Thursday, February 7, 2019

Review: The Temptation of Gracie by Santa Montefiore

Never give up on your dreams, no matter how long you hold on to them . . .

 Gracie Burton is a grandmother, living quietly in Devon. She has rarely left the village over the past forty years. Her daughter, Carina, is immensely high-powered with her own fast-paced business in London. She has very little time for her 17-year-old daughter, Anastasia, away at boarding school, and even less time for her aging mother. In many ways, the three of them barely know each other. Then Gracie stumbles upon an advertisement for a weeklong cookery course in the heart of the Tuscan countryside. She cannot resist and ploughs her life savings into the trip.

Carina and Anastasia accompany her. They have no idea why Gracie has been drawn to this venture. They have no sense of her past; she has never spoken about it. They have no idea that Gracie is harboring the secret of an extraordinary life that preceded them . . .

 Hardcover, 400 pages 
Published July 12th 2018
 by Simon & Schuster
**** 1/2

I became a fan of the Santa Montefiore with her Secrets of the Lighthouse and the Deverill Chronciles. Those books were an audio read for me of which I thoroughly enjoyed. Last year while browsing through Bookdepository I stumbled across this book, The Temptation of Gracie and ordered it not realizing that it would not be released in Canada/US for another year. Once I spotted it on NetGalley I grabbed my copy, which had gotten buried under other books, and dove right in.

I was drawn in right away and one of the things that I really really loved was the blurb. As you can read above there is no hint, no clue at all as to what happened in Gracie's past. The secret of an extraordinary life that she lived was hidden and I loved that. Sometimes I find blurbs give too much information and at times can spoil the ride (which is why I rarely read them or skim the first paragraph or so) in this case, I found the blurb perfect.

It doesn’t take long to get a sense of who Gracie was, where she came from what her life is like now. Traveling back in time to when she is in her teen years her journey is interesting and takes place in a country that I absolutely love, Italy.

With rich detail, the author transported me to the Tuscan countryside, to the vineyards, cooking, pasta and more. The Temptation of Gracie is a story of relationships, trust and healing. How life can change in a second or evolve over the course of a week.

While there were a couple little things that rubbed me the wrong way it wasn’t enough to affect my enjoyment of this book if anything it’s made me very anxious for my trip to Italy in September and to read more books set in Italy.

Santa Montefiore is an author I highly recommend, maybe a little more on the romance side than I usually read but it balances out nicely with the historical aspects.

If you haven’t read her Deverill Chronicles yet, I recommend it. Click on the covers below to take you to my respective reviews.

This book was from my personal library and part of my reading off my shelf challenge.

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