Back home early from ten weeks in Antigua on business, 32-year-old Louise Rhodes finds her partner Tommy in bed with another woman. After moving her things back to her parents’ house, she gets a phonecall from her boss Joseph who asks her to go to Italy for some months to sort out a hotel there, which needs some revamping.
She flies to Turin then is driven to the Grand Hotel del Monferrato by the elderly Luigino in an old Rolls Royce. She meets the rest of the staff, most of them being in their sixties including Domenica Albese, the assistant manager.
The staff soon prove themselves more than capable though and Louise sets about organising improvements to the parts of the hotel that need it, including the drainage system and some of the décor.
In the middle of all the work, Louise has a few men in her life to sort out. There’s Tommy her recent ex, Paolo (her old flame), Joseph her boss and the enigmatic Vito (who was due to inherit the hotel, but instead became a professor at Turin University). She has sworn off men, but will romance make its way back into her life anyway?
I loved the writing style of this book and all the wonderful characters, especially the hotel staff and the gorgeous dog! I was surprised to discover the author was a man, as it’s quite rare for this genre, but he writes romance beautifully – and it is romance, exactly as I like it. I’m not one who wants to read about “bedroom antics” in great detail, but this book is perfectly pitched.
I got into the book straight away and wanted to know what would happen to Louise. The setting is authentic and evocative and I enjoyed walking round the hotel’s estate and surroundings with Louise. Vito’s cottage is lovely too, I could picture it all so clearly. And who doesn’t need a virtual trip to an idyllic part of Italy right now?
The characters come across as very real because no-one is perfect and they all have issues and baggage. I’m not interested in reading about perfect characters, because we know that isn’t real. I want them to have flaws and idiosyncrasies and quirks, or how can we believe in them? T A Williams gets this right too.
A delightful book and I will be happy to read more of his novels.
9 out of 10
An Escape to Remember
She needed a getaway. What she found was a home.
When Louise surprises her boyfriend by returning early from a work trip, safe to say she wasn’t expecting to see him in flagrante delicto with another woman. Heart-torn and vowing to stay away from men, when Louise’s next project involves restoring an ageing hotel in Italy, she leaps at the chance to get away.
Managed by a crew of sextagenarians, the Grand Hotel del Monferrato needs all the love and care Louise can give it. But it’s hard to stay focused on the job when her thoughts keep straying to Vito, the reclusive and mysterious neighbour.
With his tragic past and her no-romance policy, Louise knows they can’t have a future. Yet something keeps pulling the two together…
A beautiful romance set in the hills of Turin
Purchase Link – mybook.to/AnEscape
Author Bio – I’m a man. And a pretty old man as well. I did languages at university a long time ago and then lived and worked in France and Switzerland before going to Italy for seven years as a teacher of English. My Italian wife and I then came back to the UK with our little daughter (now long-since grown up) where I ran a big English language school for many years. We now live in a sleepy little village in Devonshire. I’ve been writing almost all my life but it was only seven years ago that I finally managed to find a publisher who liked my work enough to offer me my first contract.
The fact that I am now writing escapist romance is something I still find hard to explain. My early books were thrillers and historical novels. Maybe it’s because there are so many horrible things happening in the world today that I feel I need to do my best to provide something to cheer my readers up. My books provide escapism to some gorgeous locations, even if travel to them is currently difficult.
Social Media Links –