It’s a RaRaResources day today as all of my blog posts are for this tour host! I hope you will join me for the three reviews I have lined up (I say lined up….i’m yet to type them but y’know!). First of three posts is my review of Lucy Coleman’s ‘Summer on the Italian Lakes’. Many thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite, and many thanks to the publisher for the ARC.
Bestselling Brianna Middleton has won the hearts of millions of readers with her sweeping – and steamy – love stories. But the girl behind the typewriter is struggling… Not only does she have writer’s block, but she’s a world-famous romance author with zero romance in her own life.
So the opportunity to spend the summer teaching at a writer’s retreat in an idyllic villa on the shores of Lake Garda – owned by superstar author Arran Jamieson – could this be just the thing to fire up Brie’s writing – and romantic – mojo?
Brie’s sun-drenched Italian summer could be the beginning of this writer’s very own happy-ever-after…
What does TWG think?
If you’ve ever wanted to go behind the scenes of an author’s life, then you’re in luck as the main character of this book is a best-selling romance author. I have a slight hunch that Lucy Coleman used her own personal experiences with writing to bring Brie’s character to life, by highlighting the highs and the lows of putting pen to paper. I thought it was brilliant as well how the author made people think about the romance genre as it had, and continues to do, negative press because people can’t understand the complexity behind writing romantic novels. Obviously that’s a nice way of putting it! Even though I am pleased that Lucy Coleman has openly, well, indirectly, defended her genre, I felt sad because why should she? Nobody gives bad press about thriller novels and people getting their heads lopped off, so why should romance authors defend the fact that they want to spread a little love around the place? You’ll have to excuse me – I’m going off on a tangent, it’s just something i feel quite strongly about….if you hadn’t guessed already!
Anyway! Poor Brie not only has writers block, she also has self-confidence block because of just how much recent events have made her want to hide. People automatically assume that, just because Brie likes to write things that get her readers a little hot under the collar, that her own bed is getting a lot of attention. And no, I don’t mean sleep.
When Brie goes to Lake Garda to assist another author and his retreats, she manages to re-evaluate her life in more ways than one. Obviously I won’t say how she does that, but i definitely became her cheerleader that’s for sure!
I am probably going to sound like a pessimist here, but I spent a lot of the story sitting waiting for Arran to run. It’s not that i don’t believe in love, I just felt that Arran’s situation was incredibly fast and I suppose I couldn’t really invest in it because I was uncertain of the overall outcome. Like i say, I know i sound a bit pessimistic when I say this, especially as i wanted the ‘happily ever after’ as much as the next person, i just found it a little too….shall we say, convenient? Just to clarify – the above isn’t a negative remark towards the author and the way that she has delivered the storyline, it’s just my opinion on the characters lifestyle choices. I know the author put them there, obviously, it’s just hard not to think of them as real people.
I really enjoyed the realistic portrayal of a writers life alongside such wonderful, and heartfelt humour. The characters were such a fun bunch to get to know and I thought that Lucy Coleman did a sterling job at making readers (ie me) resonate with their personalities on various levels.
Brie has got to be one of my most favourite characters that Lucy Coleman has written, mainly due to the relatability of her personality but also because she shone with both her perfections and imperfections.
‘Summer on the Italian Lakes’ is such an uplifting, humorous, poignant read which will have you yearning for your own happily ever after.
About the author.
From interior designer to author, Linn B. Halton – who also writes under the pen name of Lucy Coleman – says ‘it’s been a fantastic journey!’
Linn is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels and is excited to be writing for both Aria Fiction (Head of Zeus) and Harper Impulse (Harper Collins); she’s represented by Sara Keane of the Keane Kataria Literary Agency.
When she’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture or working in the garden.
Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award; her novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards.
Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she freely admits she’s an eternal romantic.
Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.
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