I’m delighted today to be joining the publication day push for Under a Siena Sun, the first in a new series from T.A. Williams called Escape to Tuscany, and sharing my review. Published by Canelo Escape, this lovely book is now available via Amazon for kindle, and on all other major ebook platforms. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation and support, and to the publishers for my advance reading e-copy (provided via netgalley).
You don’t need to be having a hard time to enjoy one of Trevor’s books – but my goodness, he’s really managed to lift my spirits, whisk me away from real life and off to Italy a few times now. I read Dreaming of Verona (you’ll find my review here) while in hospital awaiting an operation: Dreaming of Italy (review here) was just the perfect distraction when the pandemic struck and it was impossible for a while to read anything too weighty or serious. This time… well, I think most people now know I’ve been having a difficult time recently after losing mum. One day, I’ll read one of Trevor’s books when I’m light of heart and everything in life is going well, and undoubtedly enjoy it every bit as much – but today, as always, I can unequivocally recommend Trevor’s books as the perfect escape…
Lucy needed a change of scene. She didn’t expect the change of a lifetime.
Doctors Without Borders has been Lucy Young’s life for the past four years. After being rescued from a conflict zone, she’s making a change from saving lives under gunfire to practising medicine in safe, serene Siena.
Now treating wealthy patients at a private clinic, she’s never felt less comfortable. She’s used to helping those in dire need – not those in need of a nip and tuck. Her turmoil grows when she encounters injured tennis star David Lorenzo, whose smiles make Lucy forget her aversion to the rich.
She’s soon falling for the sportsman but is she losing herself in this world of excess? All she’s ever wanted was to help the underprivileged, so can her future lie in Siena at the clinic – with David?
This sunny romance is the perfect summer escape for fans of Lucy Coleman and Alex Brown.
Goodness, what a dramatic start – as Lucy, a front-line doctor, is air-lifted from war-torn Congo just in the nick of time. No wonder that she decides she could do with a bit of a break – first her friend’s wedding in Tuscany, and she then takes up an unexpected job offer from a private clinic, deciding to put some roots down for a while. And if the opening drama was a surprise, so was the focus on the inequalities of health provision that recurred through the book – very well done, something that gives a little food for thought, and quite unusual in a lighter romance.
But worry not, there’s plenty of what the author has always done so well too. Lucy encounters David at the clinic – a tennis pro who’s reached the end of his career through injury, who suffers with depression, and who has just had an injury caused by a gunshot. He gets her a little warm under the collar – and then she finds he’s her landlord at her new home, and lives the life of a recluse in the big house next door.
I’m guessing I don’t really need to tell you how things then develop – and I wouldn’t dream of doing so anyway – but I really enjoyed the journey, and found the romance very real and convincing. The whole story’s really well paced, with a few complications from David’s need for anonymity and the interventions of a rather overzealous journalist: there’s another issue with the couple’s very different backgrounds and fortunes, but the whole book is full of the exceptional warmth I’ve come to expect from the author’s writing. I enjoyed too the additional depth to the story through their shared love of history – a quest into the fascinating background to the nearby Castelnuevo.
The setting is as wonderful as ever – the vineyards, the olive groves, the well-described patchwork landscape, and I enjoyed the exploration of historic Siena too (another one for the bucket list). We even have a visit to the Palio, the twice-yearly horse race through the streets – loved it. And, as always, you’ll feel the heat of the Tuscan sun, and salivate your way through the book with the great food descriptions.
And is there a labrador around? As if you have to ask – Boris is just wonderful, muscling in on the action at every possible opportunity, a real character. And he’s not the only canine star – there’s a whole slew of black labradors around, all related, every one such a well drawn individual.
If you’ve enjoyed any of the author’s other books, you’ll love this one every bit as much – and I certainly did. But I did rather enjoy its sometimes slightly harder edges through that focus on social injustice and inequality. Nicely done – and another book from T.A. Williams that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend.
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, even if travel to them is currently difficult.