Welcome to a new release review for Rome In Love by Anita Hughes. If you are familiar with the movie Roman Holiday (a bit of a reverse Cinderella story) and know Audrey Hepburn, this story may just be for you.
A story about the remaking of the classic movie Roman Holiday is the premise of this title, as we follow a starlet, Amelia, chosen for the starring role and her journey during the filming. You don’t have to know the movie to understand this title, the plotting is fairly clear and the moments are well-defined where movie and life collide.
Amelia is the new “It Girl”, and the opportunity to live and work in Rome while making this movie seems like a dream come true. When she discovers a treasure trove of letters written BY Audrey Hepburn during the filming, the story has moments that take flight and soar.
Characters for this story and the setting never really jumped off the page for me: while the read was pleasant and light, the need to know more, and the emotional pull from Amelia and Phillip and their own personal journeys was hampered by the narrative voice: removed third person with far more tell than show. I never was able to dive into the story and imagine the setting, the scenery or even get a solid fix on the emotions that would have brought this story to light. The solid oomph moments for me came solely from the ‘letters’ from Audrey: written in first person, descriptive, emotional and engaging, I often found myself reading from letter to letter rather than enjoying the journey along the way.
Hughes can write description and conversation, and she has a wonderful presentation style with the inset of the letters, I just wanted more from the story overall. More emotion, more empathy for the characters, more of a sense of Rome and the twisted and windy streets, the smells, the noise and even the flavor of the city. It was muted and halted with the narration that relied on retelling without emotional complexity and flattening the vibrancy that I know exists in the city and was hinted at in the early moments of this story.
Title: Rome in Love: A Novel
Author: Anita Hughes
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published by: St. Martin's Griffin
Published on: 4 August, 2015
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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From the author of LAKE COMO comes the story of a young actress who lands the lead in a film that is shooting in Rome, bringing about difficult life choices, new friendships, and a chance at love.
When Amelia Tate is cast to play the Audrey Hepburn role in a remake of Roman Holiday, she feels as if all her dreams have come true. She has a handsome boyfriend, is portraying her idol in a major motion picture, and gets to live in beautiful Rome for the next two months.
Once there, she befriends a young woman named Sophie with whom she begins to explore the city. Together, they discover all the amazing riches that Rome has to offer. But when Amelia’s boyfriend breaks up with her over her acting career, her perfect world begins to crumble. While moping in her hotel suite, Amelia discovers a stack of letters written by Audrey Hepburn that start to put her own life into perspective.
Then, she meets Philip, a handsome journalist who is under the impression that she is a hotel maid, and it appears as if things are finally looking up. The problem is she can never find the right time to tell Philip her true identity. Not to mention that Philip has a few secrets of his own. Can Amelia finally have both the career and love that she’s always wanted, or will she be forced to choose again?
With her sensory descriptions of the beautiful sites, decadent food, and high fashion of Rome, Hughes draws readers into this fast-paced and superbly written novel. Rome in Love will capture the hearts of readers everywhere.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.