Friday, June 5, 2015

Review: From Italy With Love by Jules Wake

Title:  From Italy With Love

Author: Jules Wake
Publisher: 14th May 2015 by Harper Collins UK, HarperImpulse
Pages: 300 pages
How I Read It: ARC ebook
Genre: ficiton; contemporary romance, chick lit, Europe vacation, vintage cars
My Rating:  four cups

‘To my niece I leave the Ferrari GT250… On the proviso that she takes it across Europe to Maranello within the next three weeks. Only on successful completion of the journey to a prescribed route, will the car be hers…’
Home-loving Laurie thinks she’s happy – she has a safe, reliable boyfriend and working in her local library is what she thought she always wanted. That is until she inherits a vintage Ferrari from her eccentric Uncle Miles and the conditions of the inheritance are far from simple. To keep the car Laurie will have to drive across Europe with the gorgeous but unreliable Cameron Matthews as her guide… and Cam’s motives for helping are not all that altruistic.
Cam isn’t particularly thrilled about escorting his late pal Miles’ dull mouse of a niece on this wild goose chase but all he has to do is get Laurie safely to Italy and he’s sure the Ferrari is his.
But Uncle Miles had a few tricks up his sleeve and the route he’s planned takes Cam and Laurie on a road trip they’ll never forget. From sampling the delights of the Loire Valley to the breathtaking beauty of Lake Garda, this is one journey that has more twists and turns than either of them could ever have imagined…

My thoughts:

You know how it goes. Sometimes you just need that fun filled escapist book. This is it.  Whether you are basking in the sunshine, or curling up under a warm blanket, let yourself escape in this delightful read. The beauty of this read is that it’s not just ‘fluffy’ chick lit. There are various components and intricate twists that – although you know you will get your happy ending – it is more like the hairpin bends that the lead character, Laurie, drives around in her Italian Alps journey. It is not all smooth riding:

“When had her world become so grey and colourless? The piercing thought scored into her brain bringing with it physical pain at the recognition of its truth. What had happened to her?”

This is clever chick lit, that dives into why people marry, how to get the most from your life and how to deal with difficult family situations, just to name a few.

“And today she’d tasted something else. Not sensible. For a moment she’d glimpsed a different world, experienced a surge of exhilaration and felt a moment of soaring freedom”.

I loved this book with well-developed characters and wonderful romantic tension between Laurie and Cam. I really enjoyed watching the real Laurie unfold before my eyes. The contrast between the timid mouse at the beginning, to the quiet confidence exhibited at the end of the book, really resonated with me.

“If you stress about what will be, what might happen before we even get there, you won’t leave yourself any time to enjoy the moment and make the most of the opportunity”.

The only hiccup for me was Robert. Most definitely an unlikeable baddy, yet a little too over the top come the confrontation at the end of the novel. The book had been somewhat plausible until that major over reaction on his part. 

Wake has provided just about something for everyone – classic car enthusiasts, European road trips, wine tasting, shopping in Paris and a journey of self discovery, not to mention some yummy romance. Throw in a bit of humour and this stacks up as a fun romantic comedy read with substance.

This is a most entertaining read that will keep you turning the pages as you look forward to seeing what is around the next bend in the road. If there were a back seat in the infamous Ferrari, it would be as if you were sitting right there with them along for the ride. Do yourself a favour, escape to Europe with a fancy car and good looking love interest.

“Slightly romantic and foolish, but in the brilliant sunshine of the picture-perfect street, she allowed herself to give in to the fantasy”.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.

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