(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Published by St. Martin's Griffin on August 4th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Fiction, General, Romance
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, Italian city of 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.
I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this story! Rome In Love is a unique story, Amelia Tate is living a life that only some can dream about. The latest “It” girl in Hollywood, she’s off to Rome to film a remake of Roman Holiday, playing the part that Audrey Hepburn made famous.
Overwhelmed by everything surrounding her in Rome, Amelia rushes from her hotel and runs into a handsome, struggling journalist, Philip. But she leads Philip to think that she’s a maid at the hotel she’s staying at instead of an up and coming movie star and she isn’t sure she wants him to know otherwise. She also meets Sophie… someone who she can explore Rome with and who has a few secrets about her own identity.
Suddenly, her boyfriend of four years crumbles her perfect world and shares that he isn’t quite as supportive of her chosen career as she’d hope. His hopes that making this movie will get the novelty of acting out of her system and she’ll give it all up once this is over are just that… because Amelia wants to continue doing this thing she loves and so he turns his back on her and walk away.
While hiding away in her suite Amelia discovers letters written by none other than Audrey Hepburn … written while she was filming Roman Holiday and traversing her own tumultuous love life.
Here’s where everything gets interesting. There are three different love stories happening … Of course we have Amelia’s story, but we also learn about Audrey Hepburn! Through the letters, we learn about her relationships and experiences, which in itself is pretty interesting. I didn’t know much about her other than her iconic appearance… I found myself googling the names found in the letters to see if these were people she really knew, or if it was just an author taking liberties to tell a story, but the names were true which made me even that more invested in the story.
Back to Amelia’s story… still smarting from her boyfriend of four years walking away, she doesn’t just jump into a relationship with Philip, she attempts to take things slow with him. However, Philip has things happening in his life that has him pushing Amelia for more. I was kind of torn in regards to their relationship if I’m being honest. First, Amelia is pretending to be someone she isn’t and in her mind when she and Philip are together he supposedly thinks she’s someone else. Second, Philip has himself been lying to Amelia. He knows who she is… and he’s been tasked with duping her into something. I really hated that they were lying to each other, though ultimately Philip’s lies would end up being more harmful than Amelia’s.
The third story we’re experiencing is Sophie’s story. She’s not just some random woman in Rome. She’s a princess of a tiny little country who is betrothed to a prince she hardly knows, but because it’s her duty she will do what her father asks of her. That is until she meets Theo and realizes that she wants more than just an arranged marriage. I really enjoyed her arc, but thought it wrapped really very easy.
I really enjoyed the way that Hughes ultimately weaved this story together, making Rome a big part of the story had me feeling as though I was there… the way she described the sights and the sounds was just a wonderful thing. But also working the letters into the actual story made it all very unique.
One thing that didn’t work for me… and this is honestly minor, but I found the outfit descriptions, the jewelry and perfume descriptions a bit tedious. Every time Amelia was getting dressed we were provided with designer names, colors, dress types, jewelry pieces and fragrance choices. Nothing that really mattered in my opinion, and totally unnecessary.
If you’re looking for a sweet romance, one that will take you to Rome and allow you to picture all the sights and sounds, one that explores friendships and relationships, love and sadness, and ultimately choosing the things that will offer you fulfillment and happiness, then definitely think about grabbing Rome In Love this summer!
Thank you to St. Martin’s Griffin for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.