The Ice Cream Parlour
by Isabella May
Giovanna Tonioli is a successful stockbroker with a famous sports star boyfriend, but things aren’t as sweet as they seem. When life in the city of Bath goes from Vanilla to Rocky Road, she takes herself off to Italy for an ‘Eat Pray Love’ style tour of all things gelateria. What she doesn’t expect to find on her travels is one smooth, hot dollop of temptation that she just can’t shake.
How will her spiteful twin sister react when Giovanna returns to open a rival ice cream parlour? Will Natalia get her just desserts? Or will things become even stickier? All’s fair in love, war and ice cream. Isn’t it?
*Marian Keyes meets Paulo Coelho meets Nigella*
The Ice Cream Parlour is a mouthwatering tale of fate, family, love and jealousy – with a delectable drizzle of alchemy besides.
Purchase Link – mybook.to/theicecreamparlour
Isabella May lives in (mostly) sunny Andalucia, Spain with her husband, daughter and son, creatively inspired by the sea and the mountains. Having grown up on Glastonbury’s ley lines however, she’s unable to completely shake off her spiritual inner child, and is a Law of Attraction fanatic.
Cake, cocktail, gelato, and travel obsessed, she also loves nothing more than to (quietly) break life’s ‘rules’.The Ice Cream Parlour is her fourth novel.
Social Media Links
Twitter – @IsabellaMayBks
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/IsabellaMayAuthor/
Instagram – @isabella_may_author
As the first book I’ve read by Isabella May, this one sets a very high bar. It’s an imaginative and creative story – and I’m not just referring to the fantabulous range of drool-inducing gelato on offer.
It’s a mesh of genres and definitely not a typical romantic comedy; it has almost as many layers as the ice cream parlour has flavours.
This is Giovanna’s (Gi) story, and begins when she and her twin, Natalia, are living in Capri with their parents who run a gelateria. Out of the blue, the family (Papa) says they’re moving to England (you might start to get a little suspicious of his reasons, but, of course, he’s not going to tell you 😉 ) Destination: Bath where they will open up a new gelateria. (As you can see, this is not the usual way of things, and Bath, while no doubt a beautiful city, is not Capri by any stretch of the imagination.)
It is in Bath that most of the sibling rivalry comes to the fore, particularly when Giovanna (who always helps her parents out in the shop) learns that her (much lazier) sister, Natalia will be the only heir. Naturally disappointed and hurt, Gi goes on to have other plans and a trip back to Italy reinforces her ideas. She is determined to show everyone that she and gelato are meant to be together!
Relationships come and go for Giovanna, but her passion never fades. While alienated from her family, new friends (Matt, Kelly, Flo, Nellie) keep her motivated and interesting. There is the inevitable Mafia connection, but it only adds to the mystery that threads through the story from beginning to end.
The author’s writing is witty and current, with plenty of humour, primarily in the form of Giovanna’s sarcasm which is always sharp. The customers in The Ice Cream Parlour provide plenty of interest, with side stories that all seem to connect nicely come the end. I’m not convinced every subplot works. In fact, I feel the regression scenes are quite laboured as though the author is forcing the point a bit too firmly (the point being that the sisters lived many lives before together where roles reversed in each period)
But, getting back to the crux of the story – Gi’s Italian trip is a travel guide all by itself, the ice cream flavours she concocts are inspired, creative and occasionally a tad crazy, but succeed in adding personality to the Parlour and delight the ever eager customers.
The romance element of the story (for Giovanna) is not rushed, and you might even think that poor girl will miss out again (after the sham that was Mr Smug Jeremy!) but do not despair – the author has it all under control. I Love it when that happens 😉
Overall a fun read with a bit of everything thrown into the blender, creating magical flavours and extraordinary characters. I’ll definitely read more of this author’s books, and have already grabbed Costa del Churros for my summer reading.
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