Book Review: My Fake Italian Marriage by Romy Sommer

I’m pleased to be welcoming Romy Sommer to Novel Kicks and wish her a happy publication day for My Fake Italian Marriage.

Cleo Arendse: You know how almost every movie set in Italy seems to be about a woman who travels to Tuscany and is swept off her feet by a charming, gorgeous but arrogant aristocrat? Well, that’s not this story.

Luca Fioravanti:
Challenge accepted.

British Banker Cleo Arendse is nothing like the women lawyer Luca Fioravanti is used to – both because she’s only in Tuscany to oversee his family vineyard’s business and because she’s impervious to the charm that has never failed him before now.

But Luca has never shied from a challenge, and when circumstances arise that allow him to step in as Cleo’s knight in shining armour, he leaps…right into a fake marriage! The romance may be a ruse but the passion burning between Luca and Cleo is very, very real, and as the ‘honeymoon’ glow envelops the pair, all bets are off…


Cleo doesn’t buy into the romantic notion of going to Italy, being swept off her feet by a gorgeous man and living happily ever after. Enter Luca – the handsome, Italian who is known to be a bit of a ladies’ man.

Cleo wants to focus on the task at hand, saving Luca’s family vineyard. However, when a lie of being married gets out of hand, the couple must deal with more than they bargained for.

This is the first novel I’ve read by Romy Sommer, and I was grateful to be invited onto the blog tour for her latest novel, My Fake Italian Marriage.

Although this is a standalone novel, it does allude to a previous story, Last of the Summer Vines, featuring characters that also appear in this latest novel.

It wasn’t hard to get into this book and to have been reading for a while, not realising that time had gone by. The setting of Tuscany is just perfect, and I could imagine myself there, the sun setting over the horizon.

Cleo is a strong woman who has put up a lot of shields around herself. She’s suffered heartache and therefore, she is determined to not fall for Luca’s charms, especially as she had been burnt by “his type” before. I did hope she would let herself have some fun.

Even from the start, I thought there would be more to Luca than meets the eye. I wanted him to prove that he was more than his reputation and his outwardly appearance.

The family dynamics in this book are interesting and the backstory could have its own novel. However, one of the main themes explored is how to live up to the expectations placed upon you and it not being a set path you must take – something I think a lot of people can relate to.

The plot moves well and has drama. There’s also warmth, humour and fun. I hope this isn’t the end we see of these characters. I’d love to catch up with them again and can already imagine the stunning view of the vineyard over Christmas (hint, hint.) Haha.

This wonderful story, set in the beauty of Italy is full of charm, family, and friendship. It’s about how you can find love in the most unexpected of places, how things you thought were lost can be found and how you might just find yourself along the way as long as you have faith and courage.



About Romy Sommer –

South African author Romy Sommer is the author of seven contemporary romance novels published by HarperCollins London, and she has also indie-published a further eight books, under her own name and a pseudonym.

Her Hollywood romance, Not a Fairy Tale, was a 2016 finalist for the Romance Writers of America® RITA Award, and her Tuscany-set romance, Last of the Summer Vines, won the ROSA 2019 Imbali Award for best Romance novel by a South African author.

​Romy’s passion for encouraging and growing aspiring writers led her to found ROSA (Romance writers Organisation of South Africa). Through ROSA, she began mentoring and teaching, and since 2017 she has worked full-time as a writing coach and editor, following two decades in film production, first in movies and then in television advertising.

​She lives in Johannesburg, South Africa, with two precocious teens, four cats and one bearded dragon.

Say hello to Romy via her website, Facebook, Instagram, Threads, Mastodon, Book Bub, Amazon and Twitter. To visit her writing coach website, click here

My Fake Italian Marriage was released by One More Chapter on 3rd November 2023. Click to buy on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play and Waterstones


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I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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