A Life by Design (The Italian Family Series) by Lucy Appadoo

Book Four in The Italian Family Series

Synopsis -

When 20-year-old Elena Allegro leaves the Italian village of Laurino to study Fashion Design in Milan, she’s certain her dreams are about to come true. Despite her father’s warnings that risk comes with her newfound freedom, she loves her studies and develops a love interest with Francesco, the handsome young entrepreneur who offers her a part-time job in a Milan clothing store.

It seems like an idyllic situation—until a stalker targets Elena, tormenting her with mind games and threatening her safety. In the face of escalating danger to herself and to Francesco, Elena must fight for her freedom, her love, and her survival.

Review -

Lucy Appadoo is a prolific author with 11 published titles to her name. Many (though not all) are in the genre of are in the genre of romantic suspense and historical fiction. In A Life By Design we follow the journey of 20-year old Elena, who was raised on a farm in a small Italian town with very traditional parents. She wants to flee small town life to pursue her dream of becoming a fashion designer in Milan. While her father in particular is against this, she manages to convince them to let her give it a try.

The plot moves along at a steady pace - she arrives in Milan, quickly lands a much needed job, meets the handsome Francesco who she is wildly drawn to and the studies at school are all she dreamed of. We also quickly learn all is not idyllic. There is something about Francesco's past that sends up warning flags. Is he a player? Is he an honest business man? Then on her first day at school a male classmate who begins to harasses her and soon after a stalker appears who threatens her safety, trying to force her to move home. The police have no interest in her protection and she ends up in incredible danger - abducted and scared. Can she escape?  All through the story line the romance with Francesco grows with no clear idea if this will end well.

While there were times the writing did not flow as natural as others, overall Overall I enjoyed reading this book. It's a fun escape to dive into after a busy day with a bit of romance, intrigue, mystery and danger.

Buy the Book: 
Meet the Author -

Read a fab author interview HERE!

Lucy is an author of romantic suspense, historical fiction/coming of age, short story thrillers, and non-fiction books. She is also a Registered Counsellor/Wellness Coach, and works as a Rehabilitation Counsellor for the Australian Government.

Lucy enjoys reading romantic suspense, romance, thrillers, crime novels, family/historical drama, and sagas. She has enjoyed travelling to exotic places such as Madrid, Mauritius, and Italy, and draws on these experiences in her creative writing.

Lucy’s favourite authors include Kendra Elliot, Christiane Heggan, Theresa Ragan, Tara Moss, Nicholas Sparks, Adriana Trigiani, Erica Spindler, and James Patterson (to name a few).

Lucy’s interests include meditation, exercising, journal writing, reading fiction and nonfiction texts about writing, coaching, and counselling, ongoing professional development, spending time with her husband and two daughters, and socialising with friends and family.

Connect with the Author:  Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you, Marilyn for promoting my novel, A Life By Design. I greatly appreciate your work.




Post a Comment