Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Blog Tour: An Italian Island Summer by Sue Moorcroft


Ursula Quinn needs a change. She has endured a divorce, her parent have split up and now her employer is closing down. But she is done with being a tattoo artist. Her heart is calling her to go to Italy to learn more about traditional ceramics. Luckily her uncle has some connections and so it is that she finds herself working at the small family hotel that is owned by the Tringali family. Little does she know the connection is a little complicated, something that will blow up badly later in the book


In exchange for working in the morning helping guests with breakfast, Ursula gets to stay in a small attic room with a balcony, and in the afternoon she is free to learn all she can from Fabio, a local ceramic artisan.


When Alfio Tringali has a foreboding dream, he makes the sudden decision to return from Barcelona to his family hotel. His mother has recently had surgery and still doesn’t seem herself, and his sister’s husband deserted her when she was pregnant and now her small baby also requires surgery, all while trying to run the hotel. He asks his English girlfriend to come home with him and is quite surprised by her negative response.


When he returns he is somewhat miffed to find that not only is his family coping well enough, thanks in no small part to Ursula’s assistance, but the Irish woman is staying in the room he thought would be his for the duration of his stay.


Gradually though, as they are forced to spend time together, Ursula and Alfio begin to feel a growing connection, but both of them have complications. Neither of them know what their future hold. Ursula is in Sicily for the summer, and Alfio doesn’t know where he will be living in the future. And then there is Ursula’s possessive ex husband who is being a nuisance, contacting her friends and family in order to try and find out where she is. And now Alfio’s ex girlfriend is wondering if she was too hasty in saying no to him.

I really enjoyed reading about Ursula and Alfio. Ursula has had a lot to deal with. There was a traumatic event which led to the breakdown of her marriage, and she didn’t cope well at all. As a result of that, her  family are always worried about her, about her mental wellbeing. She also has no intention of having a relationship, knowing that she would find it difficult to trust a man after everything that happened. 

Ursula finds great satisfaction in learning as much as she can into her new career in ceramics, where she is combining her tattoo designs with traditional motifs. I loved the sound of the ceramics that Ursula and Fabio make. I found myself looking at ceramics online. Who knows I might still buy something


Alfio just sounds like a really nice guy. He wants to do the right thing by his family, not just now but for the future. And as a family they have to decide if they want to keep the hotel that has been in their family for generations, or if it is time for all of them to find a new direction in life.

 Earlier this year we went to Italy. Originally the plan was to go to Sicily but we ended up cutting that out of the trip so that we wouldn’t be rushing around so much. Now, I really want to go to Ortigio. It sounds like such a lovely place. It would be fantastic to stay at the kind of family run hotel that is described in the book, although I would require lifts. My husband would kill me if I booked into another hotel which would require hefting bags up stairs!

 I have been thinking about why I enjoy reading these kind of escape/travel romances. A lot of it is to do with my love of travelling, learning about new places and feeding that hunger to visit these places.I have also determined that I really enjoy these stories when both of the characters are unsettled. I do like it when someone goes to a new place and meets a local, but I prefer it when they both are having to work through the process of settling into a new life. I know that Alfio’s family is from the town but he is having to reestablish his life there after living away for many years.


Sue Moorhouse has written a lot of books, many of them set in Italy and France. I will be reading more! I did wonder if maybe Ursula’s best friend’s story might have been told in a previous book. If so, I will be starting with that book. If not, there are plenty of other options. (It is now confirmed that this story was in Under the Italian Sun)

Rating 4/5


About the book

An Italian Island Summer

Will one summer in Sicily change her life for ever?

After her marriage falls apart, Ursula Quinn is offered the chance to spend the summer working at a hotel on a beautiful island off the coast of Sicily, Italy. Excited by a new adventure, she sets off at once.

At Residenza dei Tringali, Ursula receives a warm welcome from everyone except Alfio, son of the Tringali family. He gave up his life in Barcelona to help his mother Agata with the ailing business, and is frustrated with Ursula’s interference – and she in turn is less than impressed with his attitude. As they spend more time together, though, they begin to see each other in a different light.

But what with Ursula’s ex-husband on her tail, family secrets surfacing and an unexpected offer that makes Alfio question his whole life, there’s plenty to distract them from one another. Can she face her past and he his future, and together make the most of their Sicilian summer?

Purchase Links

Amazon UK EB

Amazon UK PB

Kobo UK EB

Amazon US -

About the Author

Sue Moorcroft is a Sunday Times bestselling author, #1 on Kindle UK and Top 100 on Kindle US and Canada. She writes two books a year for publishing giant HarperCollins and has won the Goldsboro Books Contemporary Novel of the Year, Readers’ Best Romantic Novel award and the Katie Fforde Bursary.

Her novels, short stories, serials, columns, writing ‘how to’ and courses appear around the world.

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  1. We are planning a trip to Italy in the fall. I'll look for this one to bring along.

    1. We were in Italy earlier this year. I would love to be planning another trip now!