Cover Image: The Villa of Dreams

The Villa of Dreams

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Member Reviews

Seren decides that her life needs a new direction and becomes an events planner for an art gallery. She has a totally new concept to bring to creation, with art, textiles and fashion being brought together in a totally immersive way. The plans for the event really draw you in and you can easily visualise the plans coming to life. It's set in Lisbon in Portugal and the cover just invites you to pick this one up.
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This is such a wonderful sunshine filled read that is perfect for some escapism from a grey and cold December day. 
Seren Maddison has had enough of working for her controlling father and has made the decision to try something new. Seren is heading to Lisbon to both work and live and is looking forward to her new adventure. 
Lisbon is everything that Seren could have ever wanted and is so different to her life in England. The city is so bright and colourful and full of possibilities for Seren which she fully submerges herself into. Seren is also beginning to make friends with her work colleagues at the gallery and is enjoying exploring Lisbon with them.
It is through her job that she meets international artist Reid Henderson. 
Reid Henderson has home both in Lisbon and London, he has recently come through a messy divorce and has made the decision to turn his home into a gallery and art school.
There is an obvious spark of romance between the two of them from the first time they meet and its clear to see just how much they like each other but they both seem to want different things with their lives. Can the two of them make it work or is Seren going to be unlucky in love again?
What follows is the life of Seren as she has her first summer in Lisbon and spends more time with Reid. This will be a summer neither of them will forget but will their attraction for each other be enough for them both so be together?
This was such a wonderful book to read and I loved it from beginning to end. 
The description of Lisbon sounds truly wonderful and you can almost feel the heat of the city coming off of the pages. 
I really enjoyed the love story between Seren and Reid. It is clear that they both have had difficulties in their lives and that they both find it difficult moving forwards but they are both trying their best. 
I really enjoy the writing style of Lucy Coleman, she has a way of really drawing you into a story and keeping you there right up until the last page. 
this is the perfect read for injecting some sunshine into your life.
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this was such a fun summer read! i really liked this book and it made me so ready for summer! i can't wait to get to travel again and i'm so pumped!!
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This is a gem of a book! Set in beautiful Lisbon and is Seren and Reid’s story. Characters were strong, and locations were beautifully described.
The plot was good with some twists and turns the reader could not guess. Loved the cultural references! 
Pure escapism! Just what is needed in the winter months .
Thank you to Netgalley, Boldwood Books and Lucy Coleman for letting me read this book in exchange for an honest review
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Pure escapism at his best! This book made me smile, root for the characters and travel to Portugal.
I liked the well thought characters, the descriptions of Portugal and the entertaining plot.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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I have read several books by Lucy Coleman and I always find her stories truly charming.

We follow the story of Seren Maddison as she leaves a cold and rainy Britiain and heads off to Lisbon, following her dreams.
The setting of this book was brought to life so beautifully by the author, it was simply impossible to not imagine yourself in the Lisbon sunshine! and as Seren takes her first tentative steps in to her new life, she knows instantly that this is where her heart belongs.
And then there is artist Reid Henderson who moves between London and Lisbon. When he goes through an awful divorce, he decides to follow his dream and turn his large, rather luxurious home into an art gallery, and an art school. 
Seren and Reid cross paths for the first time when she is employed to use some of Reid's work within an exhibition.

Lucy's wonderful writing style really brought this beautiful, romantic story to life for me. The detail that is put in to every character throughout the book really enables the reader to feel a connection to them I really enjoyed the way that relationships, including those of families and friendships, are explored and they are not simply pushed aside in favour of the romance that flows throughout.

I found myself well and truly captivated by this delightful book. It is a perfect form of escapism, and an absolute must read.
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This is a lovely book for some armchair escapism, especially given that it was snowing whilst I was reading this! The glorious weather and detailed description of sunny Portugal were wonderful to read and thoroughly immersive.

Having read Coleman's books previously, I had high hopes for this book and felt a tad disappointed honestly. I usually feel absorbed into her books immediately and I didn't feel as though I could connect with the protagonist, Seren. I'm not sure exactly what was missing compared to her other books, but it just didn't feel as enthralling!
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As ever Lucy Coleman delivers. 
Seren Maddison left behind a rainy Britain to follow her dreams and live and work in Lisbon. The vibrancy, the beautiful scenery and the sunshine, made her fall in love and she knew, instantly, that it would be her forever home.
International artist Reid Henderson has homes in Lisbon and London. Following his painful divorce, his dream is to turn his luxurious home into an art school and gallery. The two meet when Seren is employed to use Reid's work in an exhibition. 

