Find yourself a new therapist.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Becket Warren

    I wept and cheered I have always, since I first learned it, adored the fact that my favorite author of steamy romances is also a lauded professor at Fordham. I was told repeatedly while pursuing my graduate degree in English at the University of Kansas that popular fiction and scholarship could not, did not spring from the same minds or even occupy the same stratosphere. One professor informed me that I “could not call myself a feminist if [I] read bodice-ripping trash.” I do, and I do. This nove I wept and cheered I have always, since I first learned it, adored the fact that my favorite author of steamy romances is also a lauded professor at Fordham. I was told repeatedly while pursuing my graduate degree in English at the University of Kansas that popular fiction and scholarship could not, did not spring from the same minds or even occupy the same stratosphere. One professor informed me that I “could not call myself a feminist if [I] read bodice-ripping trash.” I do, and I do. This novel is beautifully, achingly written. I loved every page. As I have lived with crippling chronic disease for most of my adult life, I saw myself in the titular character of Lizzie; I wept with her, cheered for her, was glad of her. As an erstwhile English teacher, I also enjoyed the insights on Romeo and Juliet (three Oscars! Yes!). I hope Mary ably continues to write under her own name as well as her wonderful alter-ego, Eloisa James, whose entire canon I own and reread with relish.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Janilyn Kocher

    Lizzie & Dante will have you crying. Lizzie has basically given up on life as she spends the summer on th island of Elba. Against her better judgment she falls for 12 year old Etta and her dreamy father Dante. It's a summer of food, friends, fatalism, and the future. This book will stab you in the heart, it's so poignant. Food for thought for anyone facing the same diagnosis as Lizzie. As Dante said I choose love over immortality. I think that says it all. Thanks to Random House and NetGalley fo Lizzie & Dante will have you crying. Lizzie has basically given up on life as she spends the summer on th island of Elba. Against her better judgment she falls for 12 year old Etta and her dreamy father Dante. It's a summer of food, friends, fatalism, and the future. This book will stab you in the heart, it's so poignant. Food for thought for anyone facing the same diagnosis as Lizzie. As Dante said I choose love over immortality. I think that says it all. Thanks to Random House and NetGalley for the early read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ana

    I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. First of all, I am very glad that this is a Mary Bly, not an Eloisa James book and marketed as such because the Eloisa James regulars, who still aren't over one particular Lindow heir having drowned in a bog, would pretty much expire from this one. It's a very well written book that is, in my opinion, a Shakespearean tragedy without the high body count. Kind of like Romeo and Juliet but instead I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. First of all, I am very glad that this is a Mary Bly, not an Eloisa James book and marketed as such because the Eloisa James regulars, who still aren't over one particular Lindow heir having drowned in a bog, would pretty much expire from this one. It's a very well written book that is, in my opinion, a Shakespearean tragedy without the high body count. Kind of like Romeo and Juliet but instead of a family feud you have a biological impossibility of happily ever after. BIG SPOILER (view spoiler)[ Lizzie does not die immediately after the wonderful (yet still rather medicated and painful Elba vacation) but by the epilogue, five years later, she has already expired following a rather atrocious fight with the incurable illness. (hide spoiler)] . I know it's supposed to be a story about love and how it is worth fighting for it but to me it was mostly about pain and the unfairness of destiny. I have enjoyed the read because of the writing, the Shakespearean exegesis and because of the refreshing voice and presence of a twelve year old who (thankfully) did have her whole life ahead of her. But for the life of me I couldn't feel any joy so, my dear fellow reader, if you are already sad, I'd say save this for later. It's definitely worth reading but I'm not sure if it's worth paying for therapy because on top of whatever is not going well in your life, an exquisitely crafted story broke your heart. I didn't knock off a star because it's sad and now I have to go look for at least ten fluffy, no-angst romances to even it out but because of Lizzie. I did not find he at all convincing as a thirty year old in 2019. Perhaps because I am within that age group. I get that she was a highly educated college professor with a severe illness but still, throughout the book I was getting more the vibe of a 50 or 60 year old. Her voice, her behavior, her pop culture references were all from a different decade and it was strange because some of the other characters (like Roh or Gray) didn't have that issue. She was the odd one out for some reason. I honestly cared more about Lizzie's history and relationship with Gray than with Dante. There was more depth there. And now to the sex scenes (view spoiler)[ there are none. I mean , yes, they have sex (quite soon after they meet actually) and there is plenty of talk about orgasms and pleasure, teen-age masturbatory fantasies and even a song about sacred sperm but when it comes to what I'd call sex scenes in a contemporary romance they are terribly lacking. Kind of like not entirely closed but barely cracked door. So you know the sex is fantastic - I really liked the 'magic Italian penis' wording - but you don't get to see any of it. (hide spoiler)] I recommend this to people who want to read something different and well written with the warning that while it is a love story (several love stories actually) it's NOT romance. Or happy.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jeannie

