I received this book for free from Rachel's Random Resources in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Rome for the Summer by Lynne Shelby
Published by Headline Accent on June 23, 2022
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance
Source: Rachel's Random Resources
Kate Harper has always loved the painting that has hung in her parents’ dining room for years, never suspecting that it is worth a fortune. When her art dealer boyfriend cheats her family out of the proceeds of the painting’s sale, she is left devastated and alone.
Kate discovers that two hundred years ago, the girl in the painting, Charlotte Browne, ran off to Rome with the artist who painted her portrait, but her eventual fate is unknown.
Hoping to uncover the mystery of what happened to Charlotte, Kate seizes the chance of a summer job in Rome, where she strikes up a friendship with artist Jamie Taylor. As they explore the city and start to piece together the surprising secrets of Charlotte’s life, Kate finds herself wondering if a summer in Rome can mend a broken heart…
I really enjoyed this story! It had such a fun connection between the past and the present. The parallel stories of Charlotte Browne with Kate, our heroine, both moving to Rome, was fun to follow the clues and little hints about what was going to happen. This was a fade to black romance, which isn’t really my usual type. In fact, Kate refused to even give in to having a little summer fling, and that was a bit frustrating for me.
However it was the romance of being swept away to Rome, but a man she loved for Charlotte, and a job to forget her ex for Kate. The author did a lot of wonderful descriptions of the settings and places in both Rome, but also every place in the story. Which definitely made sense with this being about artists of all sorts. For me it did make it a bit of a slow start though, and I just learned I was going to skim a bit as I was anxious to get to the story itself.
Jamie was definitely a swoony hero though. He was a wonderful friend for Kate, and even had some great advice for her as an artist, that I remembered is something I need to keep in mind for my own writing. Do it because you enjoy it, don’t necessarily do it because you want to be famous or have it as your career. Those things could happen for some, and that’s great, but if you enjoy it, then do it!
And the way that we ended up getting Charlotte Browne’s story all wrapped up and the puzzle pieces fit in was really what kept me turning pages at the end, having to know if the little clues dropped along the way meant that maybe, just maybe Charlotte got to have a happy life after the tragedy of what society did to her in those days.
About the Author
Lynne Shelby writes contemporary women’s fiction and romance. Her debut novel, French Kissing (re-released in e-book as Meet Me In Paris) won the Accent Press and Woman magazine Writing Competition, and her fifth novel, Love On Location, was shortlisted for a Romantic Novelists’ Association Award – the Jane Wenham-Jones Award for Romantic Comedy. When not writing or reading, Lynne can usually be found at the theatre or exploring a foreign city with her writer’s notebook, camera and sketchbook in hand. She lives in London with her husband and has three adult children who live nearby.
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