The Irish Times #1 bestseller! Three women. One summer reunion…
Villa Dolce Vita, a rambling stone house on the Amalfi Coast, sits high above the Gulf of Naples amid dappled lemon groves and fragrant, tumbling bougainvillea. Kim, Colette and Annie all came to the villa in need of escape and in the process forged an unlikely friendship.
Now, years later, Kim has transformed the crumbling house … years later, Kim has transformed the crumbling house into a luxury retreat and has invited her friends back for the summer to celebrate.
But as friendships are rekindled under the Italian sun, secrets buried in the past will come to light, and not everyone is happy that the three friends are reuniting… Each woman will have things to face up to if they are all to find true happiness and fully embrace the sweet life.
An epic summer read about food, friendship and the magic of Italy, perfect for fans of Mary Kay Andrews and Susan Mallery.
The Summer Villa by Melissa Hill is a most delightful contemporary novel that will have your pulse racing as you read towards the conclusion, anticipating what is to come.
The novel has two time periods – ‘then’ (five years earlier) and ‘now.’ The action alternates between the two.
Three strangers meet at crossroads in their lives – all have needs to be met and their own destinies to fulfil. Their lives entwine down the years.
There is the theme of family. Our families are all different – some stifling, some resentful, some loving – our upbringing helps to shape the adults we become. But we are not our mothers and history does not have to repeat itself.
We all have dreams. We should pursue our dreams. Sometimes life throws us a curve ball and we need a helping hand.
The novel is set on the Amalfi coast in summer. Due to Melissa Hill’s artistry with words, the reader can picture the scenes as we journey through the sunshine and the heat, sampling the food along the way.
All the characters were well drawn. I particularly loved the three leading ladies. I did have a favourite, with whom I really connected to. See if you have one too.
Melissa Hill is a ‘new’ author to me. I absolutely loved The Summer Villa and will be hunting out much more by Melissa Hill.
I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.
Abandoned in the toilets at Connolly train station in the center of Dublin almost thirty years ago, she’d barely been breathing when she was found by a curious Irish Rail cleaner, who heard a noise from inside the ladies. There he found an infant, scarcely a few hours old, and had called for an ambulance. Even before she had a name, Annie was making headlines for all the wrong reasons.
She sighed inwardly. You could get lost in the guy’s accent, never mind his arms. It was like condensed milk— thick and sweet.
She smiled to herself in the darkness. This was obviously what people were talking about when they joked about Italian men… She’d had no idea what she’d been missing.
This book had a bit of everything – women’s fiction, romance, family drama, and several mysteries. The premise and storylines were interesting and well nuanced with plenty of red herrings and misdirections to keep me guessing.
The characters were international and an odd lot of personalities, rich and poor, all attempting to run away from or avoid what their lives had become. And while a few of them were too good to be true, most were guilty of being selfish, less than honorable, hiding several uncomfortable or juicy secrets, and being more than a bit annoying and unlikable – in other words – like most people I know. Except for Colette who was a sweetie pie, her only flaw was being overly gullible, a problem I was once plagued with before I knew better and blossomed into the lovely shade of jaded cynic.
The featured locale was one of the most lovely places on earth, the Amalfi coast of Italy, and as the only safe and screaming baby-free mode of travel currently seems to be digitally provided or on the pages of a book, I was eager to utilize my Kindle as my passport.
The Summer Villa, by Melissa Hill, became available on 4-28-2020. Villa is my first look at Ms Hills work. It’s always a treat for me to discover a new author and expand my list of must reads. I found it to be an interesting mix of emotions that covered a to z. Love, heartbreak, loss, deception, freedom, guilt. Villa had it all.
The plot of three women meeting on vacation & staying in touch through the years made me wistful. I’ve never managed to keep in touch like that & lost contact with many friends. Ms Hill made it sound so natural and easy. Each of the ladies has her own story, then and now. They’re as different as night and day but in 3 weeks managed to become true friends. Men come and go but a good friend is always there for you. I daydreamed about this villa & the Amalfi coast. The descriptions were compelling & made me want to travel there. It’s on my wish list. I’ll not give away too much of the plot, I’m leaving that for you to discover.