    I finished Lizzie and Dante on Friday, (the audiobook is beautifully narrated) and still, it haunts me. I have a feeling it's going to stay with me a while. This book is not just a love story, but a story about friendship, about living and dying, and about what makes a family. The characters are richly drawn and the prose lyrical. I laughed, I cheered, I felt grief and I, too, fell in love. Brava! Un libro stupendo! I finished Lizzie and Dante on Friday, (the audiobook is beautifully narrated) and still, it haunts me. I have a feeling it's going to stay with me a while. This book is not just a love story, but a story about friendship, about living and dying, and about what makes a family. The characters are richly drawn and the prose lyrical. I laughed, I cheered, I felt grief and I, too, fell in love. Brava! Un libro stupendo!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sophie Barnes

    In writing this review I find myself searching for the right words - words with which to do justice to a story that’s unlike any other I’ve ever read - the means by which to convey how it made me feel. Because that’s what this book is to me: a feeling. Special seems too simple and yet, it is exactly that. But it’s something deeper as well. Perfectly told, Lizzie and Dante conveys a certain nostalgia for those seemingly trivial moments that are in fact the most important ones of our lives. While t In writing this review I find myself searching for the right words - words with which to do justice to a story that’s unlike any other I’ve ever read - the means by which to convey how it made me feel. Because that’s what this book is to me: a feeling. Special seems too simple and yet, it is exactly that. But it’s something deeper as well. Perfectly told, Lizzie and Dante conveys a certain nostalgia for those seemingly trivial moments that are in fact the most important ones of our lives. While the title may suggest a romance, this story offers so much more. It’s an epic multi-faceted love story filled with thought provoking discussions. The characters are not only well crafted with individual quirks and depths along with compelling motivations, but so incredibly real they’ll leap off the page and sit beside you as you read. Essentially this is Lizzie’s story of bravery, of fighting for more than what life has given, and of carrying on against adversity. But it’s also the story of her friends, their love for her and for each other, of Dante’s incredible vision for a future Lizzie didn’t believe in before arriving in Elba, and of Etta – a twelve year old girl in need of a mother. In short, I would describe this book as a lazy afternoon on the beach when you know you’ll eventually have to face the world again, but just for a moment everything stops and you see the perfection in every small detail. Highly recommended for anyone with a box of tissues at the ready.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Marie Burton

    Favorite Book of The YEAR possibly several years. I am going to have to visit Italy. 😭 UGLY CRY!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Pam

    4.5⭐️ for a wonderful love story between friends, lovers, grown up and teens, as well as lovers. A story about not giving up and finding home and belonging in a family where few are related. And, peppered with Italian food and wine. Thank you Dial Press for ARC. Now available.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Erna

    yeah uhm….. so i got to 62% of this and decided to dnf because i have absolutely no energy for it anymore. is it cheating if i mark it as read? i mean i did get over the halfway mark and i did then deliberately go and read the ending just so i know what happens? don’t come for me ok. anyways. sexy and a little bit sad is how i would describe this. it started out really well and had me hooked but then obviously very quickly that excitement simmered away. maybe it had to do with the characters? i f yeah uhm….. so i got to 62% of this and decided to dnf because i have absolutely no energy for it anymore. is it cheating if i mark it as read? i mean i did get over the halfway mark and i did then deliberately go and read the ending just so i know what happens? don’t come for me ok. anyways. sexy and a little bit sad is how i would describe this. it started out really well and had me hooked but then obviously very quickly that excitement simmered away. maybe it had to do with the characters? i found them very annoying and shallow (but that also could have been the point and i missed it). truth be told, and this may sound shitty, the only person i was interested in was dante. maybe that’s just because he was Sexy as hell though. but not enough for me to finish! to put it simply, this actually isn’t a bad book at all but i just didn’t vibe with it or particularly care for it. 🤷🏼‍♀️

