Monday 2 February 2015

Review ~ What Happens in Tuscany by T.A. Williams.

Title: What Happens in Tuscany.
Author: T.A. Williams.
Publisher: Carina UK.
Genre: Chick Lit.
Publication Date: January 20, 2015.
Source: Netgalley.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Purchase: Amazon UK

From rainy England…

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 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?

What Happens in Tuscany is the second book I’ve read by T.A. Williams and he has that gorgeous way of writing a feel good story and something which will easily make you smile. This book sees Katie, who after dumping her cheating boyfriend, finds herself with a new job as companion to Lady Victoria Chalker-Pyne, who isn’t actually as old as her name might suggest. Victoria is only 25 years old and has lived a sheltered a life as they come. With no real life experience or knowledge, Katie is there to help and they soon develop a friendship, leading them to Tuscany, where the majority of this book is set. I really enjoyed the author’s description of Italy, of Tuscany, as it was made easy to picture the area, from the beaches and the sun to the wine, and the people too. Katie and Victoria were mostly having fun in Tuscany and it sounded like an ideal place to go.

I loved the developing friendship between Katie and Victoria. Katie’s approach to the situation Victoria had been in was quite charming in that she sympathised without being too pitying and was laid-back but also allowed herself to stand up a bit to Victoria when she was acting like a teenager and repeating mistakes. Katie was kind and thoughtful and a true friend and I particularly enjoyed the moments in the book where their friendship stood out when they were having a good time in Tuscany. What I liked most about What Happens in Tuscany was seeing the learning curve Victoria went on, from learning to correct her outdated language to discovering new clothing and modern technology. It all felt so surreal how much she’d missed out on but as she started coming out of her shell, it brought the book a lot of humour and a more touching moment or two. With Katie’s help, Victoria began to get out more and make the friendships she’d never had before, as well as attract the attention of a couple of men, in which she was about to be given the opportunity to make some of those mistakes she’d missed out on.

This book had lots of other memorable characters too and the author gave them all a strong voice, developing their characters well. There were the genuine people Katie and Victoria met, to the jerks and it was interesting to see which was which. One of my favourite characters was Marco, who never failed to put a smile on my face with his care, advice and sense of fun. I of course also have to mention Dante, the dog, who was so loveable and had so much character. I loved how he became so attached to Katie and how he had such an innocent way of getting what he wanted. Everybody needs a companion like Dante… Katie had her own romance story in this book but if I’m honest, I didn’t quite buy into her romance or see any real sparks or feelings there. I was also left a little confused with the way Victoria’s love life turned out but the romance wasn’t really a big part of this book for me because I loved this story for its take on friendship and learning to live. What Happens in Tuscany was a lovely read, a nice reminder to appreciate the things you take for granted and the friendships you make, whilst having the most fun all at the same time…


Review also posted on Goodreads | Amazon UK

Firstly, my name isn't T A. It's Trevor. I write under the androgynous name T A Williams because 65% of books are read by women. In my first book, "Dirty Minds" one of the (female) characters suggests the imbalance is due to the fact that men spend too much time getting drunk and watching football. I couldn't possibly comment. Ask my wife...

I've written all sorts: thrillers, historical novels, short stories and now I'm enjoying myself hugely writing humour and romance. Romantic comedies are what we all need from time to time. Life isn’t always very fair. It isn’t always a lot of fun, but when it is, we need to embrace it. If my books can put a smile on your face and maybe give your heartstrings a tug, then I know I’ve done my job.

I‘ve lived all over Europe, but now I live in a little village in sleepy Devon, tucked away in south west England. I love the place. That’s why you’ll find leafy lanes and thatched cottages in most of my books. Oh, yes, and a black Labrador.

I've been writing since I was 14 and that is half a century ago. However, underneath this bald, wrinkly exterior, there beats the heart of a youngster. My wife is convinced I will never grow up. I hope she's right.

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  1. Such a great review as usual!

  2. I really enjoyed this review. I have read some by Trevor and really enjoyed them. Great bit by him aswel it's always nice to learn more about the authors.

    1. Thanks, Tanya. What Happens in Tuscany is my favourite of the two I've read of his so far.


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