The Sweet Life

A Sweet Life Novel

Book 1
Sold by Lyrical Press
1
Free sample

In Italy, the best attractions are always off the beaten path . . .
 
Mamie Weber doesn’t know why she survived that terrible car accident five years ago. Physically, she has only a slight reminder—but emotionally, the pain is still fresh. Deep down she knows her husband would have wanted her to embrace life again. Now she has an opportunity to do just that, spending two weeks in Tuscany reviewing a tour company for her employer’s popular travel guide series. The warmth of the sun, the centuries-old art, a villa on the Umbrian border—it could be just the adventure she needs.
 
But with adventure comes the unexpected . . . like discovering that her entire tour group is made up of aging
ex-hippies reminiscing about their Woodstock days. Or finding herself drawn to the guide, Julian, who is secretly haunted by a tragedy of his own, and seems to disapprove any time she tries something remotely risky—like an impromptu scooter ride with a local man.
 
As they explore the hilltop towns of Tuscany, Mamie knows that when this blissful excursion is over, she’ll have to return to reality. But when you let yourself wander, life can take some interesting detours . . .
 
Praise for Sharon Struth
 
“Struth has a gift for layering stories within stories while keeping them all connected.”
--Library Journal
 
“Struth is an author to watch!”
--Laura Drake, author of RITA-award winner The Sweet Spot
 
“Sharon Struth writes a good story about love and loss. She knows her characters and has a path she wants them to take.” --Eye on Romance
 
“The plot is refreshing and will definitely keep the reader turning page after page.”
—Fresh Fiction
 
“A great plot, and it’s very well written. It comes with a strong recommendation and is worth picking up for a nice treat.” –RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars
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About the author

Sharon Struth believes you’re never too old to pursue a dream. The Hourglass, her debut novel, was a finalist in the National Readers’ Choice Awards for Best First Book. She is the author of the popular Blue Moon Lake Novels, which include Share the Moon.
 
When she’s not working, she and her husband happily sip their way through the scenic towns of the Connecticut Wine Trail, travel the world, and enjoy spending time with their precious pets and two grown daughters. She writes from the friendliest place she’s ever lived, Bethel, Connecticut. For more information, including where to find her published essays, please visit www.sharonstruth.com  or visit her blog, Musings from the Middle Ages & More at www.sharonstruth.wordpress.com
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5.0
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Additional Information

Publisher
Lyrical Press
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Published on
Sep 19, 2017
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Pages
240
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ISBN
9781516103553
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Family Life / General
Fiction / Romance / Contemporary
Fiction / Women
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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The breathtaking promise of the English countryside can lift even the heaviest spirits . . .
 
Willow Armstrong, the once-famous “Queen of Weight Loss” and president of Pound Busters, succumbed to stress eating after her divorce. Now the scandal of getting caught on camera binging on pizza, and the internet-wide mocking of her new curves, may destroy her career. Add in a business advisor who drained her finances, and Willow is out of options—until she learns she’s inherited a house in England’s most picturesque locale, The Cotswolds.
 
Willow’s trip across the pond to sell the property and salvage her company soon becomes its own adventure: the house, once owned by grandparents she never met, needs major work. Plus, single dad Owen Hughes, the estate’s resident groundskeeper and owner of a local tour outfit, isn’t thrilled about the idea of leaving . . .
 
Yet as Willow proceeds with her plans, she’s sidetracked by surprising discoveries about her family’s history--and with Owen’s help, the area’s distinctive attractions. Soon, she’s even retracing her roots—and testing her endurance—amid the region’s natural beauty. And the more she delves into the past, the more clearly she sees herself, her future, and the way home . . .
 
Praise for Sharon Struth
 
“Struth has a gift for layering stories within stories while keeping them all connected.”
—Library Journal
 
“Struth is an author to watch!”
—Laura Drake, author of RITA-award winner The Sweet Spot
 
“Sharon Struth writes a good story about love and loss. She knows her characters and has a path she wants them to take.” —Eye on Romance
 
“The plot is refreshing and will definitely keep the reader turning page after page.”
—Fresh Fiction
Germany’s sparkling Rhineland is the perfect place for a fresh start . . .
 
