It really proved not to be an issue as the characters are written so well you get to know them here as much as you would do in any book so don't be put off if you haven't read 'Very Valentine' either although I am going to now!
When I first started to read this I was a bit discouraged by a couple of longish passages in Italian and a discussion which included a list of (famous?) names I'd mostly never heard of but I decided to ignore those very minor irritations for now and carry on as what I'd read about the book intrigued me.As Encore Valentine begins, snow falls like glitter over Tuscany at the wedding of Valentine's grandmother. Meet the Roncalli and Angelini families, artisans of handcrafted shoes in Greenwich Village since 1903. Valentine's dreams are dashed when her grandmother names her brother and nemesis Alfred her partner at Angelini Shoes. A long-distance romance with the sexy Gianluca who lives in remote Tuscany seems impossible so Valentine tries to devote herself to her work. A once-in-a-lifetime business opportunity takes Valentine to Buenos Aires, where she finds a long-buried secret hidden deep within a family scandal. Once unearthed, the truth rocks the Roscallis, but Valentine is determined to hold her family together. More so, she longs to create one of her own, but is torn between a past love that nurtured her, and a new one that promises to sustain her.
I'm so glad I did, not long after that decision was made I was hooked, learning about the relationships and traditions between Valentine's family and friends and seeing how they all relate to each other. Cheering Gianluca on with his wooing of our heroine and yes, I did shed a few tears when events called for them, I had got that caught up with everyone and everything going on!
I know you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover but in this case I think you should. The more I look at the cover on this book, the more details I see and that's just how this storyline works as well, the longer you read it the more details you pick out and the more you can understand the motivations of the characters involved. Yes, this is definately a Chick Lit novel but there really is nothing wong with that and if a few of the people so prejudiced against them would pick up and read some of the better examples (like this one) they would discover that for themselves.
Oh and right at the back there is a lovely bonus, some recipies inspired by the characters of Very Valentine!