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jeanne Peterson

    When I started reading this book, I didn’t care for the part that seemed a little too real life for me (I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t read it yet), and if it had been written by any other author, I would have stopped reading. As it is, I read the end to see if it at least had a happy ending. Again, I don’t want to spoil the story for those who haven’t read it yet, so I will just say that it was such a good ending that I finished reading the book. Throughout the book, Ms. Bly wil When I started reading this book, I didn’t care for the part that seemed a little too real life for me (I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t read it yet), and if it had been written by any other author, I would have stopped reading. As it is, I read the end to see if it at least had a happy ending. Again, I don’t want to spoil the story for those who haven’t read it yet, so I will just say that it was such a good ending that I finished reading the book. Throughout the book, Ms. Bly will make you laugh and cry and smile and sigh, so keep plenty of tissues next to you, but definitely read this book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    HappyBookWorm2020

    There was nothing not to love about this book, right down to the simplicity of the title. I like to make a list of words that describe a book as inspiration for what to include in the review. For this book, it has to be love, friendship, grief, good food, Shakespeare, motherhood, and family. There is a wonderful, intelligent cast of characters. Lizzie and her friends are vacationing on Elba, the island where Napoleon was exiled. Lizzy is a Shakespearean professor who has some serious health issu There was nothing not to love about this book, right down to the simplicity of the title. I like to make a list of words that describe a book as inspiration for what to include in the review. For this book, it has to be love, friendship, grief, good food, Shakespeare, motherhood, and family. There is a wonderful, intelligent cast of characters. Lizzie and her friends are vacationing on Elba, the island where Napoleon was exiled. Lizzy is a Shakespearean professor who has some serious health issues. Her best friend Grey writes best-selling horror novels. Grey's partner Rohan is a celebrated action movie actor who has aspirations of writing a movie adaptation for Romeo and Juliet, which leads to a lot of interesting discussions. He doesn't understand much about Romeo and Juliet. Etta is my favorite character. She is about 11 years old and running wild when Dante, her dad, is busy running his restaurant. She desperately wants a mother. Her father only spends the summers on Elba, but no matter where he is, he cooks. In Elba, his restaurant appears to be a ramshackle building but it is reservation only. There are marvelous descriptions of the food, food which I would not eat as it is mostly seafood, but that Rohan swooned over. Thinking it over, one of the love stories in this book is about good food as Rohan and Dante were both passionate about it. There are two really beautiful love stories in this book, the one between Dante and Lizzy, and the attachment that grew between Etta and Lizzy. I highly recommend this book which may break your heart a little but will also put it back together again. Love is worth the pain. Thanks to the author Mary Bly, the publisher Random House, and NetGalley for the ARC. It was my pleasure to read and review this book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Patti Lucas

