Review: When in Rome (Gemma Townley)

When in Rome - Gemma TownleyGoodreads Summary: When in Rome, do as Audrey Hepburn would do. Failing that, run off with your ex-boyfriend, carry suspicious packages through customs, and lie to the person who loves you. . . .

Georgie Beauchamp is totally happy and in love with her wonderful, dependable boyfriend, David. So why does she always daydream about running into her gorgeous ex-boyfriend Mike? It can’t mean she’s still in love with him—especially since the cad dumped her so horribly. As luck would have it, when Georgie’s daydream actually comes true, she is dressed in unglamorous sweats and carrying a curtain rod down the street, while Mike is driving an expensive sports car and looking better than Brad Pitt at the Oscars. She longs to have the glamorous life Mike can offer—and starts to think that he might want her back in his arms.

But when he invites her for a weekend in Rome, Georgie is torn. David has always said he’d take her there for the romantic getaway of a lifetime, but his work keeps him totally tied up. So she must choose: David, all comfort and reliability, or Mike, all flirtation and butterfly-stomachs. The decision isn’t too hard to make, and faster than she can say Vespa, she’s off to Rome with Mike, full of plans to frolic on the Spanish Steps and sip wine in intimate trattorias. But when David shows up unexpectedly, this roman holiday gets a hell of a lot more complicated. . . .

My Thoughts: I bought this book for my holiday in Italy. I was going to do a road trip through Tuscany and then spend 4 days in Rome at the end of my trip. I read another book by Gemma Townley before and really liked Little White Lies. Thus, I thought that this book would be the perfect travel companion. The book‘s format was also perfect for traveling because it is really small and light and the text on the back sounded promising.

When I read the title When in Rome – A novel of piazzas and passion I was sure that this book would mainly take place in Rome and would be talking a lot about places in Rome. But after I finished the first 100 pages, the main characters were still in London and not even close to Rome. Of course, a little part of the story then took place in Rome but only for a really short time until the happenings of the story ended up back in London. The story itself also has nothing to do with Rome or Italy for that matter. The main characters could have easily traveled to a different city without changing much of the story. I was really disappointed because I was expecting to get into an italian mood but nothing like that happened. In my opinion, the title for this book has been chosen completely wrong because it promises something that the book is not able to deliver in the end.

Not taking this into consideration and only focusing on the story itself, it is an ok story. Nothing special and nothing totally compelling. It has some funny bits and bobs but many times I really had to force myself to go on reading. It can be considered as a light read for the holidays if you do not want to concentrate on a heavy and complex story. It is something you can read on the beach and get distracted once in a while. Many people might like that but I usually expect something more meaningful and a deeper background when I am reading a book. I need to be forced to concentrate because only then I can truly enjoy a story. If I would not have been in Italy with no possibility to read another book, I would probably not have finished it. The whole time I was waiting for something that would make this story different, unique or just something that would give me a reason to go on reading. I think this story really could have been better.

It is not the worst story I ever read and this book might be the right one for many other people who are just searching for something different in a book then I do but for me it was not really the right read. Also, no matter if the story is good or bad, the title is surely wrong and should not be focused on Rome since that is not reflected in the story of the book.

I am not going to give up on Gemma Townley just because of this since I really liked Little White Lies but I can certainly not recommend this book – especially not for an Italian holiday or if you just want to try out a new author. I hope that her other books will make up for this…

My Rating: ★☆☆☆ 

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