I’m delighted to be part of the launch celebrations for Summer’s Lease by Carrie Elks and would like to thank Clara Diaz at Little Brown for inviting me to read this lovely book.
Published by Piatkus Books, an imprint of Little Brown, on 13th July 2017 Summer’s Lease is the first in the Shakespeare Sisters series from Carrie Elks and is available for purchase here.
Cesca Shakespeare has hit rock bottom. Six years after the play she wrote bombed at the box office, she’s unable to hold down a job, keep an apartment, and worst of all her family have no idea how far she’s fallen. So when her fairy Godfather offers her the use of his friend’s Italian villa for the summer, she grudgingly agrees to try writing a new play. That’s before she finds out the house belongs to her arch-nemesis, Sam Carlton.
When Hollywood heart-throb Sam Carlton sees his name splashed across a gossip rag, all he wants to do is hide. That’s how he finds himself traveling to Italy, deciding to spend the summer in his family’s empty villa on Lake Como. Except when he arrives it isn’t as empty as he’d hoped.
Over the course of the hot Italian summer, Cesca and Sam have to come to terms with their pasts. What begins as a tentative friendship quickly grows into an intense attraction. But then Sam’s family arrive, threatening the delicate equilibrium.
Is Sam and Cesca’s relationship just a summer fling, or can they make it work out in the real world?
My Review of Summer’s Lease
Goodness I loved Summer’s Lease. It is the perfect escapist summer read. I can honestly say I didn’t want it to end and am so glad that there will be other books about the Shakespeare sisters.
I thought Summer’s Lease epitomised an intelligent example of women’s fiction. The Shakespearean quotations at the start of each chapter were perfect hooks and transported me back to so much pleasure from reading, studying and teaching Shakespeare in the past. Indeed, Summer’s Lease put me in mind of The Taming of the Shrew in many ways. However, a reader doesn’t need to know anything about Shakespeare to thoroughly enjoy the quotations and to have fun seeing how the chapters reflect the selections.
There’s a glorious sense of place so that I felt I was in Italy too with Cesca and Sam. The smatterings of food description and language really bring the text alive. I also loved the conceit of Cesca being a writer so that as a result of reading this story I felt I understood the challenges writers can face and the plot felt totally credible. There’s humour and lightness of touch too so that Summer’s Lease feels silky smooth to read.
The sensual parts were so well written. I was surprised by the level of detail and the effectiveness of the writing. It felt perfectly done and made such a refreshing change from the coy euphemisms of some romances or the deliberately explicit texts designed merely to shock. Summer’s Lease felt like grown up romance that all could relate to.
The characterisation is spot on. Of course Sam and Cesca are physically attractive but they have a depth, with issues from the past that affect their present so that I invested myself into the story wholeheartedly even though it is a lighter read. The dialogue between them adds humour and Carrie Elks is able to convey heightened sexual tension so brilliantly.
Summer’s Lease is witty, sexy, romantic and entertaining. What more could a reader ask for? Pack it in your suitcase now!
About Carrie Elks
Carrie Elks lives near London, England and writes contemporary romance with a dash of intrigue. She loves to travel and meet new people, and has lived in the USA and Switzerland as well as the UK. An avid social networker, she tries to limit her Facebook and Twitter time to stolen moments between writing chapters. When she isn’t reading or writing, she can usually be found baking, drinking wine or working out how to combine the two.
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