Sunday, January 15, 2017

Review: From Rome with Love

Title: From Rome with Love
Author: Jules Wake
Publisher: 13 January 2017 by Harper Collins UK, Harper Impulse
Pages: 314 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: womens fiction, contemporary romance, culture Italy
My Rating: 4.5 cups


If you can’t stand the heat…
Rome is the city of love and seduction, right? Not if you find yourself staying in a beautiful apartment with your childhood-friend-turned-arch-enemy, Will Ryan…no matter how hot he is!
Romance is the last thing on Lisa’s mind. She’s got more important things to focus on, like hunting down her estranged father. Except when her search falls at the first hurdle, Will doesn’t just help her get back on track, he also shares the romantic sights – and exquisite tastes – of the Eternal City, and Lisa starts to wonder if it’s not just Rome seducing her.
Only, as Lisa and Will dig into the past, neither of them is prepared for the long-buried secrets they reveal. Secrets that will turn both their world’s upside down …

My Thoughts

In June I reviewed a Jules Wake book, ‘From Italy With Love’, and  thought it was loads of fun (click on the title to see the review). So when an opportunity came up to read another from the series, I jumped at the chance. What a fun series this is proving to be and although characters do arise from past books, each is very much a standalone read. You do not need to have read any of the other books but if you have, it’s like revisiting old friends and having a catch up which was nice.

I enjoyed this book tremendously - rating it even higher than previous ones. It was coasting along as a solid chick lit read, until about three quarters the way through and BAM! Such an unforeseen plot twist was introduced that elevated it that little bit more for me. For this is where Jules Wake excels, as her tales (like I wrote previously) are not just ‘fluffy’ chick lit, but contain intricate twists that, although you know you will get your happy ending, they keep you very much engaged with the characters.

What I also thoroughly enjoyed about this particular one was the depth and detail Wake provides you with on everything to do with Rome. She provides the almost perfect mix of romance and culture that I feel I have just arrived back from visiting the famous city myself! There are the obvious trips to the likes of the Vatican and Spanish Steps, but thanks to Lisa’s infamous guidebook, I learnt so much.

‘A list? You can’t do Rome by list. You have to live and breathe it.’

Add to that the amazing Italian cuisine with trips to authentic restaurants or wineries and it’s a complete getaway. As Will introduces Lisa to blind tasting tests on everything from olive oil to cheese production to learning the finer skills of wine tasting, you can’t help but literally savour the moment, as indeed the passion for food positively glowed’ off the page.

One final winning aspect for me is the humour. I love both the lead characters and their bantering with each other is phenomenal.

‘Nice. Me? No you’ve definitely got the wrong man.’
‘I said nice. We are talking the dog’s arse end on the scale of compliments.

Not to mention Lisa’s inner dialogue that I could very much relate to at times:

‘He wouldn’t be checking he had his phone or passport with him once, let alone on the half hour, every half hour.’

‘The horrible pull-along case, which had seemed so brilliant earlier, suddenly had a life of its own and did not want to partake in the hurried slalom through other travellers all heading down the same wide corridor.’

From Rome with Love is the perfect mix of all that is Italian especially the food, wine and culture. The friendships, romance and especially the hidden family secrets make this a wonderful read that kept me engaged and smiling all the way through.

‘Give people that feeling of holidays, the taste of Italy and the laid-back sense of having all the time in the world to enjoy the intense flavour of sunshine and tradition.’

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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