Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Romantic Comedy Review: Italy Ever After by Leonie Mack

Italy Ever After by Leonie Mack
Published: May 11th, 2021

Publisher: Boldwood Books

Genre: Romantic Comedy

My rating: 4.5 stars

Acquired this book: From the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for honest consideration

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Buy: Amazon Canada || Amazon US || Kobo

TV journalist Lou feels battered and bruised after her divorce from Phil, the father of her daughter Edie. Her confidence and sense of fun have steadily been drained away, and she isn’t sure who she is any more.

When the opportunity arises to accompany Edie on a music camp in Italy for a month in the summer, Lou jumps at the chance for new adventures, new horizons and new friends. The hazy warmth of the summer sun, shining brightly over the stunning Lake Garda, slowly brings Lou back to life.

Nick Romano, Edie’s music teacher, loves being home in Italy, but coaching his students for their concert in Milan, is bringing back difficult memories. His blossoming friendship with Lou is the perfect distraction, although a summer fling would be easier to conduct without the scrutiny of his mother Greta, not to mention the interference of his extended Italian family.

As the summer passes, full of sunshine and breath-taking scenery, gelato and delicious feasts, Lou and Nick get ever closer. But as the time for farewell creeps up on them, will they be able to say goodbye and leave their memories behind in the Italian sun, or can a summer romance last a lifetime?

I don’t often manage to read ARCs months in advance, but as soon as I was granted access to Italy Ever After on Netgalley in February, I dove right in. After fourteen months of isolation due to the pandemic - plus a long, cold winter - I’ve been dreaming of sunshine and beautiful far-off places. Italy Ever After was the exact vicarious holiday I needed to lift my spirits and bring me hope for better days.

Lou is getting divorced after twelve years of marriage to a man who made her feel talentless and ordinary. She’s coasting by in her career and has poured all her focus and love into her eleven-year-old daughter Edie, who’s a violin prodigy. When she gets the opportunity to accompany Edie to a music camp in Italy over the summer, she jumps at the chance and sees it as the perfect opportunity to explore different hobbies and find something that makes her extraordinary. It doesn’t hurt that Edie’s super-hot Italian music teacher will be at the camp too.

I loved Lou and found her so real and relatable. She barely knew who she was anymore outside of being a wife and mother, so her idea of seeking a talent was really her way of seeking validation and fulfillment after her husband made her feel so small for so long. I loved watching her come into her own, learn a lot about herself - often with help from others - and learn to stand up for herself, speak up, and go after what she wanted. She and Nick were both living in fear, embodying past mistakes, and were unable to move forward. They had great chemistry and banter and they really saw each other - and weren’t afraid to tell the other what they saw, good or bad. They balanced each other perfectly, and I loved watching them grow closer. I also really enjoyed Lou’s relationship with Edie, and how much Nick cared about her too.

This book is a must-read this spring and summer for romance fans. Prepare to be whisked away on a virtual trip to sunny Italy and fall in love with the setting and characters.

Have you read Italy Ever After? If you could hop on a plane and take a trip anywhere right now, where would it be?


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