    I loved Lizzie and Dante by Mary Bly. Lizzie and Dante is the first book that I have read by Mary Bly, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Mary Bly has provided her readers with amazing characters who feel like best friends! Who doesn't love sexy men, strong, passionate females, and loving friends, who always support one another? Mary Bly has shown that she is a wonderful storyteller. Lizzie and Dante did not disappoint, I could not put it down and loved every page. I enjoy how Mary Bly writes from the I loved Lizzie and Dante by Mary Bly. Lizzie and Dante is the first book that I have read by Mary Bly, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Mary Bly has provided her readers with amazing characters who feel like best friends! Who doesn't love sexy men, strong, passionate females, and loving friends, who always support one another? Mary Bly has shown that she is a wonderful storyteller. Lizzie and Dante did not disappoint, I could not put it down and loved every page. I enjoy how Mary Bly writes from the perspective of the main characters. That way you get to know what is going on in each of their minds. Lizzie and Dante is a wonderful love story and is filled with heartbreaking and heartwarming moments. I love the lighter moments where I find myself smiling and laughing out loud and the bittersweet moments that cause me to sigh, say aww to myself with tears filling my eyes. Lizzie and Dante be filled with such moments, and with so much more. It is filled with all those things that we have come to love and expect in a love story, especially the poignant and bittersweet moments that filled this page turner. Who doesn’t love a story about a love at first sight story? Lizzie and Dante is the story of Lizzie Delford, Shakespearean professor, and Dante Moretti, a chef, with restaurants in Elba, Italy and New York City and a single dad to twelve-year-old, Etta. Lizzie has been diagnosed Stage Three cancer, and heads to Elba with her first love and best friend, Grey and Grey’s lover, Rohan. Rohan wants to produce a new version of the story of Romeo and Juliet and has invited Lizzie to Elba, all expenses paid, to help him with the story. Lizzie and Dante meet, while Lizzie is sunbathing on the public beach. While Lizzie and Dante spend more time with one another over the subsequent weeks, between visits to the beach and dinners served in his restaurant, things begin to change between them. Lizzie only sees it as a summer romance and does not plan to tell Dante or Etta about her diagnosis. Grey and Lizzie meet while in foster care, it was Grey’s first placement. Grey grew to become Lizzie’s first love, until he told her that he was gay, when she thought, he was going to propose. Grey wants Lizzie to fight her cancer and have a surgery to prolong her life, Lizzie is not certain that she is willing to have the surgery. I love all the poignant moments and heartbreaking dialogue that takes place in Lizzie and Dante among all the characters. Eventually, Lizzie and Dante decide to spend whatever time that she has left together. I love when Lizzie and Dante get real with their true feelings and opens up to each other, and the impact that their love has and will have on Etta. I love how Lizzie and Dante show their vulnerable sides and how all the characters in Lizzie and Dante change during the story. I love that Lizzie is willing to give a relationship with Dante a chance, no matter how short lived the relationship may be. I enjoyed the parts of the story that were told from Etta’s perspective and all the guidance that everyone gave her because she has grown up without a mother. I loved that Lizzie and Dante is filled with valuable life lessons, and that each statement is more profound than the next. My favorite part of their love story is the significance of the engagement ring that Dante gives to Lizzie. My favorite part of the book was the epilogue and that it takes place five years later and is told from Etta’s perspective, so that the reader can get caught up with what has been happening in the lives of all the characters. I love how the epilogue went above and beyond the normal happily ever after. I love that because of Lizzie’s love and support their lives changed for the better. I enjoyed how Grey was willing to make changes in his life. I loved Lizzie and Dante’s love story and that Lizzie was willing to change because she was willing to battle her cancer because of Dante’s love. Lizzie and Dante contains all the things that I have come to love most and expect in a love story, great characters and setting, bittersweet moments and the plot twist that ties it all together. I love all the descriptions of Elba, the Bonaparte hotel, and the history lesson that Mary Bly detailed in Lizzie and Dante. Amazing story. I could not put it down. Highly recommend this bittersweet romance.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Book Concierge

    On the heels of a devastating diagnosis, Shakespeare scholar Lizzie Delford decides to take one last “working” vacation on Elba, the sun-kissed island off the Italian coast, with her best friend and his movie-star boyfriend. Once settled into a luxurious seaside resort, Lizzie has to make big decisions about her future. Leaving the yacht owners and celebrities behind she sneaks off the the public beach, where she meets a sardonic chef named Dante, his battered dog, Lulu, and his wry daughter, Et On the heels of a devastating diagnosis, Shakespeare scholar Lizzie Delford decides to take one last “working” vacation on Elba, the sun-kissed island off the Italian coast, with her best friend and his movie-star boyfriend. Once settled into a luxurious seaside resort, Lizzie has to make big decisions about her future. Leaving the yacht owners and celebrities behind she sneaks off the the public beach, where she meets a sardonic chef named Dante, his battered dog, Lulu, and his wry daughter, Etta, a twelve-year-old desperate for a mother. We know where this is headed, right? There are some twists and turns, because the path to happiness is never a straight one. Lizzie has to deal with her own fears and determination to do things her way, as well as the pent up anger and grief of past heart break and a very short future. Then there is Dante, who seems to take things as they come, happy for today and hopeful for tomorrow, determined, whatever the cost, to love Lizzie with all his soul. And of course, we can’t forget Etta, that charming, way too smart and mature twelve-year-old who manages to worm her way into everyone’s heart. Some of the many cultural references were lost on me, especially the newer music ones, but I did love several of literary references, and a wonderful homage to one of my favorite musicals “The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell of the Crowd” (though the referenced song never mentions the musical, I know the origin). I did think the author was trying a bit too hard to force the reader to tears, but I still enjoyed the book. And I LOVED all the food references.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sherrie Howey

