Novel: From Italy With Love by Jules Wake
Release date: May 14th, 2015 by HarperImpulse
Genre: Romance, Adult Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
I received this book from the publisher -THANK YOU- via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion in any way.
Synopsis: Home-loving Laurie thinks she’s happy – she has a safe, reliable boyfriend and working in her local library is what she thought she always wanted. That is until she inherits a vintage Ferrari from her eccentric Uncle Miles and the conditions of the inheritance are far from simple. To keep the car Laurie will have to drive across Europe with the gorgeous but unreliable Cameron Matthews as her guide… and Cam’s motives for helping are not all that altruistic. Cam isn’t particularly thrilled about escorting his late pal Miles’ dull mouse of a niece on this wild goose chase but all he has to do is get Laurie safely to Italy and he’s sure the Ferrari is his.
When I requested this book from Netgalley, I did so because I liked the synopsis and it had been a while since I had read a adult romance. I hadn’t heard of the author before, and I –for some reason– was not expecting great things. I am so happy to be proven wrong! I highly enjoyed this story, and there’s really only one reason I deducted a half star.
How could you not love this story? It takes you across the UK, France and Italy. In a beautiful classic Ferrari. HELLO! Count me in. I enjoyed the story, although I wish we would have gotten to know more about the places they visited. Adult romances are often mostly about the characters though, so I understand. It all starts with Miles’ funeral, which is not a sad affair, but one of laughter and colorful clothing, as he wanted it. The story here revolves entirely around Laurie. It’s a story about rediscovering who you are, understanding that a safe and secure life does not always mean a happy life. I feel as if the message is very dear to me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bored with my life. But I often wonder whether I will be. Whether one day, I will just realize that I haven’t done anything I’m passionate about for months. It scares me to live a life like that and not even realizing it. This is a story about discovering what you want, and having the courage to choose it over another option that might be more stable and secure.
First off, there is Laurie. At first, I was a bit annoyed as I felt like she was a bit of a doormat. I quickly realized that that is not true, although she should have voiced her opinion more. I really liked Laurie, she seemed quite relatable. I especially enjoyed how she evolved during the journey. How she learned to voice her opinion more, to feel beautiful instead of less than others and to enjoy everything around her. The only thing I did not like in this book -which is why I didn’t give it 5 stars- is the cheating. I despise cheating. If you are not happy with your partner, then either try to make it work or split up. There is no other right choice here. Although the boyfriend was such a terrible person, I may have actually forgiven the cheating a bit.
Then there is Cam. I did really like him -although I sincerely dislike what he was trying to do in order for her to sell the car. Really, sabotaging it? That’s ridiculous. You could have just explained your reasons for wanting it. Am I the only person who believes that actually talking to someone works better than deceiving them? Anyway. I liked that he was a good guy –which I know contrasts what I just said. I loved reading about his relationship with Miles, and how he slowly got to know Laurie –and vice versa. I wouldn’t mind finding my own Cam one day.
I can’t not talk about Miles, okay. Yes, he has already passed away at the beginning of the story –otherwise that funeral would have been quite morbid, no? But he is such an important character in this story! He is the glue that keeps the family and estate together, the one that tries to give each and every person he loved the best. I adore this guy. Even though his method may not have been the best, he knew Laurie needed to break out of her security-shell. Well done, Miles.
Lastly, Robert. I don’t even want to talk about this person, as he is a horrid human being. The only thing he cares about is money. He finds out that the family Laurie has lost is rich and immediately wants to marry her. Then he finds out about the car. He doesn’t even ask Laurie whether she wants it as a reminder to her uncle. No, he immediately looks up how much he can profit from it. And then when Laurie said she didn’t want to marry immediately, he just completely ignored that and phoned the wedding registry -or something like that. HELLO? WHAT? Anyway, you are a terrible person.
I highly enjoyed From Italy With Love. It’s a romance novel that will surprise you. It showed me how important it is to never let go of your passions, no matter what your financial situation or job is. To never settle for anything, because if you want to, you can achieve things you never thought possible. It did all that for me, even though it was such a light and quick read. I would definitely recommend it to fans of the genre.