To Rome…with love?
Mary Smith is turning her very ordinary life upside-down! She’s bought herself a one-way ticket to Rome and is ready for a summer she’ll never forget.
Men might be off the cards for waitress Mary, but within hours of arriving at the utterly charming family-run La Dolce Vita pizzeria, she’s already fallen in love with the bustling capital!
Only Dante Rossi, the mysterious (and drop-dead gorgeous) chef seems displeased with her arrival. And in the heat of the kitchen, it doesn’t take long for long-buried secrets to surface and sparks to fly…
Mary Smith has never been one for spur of the moment decisions therefore surprises even herself when she books a one-way ticket to Rome in an attempt to reinvent herself. Having suffered a broken heart, she hopes to leave her worries behind and build a new life for herself. She agrees to take a position at La Dolce Vita, a pizzeria in the heart of Rome’s tourist area and leaves everything she has ever known behind, with barely a second glance, to move in with strangers hundreds of miles from home.
Having grown up in care and been moved between foster homes throughout her childhood the experience of ‘living in’ at the restaurant with the Rossi family isn’t an easy one for Mary to begin with. Dante the owner’s son makes it clear from the start he doesn’t believe an English waitress is required at the restaurant and Rocco the head waiter also appears to have it in for her at the for reasons that soon become clear at the story continues.
Shortly after her arrival in Rome Mary learns of La Dolce Vita’s struggle to maintain it’s place on the Lombardi List, which features the top 10 restaurants. It is vital they remain on the list to secure the restaurants survival against their main competitor Margherita, Margherita. Having quickly become part of the ‘family’ she has always dreamed of Mary is desperate to help in any way she can and finds herself drawn to the handsome and mysterious Dante along the way. Dante, an ex-policeman, has his own secret filled closet of skeletons which piece by piece are revealed to Mary allowing her to understand his standoffish demeanour. It’s not only Dante that is harbouring secrets though and Mary soon realises that no one has the perfect life that she has always thought she missed out on.
I really love Mary’s character and how she transforms from the ordinary, scared girl we see at the beginning to the strong, brave, head-strong woman she becomes. As well as the usual ‘will they, won’t they’ romantic storyline you would expect from this genre the overriding message for me is a fantastic tale of friendship and the overcoming of adversity. All added together these make for a perfect heart-warming read. For me One Summer in Rome is the ideal Summer or holiday read, it’s a perfect uplifting story to enjoy in the sunshine! This is the first Samantha Tonge novel I have read, and I really enjoyed her writing style, so I will definitely be seeking out and reading some of her other titles in the near future!
*Despite the majority of this book being light-hearted it does touch upon some subjects that could be upsetting to some readers including suicide, domestic abuse and terrorism.
About The Author
Samantha Tonge lives in Cheshire with her lovely family and a cat who thinks it’s a dog. When not writing she spends her days cycling, willing cakes to rise and avoiding housework. She has sold over 80 short stories to women’s magazines. Her bestselling debut novel, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award in 2014. Game of Scones hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Best Romantic Ebook category at the 2015 Love Stories Awards.
One Summer in Rome is available now from Amazon