Lucy Coleman writes wonderfully about relationships and I like how friendships and families don't get side-lined in her books. The main story is about Seren and Reid, but there are plenty of other people in the book to discover.  I learned a lot about design and the work that goes in to putting on an exhibition, as well as how different the social mores are in Portugal compared to the UK. Her descriptions of Lisbon and the food of the city made me want to go there immediately!
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Once upon a time, there was a girl wanting to break free from her family's hold.  Once upon a time, a young woman took her future into her hands and said THIS is what I want...THIS is what I need.  Once upon a time, that same woman discovered just where she belonged, and though it may not have looked exactly has she had pictured, the true beauty of life as in art is in the eye of the beholder...and this one was working on a masterpiece.

Seren was an absolute doll.  She was stronger than she thought, more able than some might have guessed, and lived each day not only from her mind, but her heart.  She did not love easily, but when she did it was completely.  She put her passion for life into her work, both at the gallery and at home with her metalwork.  Speaking of metalwork, I love the fact that this unexpectedly medium was what held her creative heart.  As Reid pointed out, it's not something you would have guessed and yet, it didn't make it any less possible, or her work any less moving.  When planning the event for the gallery, she put her creative side to work, meshing things together that were not formerly thought of with much success...but that's not to say there weren't pitfalls along the way.  Some were regarding the project, while others involved her heart in unexpected ways.  Seeing her work her way through the culture, the shocking revelations, and the unexpected turn of events, was like watching a master painter at work.  She took time to understand who was ultimately constructing the work, accepted those things she could not change, and made adjustments when surprises made themselves known...making the ending THAT much sweeter.

In the end, it was a definite jewel that deserves it's time in the sun, and while Provence still holds my heart, it was a pleasure to walk with this one, hand in hand, as we moved towards an unforeseeable future that was no less mesmerizing.  Recommended read for Women's Fiction fans as well as those that like a good Contemporary Romance, heavy on the story and inner soul searching.
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Thank you to Netgalley, the publishing house and the author for the opportunity to read an advance reader copy of this book in return for a review based upon my honest opinion.

This was an okay book, not my favourite by this author by far.  I found it hard to get into and I never really connected with the main character, Seren.  I usually enjoy the descriptiveness of this author, but found it tedious and boring in this book.  I did enjoy the description of the area in Portugal but found most of the book really wordy.  I also did not like the ending, I thought both Seren and Reid were being unrealistic.  I will definitely read more works by this author, maybe this is just a one-off, I really enjoyed her book "Summer in Provence".
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I have reviewed a lot of Lucy Coleman's books and thoroughly enjoyed them. 

The Villa of Dreams is set in Portugal which is a new setting as the others were in France and Italy, even England. 

Lucy Coleman excells in descriptions of scenery, setting, food drink and customs and I imagined I was in Lisbon with Seren. 

I enjoyed the dialogue and felt there could have been more romance but liked the fresh nature of a book set in Portugal, as many in this genre are set in France, Italy and Greece. 

Villa of Dreams is perfect for these cold days and for a reprieve from how this year has been. 

Pure escapism. 

I would love to visit Portugal one day. This is a lifelong wish but it's reinforced by this novel. 

Thanks to Lucy Coleman, Rachel's Random Resources and Boldwood Books for my ARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. 

5 stars.
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It was so refreshing to forget about Winter and escape for a while to sunny Lisbon. This novel certainly has a great sense of place and anyone who has visited Lisbon in the past will recognise many of the places described. Seren has a real affinity for the city and has created an event which absolutely pays homage to the setting and its people. She is quite an interesting character with a difficult family background. Her life in Portugal is definitely a case of starting again for her and she has a plan in her mind for her future, which might surprise a few people.

I enjoyed the comparison of culture between life in the UK and Portugal. Seren soon realises that her working life in Portugal comes with certain expectations about socializing with work colleagues and social life there is completely separate to working life. However, there is an instant chemistry between Seren and Reid which leaves her feeling torn. As the novel progresses, Seren learns quite a bit about herself and what she really wants.

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of the book
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Welcome to Portugal! Read this book if you’re looking to fall in love in a gorgeous setting!

The Portuguese setting is absolutely charming, immersive and easily my favourite part of the book. After seeing the sights at sunset, experiencing a taste of the delicious pastries, listening to the music and being treated to some of the most delightful sights, I can definitely say I want to visit. I love that the author doesn’t just treat the Lisbon setting as a tourist destination. She describes daily living, as the main characters go about their lives, and gives us an idea of traditions and cultural norms. Lisbon, with her glorious beauty, is another character in this story.

Seren… I like that name… is a complex heroine. Her difficult relationship with her father shapes her decisions and fuels her determination to live a life on her own terms. She realizes early on that she is attracted to Reid but wants to ensure she has a full commitment from him. She does not want to receive what’s left over when he’s finished a battle of wits with his ex-wife. I enjoyed seeing her work of art take shape as the novel progressed. The art piece could be used to represent her own emergence as a stronger, more confident person.

