Cover Image: My Heart is in Venice

My Heart is in Venice

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Member Reviews

Many thanks to NetGalley and Hera Publishing for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.

I found this book to be well paced and well written, and I loved that it was first-person POV from Libby, the FMC. It was critical that this not be a 3-rd person POV, as she was the cornerstone of the entire story. I could relate to her, even being in a different stage of life and country as she is, the author's voice spoke clearly and compassionately. I loved how Venice was described. Having been there, it was perfectly described accurately - a mixture of a romantic and equally haunting city.

There were, however, a few issues I couldn't seem to get past. Libby and Will were portrayed as being much older than they were intended to be in the book (only 50 years old in the book, but acted as if they were in their late 60s/early 70s). I couldn't wrap my head around Will's betrayal - being married 25 years and going through life together, it seemed like jumping the shark in a sense. Through the first part (the majority, actually) of the book, Will is not described as a MMC that I was rooting for. He seemed emotionally closed off, moody and deceptive, and incredibly selfish. It was hard to be invested in their love story when I thought he didn't deserve a redemption.

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Libby and Will struggle to keep their antique shop afloat in rainy Tenby, but a surprise online success allows them to revisit Venice for their twenty-fifth anniversary. However, tension arises when they can't afford a masked ball Libby dreams of attending, leading to revelations of financial betrayal. The book beautifully captures the charm of Venice and the challenges of mature love, though some aspects of the characters' reactions feel rushed. Despite this, the story offers a satisfying blend of light-hearted moments, emotional turmoil, and second-chance romance, making it a recommended read for older audiences.

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Libby and Will Jones live in Tenby, where they run an antiques shop which is struggling to bring enough money in. They have a Cavapoo called Monty (I’d love a Cavapoo!) and two grown up sons – Dylan and Ewan – one is already at university, the other about to leave home for uni.
When they got married, Libby and Will had their honeymoon in Venice and Will promised to take her back there for their 25th anniversary, which is coming up. But things don’t go according to plan…
I love Helga’s writing and really enjoyed her two books I have read previously. There is a real warmth about the storytelling, a believability of characters, and authentic-feeling, interesting settings. I also like the fact that the main characters are in their 50s like me.
Due to family health issues, I didn’t get to read this book when it came out, but when I did get chance to, it was very easy to get into. It’s a lovely easy read, with perfectly-sized chapters that urge you one to read “just one more”.
I could really relate to Libby and hoped she would end up happy, as she goes through a lot in this story. I enjoyed the trips to Venice, but I also enjoyed reading a novel set in Wales, as there don’t seem to be many of those and it’s a gorgeous place.
The story is a fun read with lots of twists and turns and I would definitely recommend it.

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My Heart is in Venice is my third Helga Jensen book, and my favourite after A Scandinavian Summer. The settings are wonderful, and the title sounded enticing and romantic enough. The story had me interested and I enjoyed Libby and Will’s story and identified with their money issues. I liked Will’s gesture of taking them back to Venice. The Masked Ball was imaginative. I was angry at Will for his betrayal of Libby and felt both good and bad aspects of their lives were very well woven in in general. There was a feeling of “Who can you trust?”.

The book left me wanting to go to Venice!

Thanks to Helga Jensen, Rachel’s Random Resources and Hera Books for my eARC in exchange for an honest ansd voluntary review.

4 stars

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This is a romance and coming of age, but not your typical story. The main character Libby is a middle-aged woman who has identified as being a wife and mother her whole life. She’s been married to Will, and then the mother of two children, and now facing empty nest as her second born child is moving away from home. Her husband has an antique business that’s struggling along and they don’t really have money for a trip but he made her a promise on their honeymoon (yep-in Venice) that’ they would return on their 25th anniversary. But while in the city of lovers Libby discovers Will has kept secrets from her and broken her trust. The story, told from Libby‘s point of view, discusses the problems in relationships, the problems women struggle with when they go from being a wife and mother to discovering themselves as individuals. It’s about trust and change. And about decisions-after decades of love, and lies how do they find their way back to each other? This book was easy to read. More of an emotional study on the challenges and aging woman faces, and a story of relationships than anything else. I loved this setting… All the famous Venetian landmarks were described in detail.- the basilica, Saint Marks Square, the bridge of sighs, Murano and burano, the gondolas and water taxis, the glass shops. It was written so descriptively I almost felt like I was back in Venice. The characters were a little bit hard for me to relate to. They just didn’t make me love them. But overall it was a good read.. ⭐️⭐️⭐️. Thank you NetGalley for the advance digital copy in return for my honest opinion.