    Lizzie, a professor, travels to an Italian island with her best friend Grey(an author) and his actor boyfriend, Rohan. Lizzie has stage 3 cancer and has decided she does not want any further treatment. Lizzie meets Dante and his dog(love the dog!) on the beach and in spite of her reservations, they fall in love. Dante is single and is a famous chef who has an adorable 12 year old daughter, Etta. Etta goes to great lengths to get her dad and Lizzie together and I loved her spunk. The author does a Lizzie, a professor, travels to an Italian island with her best friend Grey(an author) and his actor boyfriend, Rohan. Lizzie has stage 3 cancer and has decided she does not want any further treatment. Lizzie meets Dante and his dog(love the dog!) on the beach and in spite of her reservations, they fall in love. Dante is single and is a famous chef who has an adorable 12 year old daughter, Etta. Etta goes to great lengths to get her dad and Lizzie together and I loved her spunk. The author does a spectacular job in describing life on the island with the beautiful beaches and fabulous food. The character development is excellent and I loved how the characters became a true family unit. The book reminds you to live life in the moment and to cherish your friends and family. Have your tissues out for the end of the book. Thank you to the author for this terrific emotional book. I eagerrly await her next book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Lizzie & Dante was a beautiful book about love and loss and family. Written by my favorite historical romance author, Eloisa James aka Mary Bly, I went into this book expecting a smart, emotional read and I got it. I laughed and cried and was challenged in a good way. The characters in this book created the sweetest family. It reminded me a lot of the way Susan Elizabeth Phillips writes found family, where you are just as invested in all the side characters as you are in the main couple. All of Lizzie & Dante was a beautiful book about love and loss and family. Written by my favorite historical romance author, Eloisa James aka Mary Bly, I went into this book expecting a smart, emotional read and I got it. I laughed and cried and was challenged in a good way. The characters in this book created the sweetest family. It reminded me a lot of the way Susan Elizabeth Phillips writes found family, where you are just as invested in all the side characters as you are in the main couple. All of their stories unfold in a lovely way as they interact with each other. I especially loved Etta and, as a mother, the most heartbreaking moments for me revolved around her. The love story is beautiful here. I am very much a reader that likes a HEA and to me, this book had it in its own way. Lizzie and Dante choose to love each other and risk the hurt that may/will come. I adored Dante and his reaction to all the things. If anything, I wish we had more of him in this book. This book really did have it all if you are in the market for an emotional read. Love, friendship, family, heartbreak, food, a beautiful island, and plenty of Shakespeare.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Gill

    Lizzie and Dante is a beautiful book by Mary Bly. It must be the top of your summer reading list...with some tissues. I went in almost blind reading this book, so I don't want to give much of the plot away so it can lovingly unfold as you read. Lizzie is on vacation in Elba with her best friend, Grey, and his famous movie star partner. Lizzie is a Shakespeare Professor at Fordham Univiercity in NYC and has been battling cancer. I love that her friend Grey is an accomplished mystery writer and al Lizzie and Dante is a beautiful book by Mary Bly. It must be the top of your summer reading list...with some tissues. I went in almost blind reading this book, so I don't want to give much of the plot away so it can lovingly unfold as you read. Lizzie is on vacation in Elba with her best friend, Grey, and his famous movie star partner. Lizzie is a Shakespeare Professor at Fordham Univiercity in NYC and has been battling cancer. I love that her friend Grey is an accomplished mystery writer and always looking for what will plague his characters. Grey’s partner, Rohan, is a famous actor from Marvel films and hoping to direct an adaptation of Romeo & Juliet. They meet up with a lovely cast of characters including single dad/famous chef Dante and his tween daughter, Etta. Etta is another narrator/perspective in the book which brings a coming of age levity to the novel as well. Ruby is also a delightful voice in this story. Ruby is a makeup artist and past friend of Rohan. She bumps into everyone and joins them. Every detail in this book is another layer of storytelling. It doesn't feel that way at all as the reader, it just flows so quickly. We have themes of motherhood, abandonment, found family and Shakespeare. I loved all the discussions of Romeo & Juliet.. I LOVED the food even more! I'm a huge fan of Mary Bly's books (as Eloisa James) and this is a very nice departure from historical romance. I can’t recommend how moving and romantic this book. If you need an escape then look no further than the beautiful island of Elba, its delicisous food and all the joy these characters have to offer. Thank you so much to #Netgalley for the early read. #MaryBly #LizzieDante

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lori Quick

    Lizzie and Dante by Mary Bly was such a delight to read. The story had so much going on. It wasn’t just about Lizzie and Dante, it was about the side characters and how they interacted as well. There was a lot of ugly crying for me, so be prepared with lots of tissues! I definitely recommend. Thank you NetGalley and Publisher for a chance to read an early copy.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

hi
Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.