Warming people’s hearts with true accounts of kindness is what columnist Anna Kelly does best. But no one knows the private misery she endures in her abusive marriage. Still, leaving is difficult—until a deeply personal bequest from a beloved elderly neighbor compels Anna to travel to Germany. There she begins an unexpected adventure of paying it forward that will take her far from her complicated life in Brooklyn.
 
Arriving in the historic and picturesque city of Mainz, on the breathtaking Rhine River, Anna settles in at a cozy guesthouse filled with colorful residents. But fulfilling her task will require the help of a translator and knowledgeable guide.
 
Josef Schmitt will gladly shuttle the American visitor around if it distracts him from his dark thoughts. Ever since a serious accident sidelined him at the local excursions company, he’s been unable to forget the pain he caused or forgive himself. Now, accompanying Anna on her mission takes them both to surprising places—and they just may find the courage to truly set themselves free . . .
 
Praise for Sharon Struth
 
“Struth has a gift for layering stories within stories while keeping them all connected.”
—Library Journal
 
“Struth is an author to watch!”
—Laura Drake, author of RITA-award winner The Sweet Spot
 
“Sharon Struth writes a good story about love and loss. She knows her characters and has a path she wants them to take.”
—Eye on Romance
 
“The plot is refreshing and will definitely keep the reader turning page after page.”
—Fresh Fiction
The breathtaking promise of the English countryside can lift even the heaviest spirits . . .
 
Willow Armstrong, the once-famous “Queen of Weight Loss” and president of Pound Busters, succumbed to stress eating after her divorce. Now the scandal of getting caught on camera binging on pizza, and the internet-wide mocking of her new curves, may destroy her career. Add in a business advisor who drained her finances, and Willow is out of options—until she learns she’s inherited a house in England’s most picturesque locale, The Cotswolds.
 
Willow’s trip across the pond to sell the property and salvage her company soon becomes its own adventure: the house, once owned by grandparents she never met, needs major work. Plus, single dad Owen Hughes, the estate’s resident groundskeeper and owner of a local tour outfit, isn’t thrilled about the idea of leaving . . .
 
Yet as Willow proceeds with her plans, she’s sidetracked by surprising discoveries about her family’s history--and with Owen’s help, the area’s distinctive attractions. Soon, she’s even retracing her roots—and testing her endurance—amid the region’s natural beauty. And the more she delves into the past, the more clearly she sees herself, her future, and the way home . . .
 
Praise for Sharon Struth
 
“Struth has a gift for layering stories within stories while keeping them all connected.”
—Library Journal
 
“Struth is an author to watch!”
—Laura Drake, author of RITA-award winner The Sweet Spot
 
“Sharon Struth writes a good story about love and loss. She knows her characters and has a path she wants them to take.” —Eye on Romance
 
“The plot is refreshing and will definitely keep the reader turning page after page.”
—Fresh Fiction
Her love life has gone to the dogs…

Rose Richardson is on the run from her dangerous ex-husband, a crime she didn’t commit—and the embarrassment of being an advice columnist with a disastrous personal life. Donning a fake identity, she escapes to a lovely lake house rental in rural Connecticut…only to discover her refuge is already occupied. Leo Drake is devastatingly handsome–and clearly wants to be alone. Rose stands her ground, even while she fears being found out for the fugitive she is. Plus, her sweet dog, Bella, seems to like the brooding widower, so how bad could he be?
A prize winning novelist, Leo lost everything after he lost his wife. But his mysterious housemate just might be the muse he needs to reignite his writing career. Despite his misgivings, Rose has secrets that only draw him closer, firing his imagination, even as his heart struggles with the attraction building between them. Plus, he kind of likes the quirky pooch. And as he tries to untangle his unusual predicament, Bella’s antics just might be the key to showing the loner that love is the only inspiration he needs…

Praise for Sharon Struth

“Struth has a gift for layering stories within stories while keeping them all connected.” --Library Journal

“Struth is an author to watch!” --Laura Drake, author of RITA-award winner The Sweet Spot

“Sharon Struth writes a good story about love and loss. She knows her characters and has a path she wants them to take.” --Eye on Romance

“The plot is refreshing and will definitely keep the reader turning page after page." --Fresh Fiction
Germany’s sparkling Rhineland is the perfect place for a fresh start . . .
 
