Reviewed by Louise Wykes
When Kate’s husband Matt dumps her on Friday 13th she decides enough is enough – it’s time for her to have some fun and so she hops on a plane to Rome. A week of grappa and gelato in pavement cafes under azure blue skies will be just what the doctor ordered.
What she doesn’t count on is meeting and falling for sexy policeman Alessandro. But the course of true love doesn’t run smoothly – Alessandro has five meddling sisters, a fearsome mama and a beautiful ex Orazia. They’re all certain that Kate is not the girl for him.
Can Kate and Alessandro’s love last the distance? Or will she return home with the one souvenir she doesn’t want – a broken heart …
As a previous fan of Tilly Tennant’s work including the hopelessly romantic Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn, I jumped at the chance to read this book as Rome is top of my bucket list of places I need to visit.
This wonderful story bursts open with the end of the marriage between Kate Merry and her husband Matt. He decides that he has had enough of their marriage even if they were childhood sweethearts and effectively had grown up together, and Kate catches Matt in the act of leaving her when she arrives back home from work early one Friday 13th. After the cataclysmic shock of her husband leaving her and realising she is completely unsatisfied with her job she impulsively books a trip to Rome which has been on her wish list to travel to forever but as Matt thought that Skegness was an exotic holiday location, she’d never had the opportunity to go.
It is once in Rome that Kate’s adventures really begin and she makes a new and generous friend in Jamie who saves her from getting ripped off by an unofficial taxi driver at the airport. Feeling like a new person in the wonderfully sunny and beautiful city she begins to fall for the charms of Rome itself when these are surpassed by the witty, charming and handsome entrance of Alessandro an Italian policeman who comes to Kate’s rescue more than once. It is once her holiday is drawing to a close that Kate realises she has some important life decisions to make.
Apart from this wonderfully romantic and fairy tale like relationship that blooms between Kate and Alessandro, this is far from a “fluffy” read. There are several serious issues raised within the book (one of which I have had personal experience of) and they are dealt with sensitively and with great emotional depth which drew me in even further into the world of Kate, her friends and family which made me feel as if I was myself amongst friends.
I also loved how even though there were fairytale elements to the story, the realities of life were depicted too when Kate came home and had to deal with her family and her relationship (what was left of it) with Matt.
Tilly is a clever author who writes engaging, likeable and yet real characters who draw you into their world and lets the reader escape into a world that is beautiful and yet realistic. This is a fabulous story filled with a big heart and I am delighted to discover that this is the first in a series and can’t wait to revisit Kate to see what she gets up to next.