Sunday, 10 February 2019

New Release Spotlight and Review: Summer on the Italian Lakes by Lucy Coleman

Summer on the Italian Lakes by Lucy Coleman

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...
Escape the January blues with this sun-drenched, heart-warming story from the bestselling author of Snowflakes Over Holly Cove.

Amazon UK      Amazon DE      Amazon US 

Brianna Middleton is a successful writer but struggling to find her mojo to finish her current work-in-progress. She's also single and lacking confidence after her previous relationship severely dented her confidence. When her agent asks her to stand in for another writer on a four-week assignment in Italy to assist on a writing retreat, she's sceptical but accepts the challenge. Her first impressions of her host are strained, but with a stunning backdrop against Lake Garda, the trip not only triggers her creativity but opens her mind and heart to find love.

Although the main focus is on Brie and Arran, I devoured all the information surrounding the writing retreat classes. If you, like me have sat down to write, you'll love all the details about the writing process the author poured into this part of the narrative. It's unexpected, yet played a huge part in my overall enjoyment along with the antics of the protagonists and their guests.

I enjoyed how Brie took stock of her life and let go of her inhibitions to explore the opportunities presented to her, including Arran. As the hero, I always appreciate getting to know ones perceived as difficult, until we learn more about them. It's exciting when the attraction becomes more than a furtive glance and a slight touch. Complimenting the tentative relationship is the stunning Italian Lakes backdrop and the tantalising descriptions of the sights, sounds and smells of the area.

Around the 75-80% mark, the narrative dragged on and ran out of steam. Until this point, I adored the time the protagonists were in Italy and remained invested in them after the plot shifted back to the UK. However, the additional plot-lines concentrating on secondary characters took away the focus from Brie and Arran in what I can only think is a way of building interest for a future novel? If this is the case, it didn't work for me as I didn't connect sufficiently to those characters and it cast a shadow over what had been until that point a fabulous read.

Overall, many high points make this a lovely, fascinating romance; two very different authors finding a common ground between them, the inclusion of the writing retreat class information and lastly, Lake Garda's beauty and culture. This combination works perfectly and anything else for me was surplus to requirement.

***arc generously received courtesy of Aria via NetGalley***

From interior designer to author, Linn B. Halton - who also writes under the pen name of Lucy Coleman - says ‘it’s been a fantastic journey!’
Linn is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels and is excited to be writing for both Aria Fiction (Head of Zeus) and Harper Impulse (Harper Collins); she’s represented by Sara Keane of the Keane Kataria Literary Agency.
When she’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture or working in the garden.
Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award; her novels have been short-listed in the UK's Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards.
Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she freely admits she’s an eternal romantic.
Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.

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