Monday 10 July 2017

Review | Summer's Lease by Carrie Elks

Published by Piatkus on July 13, 2017

Summer’s Lease is book one in Carrie Elks’ Shakespeare Sisters series. With its stunning Lake Como setting, this is an ideal, sizzling summer read, but be sure to pick up a copy after booking your summer holiday as once I started this book, I wanted nothing more but to be basking in the Italian sun.

Cesca Shakespeare has finally hit rock bottom. Since her first play failed, partly due to a guy called Sam Carlton who she resents, she has been sacked from a series of jobs. Jobs such as waitressing in a cat café. This is not the life Cesca wants to live. Having barely enough to pay the rent, and no money whatsoever to afford any food to eat, Cesca doesn’t believe things can get any worse, but she also doesn’t know how things can get any better. That is until a member of her family comes to the rescue with a family in Italy who need their house looking after over the summer. This opportunity would put money into Cesca’s pockets and also provide her with the peace and quiet to finally put pen to paper and write another play. Sounds simple, right?

Of course you don’t need to read the blurb to know what’s coming. Who better to turn up at the Italian villa than a certain Sam Carlton? From the moment he arrived back on the scene, I was really excited to see how things were going to play out. I love a good enemies to lovers style romance novel and this one was perfectly enjoyable. There was evident chemistry between Cesca and Sam right from the moment they meet again, although I did think it could have been raised even more. It was still sizzling and full of angst and drama, but I would have loved even more of that. With that being said, though, I found myself fully engrossed in their lives.

Cesca I found to be a likeable character. I think the author began the novel really well as the way Cesca is described, along with her failed jobs and wasted opportunities, really made me feel for the character. Being a playwright gave her character a different edge and though, just as I expected and wanted, a lot of the drama between her and Sam has been done before in many other books, her character still stands out for her different job role and that fact that she was incredibly feisty and she does quite a lot of speaking before thinking, which made her even more entertaining. She’s a character I definitely wanted to succeed, and I enjoyed following her story.

Sam has returned to Lake Como after being portrayed badly in the press again. He needs to step away from Google, stop reading what others think of him, and sort out his own issues. I liked Sam but I didn’t love him. I did love reading about him though. His dialogue and interactions with Cesca made me smile throughout and I loved the softer edge to their friendship and how that could turn into something steamier just like that.

One of my favourite parts of this book was how evocatively Carrie Elks described everything. From the location to the food, to the culture and the chemistry between Sam and Cesca, Summer’s Lease was entirely dreamy and perfect beach-reading escapism. I also loved the quotes at the beginning of each chapter which set them up nicely and teased a little bit of what might be to come. These were just little touches but they added to the entire reading experience. Overall I raced through this book in less than a day as I was fully wrapped up in the will they-won’t they romance between Cesca and Sam.

From the bits we got to read about Cesca’s sisters, I am looking forward to reading future books in the Shakespeare Sisters series too.

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