The set up is simple:
Cressie - nerdy, spinsterish, not classically pretty.
Giovanni – an Italian painter and everything Italian painters are plus great muscles (from carrying all those easels, I suppose).
Why would these two be attracted to each other, you ask? Here is why – Cressie is a mathematician and believes beauty can be described by a formula. She believes beauty is perfection, symmetry, i.e. everything that Giovanni is.
Giovanni, on the other hand, is a bit tired of being so beautiful. He is equally tired of his technically perfect and beautiful art, had had enough of churning out visually pleasing portraits, which make their subjects look like themselves but just a little better. He thinks truth is the real beauty, not perfection, and therefore he is fascinated by the enigma that is Cressie.
Now, how about that for a premise for a romance novel?
Our two unsuspecting protagonists decide to put their theories to test and they do so while painting, teaching geometry, trying to keep their hands off of each other, and bonding over the fact they both have dickheads for fathers. Before they know it they are in love.
There is some brooding, some insecurity and some miscommunication before it all can end well, and Cressie’s father will lose another daughter to a bloody foreigner. However, unlike the the chosen ones of the previous two sisters, this one is at least European, but still the father is probably, sitting at home, scratching his head in frustration, asking "just what is wrong with our good chinless inbred English aristocrats"!? Which really serves him right for being such a dickhead in the first place.
But seriously, though, who can say no to an Italian? Certainly, I couldn’t. They were called Fabrizzio, Antonio and Michele. It is especially sexy when they insert Italian words into their speech for absolutely no reason except that they know how it turns us on. Sei bellissima! Yes, tell me more.
Side note: Have you ever noticed how in romance novels the heroines are usually oblivious to the fact the man they are pining for is interested in them too, whereas in real life the heroines usually believe the men to be interested in them even though they are obviously not? THIS is why we love romance novels, I think. I finally discovered it.