Sun, sea and inescapable exes…
Peach is excited to hear that her sister, Di, is getting married. Of course, she would have preferred her little sister to be engaged to someone she’s known longer than a week – and the fact that his name is Charles doesn’t bode well – but who is she to judge?! Afterall, her own love life is non-existent, and who doesn’t love a destination wedding…?
Whisked away to the gorgeous Italian coast, Peach assumes her role as chief bridesmaid and, despite her reservations about the groom, she tries to ensure everything goes to plan.
But weddings are never straightforward affairs… throw in some unexpected guests in the form of ex-boyfriends and one night stands, and soon enough there is more drama than a reality tv show.
Can Peach keep the show on the road, or might she end up in a whirlwind romance of her own…?
Escape to the stunning Italian coast with bestseller Portia MacIntosh.
I received a copy of this book from Boldwood Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Penelope’s world is a non-stop rollercoaster of fun, misunderstandings and romance in a glamorous Italian island setting. Told from Penelope’s viewpoint, the reader experiences her self-deprecating humour and innermost emotions, which makes her easy to empathise with and like. Relatable characters enhance a plot that is full of secrets and twists.
It’s a perfect beach read addictive but lighthearted. Perfect for those of us who like our romance full of conflict, fun and passion.
Portia MacIntosh is a bestselling romantic comedy author of 16 novels, including The Plus One Pact and My Great Ex-Scape. Previously a music journalist, Portia writes hilarious stories, drawing on her real-life experiences.
Extract from Life’s A Beach – Portia Mackintosh
Your wedding day is easily supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life – but if you want to make absolutely sure it is, you can always spend £2,500 on a horse-drawn Cinderella-style carriage.
‘It’s top of the range,’ the hotel wedding coordinator assures me. ‘It’s a gorgeous ivory fairy-tale pumpkin carriage, with a stunning white upholstery interior – it even has a little crown on top. It’s always in incredibly high demand.’
‘It sounds beautiful,’ I reply.
‘If you do decide to have your wedding here, we can make arrangements to suit your big day – whether you want picking up from home, taking to the church, or here if you would prefer one of our non-religious ceremonies, which I highly recommend. Churches can be so drab. Of course, there is an additional cost per mile, but we can get down to things like that later. Shall we head inside?’
Annette is the wedding coordinator at The Chadwick Hotel in York. We’re currently standing outside the five-star hotel, admiring the Grade II-listed building from the gravel pathway that leads up to it.
It’s a gorgeously warm sunny day. The kind where you can comfortably get away with wearing a strappy sundress, but not quite hot enough to leave you looking a mess – a few degrees hotter than this and my long, straight blonde hair would be half frizzy, half stuck to the sides of my face hair instead. Today is just perfect though, so it’s sundresses, sandals, straight hair and smear-free make-up.
‘Yes,’ I reply excitedly. ‘Let’s do it.’
‘So, the hotel has actually been open for more than a century. As you can see, it boasts an ornate terracotta façade, typical of high Victorian architecture, and the stone cupola makes for a stunning backdrop for outside photos.’
I smile and nod because, if I’m being honest, I have no idea what any of that means. It is a gorgeous old building though, surrounded by large gardens full of flowers, huge ponds with grand fountains at their heart, and trees in all directions. It’s hard to believe we’re so close to the city, and impossible not to get carried away, thinking about pulling up in front of the huge doors, having my photo taken with my dad, and then coming back out here after tying the knot to take gigabytes worth of photos with my future husband and everyone we love.
‘Beautiful,’ I say simply. There’s just no other word for it.
Once inside the large lobby, Annette picks up a wedding pack that’s waiting for me at reception, before leading me past the grand wooden staircase that sits in the centre of the room. I marvel at the spectacular light that hangs at the centre of the atrium, a large double drum chandelier suspended high above, captivating me so powerfully I nearly bump into a hotel employee coming the other way.
‘Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry,’ I blurt. ‘I was mesmerised.’
‘No worries,’ he says with a laugh.
Annette laughs gently.
‘You’d be surprised how often that happens,’ she reassures me. ‘Come, let me show you the function room.’
‘The function room’ sounds like a rather bland concept. Well, many places have a function room, from restaurants to town halls, so the only real expectation I have is space for tables. But this function room surely deserves a grander title, because it is everything. It’s maybe three times the height of a regular room, with enormous arch-shaped windows that flood the place with the most beautiful natural light.