It’s a delight today to be joining the publication day push for Dreaming of Italy by T.A. Williams, and sharing my review. Published today by Canelo Escape, it’s now available for kindle via Amazon in the UK and US, with the UK paperback to follow on Thursday. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation and support, and to the publishers for my advance reading copy (provided via netgalley).
I really think Trevor’s books should be available on prescription for those times when things might not be going too well. When I read Dreaming of Verona (you’ll find my review here), you might remember that I was in hospital awaiting an operation. This time… well, let’s just say there can’t be many of us who couldn’t do with a nice easy read and a beautiful location to whisk us away from life’s realities. So if that’s what you’re looking for too, this book really couldn’t be much more perfect…
Up for a dream promotion, Emma won’t let anything get in her way – not even love.
Working for a major Hollywood film company isn’t all glitz and glam. But when Emma gets sent to tour around Italy to scout the perfect location for a new blockbuster movie, she’s not going to complain. Especially when it could make or break her career…
Historical adviser Mark is a distraction that Emma does not need. As they explore the beauty of Italy, though, Emma starts to fall for the mysterious historian, finding herself torn between her job and her heart.
From the wild, northern mountains of Piedmont, down the vibrant coast of Cinque Terre and through the rolling hills of Tuscany, Emma’s journey becomes one of self-discovery as she questions her priorities in life.
Just look at that glorious cover – it makes you feel happy just looking at it, don’t you think? But so does what’s inside that cover – a gentle and uncomplicated story, beautifully written, well-drawn and engaging characters, a touch of romance, a taste of the less familiar world of movie-making, and a tour of some of Italy’s most beautiful more off-the-beaten-track locations. “A stunning and heartwarming holiday romance” say the publishers – I think I might just add “and exactly what I needed”.
In terms of story, there aren’t too many fireworks here – and it really doesn’t need them. Emma’s researching locations for a forthcoming film, accompanied by the troubled son of the studio head, an enthusiastic and highly efficient tour guide, and an adviser brought in for the historical detail. The world of film features – that cut-throat world that makes Emma so focused and driven, the slightly self-obsessed (but very likeable) star, the quirky and eccentric director (what a great character!). And there’s some really nice mirroring of the story of the film itself – almost a story within a story – as the characters make their journey, both personal and otherwise. The conflict comes from the characters’ personal dilemmas – mainly whether to follow the call of the heart or the head – and it’s every bit as engaging as you could possibly want it to be.
As a road trip, this book is just enthralling – Tuscany, Umbria, Bologna, the coast of the Cinque Terre, Padua, just a glimpse of Florence as they pass, and Venice. The descriptions are quite wonderful – you walk the streets, take in the sights, experience the thrill of every new discovery, learn about the history, and taste the food (ah, the food…).
And the romance – and there’s more than one here – is beautifully handled, the two main characters particularly winning you over and making you yearn for a happy ending. And can I just add how much I loved Carmen? She constantly made me smile – you’re going to love her too.
For current times, this is pretty near a perfect read – for any time, it will lift your spirits and do your heart good. A lovely read, and recommended by me.
About the author
I’m a man. And a pretty old man as well. I did languages at university a long time ago and then lived and worked in France and Switzerland before going to Italy for seven years as a teacher of English. My Italian wife and I then came back to the UK with our little daughter (now long-since grown up) where I ran a big English language school for many years. We now live in a sleepy little village in Devonshire. I’ve been writing almost all my life but it was only seven years ago that I finally managed to find a publisher who liked my work enough to offer me my first contract.
The fact that I am now writing romantic comedy is something I still find hard to explain. My early books were thrillers and historical novels. Maybe it’s because there are so many horrible things happening in the world today that I feel I need to do my best to provide something to cheer my readers up. My books provide escapism to some gorgeous locations and, as a writer, I obviously have to go there in person and check them out first. I love my job…