Jake, wearing only a pair of black trunks, was walking back from what had clearly been an early swim in the lake. Unable to help herself, she pressed her nose further against the window, staring down at him as he strode across the lawn.
Her heart quickened, and between her legs she felt an embarrassing flush of arousal. The man was maddening, infuriating, but he was also, honest to God, the sexiest sight she’d ever seen. Wide shoulders, sculptured muscles, a well-defined six pack. Thighs that looked carved out of stone. Oh and tattoos: one she’d not seen before on the top of his right arm, another that ran up his left arm and then across the upper part of his chest, ending in a blaze across the left pec. From here it looked like it was a big cat of some sort.
She’d never thought tattoos particularly sexy. Until now.
A year in a gorgeous Italian castle…
Get ready to fall completely in love with Kathryn’s latest book The Italian Job.
When Anna Roberts’ life implodes, an online search leads her to an ad for the ultimate dream job – management of a gorgeous castle on the shores of Lake Como, accommodation included. The only catch? Anna can’t do it alone…With the last man on earth she’d choose!
The castle owners will only accept a couple as caretakers, which means Anna needs a man on her arm at the interview. Enter her neighbour, Jake Tucker. Though Anna and Jake have never seen eye-to-eye, Jake’s had a rough few years and an escape to Italy sounds ideal. Yet, when they get the job and jet off, Anna and Jake face an unexpected challenge. Pretending to be a couple is difficult … but pretending the tension simmering between them doesn’t exist is quickly proving impossible
I will admit that I was a bit nervous when I started this book because of its sheer length (600 pages!). I was worried it would become repetitive or feel like it was dragging out. I have to say that 600 pages have never flown by so quickly for me. This book is one of those stories that instantly grabs you and doesn’t let you go until the very last page. I was so sad when I finished this book because I didn’t want to leave Lake Como. Kathryn’s writing is just magical and lush. She was able to write something engaging, captivating and just all-consuming. When I wasn’t reading this book, I was thinking about it. Hell, I even dream about this book, but who could really blame me when there is a swoony, gorgeous character like Jake Tucker in it.
When reading this story, it really plays out like you are watching your favourite TV show in your head. Everything just comes to life, and you feel so invested in the characters and plot. So let’s chat about the characters first; Anna and Jake are fun, fabulous, and complex characters. I will talk about the romance between them later. I really loved Anna; she has this wonderful mixture of no-nonsense attitude and vulnerability. She is coming out of a terrible breakup that has shaken her self worth and confidence. It was wonderful going on this adventure of finding her dream job, regaining her confidence, and learning to open her heart again. I also felt like I found a kindred spirit in Anna and her need to constantly make lists, something I love and need to do in my own life. Jake is the complete opposite of Anna. He is a laid-back, fun, impulsive guy who often finds himself inserting his foot into his mouth after speaking without thinking. But underneath that bad boy exterior is a genuinely good guy with a heart of gold. Jake is that gold standard, shall I say, hunky romance book boyfriend. The secondary characters in this book add that extra charm or drama that helps to elevate the whole story to the next level.
The story itself has so much to offer its readers. There is drama, steamy romance, humour, and an unforgettable setting. Everything just comes together perfectly. I loved the whole concept of moving to another country for a job. It had me thinking of what country I would love to work in. The descriptions of Lake Como were lush and vivid, and the food talk in this book was oh so yummy.
Anna and Jake’s relationship has this opposites-attract, enemies-to-lover, forced proximity feel to it. These tend to be my favourite tropes, so I was definitely in heaven. In the first half of this book, these two are definitely at each other’s throats, and there is lots of conflict. The banter is sharp, witty, and sometimes steamy (usually because of Jake). But as the story progresses, these two slowly start to see the world from each other’s perspectives. I loved that slow progression of their relationship; it really just worked for them. Their relationship wouldn’t have been as believable if they had jumped into bed with each other right away. The sex between these two is on fire, and Lord Kathryn did a great job at building that sexual tension between these two.
The Italian Job is just so darn wonderful and is a book I would read again and again.
Thank you, Harper Collins UK, One More Chapter, and Rachel’s Random Resources for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.