Friday, June 10, 2022

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of It Takes a Villa by Kilby Blades, served with Six Lemony Recipes to Enjoy

With summer almost officially here, my reading whims lighten up and I tend to reach for lighter, lss serious books. Easy reading. It Takes a Villa by Kilby Blades is one for the beach bag or poolside, a romance mixed in with the renovations of an Italian villa. I am happy to be today's stop on the TLC Book Tour.

Publisher: Entangled: Amara (May 24, 2022) 
Mass Market Paperback: 352 Pages

Publisher's Blurb

For the reasonable price of $1, Natalie Malone just bought herself an abandoned villa on the Amalfi Coast. With a detailed spreadsheet and an ancient key, she’s arrived in Italy ready to renovate–and only six months to do it. Which seemed reasonable until architect Pietro Indelicato began critically watching her every move…

From the sweeping ocean views to the scent of the lemon trees, there’s nothing Pietro loves more than his hometown. And after seeing too many botched jobs and garish design choices, he’s done watching from the sidelines. As far as he’s concerned, Natalie should quit before the project drains her entire bank account and her ridiculously sunny optimism.

With Natalie determined to move forward, the gorgeous architect reluctantly agrees to pitch in, giving her a real chance to succeed. But when the fine print on Natalie’s contract is brought to light, she might have no choice but to leave her dream, and Pietro, behind.

My Review:

Being a fan of books where the main character moves to another country and repairs a house and usually their life in the process (Under a Tuscan Sun immediately comes to mind), I was immediately caught up  in Natlie's story. In fact, the real charm of It Takes a Villa is the Almafi Coast and the renovation of the crumbling villa. The lead characters are likable and the romance is fine, but the author describes the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of Italy with more passion than the romance. The last thing on earth I want to do is travel right now with COVID and the general state of the world, but this book made me want to back up and head to the Almafi Coast. It also had me craving lemons and all manner of Italian food. This made for a pleasant reading escape, and my only true complaint was that the ending was quite abrupt--so much so that I wondered if I was missing pages in my ARC. Otherwise, I enjoyed this easy and engaging read. 

Author Notes: Kilby Blades is a USA Today bestselling author of Romance and Women’s Fiction. During her fifteen-year career as a digital marketing executive, she moonlighted as a journalist, freelanced as a food, wine and travel writer, and lived it up as an entertainment columnist. She has lived in five countries, visited more than twenty-five, and spends part of her year in her happy place in the Andes Mountains. Kilby is a feminist, an oenophile, a cinephile, a social-justice fighter, and above all else, a glutton for a good story.

Food Inspiration: 

There is plenty of food in It Takes a Villa, mentions included eggs, fruit, bread, cheese and cured meat, seafood, cheese, pasta, coffee con panna, clams steeped in broth, aqua pizza (poached fish with tomato and olive, chocolate, sardines, licorice, squid and potatoes, limoncello, lemonade, lemon water, and many assorted pastries and especially the zucccherini (Italian lemon cookies). Lemons are the winning ingredient as Pietro's family grow lemons: 

"His family was in the business of lemons--and not just any lemons--sweet sfusato lemons that only grew on this stretch of the Almafi Coast. There were given this name--sfusato--because of their oblong shape and how they taped at the end.

It wasn't just their shape and their sweetness that were distinct--it was the way that people ate them, like apples or pears. you could eat a sfumato lemon by biting right through the skin."

As I still am not back in the kitchen groove, for my book-inspired dish, I chose six  favorite lemony recipes from my blog. You can follow the links to the recipes. 

Note: A review copy of "It Takes A Villa" was provided to me by the author and the publisher via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.  

You can see the stops for the rest of this TLC Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.



  1. All your lemony recipes look great. I keep meaning to make that lemon pasta.

    best... mae at

  2. Trying to get my post ready for tomorrow. I'm leaning toward a limoncello something.....And, I also need to finish the book so anticipating what that abrupt ending is. :)


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