When in Rome
Author: C.J. Duggan
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Publication date: November 28th 2017
Pages: 293 pages
Rome wasn't built in a day. But it's only going to take one for Sammi's world to crumble.
When her gap year turns into a less-than-enthralling lifestyle as a couch potato at her parent's house, Sammi Shorten knows something needs to change. Determined to get motivated and join life again, Sammi books a budget Bellissimo Tour to Rome, the Eternal City. What she didn't sign up for, however, was being stuck with a motley crew of binge-drinking foreigners in a bed bug-infested hostel from hell. Things in Rome really couldn't get much worse... could they?
When plans go completely awry, Sammi's left with only one option, and it's the one place she really doesn't want to turn- to the man who might very well get her into the worst trouble of all: the gorgeous local tour guide Marcello Bambozzi.
Thoughts on the book: (may contain some spoilers)
When in Rome is the fourth stand alone novel in the Heart of the City series by C.J. Duggan. Book four centres around Sammi Shorten (whose sister Claire featured in book 1 of the Heart of the City series, Paris Lights) who decided to have a gap year which has lasted way more than a year. Suddenly she finds herself walking out of a travel agent having booked a spontaneous trip to Rome where she will join the Bellissimo Tour group. But upon arriving in Rome Sammi isn't met with the five star hotel she expected but a dingy backpackers where she is shoved into a room with bunk beds (shudder) and all of her fellow Bellissimo group members. But these aren't the mellow group of people she thought she would be meeting on this group, they are all party fuelled travellers who drink all night and get up refreshed in the morning. But there is one silver lining, the mysterious Marcello Bambozzi who seems to be with the group but also not with it. With the tour being anything but what she thought it was and a mean girl making hell for Sammi is there anyway she can turn her holiday around and actually make it one she will enjoy?
My copy of When in Rome, from the lovely people over at Hachette, was sent to my new house while I was in the middle of moving and I had to wait over a month before I could start it. I finally started it as my second book for this year and I quickly devoured it. I loved being back with C.J. Duggan's writing and another Heart of the City novel. I have loved this series since starting it and am always looking forward to more. When in Rome is a fantastic addition to the series. Our main character Sammi is very timid and shy and is basically and old sole. Throughout the novel though Sammi comes more and more out of her shell and starts becoming more of the person she wants to be. Of course this transformation is helped along by the marvellous Marcello, the hot mysterious person who always seems to be hanging around their tour group. I loved the mystery around him and the playfulness of him. He was exactly what Sammi needed in her life, Jodie on the other hand wasn't someone she needed in her life. She takes mean girls to a whole new level, I mean deliberately being mean from the start because she felt threatened and then making up a story so that Sammi would be left behind from the tour, brutal. All I can say is I'm glad I never had a Jodie in my life before.
I can't wait for the next adventure that we get to go on in the Heart of the City novels which is Hollywood Heartbreak releasing later this year.