- File Size: 1205 KB
- Print Length: 384 pages
- Publisher: HQ Digital (May 9, 2018)
- Publication Date: May 9, 2018
- Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
- Language: English
- ASIN: B073TS2JDX
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,765 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Price set by seller.
One Summer in Rome: a deliciously uplifting summer romance! Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
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Samantha Tonge writes a delightfully romantic tale that put me in a happy mood for days and made me crave pizza for long after! Rome is described to perfection. I could just picture the busy piazzas, feel the thrum of activity, see the cityscape in the last rays of the day’s sunlight and taste the ripe flavours of freshly prepared dishes. Yet, there is no distracting info dumping about Rome. A few bits of trivia are thrown in but most of the descriptions are seamlessly woven into the tale.
Mary (or Maria as her Italian friends come to call her) is an English girl who has decided to uproot herself and find new fortunes in Italy. She’s never had much of a home or a family and despite trying to hold herself back from becoming too connected to others, is in search of a place where she can belong. I found myself liking this shy young lady quite a lot. She’s sweet and doesn’t yet realise just how strong she is. She doesn’t think she wants to find love but lets it in when it finds her. My only issue with Mary is that several situations arise within the novel that Mary conveniently has prior experience with; sometimes those scenes then become about her rather than the person at the centre of that particular event. Despite that I was excitedly waiting for Mary to find her ‘home’.
Dante is a flawed yet perfect hero in this story. His backstory is painful and his scars show, not just in his blindness, but also in his interactions with Mary. His strength, compassion, weaknesses and love for family are all shown and help to create a full picture of this tragic hero. This story is told from Mary’s perspective only. For the most part it works but I did miss just a tiny bit of Dante’s shift from resisting to accepting Mary’s love and admiration. Overall though, I think the author did a great job in showing how Dante’s character undergoes change.
Issues such as physical disabilities, terrorism, addiction, abuse and suicide are all addressed in this story. These matters are given sufficient detail so as not to be dismissive of the ugly realties, yet light enough to have the story still easily fall into the lighter side of contemporary romance.
My one criticism of the tale would be the dialogue. Some conversations between characters switch direction with dizzying speed. I suppose that’s realistic but it is difficult to follow (especially when reading a proof copy). In other instances the dialogue doesn’t ‘sound’ natural and is too formal or better suited to thoughts than spoken words. However, these issues do not take away from the feels the story brings on.
The feels… this story gave me “the feels”. I don’t know why. Maybe it was my mood. Maybe it was loving the interactions between Dante and Mary. Maybe it was wanting to know where the story would go, how the wonderful extended Rossi family would find their peace… I don’t know. This story made me laugh, sigh, cry and get angry. There was one scene early on, where Dante rejects Mary’s affection. I felt my own heart drop at how his words hurt her. I was fully immersed in the lives of these characters.
I completely enjoyed reading this story. The characters, setting and deeper issues discussed made this a compelling read that I recommend to anyone looking for some romance. I voluntarily reviewed this book.
Arriving at La Dolce Vita pizzeria, the Rossi’s are a welcoming bunch – if you ignore their head pizza maker Dante and a snarky waiter Rocco. Her rusty Italian, combined with a ‘rarely seen and never heard’ personality make her transition even more difficult, as she absorbs slights, snark and even an on-again-off-again friendly relationship with Dante. Plenty of secrets and things not spoken of are putting a damper of sorts on the little family, a year out from losing their mother, and two years out from ‘that day’ that left Dante, a former police officer, without sight.
Throughout it all, Mary is constantly talking herself through the next moment, the next challenge, never without a pocket full of healing crystals – the one thing (we come to learn) that she can count on to never leave her. Slowly, she starts to feel a part of the family, taking the risk to present ideas for more business and a way to stay on the Lombardi List – one frequently referred to by tourists choosing their next taste experience.
Most striking in this story is the character development and isues: from Mary’s seeming constant search for approval and a place to fit in, to Rocco’s jealousy all driven by protecting the family, and most of all the deep-seated guilt that Dante uses as a shield to keep everyone at arm’s length. And, this being a story completely of the day, there are terrorist scares a bit of unwarranted vitriol from a competing restaurant for the list spot, and revelations galore. Mary finds a new confidence in the welcome she’s received from most of the Rossi’s, and her determination to help them retain their place, as well as her realization that ‘disney perfect’ families and people don’t exist, comes as a great surprise. Tonge allowed readers to feel that Mary, as flawed as she was, had reasons for her submissiveness and fear of confrontation, and it was lovely to see her growth in taking a stand, particularly when it came to Dante loosening his grip on all of the guilt he held, from his partner’s and mothers deaths to his almost militant need for independence, and the feeling that he would never be ‘enough man’ to protect and care for another woman because of his blindness. What I expected to be a light and fun read wasn’t – the hidden depths, the rhyme and meter of conversations that mimicked (some better than others) the flow of Italian conversation, and the small insets of childlike sense from little Lucia all brought this story heart and a lovely happy ending.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Most recent customer reviews
Summer in Rome by Samantha Tonge is a magical story of romance and family!
Mary is ready to make BIG changes in her life.Read more
Looking for something to read on the beach this summer? You found it!
This book starts so well.Read more