One word for this story – romantic. Recently there have been so many books heavily charged with sex, but this one centers on what’s important, the romance. The love story is front and center, even if it starts with hostility and insults. The pace is slow, but not boring, more like a meandering through the tale of two lost souls who wake each other up and find love.
Cesca Shakespeare was a writer. She was a child wonder, having written her first theatre play at the age of eighteen. The play was produced and it promised to be a great hit, except the leading man abandoned the play on the premiere, the stand-in actor was no good, and the play flopped disastrously. Since then, Cesca has dealt with writer’s block, and has flipped from one dead-end job to another, barely making ends meet. Her godfather Hugh, got her the chance to spend the summer at a palazzo in Lake Como, taking care of a property for the owners, who were unable to visit their palazzo for some time. Her instructions from her godfather was to get her head sorted and start writing again. However, one week into her job, the owners’ son arrives seeking solitude and peace, and he turns out to be none other than the actor who bailed on Cesca six years ago.
Sam Carlton is in the middle of a publicity problem. He’s on the rise as a Hollywood actor and heart-throb but a former actress he had a fling with is publishing intimate information on him, embarrassing details of their encounters. He wants to squash it, but finds that the publicity stint had been planned between the actress and his publishing agent. As they say, “any publicity is good publicity”. But Sam comes from theater royalty, with high standards, and this is not good. He promptly fires his agent, and instructs his lawyer to sue the heck out of the agent and the actress. So while this is being carried out, he goes to his mother’s palazzo in Lake Como and finds an enraged beautiful blond woman, who hates him, and was hired to take care of the property.
At first, their encounters were full of hostility. Sam didn’t understand why this beautiful girl was such a bitch to him, until later he learns that she was the writer of the play he abandoned. His response was that it was a great play, but plays flop sometimes, get over it. So the bitchery increases. Later we learn the reason why Sam bailed and left for Hollywood, establishing a successful career far away from his family. Both have issues to resolve, Cesca’s related to the loss of her mother, and Sam’s related to his estrangement from his father. Little by little the hostility gives way to peace, to friendship and to collaboration when Cesca gets inspired to write another play, and ultimately to a fling that was really more than a fling. They have a lot of funny and tender scenes. I had a great time reading the story of these characters, because the dialogue between them was witty, snappy, happy, naughty. Their tryst had an expiration date, but they enjoyed it to the fullest until life intrudes and they have to face the real world and make decisions.
Cesca has three sisters and I believe there will be books on all sisters. Based on the enjoyment of this book, I will certainly be looking up the rest of the series. I was sent this book by the author and I agree to read and review. The book will publish July 2017.