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This was the first book I have read from this author and I was well and truly hooked. It transported me to Venice, somewhere I would love to go and also highlights the ups and downs for being married for many years. However, it also proves that communication is key in any relationship and that with a bit of understanding things can be unthreaded and sewn back together even if it is in a different way.

Great pace and a definite read.

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It is a surprising story that for a change we have an adult couple that is traveling to their honeymoon place to try to save their marriage. I enjoyed reading it.

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Wow! This book was such a surprise to me and to be honest I can't stop thinking about it since I read it,

Will and Libby were newlyweds 25 years ago and had gone to Venice on their honeymoon and even though they didn't have a lot of money they had the time of their lives and Will had promised her that he would bring her back in 25 years.
Now their family is grown and they return to their honeymoon destination and set out to recreate the magic of their honeymoon, only for Libby to discover a secret that Will had and she now isn't sure if their marriage can be saved.

This is such an amazing story and very well worth the read, I also enjoyed that the characters were a little older and a bit more mature!

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Helga Jensen’s My Heart is in Venice is a witty, heartwarming and emotional page-turner perfect for Veronica Henry fans.

Twenty-five years ago, newlyweds Libby and Will had gone to Venice on their honeymoon and had the time of their lives. They might not have had much money, but they had hearts full of love, an optimistic outlook and a determination to be by each other’s side for the rest of their lives. Will had promised Libby that he’d bring her back to the beautiful Italian city in twenty-five years – and two sons and almost three decades later, they find themselves in Venice again. Only a lot has changed since the last time they were here…

Despite their money problems, Will has somehow managed to get them to Venice – and there will be no scrimping and saving this time around because he is determined to treat his wife. A masked ball awaits the two of them and amidst all the majestic buildings and romantic canals, Will hopes that that old spark might rekindle in the place where they had started their lives together as a married couple.

But when Libby discovers Will’s devastating secret, she wonders whether she can trust the man she spent most of her life with ever again. Is their marriage over? Or will Venice work its magic on them yet again?

Helga Jensen’s My Heart is in Venice is a charming, dramatic and uplifting tale about second chances, trust and falling in love again that will bring many a tear to the eye and make the reader laugh out loud on multiple occasions. Beautifully vivid and atmospheric and sprinkled with humour, magic and pathos, Helga Jensen’s My Heart is in Venice is an enchanting romantic tale readers are sure to enjoy.

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I loved the title of this book and hoped it would as good as it sounded. In fact, it was amazing. A lovely, cosy read for those winter nights. Thank you for the ARC.

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What is your breaking point in a relationship? Lies, cheating, theft or is it something smaller that builds over time? After 25 years of marriage, Will crosses the line that Libby can't forgive which is to lie and on a grander scale to steal from her. He put his family legacy above hers and caused a chasm in their marriage. The question is whether or not that chasm can be fused back together or whether he has broken it for good. This second chances romance is wrought with angst and second thoughts, but can those second thoughts lead to a second chance or not? The author has developed incredibly realistic characters and the plot is not only realistic, but wholly believable. This was my first book from this author, but you can bet it will not be my last as she has made a fan out of me! You'll have to read to find out if there is a happily ever after or not!

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Not for me.

While the Venice setting is beautiful and makes me want to book a ticket immediately, the rest of the story just didn't resonate with me. The main characters were not likeable, I felt like Libby was way too naive for a woman her age, and Will's secret feels like it broke them.

