When Cesca Shakespeare loses her latest low-paying, zero prospects job, she realises that she has hit rock bottom. Since the play that she wrote failed at the box office six years previously, she has ricocheted from job to job, struggling to make ends meet. When she is offered a house-sitting job in Italy for the summer, she decides that now is the time to try and put her failures behind her, and write a new play.
Her idyllic summer in the Lake Como villa is quickly interrupted by the arrival of Sam Carlton, the man Cesca holds solely responsible for the failure of her play; he was her leading actor, and when he walked out on the play and headed to Hollywood, investors pulled out and she was branded a one-hit wonder who didn’t actually have a hit.
This is a summer romance novel, pure and simple. I read it in double quick time, because there’s no denying that I am a bit of a sucker for a romance! Cesca and Sam begin the story in a classic romance way, as enemies. Cesca has held Sam in her head for six years as the reason for, firstly her play’s failure, but latterly as the reason that she hasn’t been able to write since then,and the cause of all her problems. To add insult to injury, when they meet again, Sam doesn’t even remember who she is.
Of course, as time goes on, and because they are thrown together by fate, they begin to soften towards one another, and the remote setting of the beautiful Italian villa allows them both to work through the issues that have been holding them back for the last few years. There really are very few other characters to contend with; the middle section of the book sees them coming into contact with almost nobody else.
With ‘The Shakespeare Sisters’ emblazoned prominently on the front cover, it’s clear that this is the first in a series about the four sisters; Cesca’s siblings get various mentions throughout the story, though for the most part they are distant figures who provide advice when she needs it, but remotely, by Skype or by telephone. It might have been nice to see the four of them interacting a little more; they are bound together by a childhood loss, and I hope future books brings them together a little more, rather than exploring their romantic lives exclusively.
I would happily read the stories of the three other sisters; this author’s writing style is relaxed and easy, and her characters are engaging and likeable.
Summer’s Lease by Carrie Elks
Publication Date: 13th July 2017
Provided by publisher