Katie never imagined her life was perfect. But when she finds herself on a rainy street, soaked to the bone and with only a cheating boyfriend and a dead-end job keeping her in town, she knows something has to change. Which is what leads her to Iddlescombe Manor, to be companion to Lady Victoria Chalker-Pyne – the only 25 year old Katie’s ever met who hasn’t heard of Twitter, thinks camisoles are de rigueur, and desperately needs an education in the 21st century!
…to the Tuscan sun!
But it wouldn’t be an education without a summer holiday – and where better than Tuscany? Decamping to Victoria’s family villa, it’s soon clear that the valley really does have it all: sun, sea…and some seriously gorgeous neighbours. The only question is: when the weather’s this hot, the wine is this smooth and the local men are this irresistible…will Katie ever want to make the journey home?
Kathryn - 3.5 Star
I loved the initial setting of Victoria’s home seat in the country and that Katie ends up there like a modern day Mary Poppins- visually I had her carrying a carpet bag and wearing Poppins-like hat and raincoat! Probably unlikely as the novel is set in the now- but still the image was there of someone coming to rescue and I liked that their relationship began in this way. Victoria is both mature and completely naïve simultaneously but her eagerness to explore the world now at her disposal is apparent from the moment they meet and she’s very willing to take Katie along with her for the ride.
Their travel to Tuscany seemed a natural progression and, as most of the novel took place there, it’s only natural that the story took on that sweet, lazy heat of warm breezes and new relationships. It was the perfect place for Victoria to break out of her shell and discover the men available to her!
Victoria is lovely because she’s new to everything and yet it turns out that she can be quite stubborn and determined to make her own mistakes. I liked that spunkiness about her and the fact that she was so unassuming about her vast fortune was endearing. Katie was also lovely. She seemed quite able to navigate between being friend to Victoria as well as teacher and protector which may not have been easy for most.
The novel has a host of different sub-characters and while there are many of them I had no trouble keeping them sorted out- there was enough given to us by the author to make them real and they all brought a great deal to the novel.
All in all a delightful read and I sunk into it with pleasure. Having finished the novel I went and looked into the author- go ahead and take a peek at the author's website and you might be surprised too!
Thank you to Carina UK for our review copy. All opinions are our own.
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