I’d never read one of Sharon Struth’s novels when I agreed to join the tour for The Sweet Life. I’m not a huge romance reader – I enjoy them, but they’re not my go-to genre. However, the premise sounded right up my alley – a woman looking for adventure and change in Italy? Yes, please.
So I said I wasn’t a big romance reader. Keep that in mind, then, when I tell you The Sweet Life is your pretty standard “roll-your-eyes” romance. By that, I mean that the characters are instantly smitten with each other, and over the next 200 or so pages all you hear is why it won’t work or he’s just not into me or I’m still raw from love gone wrong or so on and so forth. I have absolutely no problem with this, but it’s why you’ll never see a romance rated higher than 3 stars for me. The drama that’s necessary to create a good romance story gets on my nerves!
Please don’t think I’m criticizing. I thoroughly enjoyed The Sweet Life, and for me, that makes a book a winner. I was engaged, I rooted for Mamie, I rooted for Julian, and I rooted for Italy. I loved the cast of characters and they way they bonded. I loved the setting – if anything, I’d have loved more of it – and I loved/hated the food descriptions. (Hated, because now I want nothing but Italian food.) Mamie is a lot of fun, if a little…rash? The contrast between her and Julian is interesting, and it was fun to watch them sort each other out.
Bottom line? Likable characters, a gorgeous setting, and a cheesy-good romance? I’ll take it.
Paperback: 225 pages Published: September 2017 by Lyrical Press Source: Publisher via TLC
The Sweet Life on Goodreads
In Italy, the best attractions are always off the beaten path . . .
Mamie Weber doesn’t know why she survived that terrible car accident five years ago. Physically, she has only a slight reminder—but emotionally, the pain is still fresh. Deep down she knows her husband would have wanted her to embrace life again. Now she has an opportunity to do just that, spending two weeks in Tuscany reviewing a tour company for her employer’s popular travel guide series. The warmth of the sun, the centuries-old art, a villa on the Umbrian border—it could be just the adventure she needs.
But with adventure comes the unexpected . . . like discovering that her entire tour group is made up of aging ex-hippies reminiscing about their Woodstock days. Or finding herself drawn to the guide, Julian, who is secretly haunted by a tragedy of his own, and seems to disapprove any time she tries something remotely risky—like an impromptu scooter ride with a local man.
As they explore the hilltop towns of Tuscany, Mamie knows that when this blissful excursion is over, she’ll have to return to reality. But when you let yourself wander, life can take some interesting detours …
About Sharon Struth
Sharon Struth believes you’re never too old to pursue a dream. The Hourglass, her debut novel, is a finalist in the National Readers’ Choice Awards for Best first Book, and her Blue Moon Lake Novels include the bestseller, Share the Moon.
When she’s not working, she and her husband happily sip their way through the scenic towns of the Connecticut Wine Trail, travel the world, and enjoy spending time with their precious pets and two grown daughters. She writes from the friendliest place she’s ever lived, Bethel, Connecticut. For more information, including where to find her published essays, please visit www.sharonstruth.com or visit her blog, Musings from the Middle Ages & More.
Connect with Sharon
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Thanks to TLC Book Tours and Lyrical for the chance to participate in this tour!