Title: Love at the Italian lake
Author: Darcie Boleyn
On the shores of Lake Garda, a beautiful romance unfolds. But is it only for summer? Don’t miss this gorgeous, heart-warming novel from Darcie Boleyn, bestselling author of 2017 smash-hit Summer at Conwenna Cove.
Sophia Bertoni discovers her boyfriend in bed with another woman, and realizes her life is going nowhere. Leaving her high-pressure job, she travels to Italy to stay with her grandmother while she figures out her next move.
When Sophia – quite literally – bumps into devastatingly handsome Joe Lancaster her plans are turned upside down. As the two realize they’re both spending the summer in the same town, a love affair seems on the cards.
But Sophia and Joe are both burdened by family secrets. Despite their attraction, will the sun set on Sophia and Joe’s romance – or will they find love at the Italian lake?
When I read the synopsis, I guessed that this book would have the usual elements as other similar romance books I’ve read. And I was right.
Sophia has been leading a boring and exhausting life. She catches her boyfriend cheating and takes this change to change her life completely, meaning she quits her job as well. All she wants is to be happy. She splurges on good clothes (for once) with help from her mom and sister-in-law and heads to Italy on a holiday/visit to her grandmother’s. She’s taking it as a time out to figure out what to do next.
Handsome man who bumped into you? ✓
A family secret? ✓
Absolutely no clue what to do in life? ✓✓✓✓
I was excited for this book because it’s set in Italy, and I love Italy because of Love and Gelato. I have to say, though, the highlights on the city wasn’t as much. And the pizza and gelato was mentioned only once each. I’m a foodie lover, so I’m a disappointed about that.
What I liked:
- The pace of the relationship. Sophia and Joe took time to grow closer and there was no rush. It’s very believable. And practical.
- People in their 30s being clueless about life. Finally one book where adults don’t have their careers and futures completely planned out. We can change directions later. It’s totally cool and we don’t have to figure everything out at our “prime” (And it made me feel better about myself.)
What I didn’t like:
This is going to be a bigger list, so brace yourselves.
- The “family issue” on Sophia’s side was way overdone. I get that the secret is life changing, but it doesn’t affect Sophia so much for her to react that bad. She literally cried! I was totally put off by the way the problem was exaggerated and I didn’t like Sophia’s reaction to it, mostly.
- Joe was too perfect. Please tell me, would you not be suspicious if a guy you’re on a “summer fling” with offers to go shopping with you and says “we can do whatever you want, we’ll go wherever you want, I’ll come with you”. He’s kind, charming, really good looking, very thoughtful and so much more. I never saw anything to his personality except his love for photography. Speaking of..
Sophia wondered how he was so perfectly thoughtful.
You’re not alone in that.
- Now that I think of it, I didn’t get Sophia’s and Joe’s personalities much. The small likes and dislikes, quirks etc that make up a person? I didn’t notice any of that.
- Joe had only one flaw, and that was putting off communication. Sophia spoke to him very freely and he listens. But when she offers to listen, he simply says “let’s not ruin the good time we’re having”. Probably never would be a good time, if you see that way. Even after the 50% mark of the book, his life/past was still vague. I hardly knew anything about him. And this is even though the book is in dual POV, so we can’t blame it on the fact that we were clueless because Sophia was clueless. This irritated me so much, because I didn’t at all know Joe!
- Also the “secret” on Joe’s side was very predictable once we were given two sentences on it. The amount of hush hush on that was exaggerated because, hello, we live in the 21st century. And they’re in their 30s i.e. they’re matured enough. Why was he so afraid of telling Sophia earlier, I don’t know.
- Oh and Sophia’s decision to never get into another relationship because she got cheated on by her ex-boyfriend? Whom she didn’t even love or have a connection with or honestly care about? She declares no-love-zone for that? *sigh* No.
- Also, for as much as Sophia and Joe decided to “see where this goes” i.e. have a summer fling, they didn’t sleep together? They simply went on dates and that’s basically dating?? (Oh yeah, speaking of, there are no sexually explicit scenes in the book. So if you want a book like that, here’s one)
- The first kiss was so abrupt and out of place? I sat there with an indifferent expression through it. I felt nothing.
I didn’t like the book. It’s a normal love story with nothing very special. It was just okay. I didn’t hate it, but I wasn’t enamoured by it either.
P.S. this is part of a blog tour. The following shows all the stops in the tour: