Stracciatella Gelato: Melting Time by Marilyn Baron

Stracciatella Gelato: Melting Time by Marilyn Baron
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (42 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Kate Buckthorn, a sixty-something woman in a predictable marriage, takes a day trip to Florence, Italy, to relive the months she spent there as a college art history student. After visiting all the familiar sights, she returns to her favorite gelato shop where she tosses some coins into the plastic cup of a Roma looking for change. And change is what she gets, literally. After enjoying her triple-scoop gelato, she leaves the shop, magically transformed into her twenty-three-year-old self.

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Second chances don’t come along every day.

Kate was such a likeable protagonist. She’d spent her entire life making responsible choices that gave her the highest chances of success. Her emotional stability and commitment to always doing the right thing only made her decisions in Florence more intriguing. Seeing a side of her personality that no one had caught a glimpse of in over forty years made me eager to find out how her adventures would end. There’s something so special about getting to know a protagonist this well, especially when they have good reasons for keeping certain parts of themselves tucked away somewhere private for so long.

The magical realism in the plot was handled beautifully. This was one of those stories that was perfectly poised in the intersection between the romance and fantasy genres. I couldn’t begin to pick only one of them to best describe it, so it only made sense that both of them mixed together into something that can’t be easily classified. Anyone who generally reads only one of these genres but is curious to try the other one should definitely consider starting here.

I loved the ending. Not only did it suit Kate’s personality perfectly, it left plenty of room for readers to come up with their own theories about the portions of the storyline that weren’t tied up neatly by the final scene. There were so many different ways to interpret it that I was delighted by the thought that I could pick the one that I thought best fit what we learned about the main character and the magical things she’d experienced during her trip.

Stracciatella Gelato: Melting Time was a whimsical tale that made me smile.


  1. Thank you so much Long and Short Reviews for your 5-star review of Stracciatella Gelato: Melting Time.

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