It’s a real pleasure today to be joining the publication day push for a new book from T.A. Williams – An Escape to Remember is the second standalone book in his latest Love from Italy series, published today (24th March) by Canelo Escape, now available for kindle and on all other major ebook platforms, and also in paperback. 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).
Another book from one of my favourite authors – and while Trevor’s books are always the perfect escape from real life and all your worries, life’s pretty good here in my own little corner of this troubled world at the moment. In fact, it’s so good that I “passed” on the first book in this new series, A Little Piece of Paradise – and immediately missed that regular infusion of sunshine. You’ll find quite a few reviews of Trevor’s lovely books here on Being Anne – just pop his name in my search box – and I unfailingly enjoy them so much that I’m sure you’ll be seeing many more in the future. So let’s see what Louise is up to at the Grand Hotel del Monferrato…
She needed a getaway. What she found was a home.
When Louise surprises her boyfriend by returning early from a work trip, safe to say she wasn’t expecting to see him in flagrante delicto with another woman. Heart-torn and vowing to stay away from men, when Louise’s next project involves restoring an ageing hotel in Italy, she leaps at the chance to get away.
Managed by a crew of sextagenarians, the Grand Hotel del Monferrato needs all the love and care Louise can give it. But it’s hard to stay focused on the job when her thoughts keep straying to Vito, the reclusive and mysterious neighbour.
With his tragic past and her no-romance policy, Louise knows they can’t have a future. Yet something keeps pulling the two together…
A beautiful romance set in the hills of Turin
Louise’s job with a small international hotel chain is certainly partly to blame for the end of her current relationship – but when she finds out it’s over in a particularly horrible way, it proves to be her refuge too when she travels to the newly-acquired Grand Hotel del Monferrato, with a brief to update it and bring it in line with the other hotels in the chain. Once there she becomes immersed in the lives of the team running the hotel, their friends and families – and sets about commissioning all the work the hotel needs in advance of the planned spectacular launch party. And, although she doesn’t really feel ready for a new relationship, there are plenty of possibilities – the millionaire owner of the chain seems interested, there’s an ex-boyfriend (her first love) who’s being particularly persistent, and a rather intriguing professore at Turin University (and a Count, no less – and the hotel’s former owner) who she’d like to get to know rather better.
The story plays out against the wonderfully drawn backdrop I’ve come to expect from the author – this time the wine-making hill country of north-west Italy, near Turin. The countryside is vividly and lovingly described – I loved the walks through the vineyards, the collecting of mushrooms, the enticing cold water of the streams. The food and drink has all the same wonderful attention to detail – there’s an undiscovered world-class chef at the rundown hotel, and there were plenty of occasions when his food really made my mouth water. I very much enjoyed following the story of the hotel’s refurbishment and transformation, and there’s a particular warmth about this book – Louise’s romantic journey is only enhanced by a wonderful cast of well-drawn local characters who become her friends and family, with their own challenges and romantic entanglements. And the book’s central romance was everything I wanted it to be – although it would be very wrong of me to tell you where Louise’s choice of possibilities lead her. And, of course, the book wouldn’t be complete without a wonderful black labrador in the mix – the energetic and over-enthusiastic Leo, knocking you off your feet and smothering you with love.
This really was the most perfect summer read – an opportunity to travel from the comfort of your armchair, a slow-burn romance with plenty of intriguing complications, and a story that entirely engaged me from beginning to end. Highly recommended.
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.