Sunday, 18 February 2018

Blog Tour || Prosecco and Promises by A.L. Michael - Book Review

I know they tell you that you should never judge a book by it's cover, but in the case of Prosecco and Promises by A.L. Michael I have to admit, I did. I thought I knew exactly what this book would be like. Turns out, I was totally wrong.


Meet Mia: an unforgettable heroine learning the meaning of life and love on a beautiful Italian island. Perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane, Lindsey Kelk and Lucy Vine.

Mia's dad has always been her idol. Now, she faces losing him and he is insisting that she leave England to visit her mother's family on the Italian island of Ischia.

Arriving on the island, Mia is embraced by the warm, crazy relatives she hardly knows. Despite her doubts about the trip, it is in Italy that Mia discovers connections to a part of her life that's been missing, and during the sun-soaked days and steamy nights Mia falls for handsome local Salvatore. But as the day of her departure draws nearer can she risk having her heart broken twice in one summer?

If you love Prosecco and Promises, why not read more about Mia's best friend Savvy in Cocktails and Dreams? Out now!

About The Author

A.L. Michael is hurtling towards the end of her twenties a little too quickly. She is the author of 10 novels. Her most recent collection of books, The Martini Club series, started with Cocktails and Dreams, to be followed by Prosecco and Promises, and Martinis and Memories. She likes to write about difficult women. Well, they say to write what you know. Andi works as a Content Writer, as well as a therapeutic facilitator. She has a bunch of degrees in stuff to do with writing, and wrote her MSc dissertation on the power of creative writing in eating disorder recovery. She truly believes stories can change your life.

My Review

As I mentioned earlier, I thought I knew exactly what this would be about. From the title and the cover I admit I expected a typical 'chick-lit' book (absolutely detest that phrase, but love the books that fall into that category, just FYI). I thought this was going to be a simple enough love story and I was so ready to read it.

In fact, the book is a lot more complex that that. Mia is sent to her mother's homeland of Ischia, a small Italian island, by her father. He's dying of cancer and doesn't want her there to witness it, particularly after she lost her mother at a young age. Instead, he wants her to connect with her mother's family and to discover more about her roots.

Arriving on the island full of grief and anger, Mia is surrounded by a family she doesn't know, and begins to learn more about both of her parents. While tracing their story on the island, she is swept off her feet by handsome local Salvatore. But with her complicated responsibilities back in Britain, can she really afford to fall in love?

I really enjoyed this read. I was expecting a full-on romance novel, and don't get me wrong - there is definitely an element of that. But the main themes actually revolved more around family, loss, grief and self discovery than just a simple 'boy meets girl' plotline. It was refreshing to have a strong, confident main character who cared about a lot more than just snaring the guy of her dreams.

I found myself absolutely racing through this book, and I finished it within a few hours. I loved the pacing; it was fast enough to keep me interested and engaged without skimping on any detail. I also really enjoyed the main character, Mia. I found her completely realistic and relatable: being somewhat of a 'difficult woman' myself I understood her anger, stubbornness, and frustration, and how this often translated into being somewhat abrupt with others. 

I also really loved the supporting characters. Each of Mia's relatives were believable, fully-rounded people with their own backstories and struggles. This attention to detail is admirable; I can sometimes find that these types of characters are quite one-dimensional, whereas I grew to like and care about almost every name in this book. I have to say that the character development of Marjorie, Mia's stepmother, was a highlight for me. Learning how much these two had in common had me near to tears at points; it was a touching reminder that everyone is doing the best they can. In fact, the one person I wished I knew more about was Mia's best friend Savvy, who is the main character in the first book of this series, Cocktails and Dreams. I look forward to reading that and finding out more about her soon!

The writing in Prosecco and Promises is beautiful. A.L. Michael's manages to take the complicated, messy subject of grief and write about it so sensitively and gently that it is completely heart-breaking but also wonderfully life-affirming at the same time. While Mia does of course have times of feeling resentful at the hand she's been dealt, it was so pleasing to see her work through those feelings, take responsibility for her own actions, and learn from the whole journey. I think anyone who has experienced loss will identify with Mia and her healing process.

The setting of Ischia was a great choice. The island gave a sense of isolation from everything Mia was familiar with, but also allowed Mia the ability to really connect with her mother and experience what life would've been like for her. The inclusion of detail about the gorgeous Mediterranean weather, food and culture didn't hurt either!

The romance aspect of the book was very cute without being sickly. Salvatore is flawed and so much more human than the usual romantic heroes, which the book is all the better for. There were a few parts where I thought there could've been slightly more development: for instance, the time between Mia despising his rude, sulky behaviour to being won over by him seemed a little quick, but perhaps that's just me and my inability to let go of a grudge...! Overall, their relationship was perfectly played: driven by an unavoidable mutual attraction even though Mia's life was so chaotic and confused. 

Mia's progression from feeling like she was completely alone to finding her roots was heartwarming, and was so enjoyable to read. Without spoiling too much, I have to say I absolutely loved the ending. Her growth as a person was clearly visible, and I adored that even when her relationship with Salvatore developed, she put herself, her dreams and her goals first. May we all be a little more like Mia: confident, headstrong women who chase our dreams, and learn the importance of even the unlikeliest of families.

Prosecco and Promises is moving, heart-warming, life-affirming and beautiful, and I would recommend this to anyone.

Be sure to check out the other blogs hosting Prosecco and Promises on this tour!

Huge thanks to Ellie at Canelo Publishing for providing me with this copy.

1 comment

  1. This sounds really interesting - I might have to check it out.


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