‘To my niece I leave the Ferrari GT250… On the proviso that she takes it across Europe to Maranello within the next three weeks. Only on successful completion of the journey to a prescribed route, will the car be hers…’
Home-loving Laurie thinks she’s happy – she has a safe, reliable boyfriend and working in her local library is what she thought she always wanted. That is until she inherits a vintage Ferrari from her eccentric Uncle Miles and the conditions of the inheritance are far from simple. To keep the car Laurie will have to drive across Europe with the gorgeous but unreliable Cameron Matthews as her guide… and Cam’s motives for helping are not all that altruistic.
Cam isn’t particularly thrilled about escorting his late pal Miles’ dull mouse of a niece on this wild goose chase but all he has to do is get Laurie safely to Italy and he’s sure the Ferrari is his.
But Uncle Miles had a few tricks up his sleeve and the route he’s planned takes Cam and Laurie on a road trip they’ll never forget. From sampling the delights of the Loire Valley to the breathtaking beauty of Lake Garda, this is one journey that has more twists and turns than either of them could ever have imagined…
Source: ARC from Harper Impulse via NetGalley
This book is an absolute delight, a perfect piece of summer escapism full of the delights of classic cars and European road trips, complete with wine and a very handsome co-driver. Laurie’s life has been one of duty ever since her parents divorced and she stayed with her father. Much as she loved her Uncle Miles, his wild, jet-setting ways didn’t fit in with her life – and now he’s gone. Laurie’s life as a quiet librarian, living with her sensible fiancé doesn’t have room for Ferraris or last minute trips to Italy, and yet Laurie can’t let her uncle go that easily. After all, she probably won’t keep the car… probably.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Laurie is an everyday woman, who lives a normal, humdrum life in which she thinks she’s content, even if she’s not sure she actually wants to marry her boyfriend and certain childhood happenings have left her angry. There’s nothing exciting about her. She worries about things like money and what other people think about her, and yet she can’t resist the lure of the Ferrari and a trip to Italy, even if she’s not actually qualified to drive. I liked Laurie, she’s down-to-earth and a little shy, but she’s not whiny or weak. In fact she’s pretty strong and determined and just a little stubborn. I loved seeing her grow and change as the trip progresses and she learns so much about herself, her life and her heart.
Then there’s Cam. Sexy, charming, friendly… and surprisingly manipulative. He doesn’t think he’s being like that, of course, and it’s all for a good cause (in his head, anyway), but he certainly has a few secrets that he keeps to himself and isn’t quite as perfect as he would like to appear. I liked him well enough, and he and Laurie are good together, but I have to admit I cheered when Laurie spread her wings without him.
Part road-trip, part life journey, full of humour and warmth and the delights of a European summer, this book might be a little far-fetched at times (driving around in a car that valuable!) and I was a little confused when Laurie was asking Cam what Miles did, since she did grow up with the man and at one point seems to imply she helped track the Ferrari down, and I wish things with her mother had been resolved in some way, but overall this is fun and light and lovely. A perfect beach read, or for a chilly night indoors when you need a little sunshine in your life. It might make you yearn for a holiday, though.
From Italy With Love is out May 14th!
Visit Jules Wake for more details.