February 8, 2015

Book Review: Season of Storms by Susanna Kearsley

I don't know about you, but something about it being almost Valentine's Day puts me in the mood for a good romance. I was browsing the library website for one to read, and saw a Susanna Kearsley book*, and that made me double-check my archives to see when I last reviewed a Kearsley. To my surprise, I never actually got around to sharing my review of Season of Storms with you. So without further ado...

In 1921, Celia Sands was the muse of Galeazzo D'Ascanio, the celebrated playwright. He wrote a spectacular play for her to star in, but she vanished the night before it opened and was never seen again. Now, some 70 years later, Galeazzo's grandson Alex D'Ascanio plans to stage the play in order to bring attention to the palatial family estate, Il Piacere, which is being given to an Italian historical trust for preservation.

Alex offers the lead to a struggling young English actress--also named Celia Sands. Celia is reluctant at first, because she's tried to avoid trading on her famous name, since she's no relation to Celia the First (as she's dubbed her namesake). But Celia can't resist the lure of playing the role of a lifetime in the midst of a star-studded cast, and she's excited to give up her waitressing job in London to head to Italy.

Once at Il Piacere, however, strange things happen. Servants vanish, artwork goes missing, actors squabble and Celia could swear that Celia the First haunts her bedroom. She finds herself turning to the handsome Alex for answers--answers that may not be Alex's to share.

Much like Mary Stewart's Nine Coaches Waiting or This Rough MagicSeason of Storms tells the story of a young English woman in a foreign setting who must dodge danger as she seeks love. Susanna Kearsley (The Splendour Falls) makes Il Piacere a destination worth of readers' dreams with her trademark blend of mystery and gothic romance.

Do YOU read more romances this time of year?

This post contains a couple of affiliate links. Also, I wrote the main part of this review for Shelf Awareness.

*Although could I download it? No, no. Because Freading is dumb.