Title: Summer on the Italian Lakes
Author: Lucy Coleman
Publisher: 5th February 2019 by Aria
Pages: 304 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: womens fiction, romance
My Rating: 2.5 cups
Bestselling Brianna Middleton has won the hearts of millions of readers with her sweeping - and steamy - love stories. But the girl behind the typewriter is struggling... Not only does she have writer's block, but she's a world-famous romance author with zero romance in her own life.
So the opportunity to spend the summer teaching at a writer's retreat in an idyllic villa on the shores of Lake Garda - owned by superstar author Arran Jamieson - could this be just the thing to fire up Brie's writing - and romantic - mojo?
Brie's sun-drenched Italian summer could be the beginning of this writer's very own happy-ever-after...
In essence, this is a getaway romance about two authors that come together at a writer’s retreat at the Italian lakes - wonderful and inviting descriptions of the Villa Monteverdi and the views overlooking the lake, make it a worthwhile escapism to Italy, with the right mix of romance and atmosphere to make you feel like you are there.
Brie is a romance writer and Arran, a military historical writer - just about as different as you can get - but the sparks fly and the inevitable romance occurs. Bring into the mix the couple’s separate troubled past relationships and there is enough there to engage the reader.
I do have to admit, however, that I found this book quite methodical, characters cardboard cutouts and the book used as a platform to ‘preach’ on a number of issues - everything from trolling, to relationships, to becoming an author. I found it overall to be rather clinical, providing too much information that did not necessarily weave in seamlessly with the story. It felt at times, as if the author used her book as a forum to speak directly to the reader on these issues with a mixture of her opinion and facts. Unfortunately, that made it somewhat disconnected and even conflicted this message with the plot on one occasion.
So whilst I loved the premise of the story, I found the writing style challenging. I admire the author for making a statement on these important issues, however, it just seemed to be at odds with the overall intended romantic nature of the book.
‘We live in a world where the bad news hits the headlines faster than the good news, if it makes it at all. Good deeds go unrecognised all the time, but I suspect that it’s not often they go totally unnoticed, or unappreciated. What many suffer from is a hesitancy to put themselves in a position where they reach out to offer help, love, or simply a listening ear, because they fear rejection.’
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.