I thank the author for sharing her work with me, but I'm sad to say that this isn't the book for me. Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book, but my opinions are my own.

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If you have never traveled to Venice, you will want to immediate book a trip after reading Jensen’s beautiful descriptions of the city.
Libby and Will return to their honeymoon city for their silver anniversary. However trouble abounds when Libby discovers a very weaselly underhanded stunt pulled by Will.
I thought Libby went off the deep end a bit too quickly and pulled the extreme trigger way too fast.
Be careful what set into motion Because it can bite you.
I did like how Libby didn’t spend much time moping but got on with making her own plans.
The outcome was predictable but I like the comfort in that.
Lesson to learn: don’t throw away a good thing.

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Thanks to the Publisher and Netgalley for an early review copy.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I couldn’t put it down.

I loved all the characters. Helga has written a beautiful story with two different settings, which make you wish you was there.

The story gave you happy and sad moments, touches your heart and you don’t want it to end.

Can’t wait to see what Helga brings out next.

I highly recommend this book.

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The book revolves around Libby and Will's relationship. Their honeymoon was in Venice, Italy during a time they were going through a financial hardship. During their time their Will promised that for their 25th anniversary he will bring Libby back and they will get to do all the things she wanted to during their first honeymoon.

As I kept reading, part of my heart broke for Libby. I felt as if she was giving so much in the relationship and it was not fully reciprocated by Will at times. Libby and Will's relationship is raw and honest- it shows how there are ups, downs, and hardships in relationships.

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From lovebirds to nemesis
Libby and will go for their honeymoon to Venice and will promises to come back for their 25th anniversary. Forward to 25 years later will and Libby have two adult sons and struggle to uphold the family business will has inherited ….from his father. The antique store struggles to make sale until Libby suggests to go online. Will upholds his promise and surprises Libby with a trip to Venice during valentine and Venetian carnaval to celebrate their 25th anniversary. Venice is a dream.. gondola rides, a masked ball and delicious Italian food.
They are so in love until something happens in Venice and Libby despises her husband and can’t forgive him.
To be honest I struggled in the beginning but from the moment Libby and will arrive in Venice I couldn’t put the book down. First of all I love books that take you to different places. It’s as if I’m in Venice myself. But the story kept getting better and I wanted to know if Libby would be able to forgive will. I know for sure that I wouldn’t be able to forgive someone who betrays me like that.

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I was hoping this would be a good read but felt disappointed. I felt bored after the first chapter.


***********************I received an ARC for my honest opinion from NetGalley.****************************

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I loved Helga Jensen's previous novel about Paris so I was looking forward to reading this one. I really enjoyed it. I also like the fact that the FMC are older, in their 40's and 50's....a fresh perspective. I fell in love with all that is Venice....a must on my travel list

Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC.

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I would summarise this story as being a bit silly. I can't believe how far Libby and her husband let things go before they communicated properly. Another thing that was irritating, was most of the dialogue was very proper, for example, saying things like 'were not' instead of 'weren't'. All the speech is like this and it makes Libby sound childish. Jensen did the same in another book and I wish she'd stop. For a start it makes the protagonists sound the same, and also that they sound a bit childish. Loved the description of Venice. With thanks to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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DNF (35%)
I visisted Venice for the first time a few months ago and fell in love so when I saw this title, I couldn't help but request an ARC.
Unfortunately, I didn't fell in love with book in any way. While I appreciate MCs who are around 50 years old, I didn't like them at all. They seemed to be much older than their actual age. When Libby was young she wanted to do marketing but at that time, there was no place for women in the office, apart from management support. That time being the 1990s. Right.
Money plays an important part in this story, in a way (and in amounts) that don't always make sense. Libby is said to have dyscalculia but this mainly seems to have been introduced as an excuse for her not being fully aware of their financial situation.
The main issue with this book is the writing: it's all tell and no show. This makes it very exhausting and frustrating to be in Libby's head, and stops me from believing the characters and their experiences. It is also why the author fails to capture Venice. The city where I left my heart deserves a better book.

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