Welcome to day two of the Under A Tuscan Sky blog tour from Neverland Blog Tours. Today I have my review for you which I hope you will enjoy!
Escape to Tuscany this summer with Karen Aldous’s brilliantly uplifting read. Perfect for fans of Erica James and Cathy Kelly.
A summer she’ll never forget…
When Olivia Montague’s grandmother passes away, she decides it’s finally time to make some changes in her own life. So she breaks up with her ‘going nowhere’ boyfriend and embarks on a journey to her Nonna’s home in Tuscany.
Until now, Olivia has always believed that she’s incapable of love, after being abandoned by her parents as a baby. But with each day spent at the gorgeous villa nestled in the rolling Italian hills, she feels her heart begin to flutter…
And when handsome antiques dealer Hugh St. James arrives on the scene, she realises things might be about to change forever!
Olivia is stuck, she’s stuck in a life with a boyfriend, Will, who she doesn’t love. Keeping a list of pro’s and con’s about Will she call’s her “wilting will” list the only pro is that he has “a pretty face and barbecuing skills”. She also doesn’t believe she is capable of love or is lovable, very much the product of having been abandoned by her Mother as a child.
Her Grandmother, Nonna, in Italy has just died and she is responsible for the estate and Olivia hopes to get some answers about what happened to make her Mother up and leave her the way she did. Olivia ends up with far more than answers on this journey.
Olivia is a 40-year-old caught in a cycle of relying on other people to help her cope with everything. She’s been abandoned as a child and she’s found a friend to help her cope and then Will and now even being alone in Italy she’s finding other people to help her. She suffers with anxiety and I’m always going to applaud authors for tackling mental health but I really didn’t connect with this character and I felt she really didn’t help herself at all.
She came across to me as someone in their mid-twenties rather than someone near my own age. She was very naive and immature and nothing about her demeanour felt like someone who was 40. I felt like her way of dealing with her anxiety was to rely on other people rather than to learn coping mechanisms to get through it. Which really is no way to get through life.
Despite how I felt about her, I did really enjoy reading the book, I felt like the fixes Olivia got herself into were sometimes quite amusing and I was willing the story to go in certain directions and it often didn’t. There were two main romantic storylines and I honestly had no idea where the book was going with either of them.
Alberto is the over the top Italian who Olivia meets on the plane, almost immediately he’s declaring his undying love for her and telling her how wonderful she is. What I loved about this relationship was how in control Alberto was from second one. Olivia doesn’t even realise what is happening and is swept along. Proving her point about how people often don’t give her a say in her life. There were so many things in this relationship that for me would have been big fat warning signs of “are you kidding me?” but Olivia found them romantic and cute. Thus proving my point that the woman is a tad off her rockers.
Hugh is an antiques dealer who comes to view Olivia’s Nonna’s property, there’s an instant ping of chemistry which of course Olivia ignores but a friendship does spark. Hugh does everything possible for Olivia to show her he is reliable and trustworthy, whilst being parked firmly in the friend zone. It’s hard to fathom how she’s so blind to why someone would do so many things out of the kindness of their heart, but as I said before she’s completely naive and I started to think quite a bit stupid aswell.
So as much as I’ve ragged on the leading lady in this review, I did really enjoy this book, I just really spent most of the book wanting to give Olivia a good clip around the ear, needless to say if she was one of my friends it would have been lectures at dawn!
Sending a huge thanks to Karen Aldous, HQ Digital and Neverland Blog Tours for the eARC so that I could read and honestly review this novel.
About Karen Aldous
Karen Aldous enjoys village life on the edge of the north-downs in Kent with easy access to the buzz of London. Not only does she love the passive pleasures of reading and writing, she also craves the more active pursuits with her family and friends such as walking, cycling and skiing especially when they involve food and wine!
Karen gets much of her inspiration from her travels and if she had to choose, France, Greece, Switzerland, Italy and the USA would be her favourites. However, wherever she goes, she discovers a new character emerges in ‘Karen’s World’. She likes to write about strong independent women who can direct their own lives – but struggle to control them! And, of course there’s always a gorgeous hunk or two!
1st prize: £10 Amazon voucher, eCopy of Under a Tuscan Sky & a signed notebook
2nd & 3rd prize: eCopy of Under a Tuscan Sky & a signed notebook
(UK Only Tour-Wide Giveaway)
Book & Buy Links
Title: Under A Tuscan Sky
Author: Karen Aldous
Genre: Chick Lit | Women’s Fiction | Romance
Publisher: HQ Digital
Publication Date: 14 June 2017
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: N/A
Buy: Amazon UK