I saw the cover of this book in a Goodreads post about wanting reviewers and I knew I just had to read this book. The cover was gorgeous. I read the synopsis of the book and thought it sounded interesting. I spent some time trying to figure out where the author was going to take this story and then gave up (i’m creative but not that creative) and decided to request the book.
The Echoes of Love
Title: The Echoes of Love
Author: Hannah Fielding
Publisher: London Wall Publishing
Publication Date: January 1, 2013
Format: Paperback, 360 pages
Source: Received from author in exchange for an honest review
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Set against the breathtaking beauty of Italy, The Echoes of Love is a passionate, heart-breaking romance to ignite the senses and rekindle your belief in the power of love. Seduction, passion and secrets… Venetia Aston-Montagu has escaped to Venice to work in her godmother’s architectural practice, putting a lost love behind her. For the past ten years she has built a fortress around her heart, only to find the walls tumbling down one night of the carnival when she is rescued from masked assailants by an enigmatic stranger, Paolo Barone. Drawn to the powerfully seductive Paolo, despite warnings of his Don Juan reputation and rumours that he keeps a mistress, Venetia can’t help being caught up in the smouldering passion that ignites between them. When she finds herself assigned to a project at his magnificent home deep in the Tuscan countryside, Venetia not only faces a beautiful young rival but also a sinister count and dark forces in the shadows, determined to come between them. Can Venetia trust that love will triumph, even over her own demons? Or will Paolo’s carefully guarded, devastating secret tear them apart forever?
About the Author (from Goodreads):
I grew up in a rambling house overlooking the Mediterranean. My earliest memories are of listening, enchanted, to fairy stories at the knee of my half-French half-Italian governess Zula. When I was seven we came to an agreement: for each story she told me, I would invent and relate one of my own. That is how my love for story-telling began.
Later, at a convent school, while French nuns endeavoured to teach me grammar, literature and maths, I took to day-dreaming and wrote short romantic stories to satisfy the needs of a fertile imagination. Having no inhibitions, I circulated them around the class, which made me very popular among my peers and less so with the nuns.
After I graduated with a BA in French literature, my international nomadic years commenced. I lived mainly in Switzerland, France and England, where I had friends and family, and during holidays I travelled to Mediterranean countries like Italy, Greece and Spain.
I met my husband in London at a drinks party: it was love at first sight, just like in the romance books that were my constant companions. He brought me to his large Georgian rectory in Kent, surrounded by grounds and forests. After my children were born, between being a mother and running a property business, there was little time for day dreaming, let alone writing.
Then, once my children had flown the nest, I decided after so many years of yearning to write, write, write it was time to dust off the old manuscripts I’d been tinkering with for a lifetime.
Today, I am living the dream: I write full time, splitting my time between my homes in Kent and in the South of France, where I dream up romances overlooking breathtaking views of the Mediterranean.
My first novel, Burning Embers, is a vivid, evocative love story set against the backdrop of tempestuous and wild Kenya of the 1970s, reviewed by one newspaper as ‘romance like Hollywood used to make’. My new novel, The Echoes of Love, is a story of passion, betrayal and intrigue set in the romantic and mysterious city of Venice and the beautiful landscape of Tuscany
Right from the beginning of this novel I was so sure that I knew how everything was going to play out. I was wrong- some things played out the way I called them, but not everything.
Format and Writing Style: This book is written from the third person narrator. We get to see what is going on with Paolo and with Venetia, but the main focus is Venetia. The writing has a great flow to it and has great descriptions. While reading you feel like you are floating down the canals in Venice on a gondola. I really enjoyed the legends that were interspersed throughout the novel.
Characters: The characters are a lot of fun to get to know. I really enjoyed seeing the interaction among them- especially between Paolo and Venetia. It was a lot of fun to watch the two of them interact with one another. I also liked the relationship between Venetia and Francesca. The two of them seemed to be really great friends and I think having Francesca in the book helped to develop the storyline.
Venetia– Venetia is the 28 year old main character who seems to have men falling for her left, right, and center. She seems to be reserved, guarded, and unwilling to get hurt by another man. She seems to end up in some tough situations and I feel bad for her, but she does seem strong enough to pull herself out.
Paolo- Paolo seems to be the typical love interest- good looking and has everything he could ever want. At first I didn’t like him, I thought he was pretentious and stuck up and a real jerk. I felt like he was the kind of guy who thinks that because he is good looking and rich he should be able to get any female to fall for him. New details about Paolo come to light in the book and then my vision of him changed drastically. I actually started to feel bad for him.
Plot: The plot begins to follow the classic- girl meets boy, falls for boy, something happens, etc. but has some unique features mixed in. The entire book takes place in and around Venice where Venetia and Paolo meet. The story doesn’t follow the mainstream girl meets boy, falls for boy, etc. and so has some interesting twists and turns which I really appreciated. The plot was well paced and kept you continually flipping the pages.
“Arabs say that from the day you are born, the name of your sweetheart is invisibly engraved on your forehead. Maybe that explains the flicker of recognition I felt the day we met” (66)
Overall, I thought this was a cute, well-written story. It definitely did not end the way I expected it to, but that’s how a good book is supposed to be- unpredictable! If you enjoy historical fiction and romance novels then I say you should definitely give this book a try.
Therefore, I give this book:
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