Having read a book set in Paris for the first part of this challenge, I then had to choose a book set in Rome for the second part. This was harder than I though it might be. A lot of books set in Rome are unsurprisingly based around Ancient Rome. Which while I find fascinating to visit, I don’t enjoy reading historical fiction set in that period. Then I spotted Rome for the Summer by Lynne Shelby which sounded perfect.
What it’s about?
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 Jamie Taylor, an English artist. 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…
This charming, summery romance is perfect for fans of Sue Moorcroft and Miranda Dickinson
What I think:
This is a quick and easy read.
Kate is instantly likeable even when I thought some of her issues with her family at the beginning of the novel could have been resolved with a simple conversation.
For me, Kate’s character really started doing flourish when she arrived in Rome.
Broken-hearted and betrayed by her villainous art dealer boyfriend, Gabe, Kate finds herself back home with her parents with the prospect of a job at the local supermarket.
Instead she decides to take a chance having researched the life of Charlotte Brown and discovered The English House, she heads to Rome for the summer to take up a temporary job as a tour guide.
Kate’s trip to Rome is a real journey of self-discovery. She rekindles her passion for drawing, works to uncover the truth about Charlotte Brown, makes new friends and meets gorgeous artist-in-residence, Jamie. With both Kate and Jamie just out if relationships, in doesn’t seem like the best time for romance but this is Rome.
There is lots of history and art in this book. It’s clearly very well researched and an absolute love letter to Rome. I spent a week there a few years ago and the city and its memories left off of the page.
This is a sweet, summer romance. Easy reading that will take you straight to Italy for the summer.