It's the spring of 1943, and the tiny village of Santa Cecilia is about to be overrun by German soldiers. But Vito Leone's campaign is to win the hand of the beautiful Maddalena Piccinelli. Maddalena's sassy, iron-willed sister Carolina thinks Vito is a fool. Maddalena's parents think his crazy mother has turned him into a mammoni, a mamma's boy. But Maddalena sees another side of Vito, even if he is too skinny and hasn't a penny to his name. He's romantic. He's resourceful. He builds a bicycle for the girls to ride. When great events overwhelm the village, Vito sees his opportunity. It will take all his ingenuity and devotion, but he knows what he must do to prove himself worthy of a kiss - and more - from Maddalena. Christopher Castellani's debut novel is a captivating and big-hearted story that celebrates the beauty of life and the passions of youth.