#SummerVilla MelissaHill Netgalley HarlequinBooks
A villa on the Amalfi Coast is the setting for this languid tale of three friends who reunite six years after initially meeting at said villa. Each comes from a different background, and each has reasons for wanting to return. But they find out that it isn’t always easy to recapture the magic. I liked the characters but thought a few were given short shrift. I did think that the author did a good job of exploring female friendships. And I loved the setting. For a full review, please visit my blog at Fireflies and Free Kicks. This review was written based on a digital ARC and all thoughts are my own.
Collette, Kim, and Annie are three young women whose paths cross when they all stay at Villa Dolce Vita one summer.
Collette is on vacation to get away from the responsibility of caring for her mother while she went through cancer treatments and running the family bakery. Her mother and sister arranged the whole thing so that she would have something to enjoy once her mother was given the all clear. Collette had always dreamed of Italy and studied the language while at uni, this is a dream come true for her.
Kim has escaped an overbearing family and an arranged marriage. For the first time she’s on her own and having to navigate through life without her family’s riches behind her. She’s setting a course for her life, one that she actually wants. Armed with an eye for stunning images, and some words of wisdom discovered in a found diary, she’s making the most of her time on the Amalfi Coast.
For Collette this is all a dream. Fed up with her so-called life in Dublin, she’s been gifted this trip from a client who made this part of her dying request. Collette needs to figure out how to get out of the rut she’s in and actually make something of herself with her talent for hair and makeup. Renting a stool in a shop where the owner is still styling like it’s the ‘80s isn’t for her and she needs to clean up her act on top of it. This trip to Italy is just the ticket for this girl who’s never had anything.
Meeting while all staying at the same crumbling house on the Amalfi coast, a beautiful friendship is born. One that seems to be a forever friendship.
Coming back together at the same place six years later, many things have changed, including the house. Now that Kim’s taken it and turned it into a spa and wellness center, it’s been given the royal treatment. But not everything is happiness and light. All three have problems that impact their lives in a major way, from childlessness to losing everything, they all put on a brave face and come together to celebrate Villa Dolce Vita. While there though, everything crashes down and they’re forced to reveal those long held secrets that threaten their friendship.
This was a good book, I enjoyed the story and most of the characters, but parts of the story dragged for me and that is the reason for only four stars. I started to get bored, and I figured out everything well before it was all revealed. If you enjoy books by Mary Kay Andrews, then you’ll like this book as well.
**I was given an ARC of this story and this is my honest and voluntary review.
***I received an ebook copy from the publisher at no cost***
This book brought me on a beautiful journey to Italy and was a welcome escape from reality.
Annie, Colette, and Kim met years earlier, at a villa they were all staying at in Italy. Six years later, Kim has converted the villa into a wellness retreat and is prepping for the grand opening. She wants to bring her two friends back to the villa to see it and to catch up.
In The Summer Villa, Hill delivers the tale of what happened with each woman during the 6 years they spent apart. Kim has a bigger part in the story than the others, but it’s nice to see where life has taken each of these women and to get an idea of who they are today. The book is heavy on the friendship aspect, and I really enjoyed that.
This was an easy read and a perfect distraction for me. Hill does a great job of setting the scene and making readers feel like they’re living inside the pages of the story. I enjoyed all the characters in this book as well. The story has bumps in the road along the way but overall, it’s sweet and fun and a very enjoyable read.
If you’re looking for a literary escape to Italy, this is the book for you. Grab a glass of vino, kick your feet up, and start reading!
Four stars to this novel!
This is about three girls who meet each other one summer in Italy. Years have passed and they meet again. I enjoyed the story and it was a quick read. Would make a perfect beach read. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the early copy