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Far from Home by T A Williams #Review #BeneathItalianSkiesBook3

  As ever, I am delighted to feature another romance by T A Williams , set in beautiful Italy. Far from Home was published by Canelo on May 9th. The secrets of the past will unlock her future… Working in the fast-paced foreign exchange market in Canary Wharf, Amy never expected her job to drive her to collapse. With her doctor advising she take a month off work, when Amy receives a solicitor’s letter informing her of a surprise inheritance in Italy, the timing couldn’t be more perfect. But who on earth has left her a house in the sleepy Tuscan hills? As she gets to know the town and its inhabitants, Amy discovers more about the mysterious man who named her in his will. Shocking family secrets come to light, leaving Amy questioning the life she knew. The town of Sant’Antonio holds more than just secrets. Here, Amy meets Adam, a renowned TV journalist whose documentaries take him to dangerous places. But as their attraction grows, so do Amy’s worries. Her life is in England,

Island of Secrets by Rachel Rhys #Extract

Today I have a great Summer Read for you, Island of Secrets. You can sample it by reading an extract. First, here's a little about the book:

Set in the exotic city of Havana on the cusp of revolution, an English woman discovers mystery, romance and scandal in the atmospheric new novel by Rachel Rhys.

1957: Iris Bailey is bored to death of working in the typing pool and living with her parents in Hemel Hempstead. A gifted portraitist with a talent for sketching party guests, she dreams of becoming an artist. So she can’t believe her luck when socialite Nell Hardman invites her to Havana to draw at the wedding of her Hollywood director father.

Far from home, she quickly realizes the cocktails, tropical scents and azure skies mask a darker reality. As Cuba teeters on the edge of revolution and Iris’s heart melts for troubled photographer Joe, she discovers someone in the charismatic Hardman family is hiding a terrible secret. Can she uncover the ugly truth behind the glamour and the dazzle before all their lives are torn apart?

This atmospheric new novel by Rachel Rhys is ideal for fans of DINAH JEFFRIES, LUCINDA RILEY and SANTA MONTEFIORE

What has been said so far?

'Intoxicating' SANTA MONTEFIORE
 
'Transporting' SUNDAY TIMES

 
'A fabulous summer read' DAILY EXPRESS

 
'Escapist fun' SUNDAY EXPRESS

 
'Delicious' SARRA MANNING


Extract- Chapter 2

It hits her the second she exits the plane. A solid wall of damp heat that sticks Iris’s clothes to her skin.  

Rancho-Boyeros airport is a long, low-slung building and Iris is thrilled by the sight of palm trees shimmering through a heat haze in the distance as she crosses the tarmac. Already the regimented line of oaks and elms that border the little park she crosses on her way to Hemel Hempstead station seems like a long-distant dream. She had left London the day before – or the one before that. It is all such a blur. There was that first flight to Amsterdam, before the longer one to Montreal, her heart thundering in her chest like a runaway horse as the plane tilted up from the runway. While the impossibly glamorous air hostesses patrolled the aisles, topping up glasses of wine and Scotch and lighting cigarettes, Iris had wrestled with remorse for her impatience when saying goodbye to her parents and Peter, excitement at leaving leading her to skate over the way her mother’s left hand, tiny in its white glove, fluttered at her throat, even while her right clutched tight to the handbag Iris knew would contain the little bottle of Equanil she never went anywhere without, and how the groove in the centre of her father’s forehead, down which, when she was younger, he would let her roll a shilling, appeared horribly pronounced in the sickly light of the airport terminal. Peter had pulled her roughly aside. ‘Say you’ll always be my girl,’ he’d whispered. ‘Let go, that hurts,’ she’d said, trying to pull away, but Peter’s fingers were digging into the soft skin of her inner wrist. ‘Not until I hear you say it.’ His face had darkened and, though Iris tried to tell herself it was romantic that he felt so strongly, she found his intensity unnerving. ‘I’ll always be your girl,’ she’d repeated woodenly. 

MISS IRIS 

The sign is held by a young man wearing a smart cap and a dark uniform, though when Iris gets closer she notices that his shoes, for all they are polished to a dazzling shine, are worn at the heel. He straightens when she approaches, his eyes sliding down and up her like a slow- moving elevator. But when he speaks, he is deferential enough. 

‘Miss Iris?’ Meeseerees. ‘I am Raúl. You come with me.’ 

The car is black, with a rounded bonnet that rises up like the hump of a whale. Despite her crumpled green dress and her hair, which is already wilting in the heat, making a mockery of the sleepless night she endured before leaving England with sixteen small, tight rollers jabbing into her skull, Iris is conscious of Raúl’s unabashedly appreciative gaze as he holds the door open. As she settles herself into the back seat, there is a moment when anxiety about being here on her own, so far from home, gets the better of her and she wonders if this might be the last time she is seen alive, even catches the eye of a passing schoolgirl in the hope she might imprint her face on the girl’s memory. 

On the move, Iris starts to unwind her window, but Raúl waggles his finger, pointing to a control on the walnut dashboard. And soon, blissfully cool air is blowing through the car. It is Iris’s first experience of air conditioning and instantly she loves it, as the sweat dries on her skin and actual goosebumps rise up on her arms. She stares through the window. The city begins almost as the airport ends, the roads wider than back home, teeming with giant cars like the one she is in right now but in bright jewel colours – blue and red and green and orange. Here are gleaming, palmshaded pathways in between the lanes of traffic, along which smartly dressed women push prams out of the harsh glare of the sun, and a railway running parallel to the road. There are grand stone buildings with flights of steps leading to pillared porticos, and in the distance tall buildings and cranes strung across the horizon. True, she spots a couple of matted- haired men dressed in little
more than rags, with that telltale blank stare of the hopeless poor, and once she glimpses, off down a side street pitted with potholes and running with muddy water, a jumble of what look like crude timber shacks. But mostly her impression is of a smart metropolis with its own heartbeat, worlds away from the one she has left behind. 

How has she arrived here? It seems obvious to her now, in her exhausted state, that a mistake has been made. This is not, as her father has been at pains to point out, what people like them do. Now, when she tries to think of how she met Nell Hardman, it seems so unlikely, as if she must have dreamt it. 

About the Author

 RACHEL RHYS is the pen-name of a much-loved psychological suspense author. Fatal Inheritance is her second novel under this name. Her debut Dangerous Crossing a Richard and Judy bookclub pick, was published around the world. Rachel Rhys lives in North London with her family. 

You can follow Rachel here: 
Website   | Twitter   |  Facebook 

Book link: Amazon UK 

Thanks to Rachel Rhys, Black Swan and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours  for tne extract and a place on the tour.

Check out the rest of the tour!

  

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