The Heavenly Italian Ice Cream Shop by Abby Clements

With a beautiful cover that will have you longing to visit the Heavenly Italian Ice Cream Shop, this book is a perfect, light summer holiday read. Anna and Matteo have moved to Italy to open their own gelateria having successfully run Anna’s grandmother’s ice-cream shop in Brighton. This is a sequel to Vivien’s Heavenly Ice Cream Shop which I haven’t read but there are a few references to that story which mean you can read this as a stand-alone. They have chosen an ice-cream shop in a beautiful cobbled square in Sorrento, a place which was special to Anna’s beloved late grandmother Vivien. It seems an idyllic move for the Anna, Matteo and their small daughter Bella, giving them the opportunity to really put their own mark on this business: it’s not her grandmother’s, it’s not his family’s renowned ice-cream business. All is going well until, Anna’s interfering, domineering Italian mother-in-law breezes in for the summer….

I really enjoyed getting to know Anna and Matteo and their families in this book. Abby Clements has created likeable characters that you really care about. Even Elisa, the mother-in-law, has softened by the end. As well as Anna and Matteo’s story, the other storylines about Anna’s sister Lauren and her boyfriend Finn, Evie, Luigi and Carolina are woven into the novel really well. And through the mysterious Clarissa, we learn a bit more about Anna’s grandmother Vivien.

Of course, ice cream features a lot in this story, sounding deliciously tempting. I really liked the sound of a gin and tonic ice-lolly or peach granita!  The Heavenly Italian Ice Cream Shop is a sweet, charming novel which would be just perfect to read on a sunny summer’s day. Reading it in the shade in an old Italian town square, if you are lucky enough, would be just perfect but on a beach or by the pool would be great too – with an ice-cream to hand of course! With plenty of happy-ever-afters, this is a feel-good, escapist summer read.

My thanks to Simon and Schuster for providing a review copy via Netgalleey. The Heavenly Italian Ice Cream Shop will be published on July 2nd 2015. You can pre-order here: The Heavenly Italian Ice Cream Shop.

What the book is about:

Anna and her husband Matteo are ready to embark a delicious Italian adventure. After a year and a half running their ice cream shop on Brighton beach and raising their baby Isabella, Matteo is starting to miss Italy. A shared passion for ices means it’s easy to settle on a new business idea – they’ll open a shop in Sorrento’s cobbled square, a short walk from the sparkling blue sea. For a while, life is sweet; but then Matteo’s overbearing family get involved. Anna’s younger sister Imogen feels like things are finally coming together – she’s living with boyfriend Finn in a beach house in Brighton, and her photography is taking off. Then her career stalls, and the lure of Capri – and a man from her past – prove difficult to resist.

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