Thursday, March 24, 2022

Book Review: An Escape to Remember

By Sara Steven

When Louise surprises her boyfriend by returning early from a work trip, safe to say she wasn’t expecting to see him in flagrante delicto with another woman. Heart-torn and vowing to stay away from men, when Louise’s next project involves restoring an ageing hotel in Italy, she leaps at the chance to get away.

Managed by a crew of sextagenarians, the Grand Hotel del Monferrato needs all the love and care Louise can give it. But it’s hard to stay focused on the job when her thoughts keep straying to Vito, the reclusive and mysterious neighbour.

With his tragic past and her no-romance policy, Louise knows they can’t have a future. Yet something keeps pulling the two together… (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

Take me to the Grand Hotel del Monferrato!

I know I say this with every T.A. Williams novel, but I love how the reader gets to live vicariously through his characters, particularly in remote locations that are nothing short of beautiful and exotic. For Louise, this means traveling to Italy–and it’s a requirement for her job. (Where can I get a job like the one Louise has?) The trip can’t come soon enough, though, considering her long-term relationship has come to an abrupt end after she discovers her boyfriend with another woman! 

Louise makes the decision to focus solely on the task at hand–the Grand Hotel del Monferrato. Even at its worst, it still portrayed the type of unique hotel that I’d love to visit someday, along with a crew who feel like a close-knit family. It seems like the perfect place for Louise to gain some distance from her recent heartbreak, but it’s not so easy to stick to the hotel and nothing else, particularly where matters of the heart are concerned. As mentioned in the synopsis, Vito is an intriguing character. At one point, Louise even mentions how she felt instantly drawn to him; that he felt familiar. Yet it isn’t apparent as to whether he feels the same way for her, considering how quickly he seems to want to find something else to do, anything other than spending time with Louise. 

Both characters are reacting to their past experiences with love. Louise worries that her prior relationship ultimately ended due to not being around enough. Granted, he was the one who didn’t respect what they had, but she feels responsible since her job often sends her to remote locations, as though she drove him into the arms of another woman. Vito was all in with his romance in the past, but it backfired in the most tragic of ways, lending into his need to seclude himself and keep from allowing himself to ever fall in love with anyone else ever again. I wondered if they could ever get over their hurdles, or if Louise and Vito would go their separate ways. 

The other strong factor within An Escape to Remember is the element of change. Can Louise continue to live her life the way she’s always lived it, or would it be better to make a change that could ultimately make her feel even happier and more fulfilled? The same could be said for Vito–can he change his mind and his heart, allowing love in? It was a really sweet five-star read, much like I’d expect from this author.  

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

Purchase Links:
Amazon US * Amazon UK

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 escapist romance 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:
Website * Facebook * Twitter

More by T.A. Williams:

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