#Review: The Italian Job by Kathryn Freeman @KathrynFreeman1 @0neMoreChapter_ @rararesources #blogtour #giveaway #romcom #TheItalianJob

By | May 29, 2022

I’m delighted today to be joining the blog tour and sharing my review of The Italian Job by Kathryn Freeman: published by One More Chapter on 6th May, the sixth in her Romcom Collection, this book is now available for kindle and in paperback via Amazon in the UK and US. Thank you to Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation and support, and to the publishers for my advance reading e-copy (provided via netgalley).

I’m not sure if Kate will have recovered yet from my enthusiastic hug when she jointly won the Jane Wenham-Jones Award for Romantic Comedy at the RNA party back in March – but she already knows how irresistible I find her books, and Mr Right Across The Street was one of my personal favourites too (you’ll find my review here).  Her writing gets better and better with every book – pop her name into the search bar, and you’ll find posts (reviews, cover reveals, spotlights and guest posts) for most of her books (yes, I’’m an unashamed fan!). So you won’t be surprised when I tell you I was really looking forward to this one, will you? Let’s take a closer look…

Dream job. Dream house. Fake fiancé.


A year in a gorgeous Italian castle…


When Anna Roberts’ life implodes, an online search leads her to an ad for the ultimate dream job – management of a gorgeous castle on the shores of Lake Como, accommodation included. The only catch? Anna can’t do it alone…


…With the last man on earth she’d choose!


The castle owners will only accept a couple as caretakers, which means Anna needs a man on her arm at the interview. Enter her neighbour, Jake Tucker. Though Anna and Jake have never seen eye-to-eye, Jake’s had a rough few years and an escape to Italy sounds ideal. Yet, when they get the job and jet off, Anna and Jake face an unexpected challenge. Pretending to be a couple is difficult … but pretending the tension simmering between them doesn’t exist is quickly proving impossible!

Over the years, I’ve read lots of books about fake relationships – and quite a few about enemies who become lovers too. But just when I was starting to think both tropes were perhaps becoming a little tired and too well-worn, this book came along – and, with the extraordinary sizzle the author brings to all her books, both ideas felt fresh, new and exciting and I adored every single moment.

Anna and Jake have been neighbours since childhood – and his mother provided her with the refuge and support she needed when her Italian mother walked away from her family, leaving her to be brought up by her police officer father. They were never friends – Jake was always a little wild and dangerous, Anna quiet and studious and rather more reined in. He’s just spent a while in prison – ironically for an assault on Miles, the man who just happens to have broken Anna’s heart, a restauranteur she found in their bed with one of the waitresses, and their break-up meant she also needed to walk away from her job with him as a chef. Searching online for her dream job, she finds an advert looking for someone to look after their castle on the shores of Lake Como – and as they’re looking for a couple, and Jake’s also finding work difficult to find, she suggests (very much against her better judgement, and with considerable trepidation) that they should join forces and give it a try.

The pair are total opposites – she’s quite obsessed with plans and lists and all the detail, while he’s frustratingly laidback and casual about everything. She prepares cards for him, with all the small details about her that he needs to know to make their relationship convincing – he just turns up, ready to wing it. When they secure the job and start working at the castle, it looks like it’s never going to work – their every exchange is laced with antagonism, he constantly puts his foot in it, she gets increasingly frustrated by his refusal to take anything seriously. But then that wonderful sizzle begins to become apparent – and, however unlikely, their relationship begins to crackle and fizz and heat up in a way that felt entirely authentic and believable, and they find their pretend relationship has become a very real one.

There’s real depth to both characters, and I really took them to my heart, desperately wanting them to have their shared happy ending – I really liked the way the author shared both their viewpoints throughout, smoothly and seamlessly, often within the same chapter, revealing their thoughts and feelings, and all the turmoil of their emotions. The supporting cast is wonderfully drawn too – the castle owners, their horrendous son Nigel with an agenda all of his own, slimy Miles, their new friends at the local bar, and their own families who visit and play an important part in the story. The Italian setting too is vividly drawn – the luxury of the castle itself, the lakeside location, the towns and villages a powerboat ride away.

But it’s that wonderful relationship between Anna and Jake that will stay with me – those wonderful exchanges, the real depth of their attraction, the love that grew between them, the way the heat (and the warmth of feeling) steadily increased. The storytelling is really excellent, with plenty of tension and conflict along the way – much of it even not of their own making – and more than a touch of real drama. And the book’s ending is simply perfect – everything I really wanted it to be. I absolutely loved this book – and recommend it really highly.


With thanks to Rachel, Kathryn and One More Chapter, I’m delighted to offer the chance to win a paperback copy of The Italian Job (open internationally). Here’s the rafflecopter for entry:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions Worldwide entries welcome. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

About the author

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to write a book. It may have had something to do with my obsession with reading romance. Real life interfered and I headed off in a different direction – into the world of science, becoming a pharmacist before joining the pharmaceutical industry. I did end up writing, but it was about disease and medicines. Decades later, I’m finally doing what I always wanted to do.

With a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to buy a card (yes, he does), all the romance in my life is in my head. Then again, his unstinting support of my career change proves love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes come in many disguises.

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4 thoughts on “#Review: The Italian Job by Kathryn Freeman @KathrynFreeman1 @0neMoreChapter_ @rararesources #blogtour #giveaway #romcom #TheItalianJob

  1. Joanne

    This is my next read and I’m so looking forward to it especially after reading your review!

    1. Anne Post author

      And I promise you won’t be disappointed!

  2. Kathryn Freeman

    Aw, Anne, you are a total superstar. Thank you so much for taking part in the blog tour – and for your absolute treat of a review. You really know how to make my weekend 😊. It was so lovely to see you at the RNA Awards, and at the risk of repeating myself, I want to thank you again for all your support over the years. If I’m becoming a better writer, it’s thanks to people like you who were kind enough to encourage me when I started out, and gave me the confidence to carry on when I thought I was never going to get over the next hill 😃

    1. Anne Post author

      What a lovely message – reading and reviewing your books is always such a pleasure – and I’m delighted to have made your weekend! xx

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