Review: Roman Holiday by Ruthie Knox


Title: Roman Holiday: The Complete Adventure
Author: Ruthie Knox
Date of publication: 25 March 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author's links: Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads
Purchase links: Amazon / B&N / iBooks / Kobo

My rating: 4 stars


Ashley Bowman has always been impetuous, but even she is a little shocked when she chains herself to a palm tree in the Florida Keys hours before a hurricane is due to blow in. It’s all with the hope of saving her childhood home from a heartless Miami developer. But the moment she meets Roman Díaz she realizes he does have a heart—it’s just encased in ice. Ashley’s determined to get Roman to crack . . . even if she has to drag him all over the eastern seaboard to do it.

Roman can hardly believe he’s been talked into driving across the country with this brazen wild child in a skimpy bikini. He tells himself he had no choice—Ashley insists he meets the elderly snowbirds whose community will be displaced by his career-making development deal. But in truth he knows that there’s something about Ashley that makes him want to get a little wild himself . . . and the closer they get, the more tempted he becomes.


I'm a big fan of Ms Knox contemporary romances and this one didn't disappoint. Her Camelot series is one the my favourite reads of the past year.

This is a standalone book which was initially released as a serial with 10 parts. This review covers the complete story. Ms Knox tells an amazing roller-coaster romance between two very interesting and unusual characters. One the main strengths of Ms Knox's writing is her character depiction - she creates these complex, unique people who feel very real and easy to relate to.

It's enemies-to-lovers story between Ashley, who grieving the loss of her grandmother and the hotel which she had sold to Roman, the hero, who is this mysterious Cuban entrepreneur. They are complete opposites, at least so it seems, but as the story unfolds and they open up more and more with each other, we see that they are rather similar - both are lost, both strive to gain other people's love and appreciation. They just reacted to the pain in their lives in completely opposite ways - she had thrown herself into anything, desperately trying fit in and to please everyone, to be what they needed her to be. He, on the other hand, had chosen to lock himself tight and not to care about anybody but himself.

Ms Knox told their journey to one another with compassion and understanding. The gradual change of the characters was cnvincingly presented. Their relationship grew slowly despite Ashley's reluctance to give in to her desire for Roman, and even more, Roman's strong, almost painful resistance to allow himself to feel anything for her.

The road-trip as a journey of self-discovery and true love is an often used trope and I can say it worked well here. Being on the road, dealing with more than one stressful situation and unexpected obstacle, meeting friends and strangers, it all help Roman and Ashley re-evaluate their lives. 

There is a secondary romantic plot - between Noah, Roman's best friend and Carmen, Roman's ex-girlfriend. It was not very well developed and though it was nice and I was not really engaged in it and I found it distracting me from the main story. 

There is a cameo appearance of characters from the Camelot series, Nana with her grand-daughter Carly, her husband Jamie and baby Dora from Along Came Trouble joined Ashley and Roman on their road trip and I really enjoyed their short but sweet visit. 

My main complaint is that the book was too long, some details were unnecessary, at times the inner monologues of the main characters, Ashley in particular became repetitive and boring. The last 15 % despite the action of them and the resolutions of some of the conflicts in the story, seemed to focus too much on the same inner musings of Ashley and Roman. Their hopes and dreams, their fear and insecurities were presented in detail over and over again. In a way this reflects who pre-occupied they were wit this issues, but still it was overdone at times, and I found it annoying. 

The story has the expeted happy-end and a lovely epilogue. If you have read more of my reviews, you've probably noticed how much I love a good epilogue and this one made me a very, very happy reader.

This is definitely a recommended read for fans of Ms Knox' writing and to all the fans of contemporary romance who love a good story with interesting characters told with a touch of humour and. Did I mentioned  that it also was hot? :)

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