Thursday, August 27, 2020

Book Review: Under a Siena Sun

By Sara Steven

Lucy needed a change of scene. She didn’t expect the change of a lifetime.

Doctors Without Borders has been Lucy Young’s life for the past four years. After being rescued from a conflict zone, she’s making a change from saving lives under gunfire to practising medicine in safe, serene Siena.

Now treating wealthy patients at a private clinic, she's never felt less comfortable. She’s used to helping those in dire need – not those in need of a nip and tuck. Her turmoil grows when she encounters injured tennis star David Lorenzo, whose smiles make Lucy forget her aversion to the rich.

She’s soon falling for the sportsman but is she losing herself in this world of excess? All she’s ever wanted was to help the underprivileged, so can her future lie in Siena at the clinic – with David? (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

The start to Under a Siena Sun was unlike any other T.A. Williams novel I’ve read! I felt like I was instantly part of Lucy’s unnerving experience working for Doctors Without Borders, a first-hand glimpse into the conflict zone. I think this was an important way to introduce Lucy, because we have a better idea of why she has a hard time with changing scenery and working with the powerful and elite, when her life’s work had been doing all she could for those who were underprivileged and in need.

There is a great portrayal of the difficulties that can come from trying to change the lifestyle Lucy is used to, into the one she has to find common ground with. This means looking beyond and deeper past the surface of her preconceived notions of who David is, too. She has a hard time coming to terms with the fact that he is a star, that he is well known, and that he is well off. There were moments where I felt a bit of an annoyance towards Lucy, particularly when she would internalize that he comes from a different world than she does. She is so willing to accept others who might need her, no matter their background, yet it felt as though she used who David is as a means of putting a wall between them. While I could understand where she is coming from and in some ways identify with that behavior, by the same token I could not.

My conflicting emotions only made me want to see what would happen next, which happens to be a whole lot. David isn’t the only potential obstacle in Lucy’s way. There are plenty of local residents who bring so much to the drama table, and we get to witness that while she is trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life, and whether she sees a future with David. There is plenty of character development for nearly all involved, too, with the central theme focusing on the fact that you never really can judge someone by their appearance or what you’ve heard in the paper, or in the neighborhood, or anywhere else.

I would not be doing my review justice if I didn’t highlight on the exceptional scenery that T.A. Williams brings to every novel he’s written! Granted, to date this is my seventh book and I know there are a few I haven’t had the privilege of reading yet, but my experiences have all been pleasant ones, trips to never before seen peaks and valleys, and Siena is another bucket list locale. A reader can’t help but feel lost within the pages of this Tuscany goldmine, allowing the opportunity to close their eyes and imagine themselves right there with Lucy while she’s basking in the hot sunshine. Siena becomes another important character that perfectly balances everything out. It was the perfect summer adventure.

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US * Amazon UK * Kobo

Author Bio
I’m a man. And a pretty old man as well. I did languages at university a long time ago and then lived and worked in France and Switzerland before going to Italy for seven years as a teacher of English. My Italian wife and I then came back to the UK with our little daughter (now long-since grown up) where I ran a big English language school for many years. We now live in a sleepy little village in Devonshire. I’ve been writing almost all my life but it was only seven years ago that I finally managed to find a publisher who liked my work enough to offer me my first contract.

The fact that I am now writing romantic comedy is something I still find hard to explain. My early books were thrillers and historical novels. Maybe it’s because there are so many horrible things happening in the world today that I feel I need to do my best to provide something to cheer my readers up. My books provide escapism to some gorgeous locations, even if travel to them is currently difficult.

Visit T.A. Williams online:
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