Looking for some Catholic romance? Check out Our Lady of the Roses by Janice Lane Palko.
Janetta Orlando’s life has been bouncing along the gutter like a Brunswick bowling ball after a series of disastrous relationships and bad breakups. When her girl’s getaway with her best friend, Anne, to the wine country is abruptly cancelled, she is left with nothing to look forward to. No vacation. No wine. No men.
Bob White is headed to Rome from Pittsburgh with his girlfriend, Connie, who is fluent in Italian, to sell his invention to an Italian businessman. Days before their departure, Connie dumps him leaving him without a translator or a clue as to how to conduct business in Rome.
When Bob reluctantly arrives at Janetta’s salon, Bella Figura, for the complete makeover Connie had scheduled for them prior to their breakup, Janetta concludes that Bob is a hopeless loser who desperately needs her makeover magic if he's ever going to have any chance of selling his invention. When Bob tells her that Connie is no longer accompanying him to Rome, Janetta lies and says that Connie must be crazy. Why any girl would love to go to Rome with him. Janetta muses that she loves the Eternal City so much that she’d go to Rome with Satan if he asked her.
After Bob learns that Janetta has two weeks off and speaks Italian, he presents her with a deal: He will pay her to accompany him to Rome to serve as his translator. At first hesitant, she agrees but soon learns that the devil is in the details as she and Bob clash over nearly everything from fashion to food to faith.
When they finally arrive in Rome, Janetta learns that Bob plans to drag her along on his pilgrimage of visiting the four major Roman basilicas. A lapsed Catholic, Janetta wants no part of this, but she acquiesces when she learns that Bob has a dual purpose for his trip to Rome: selling his invention and praying for a miracle for his infant niece, Anastasia, who was born with a congenital heart defect.
Reluctantly, Janetta accompanies Bob on his tour of the Roman churches, and her conscience and past begins to plague her, but no so much so that she doesn’t fall for Bob’s Italian counterpart, the Italian businessman, handsome Giuliano Legato. When her reckless ways ignite a catastrophe that jeopardizes everything Bob has worked for and dreamed of accomplishing, she learns that there is more depth to Bob than she’d assumed, and that she is the one who is desperate need of a makeover—of her life.
Laughter, tears, and love flow like the Trevi Fountain as Janetta, with the help an unlikely aide, St. Joseph, finds her true herself, her true faith, and her true love in Rome.
About the Author
Janice Lane Palko has been a writer for more than 20 years working as an editor, columnist, freelance writer, teacher, lecturer, and novelist.
She is currently the executive editor for both Northern Connection and Pittsburgh Fifty-Five Plus magazines and the lead writer for the website PopularPittsburgh.com. She has had numerous articles published in publications such as The Reader’s Digest, Guideposts for Teens, Woman’s World, The Christian Science Monitor, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and St. Anthony Messenger. Her work has also been featured in the books A Cup of Comfort for Inspiration, A Cup of Comfort for Expectant Mothers, and Chicken Soup for the Single’s Soul.
Our Lady of the Roses is a spinoff from her first novel, St. Anne's Day, a romantic comedy. She has also written the Christmas novel, A Shepherd's Song, and the romantic suspense novels, Cape Cursed and the award-winning Most Highly Favored Daughter. Currently, she is working on another romantic suspense called Mother of Sorrows.