At age 19, Lucy Hemmingway kissed her first love, Nate, under the Bridge of Sighs in Venice. According to an old legend, any pair of lovers who kiss under that bridge at sunset will be together forever. Unfortunately, Lucy and Nate must part ways at the end of their magical summer together, and their long-distance relationship eventually fizzles out. Ten years later, Lucy has a wonderful roommate and an exciting job with an art gallery in New York, but she’s never been able to forget about Nate. So when she unexpectedly runs into him again, she’s ecstatic – destiny has reunited them! But the dream soon turns into a nightmare as she realizes that she and Nate have both changed, and they’re not suited to one another at all. Yet try as she might, Lucy can’t seem to get rid of him. The old Venetian legend seems to have become a curse, and now Lucy is desperate to break it – especially since she’s met a man who just might be “the one,” and this time it’s for real.
I really liked the concept of this book, which turns the idea of destiny and soul mates on its head. The seemingly romantic idea that nothing can ever part two people in love is more like a horror story in this novel. However, while the concept is original, the execution is pretty much standard chick-lit fare. Lucy is a painfully typical heroine: insecure, flighty, clumsy, and secretly dreaming of a creative career. While I don’t normally mind the formula – sometimes it’s nice to know exactly what you’re getting – it does begin to pall after a while. The other problem I had with this novel is that every “twist” in the plot was telegraphed way ahead of time, so that it was never actually a surprise when it was finally revealed. As a result, the paragraphs of buildup just felt like a waste of time. All in all, this is competently written chick lit, but it never rises above average.