Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Review & Giveaway: Beneath an Italian Sky by Stacy Henrie


My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it




American heiress Clare Herschel made what she hoped was a love match when she married the handsome, witty Emmett Markham, the Earl of Linwood. A little over a year into her marriage, though, Clare finds herself wintering in Sicily—alone. She is sure the mild climate is the answer to avoiding another miscarriage and Emmett’s apparent indifference, so she’s determined to remain in Italy as long as possible. The last person she expects to show up at the villa is her husband, especially when Emmett confesses he’s there to convince her to return to England.

As the only surviving son of a marquess, Emmett has done everything his father has asked of him—even agreeing to run for a seat in the House of Commons. However, this latest task comes with a nearly impossible caveat. He must convince his wife Clare to come back to England with him in order for them to appear to be a happy couple for his political campaigning. Emmett isn’t confident Clare will agree to the plan, though, not when she seems to want nothing to do with him or the life they’d begun building before she abruptly left him for Italy.

When a massive earthquake strikes Messina, Sicily, claiming the lives of thousands, Clare and Emmett must set aside their mutual misgivings about their marriage in order to survive and lend a helping hand to others. But in the wake of the destruction, they begin to realize they’ve been given a chance to decide if their love is stronger than the upheavals of the past.

My Review

Clare and Emmett are a sweet couple and I enjoyed getting to know them as they struggle through obstacles separately and together. They have an affectionate rapport and gentle banter, but when it comes to communicating their more difficult feelings or sharing about their past, they have more to learn. Their experiences in Italy draw them closer together, but also brings their hidden conflicts to the surface for them to deal with. Emmett's family dynamics are a source of unhappiness for them both, especially his father's rigid expectations. Hope for her new pregnancy makes Clare stand up for herself more than she had in the past, and I appreciated seeing Emmett's growth as he becomes his own man and the leader of his family. The historical details were intriguing and I was especially moved by the scenes of the earthquake and the devastation there at the turn of the century.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)

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