Rome In Love ARC Review -- Channeling Our Inner Audrey

Rome In Love | Anita Hughes
Release Date: August 4, 2014 | St. Martin's Griffin
Genre(s): Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 320
Edition: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Rating:


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 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 received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.


Flashing . . Lights, Lights. 

When I received the offer to read and review Rome In Love, I was ecstatic! It would be my first novel where the story is inspired by Audrey Hepburn, one of my favorite film and fashion icons, (next to Marilyn Monroe of course) so I was excited to not only see how the author incorporated Audrey into the story, but also of how well it'd be executed. I can't say it was a bust because honestly it was quite good, however, there were some MAJOR flaws that kept me from giving this novel a rating it definitely had potential to deserve.

Our main character Amelia Tate, is an up and coming actress from America. When she's given the opportunity of a lifetime to play THE Audrey Hepburn in a ' Roman Holiday ' remake, it's no question that she's taking the offer. She hops on the plane without looking back, in pursuit to chance her dreams to be the best movie star of today's generation . . .


 I'm So Fancy, You Already Know.

The strongest point of this story was the author's vivid descriptions of tourist sites, restaurants, high fashion, and my absolute favorite, cuisine. It wasn't difficult to imagine myself in Rome, skipping down the cobblestone streets, savoring some weird combination of gelato, in a dress so expensive and far to damn hard to pronounce. She allowed me to not only see, but FEEL the atmosphere, and that aspect alone is what carried this story. 

But everything isn't glitter and gold now it is?

In the beginning, I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but something felt OFF. About 100 pages in, with more happening in the story, I was able to finally pin-point what was bothering me so much . . . the dialogue. Their thoughts and conversations just felt so . . . incomplete. The characters would be talking, and all of a sudden the conversation would switch as if the person was cut off mid sentence. I had to re-read PLENTY of passages just to understand the exchange, and mixing a lack of emotion with that recipe, just cooked a meal for disaster. It was alot to get used to, and caused a serious rift in my weak connection with the characters. 


Where Is The Love, The Love, The Love?

When a story is set in Rome, it's like we KNOW there will be a romance. A hot, enchanting, swoon-worthy romance, but for some reason, cupid decided to be drunk all the time (like Amelia) and missed when firing his damn arrow! The relationship between Amelia and our second character Phillip just wasn't CONVINCING enough for me. They lacked any type of chemistry, and reading their scenes together felt like someone lit a firecracker then tossed it into a fountain flowing of water. Everything felt so forced and fast paced between our two love birds, and with the weird dialogue thing going on, I was pretty much doomed from the start. 


Well If You Don't Know, Now You Know $#%&!

Whenever my readers ask if I would recommend this book, my answer would be . . . sure. It wasn't SHITTY or anything, but there were a few (okay more than a few) hiccups that you would have to look past. If you're a fan of Audrey Hepburn, you will definitely appreciate the illusion that she was a character woven into the story. Through her letters, we read from her perspective during the making of ' Roman Holiday, ' and witness how cleverly the author mingled her POV with Amelia's. I do wish that the letters were written a bit traditionally. Instead, they were composed as if she was writing a story to her friend Kitty, equipped with dialogue and all. Ugh no more dialogue please!

If you're looking for a fast paced read, loaded with some descriptive text of the grand ancient city of Rome, and can jump over hurdles like a track runner, then I think Rome In Love may be worth a shot.