Sunday, October 27, 2013

Lake Como by Anita Hughes

3 Star

Hallie Elliot has a perfect life. She is an up-and-coming interior designer in one of San Francisco’s most sought after firms, and has just recently become engaged to Peter, a brilliant young journalist. But when she stumbles upon Peter and her boss in what seems to be a compromising position, her trust in her perfect life is shaken.

So Hallie escapes to Lake Como, Italy to spend time with her half-sister, Portia Tesoro, an Italian blueblood dealing with the scandal of a public estrangement from her cheating husband. While staying in the Tesoro villa, Hallie falls in love with the splendor and beauty of Lake Como, and finds work designing the lakeside estate of a reclusive American tech mogul. The caretaker of this beautiful estate is a handsome man named Angus, and Hallie finds herself drawn to his charm and kindness, despite hints of a dark secret in his past.

But just as Hallie is beginning to find her footing on Italian soil, she uncovers a family secret that upends all the truths she’s believed about herself, and calls into question the new life she’s built in Lake Como.

Jen - 3 Star

Is there anywhere better to escape to than Italy? If I found myself at a crossroads in my life and had the option to disappear to a beautiful lake in the middle of Italy, I wouldn’t hesitate to take the chance. 

Lucky for Hallie, that’s exactly what happens to her in Lake Como by Anita Hughes. 
Hallie is a successful woman with a promising future as an interior designer and fiance to her boyfriend, Peter.

When Peter’s actions force Hallie to question their relationship, Hallie decides it is time for a change a scenery while she clears her head. She thought she just needed time away, but she got much more than she bargained for when she uncovers family secrets and discovers herself in a new light. 

My favorite aspect of Lake Como was the sense of adventure Hallie has. I don’t think I’d ever be brave enough to leave a fiance behind to go across the world. Not only that, when Hallie finds her mother’s diaries from before she was born, she doesn’t just read them. She sets out to answer the questions that appear on the pages before her. She leaves one story behind in the States and tries to find the happy endings to the stories of her family’s past and ends up potentially finding a different ending for her own story.

Something I missed while reading Lake Como was the descriptions. I wanted to feel like I was in Italy with Hallie but the writing fell a bit short. I wanted more details about the weather, about the sea, about the villa she was staying in. I thought I was missing a little too much of what Hallie was experiencing. I knew she had strong feelings towards to the people in her life, her family, her lover, but I couldn’t quite connect emotionally. 

There were a lot of characters in the book. I couldn’t get enough of their beautiful clothes. Anita Hughes must love fashion because she dressed the characters like fashion royalty.  That really helped me along in the story because the emotional side of the story was a bit boring. There was a lot of drama but that characters were too nonchalant about their situations for me to connect.

The premise is good. A beautiful location, a woman with a lot of questions to answer and several love stories intertwined. It was entertaining throughout, but I found myself asking for more detail. Maybe someday if my dreams come true and I take a trip to Italy myself, I can reread this with the scenery fresh in my own mind. 

Thank you to St Martin's Press for our review copy. All opinions are our own. 

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