Tuesday, 20 January 2015

What Happens in Tuscany by T.A.Williams

Publication date: 20 January 2015
Published by: Carina
Purchase from Amazon here

The Blurb:

From rainy England…

Katie never imagined her life was perfect. But when she finds herself on a rainy street, soaked to the bone and with only a cheating boyfriend and a dead-end job keeping her in town, she knows something has to change. Which is what leads her to Iddlescombe Manor, to be companion to Lady Victoria Chalker-Pyne – the only 25 year old Katie’s ever met who hasn’t heard of Twitter, thinks camisoles are de rigueur, and desperately needs an education in the 21st century!

…to the Tuscan sun!

But it wouldn’t be an education without a summer holiday – and where better than Tuscany? Decamping to Victoria’s family villa, it’s soon clear that the valley really does have it all: sun, sea…and some seriously gorgeous neighbours. The only question is: when the weather’s this hot, the wine is this smooth and the local men are this irresistible…will Katie ever want to make the journey home?

Don’t miss deliciously funny romance What Happens in Tuscany… the perfect escape for fans of Fern Britton and Veronica Henry.

My review:

This book was just what I needed when it's so cold and grey outside. A book that's full of adventure, laughs and sunshine. I really enjoyed sitting down and spending time with the characters of the book.

Our leading lady is Katie. The book opens with her in her 'old' life, making a revelation about her boyfriend. This revelation is the catalyst to everything changing. She is sitting in the pub chatting to her friend and looking for a new work challenge when she stumbles across an advert in an old fashioned magazine to become a companion to Lady Victoria Chalker-Pyne. The advert mentions a house abroad which gets her interested and so she applies and gets the job.

Turning up she expects a doddering old lady who will be a nightmare. However she is amazed, and delighted to meet Lady Victoria who is infact only 25. Her father has passed away and she has absolutely zero life skills, or knowledge of the 21st century as her father has kept her a shit away recluse over the years.

And so begins the fun........from the way she dresses, the way she talks, her lack of travel or interaction with the real world, Victoria has alot to learn. The house has no phone signal, no computer or internet connection, or even a TV. Luckily Katie is on hand to show Victoria (or as we get to know her, Vicky) the ropes. I could see straight away just how much of a breath of fresh air Katie was going to be to the house.

Money is no object so before long the girls have been out shopping, bought a smart phone, got wi-fi installed and are getting to know other locals. They get invited to a party at the house of an old school friend Tom. Whilst there they get talking about her fathers home in Tuscany. When Tom says that he will be going over they decide to join him.

The rest of the book is based there and carries on the transformation of Vicky from the wallflower to a little socialite with some great flirting skills. She soon has more than one man chasing after her. But she isn't alone. Katie also gets a fair amount of attention.

The local characters are wonderful and the setting had a real homely feel to it. The descriptions of the villa and local area made it easy for me to visualise and I quickly found myself able to imagine being out there myself. There are a few men though out the story. One that I really liked was Marco. He isn't a romantic interest, but is a great guy. A good looking man who knows good food and cares about others....wonderful!!

There is of course the obligatory love triangle. This involves Katie who has a clear mutual attraction with one of the local guys. However, as you will find out it becomes a bit more complicated. When a bloke, Martin, from the UK flies over could potential romance blossom between them? They had a little thing in England, but with her questioning her future will Martin feature?

I love Dante the dog. He pops up early on and is there throughout. I loved the idea of a companion who just appears and wants love. I loved the idea of long rambles with him exploring the local countryside in all it's beauty. He is funny at how he can wrap them all round his little finger to scrounge food and attention. But he is very loveable.

Their visit to Tuscany has twists and turns and not just involving romance. There is more to the story than that which makes it more engrossing and riveting. I really loved the girls and enjoyed seeing how Vicky evolved as she entered the real world. I also loved watching Katie's story. I have always dreamed of moving to an exotic location and enjoying the different way of life compared to London. I felt like I was doing this while reading about Katie.

The book is really well written. Very descriptive and some great humour too. I have read others of the authors books and have loved them equally. I wanted to jet off to join them and I bet you will too.....

Great characters, a fun and enjoyable read that will leave you with a big smile on your face.

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