Published by Little Brown Book Group
Copy for review provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Meet the Shakespeare family: four sisters, four stories . . . four ways to find true love
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 - and then a scorching fling. But they can't hide from reality forever . . . as their different worlds collide, Sam and Cesca face a choice: is this just a summer romance, or could their love weather even the coldest winds?
A brand new series from the bestselling author of Fix You and the Love in London series.
4.5 – The rich movie star and the impoverished writer… It would make a good story. Stars!
It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of Carrie Elks’ writing, so learning that there was a whole new sparkly series on the way, it’s safe to say I was beyond excited.
“It’s not that long ago that I hated your guts…”
Summers Lease is the first book in The Shakespeare Sisters series, and the author delivered the all-around enjoyable read that I have come to expect from her writing.
The Shakespeare sisters were like flowers scattered in the wind…
None more so than Cesca, while her sisters Kitty and Juliet are living their lives in the US and her other sibling Lucy in Scotland, she is drifting from dead end job to unemployment, to new digs with unerring regularity. Six years roving from one dead-end opportunity to the next. She believes due to the actions of one man; Sam Carlton, now a Hollywood A-list actor.
“You have the theater in your blood, yet you have been running away from it for six years…”
After her fist theatrical production bombs, mainly due to the loss of its lead Actor (Carlton) Cesca has lost the inspiration for writing. Pretty much forced to travel to Lake Como to house sit for some friends of her Uncle; Cesca settles in to try and recover the creativity that has lain dormant for so long in the picturesque Italian surroundings. Little does she know that the owner of Villa Palladino is the mother of her arch nemesis. So you can guess how well their reintroduction goes when he unexpectedly turns up with his own ideas of spending some time under-the-radar at the Villa, especially when it’s obvious that initially, he has no idea who she is.
Had he done this..? Been the one to steal away her happiness, her hopes, and her big dream? The thought was like a black cloud in his mind. No wonder she hated him so much.
Enemies-to-lovers, is one of my favorite tropes, and the author handled the animosity from Cesca towards Sam really well, there were a few moments where I really wanted to just shake the pair of them, especially with a few added hurdles along the way, making their path towards love and happiness less than smooth sailing.
“I can’t go back and make up for what I did, but I can fight for you… I’ll do whatever it takes.”
This book was like a bag of cinema popcorn, salty in parts, sweet in others, and then at points the perfect mix of the two. Carrie set up the series well with this opener, in that you are introduced to all the Shakespeare family, but not enough that you aren’t left guessing, as to where their stories may take them. With a Richard Curtis worthy ending and a really great epilogue, I cannot recommend this read highly enough to add to your summer reading list.