Title: Rome in Love by Anita Hughes
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
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.
Rome in Love by Anita Hughes is an incredibly sweet and charming romance loosely based on the movie Roman Holiday. Although a mostly light-hearted read, the storyline touches on a couple of issues that are sure to resonant with anyone whose desires and dreams are in direct conflict with family expectations and/or obligations.
Amelia Tate is absolutely thrilled to be starring in the remake of Roman Holiday. Although filming on location in Rome is a dream come true, the separation is a point of contention with her long time boyfriend. Their long distance relationship is already tenuous and Amelia is stunned by his suggestion that she give up her acting career to move to San Francisco with him. Already stressed upon her arrival on location and suffering from jetlag, Amelia is quickly overwhelmed by her first public appearance. Eager to escape the press’s watchful eye, she dons a maid’s uniform so she can enjoy a little sightseeing on the downlow. After sharing an innocent evening with fellow American Philip Hamilton, she makes an impetuous decision to keep her true identity hidden from him. Their paths continue to cross and after a surprise visit from her boyfriend takes an unhappy turn, Amelia unexpectedly begins to fall for Philip. She knows she needs to come clean with him about her true identity, but fearing this revelation will end their burgeoning romance, Amelia continues her ruse.
Unbeknownst to Amelia, Philip is keeping a few secrets of his own. He is thoroughly enchanted by Amelia and in the beginning, he has no idea who she really is. He quickly learns of her deception and after he is paid a visit by his father, who demands he honor an agreement made between them years earlier, he agrees to write an exposé of her exploits. The more he gets to know Amelia, the worse he feels about his assignment, but Philip is desperate to avoid joining the family business. He eventually finds himself in the middle of a moral dilemma where he must chose between betraying Amelia or giving up his career to fulfill his family’s expectations.
Amelia also befriends Sophie, another young woman who is going to great lengths to keep out of the spotlight. Sophie only has a limited amount of time on her own and she is enthralled with her newfound freedom. She embraces everything Rome has to offer (sightseeing and shopping) but it is her new friendship with a handsome doctor that has the biggest effect on her life. Sophie is soon torn between duty and following her heart, and she is surprised by the outcome when she is finally reunited with her loved ones.
Love in Rome takes a bit of a whimsical turn when Amelia makes a startling discovery: a series of unmailed letters written by Audrey Hepburn when she was filming the original Roman Holiday. These letters are quite interesting and provide fascinating glimpses into the lives of Ms. Hepburn, her fellow co-star Gregory Peck and Paris news reporter, Veronique Passani. This innovative addition of historical details to the story is quite fascinating and it is a lovely tribute to the stars of the original movie.
Rome in Love by Anita Hughes has a wonderful cast of characters, a unique plot and a luxurious setting. Fast paced and engaging, this entertaining love story has a fun storyline that fans of contemporary romances are sure to love.