Title: The Italian Job
Author: Kathryn Freeman
Published on: 6 May 2022
Anna Roberts is unemployed and heart-broken. She worked as a chef in a local restaurant before her boss/boyfriend of 18 months left her for a waitress. She was also fired from the job. One stone two birds, eh? Or, in this case, one betrayal, two setbacks in life.
She googles ‘dream job’ and comes across an advertisement for managing a gorgeous castle on the shores of Lake Como, Italy. The only condition is, they want a couple.
Jake Tucker is Anna’s ruggedly handsome neighbor. He’s done a stint in the prison – thanks to Anna’s ex – and now nobody trusts him. He worked as a fireman before going to prison, now they don’t trust him enough to give back his old job. Like Anna, he too is desperately looking for a job. Anna suggests they both attend the interview posing as fake couple. They get the job and are to move to Italy a week later.
Pretending to be a couple is not easy, especially when Anna and Jake do not see eye-to-eye. But both find themselves attracted to each other… Fake dating turns real… Uh huh!
Oh my gosh, this book!! Gorgeous setting, frenemies-turn-lovers, a dash of sexy-ness… I absolutely enjoyed every bit of this story.
The story begins with Anna wallowing in her grief. Life hasn’t been easy on Anna – her mum left her when she was ten, her boyfriend of eighteen months/boss Miles cheated on her and then fired her from the job. At thirty, Anna finds herself unemployed and heart-broken. Her neighbor, Jake Tucker is twenty-eight, ruggedly handsome and Anna’s frenemy. He’s also done a stint in the prison after a fight with Miles. The prison experience has taken Jake on a low-self-esteem drive.
When Anna suggests Jake pretend to be her boyfriend just to get through the interview, he agrees. When they get the job and have to leave within a week, Anna is a tad worried. What if Jake gives up halfway through? After all, he does have a bad-boy image. When they reach the castle on the shores of Lake Como, Jake is not very co-operative. Well, one cannot blame him, you see… Anna is bossy and believes in making lists for everything. All work and no fun makes Anna a dull girl. Um…
Soon, the duo find themselves attracted to each other. There is sexual tension too. Two people in a picturesque castle on Lake Como, a perfect setting for romance, what say?
Don’t mind me repeating this – I absolutely loved this book. The characters are so likable and their side-stories are a tad inspiring – both of them have had a tough life but with each other’s support and love, they finally move ahead in life.
This is the kind of story that makes you go aww. I hope they turn this story into a movie – I will certainly be first in line to watch it! Speaking of movies, the storytelling is so good that it felt like a movie playing in my head. I just couldn’t put this book down until the end. Nor did I want the story to end.
I have one tiny niggle though. Not related to the love story, per se, but something that’s been bothering me since it was mentioned in the book. At the end of the story, Jake (who speaks passable Italian while Anna is a pro – her mum was Italian, you see) says whatever Anna said (she gives a ‘speech’ at the bar) sounded like Klingon and he doesn’t speak Klingon. So Anna says ‘Yes, Star Wars is your favorite…” Um, Klingon is Star Trek, not Star Wars.
If you are looking for a feel-good and absolutely gorgeous story, you might want to give The Italian Job by Kathryn Freeman a read.
I received an ARC from One More Chapter and NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.