I’m delighted to be on the blog tour today for Summer on the Italian Lakes by Lucy Coleman. My thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part.
I only recently discovered that Lucy Coleman is the pen name for Linn B. Halton, whose novel A Greek Affair, I read and reviewed (and enjoyed!) last month. The bar was set high, and I was very much looking forward to a little sun-soaked escapism once more!
Summer of the Italian Lakes tells the story of Brianna (Brie) Middleton, the young and successful author of hot, steamy romance novels. Following a high profile break up, she is at her lowest and suffering with a bad case of writers block. Following an intervention from her nearest and dearest, she ends up assisting famous author, Arran Jamieson, by teaching at his writing retreat held at his stunning Lake Garda villa.
There is so much to enjoy within this novel; a beautiful setting, great leading characters and, of course, their developing romance. It is very much a modern romance, dealing with the baggage of what has gone before and its impact on the future of their relationship. All of that is before social media and the intrusive world of celebrity takes hold! What I loved most about this romance was the sense of equality and partnership. I absolutely believed in them as a couple, I could feel their chemistry sizzling and was rooting for them very early on.
It took me a little while to fully connect with Brie. I think this is because she is so closed off at the beginning, but once she arrives in Italy and rediscovers both herself and her writing ambitions, she blossomed on the page for me. By the time I was a third of the way in, I was completely sold!
One of the author’s great strengths is creating a wonderful setting for her novels. During reading I never felt as if I had to sit and purposely conjure up Lake Garda, the villa or Brie’s cottage in my mind, it was just effortlessly there. As soon as I began to read it felt as if I’d just stepped into a scene. It’s quite a talent, as there isn’t reams of descriptive prose (which I quickly bore of, I’ll be honest!), but what is there is meaningful and allows the minds eye to effortlessly construct the location.
My one very slight niggle was the dialogue. There were a few occasions where it just didn’t flow, feeling verbose and unnaturally formal. This was only a small handful of times – and it may be that as I’ve just been studying writing dialogue at university I’ve become hyperaware of it all of a sudden, but it did break the magic a little for me. This is quite minor though, and it didn’t on the whole deflect from the overall story, which I really and truly enjoyed.
Summer on the Italian Lakes is gorgeous! Light, lovely and highly enjoyable to read – perfect for blasting away the winter cobwebs!
*I received an ebook of this novel via the blog tour organiser. The decision to read was my own, and this review forms my honest opinion.
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 winter blues with this sun-drenched, heart-warming story from the bestselling author of Snowflakes Over Holly Cove.
About the Author
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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