It gives me enormous pleasure to participate in the publication day blog blast run by Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for Under a Siena Sun by T.A Williams. What better way to start my 37th wedding anniversary than by sharing a review of a romantic book?
More recently I reviewed Dreaming of Italy here, Dreaming of Verona here with a review of Trevor’s Chasing Shadows here. Other reviews include Dreaming of Venice here and To Provence, With Love here and Dreaming of Christmas here. There’s also an extract from Dreaming of St Tropez that you can read here.
Under a Siena Sun is published today, 27th August 2020 by Canelo Escape and is available for purchase here.
Lucy needed a change of scene. She didn’t expect the change of a lifetime.
Doctors Without Borders has been Lucy Young’s life for the past four years. After being rescued from a conflict zone, she’s making a change from saving lives under gunfire to practising medicine in safe, serene Siena.
Now treating wealthy patients at a private clinic, she’s never felt less comfortable. She’s used to helping those in dire need – not those in need of a nip and tuck. Her turmoil grows when she encounters injured tennis star David Lorenzo, whose smiles make Lucy forget her aversion to the rich.
She’s soon falling for the sportsman but is she losing herself in this world of excess? All she’s ever wanted was to help the underprivileged, so can her future lie in Siena at the clinic – with David?
My Review of Under a Siena Sun
Following her dramatic escape from DRC medic Lucy needs a break.
Under a Siena Sun is a perfect example of the romantic stories I’ve come to expect from T.A. Williams, but this time with a slightly edgier atmosphere created partly by the dramatic opening to the narrative and partly by a clear underpinning social message of wealth versus poverty and privilege versus disadvantage so that I thoroughly appreciated the added depth and enjoyed the narrative all the more.
There’s a super story in Under a Siena Sun that entertains the reader royally. The plot is fast and interesting so that I loved being in Italy with Lucy. Her relationships with different men, her principled attitudes and the glorious Italian settings transport the reader completely. It’s unwise to read a TA Williams book when I’m hungry as his descriptions of food are so mouth-wateringly realistic that they make me desire all kinds of forbidden and out of reach food. I always finish reading T.A. Williams feeling as if I’ve been taken on a holiday away from the trials of my own life and Under a Siena Sun is no exception, but this time with a glorious element of extra glamour too as I visited vicariously the areas of Tuscany I’ve never been to. The sheer escapism is as much a pleasure of reading Under a Siena Sun as is the entertaining plot.
I thought Lucy’s character was extremely well crafted even if she did make me feel slightly shallow, because I’m not sure I would have maintained such a moral standpoint when faced with a gorgeous romance! Joking aside, I loved the fact that Under a Siena Sun gave me cause to think when I read Lucy’s thought processes and romantic dilemma. Indeed, it isn’t an exaggeration that Lucy, albeit a fictional person, has helped restore my faith in humanity which has been somewhat lacking of late. She is adaptive, feisty and intelligent and it’s so good to have a romantic read where a relationship with a man isn’t the be all and end all for the lead character.
Under a Siena Sun is a lovely new addition to the TA Williams canon. Familiar elements such as a black a Labrador, romance and transporting travel are there so that fans will be reassured that they are getting another super read, but there’s something a little bit more here too with reference to war and difficulty so that the writing feels deeper and more important somehow. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Just wonderful.
T.A. Williams lives in Devon with his Italian wife. He was born in England of a Scottish mother and Welsh father. After a degree in modern languages at Nottingham University, he lived and worked in Switzerland, France and Italy, before returning to run one of the best-known language schools in the UK. He’s taught Arab princes, Brazilian beauty queens and Italian billionaires. He speaks a number of languages and has travelled extensively. He has eaten snake, still-alive fish, and alligator. A Spanish dog, a Russian bug and a Korean parasite have done their best to eat him in return. His hobby is long-distance cycling, but his passion is writing.
But let’s see what Trevor has to say about himself:
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 romantic comedy 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 and, as a writer, I obviously have to go there in person and check them out first. I love my job…