Warming people’s hearts with true accounts of kindness is what columnist Anna Kelly does best. But no one knows the private misery she endures in her abusive marriage. Still, leaving is difficult—until a deeply personal bequest from a beloved elderly neighbor compels Anna to travel to Germany. There she begins an unexpected adventure of paying it forward that will take her far from her complicated life in Brooklyn.
 
Arriving in the historic and picturesque city of Mainz, on the breathtaking Rhine River, Anna settles in at a cozy guesthouse filled with colorful residents. But fulfilling her task will require the help of a translator and knowledgeable guide.
 
Josef Schmitt will gladly shuttle the American visitor around if it distracts him from his dark thoughts. Ever since a serious accident sidelined him at the local excursions company, he’s been unable to forget the pain he caused or forgive himself. Now, accompanying Anna on her mission takes them both to surprising places—and they just may find the courage to truly set themselves free . . .
 
Praise for Sharon Struth
 
“Struth has a gift for layering stories within stories while keeping them all connected.”
—Library Journal
 
“Struth is an author to watch!”
—Laura Drake, author of RITA-award winner The Sweet Spot
 
“Sharon Struth writes a good story about love and loss. She knows her characters and has a path she wants them to take.”
—Eye on Romance
 
“The plot is refreshing and will definitely keep the reader turning page after page.”
—Fresh Fiction
The Italian phrase Mai due senza tre–“never two without three”–forms the basis of Andrea Lee’s spellbinding novel of betrayal. Sophisticated and richly told, Lost Hearts in Italy reveals a trio caught in the grip of desire, deception, and remorse.

When Mira Ward, an American, relocates to Rome with her husband, Nick, she looks forward to a time of exploration and awakening. Young, beautiful, and in love, Mira is on the verge of a writing career, and giddy with the prospect of living abroad.

On the trip over, Mira meets Zenin, an older Italian billionaire, who intrigues Mira with his coolness and worldly mystique. A few weeks later, feeling idle and adrift in her new life, Mira agrees to a seemingly innocent lunch with Zenin and is soon catapulted into an intense affair, which moves beyond her control more quickly than she intends. Her job as a travel writer allows clandestine trysts and opulent getaways with Zenin to Paris, Monte Carlo, London, and Venice, and over the next few years, now the mother of a baby daughter, she struggles between resisting and relenting to this man who has such a hold on her. As her marriage erodes, so too does Mira’s sense of self, until she no longer resembles the free spirit she was on her arrival in the
on her arrival in the Eternal City.

Years later, Mira and Nick, now divorced and remarried to others, look back in an attempt to understand their history, while a detached Zenin assesses his own life and his role in the unlikely love triangle. Each recounts the past, aided by those witness to their failure and fallout.
An elegant, raw, and emotionally charged read, Lost Hearts in Italy is a classic coming-of-age story in which cultures collide, innocence dissolves, and those we know most intimately remain foreign to us.


From the Hardcover edition.
An evocative love story set along the Italian Riviera about a group of charismatic stars who all have secrets and pasts they try desperately--and dangerously--to hide.

Rome, 1953: Hal, an itinerant journalist flailing in the post-war darkness, has come to the Eternal City to lose himself and to seek absolution for the thing that haunts him. One evening he finds himself on the steps of a palazzo, walking into a world of privilege and light. Here, on a rooftop above the city, he meets the mysterious Stella. Hal and Stella are from different worlds, but their connection is magnetic. Together, they escape the crowded party and imagine a different life, even if it's just for a night. Yet Stella vanishes all too quickly, and Hal is certain their paths won't cross again.

But a year later they are unexpectedly thrown together, after Hal receives an invitation he cannot resist. An Italian Contessa asks him to assist on a trip of a lifetime--acting as a reporter on a tremendous yacht, skimming its way along the Italian coast toward Cannes film festival, the most famous artists and movie stars of the day gathered to promote a new film.

Of all the luminaries aboard--an Italian ingenue, an American star, a reclusive director--only one holds Hal in thrall: Stella. And while each has a past that belies the gilded surface, Stella has the most to hide. As Hal's obsession with Stella grows, he becomes determined to bring back the girl she once was, the girl who's been confined to history.

An irresistibly entertaining and atmospheric novel set in some of the world's most glamorous locales, THE INVITATION is a sultry love story about the ways in which the secrets of the past stay with us--no matter how much we try to escape them.
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