As the story is told from Seren’s point of view, it was more difficult to get a sense of Reid’s motivations and development. However, his artistry and connection to his teenage daughter are well-depicted and readers get a strong idea of how the conflict with his ex-wife and his growing feelings for Seren affect him… and the emotional toll it all takes.

There was a very sudden and even jarring shift earlyish in the story from tentative interest to intimacy and the deeper feelings associated with that. The change left me a bit disoriented and I had to check to see if I’d somehow missed some pages. That’s relatively minor, however, as I was soon more concerned about how these two lovebirds would work towards their happy ending!

Overall, The Villa of Dreams is an enchanting destination read that will transport you to another place and introduce you to some delightfully creative characters.
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I would just like to say a very big thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources and Netgalley for very kindly forwarding me a copy of this book for my Kindle, in return for an honest review,
When Seren plans her escape to Portugal and quickly falls in love with the place (as did I!!) she leaves England behind without a second thought.
With the current travel restrictions being what they are, this was the perfect book to read for some ‘armchair’ travelling and it was pure escapism.
It was wonderful to read and I was gripped from the start and just wanted to keep reading more and more.
A feel good read that will leave you wanting to travel to somewhere nice and warm!!
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A lovely little escape! Lucy Coleman swept me away to Lisbon Portugal with her vivid storytelling. Seren is tired of working for her father and is in need of a change. So she packs up and relocate to Portugal from England. she begins working as a event planner for an art gallery in charge of an ambitious project involving three vastly different artists. One of the artist Reid catches Seren’s I, but it’s complicated. Lucy’s stories always have such an incredible sense of place. her passion and research of Portugal really shown through on the pages of this book. Seren completely embraced her new country and culture. I truly felt that was the best part of this book. Seren Foley immersing herself in this new culture and really trying to completely assimilate. The art was also extremely interesting especially Seren’s own personal art. I also always love reading books that include event planning, I never understand this because I’m not a big event planner? But apparently I really love reading books about people planning things, go figure. The romance was slow burning and very understated. I really liked both Seren and Reid and wanted them to find their happily ever after, but for me it was not the driving force in the story. A nice little getaway to Portugal from the comfort of my couch.

this book in emojis  🇵🇹 🔧 👗 🖌 🥘

*** Big thank you to Boldwood for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***
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Lucy Coleman is another one of my favorite authors who doesn’t disappoint.  The Villa of Dreams is a superb example of Coleman’s wonderful prose describing beautiful locations, endearing characters, and the discovery of untimely love in Lisbon, Portugal.

I admire Seren’s decision to leave home and start over in a different country. She is fearless in her passion for art and the culture of her new home in Lisbon.  As an events coordinator for the Gallery of Souls, she is planning a brilliant event to present renowned painter Reid Henderson’s art on fabric during a fashion show located at Lisbon’s beautiful landmark the Santuário Nacional do Cristo Rei (National Shrine of Christ the King). 

Trying to juggle her work life with her personal life turns out to be very difficult and Seren settles for an unexpected love affair that is destined to end. But can the lovers finally find peace in their lives giving them the freedom to enjoy their dreams together?

You will fall in love with Lisbon through Seren’s eyes just as I did. From the exquisite sights and sounds, the fantastic food, the unforgettable characters, and the incredible planning and creativity that goes into an extraordinary exhibition that I would be thrilled to see in person. I can’t recommend this delightfully heartwarming and inspiring story enough.

Thank you to Ms. Coleman for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.
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Seren has left working in London for her domineering father and is working in a Lisbon library. She meets Reid an artist who she develops feelings for but he has a very complicated life
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A little sunshine and warmth on a cold winter's day are always welcome. This romantic tale of compromise, dreams and love, takes you on an emotional angst-ridden journey full of heartwarming romance that leaves you uplifted.

Seren decides that striving for her father's approval is a fool's errand and finally leaves England to follow her dreams in Lisbon, Portugal. She wants to develop her art and works towards the dream by organising and event that incorporates many aspects of the creative world. Love is not on her agenda, but fate has other ideas when she meets Reid, a recent divorcee and artist. Both are emotionally damaged and driven by their career project, yet the chemistry is undeniable, but is a Summer love strong enough to withstand the Winter of reality?

This is a story about dreams and how they can change and having the courage and insight to chase what makes you happy whatever the consequences.

I received a copy of this book from Boldwood Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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The Villa of Dreams became exactly that!  I loved how Lucy described everything in detail - it felt as though I was seeing these things in reality.  It is a beautifully told story of love, life and dreams.
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This book turned out a good read in the end. It took a while to get going but all was good in the end. It is set in Portugal and had some lovely descriptions about Lisbon. Very uplifting during this difficult time for our country.
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