Roman Holiday is one of my favorite classic movies. If you haven’t seen it, it stars Audrey Hepburn as a princess from an unnamed country who’s doing a world tour. She’s in Rome after this crazy stretch of travel and she just wants a little free time. She stumbles into Gregory Peck, a reporter, and she’s so exhausted she cant tell him where she’s staying. So he brings her back to his apartment, her in the bed, him on the couch, and the rest is a fun totally cool look at Rome and two people finding their place again.
ROME IN LOVE is about Amelia Tate who’s in Rome shooting a remake of Roman Holiday. She’s playing Audrey Hepburn’s role and is the new “it” girl in Hollywood just like Audrey was in 1952 when she was filming. I just started reading the book, and the story is fun and playful, with a few issues, but nothing I can’t overlook so far and I’m enjoying the story. This is an adult/NA fiction, it does have a few scenes that make it inappropriate for our younger readers. So, with that said, this is suggested for 17+ readership. But I think it could make for a good transition book for older YA readers who are fans of contemporary YA romance.
We’re excited to have the author Anita Hughes joining us today on PTB with a guest post about how she went from movie to book. We hope you enjoy learning more about Rome in Love.
From the author of LAKE COMO comes the story of a young actress who lands the lead in a film that is shooting in Rome, bringing about difficult life choices, new friendships, and a chance at love.
When Amelia Tate is cast to play the Audrey Hepburn role in a remake of Roman Holiday, she feels as if all her dreams have come true. She has a handsome boyfriend, is portraying her idol in a major motion picture, and gets to live in beautiful Rome for the next two months.
Once there, she befriends a young woman named Sophie with whom she begins to explore the city. Together, they discover all the amazing riches that Rome has to offer. But when Amelia’s boyfriend breaks up with her over her acting career, her perfect world begins to crumble.
While moping in her hotel suite, Amelia discovers a stack of letters written by Audrey Hepburn that start to put her own life into perspective. Then, she meets Philip, a handsome journalist who is under the impression that she is a hotel maid, and it appears as if things are finally looking up. The problem is she can never find the right time to tell Philip her true identity. Not to mention that Philip has a few secrets of his own. Can Amelia finally have both the career and love that she’s always wanted, or will she be forced to choose again?
With her sensory descriptions of the beautiful sites, decadent food, and high fashion of Rome, Hughes draws readers into this fast-paced and superbly written novel. Rome in Love will capture the hearts of readers everywhere.
Guest Post from Anita talking about how she
I started to reimagine Roman Holiday as a novel when I sat down to watch it one Christmas. I watched the opening scene – where Audrey Hepburn is wearing a fabulous gown and diamond tiara and meeting heads of states in the ballroom. Her feet ache in her high heels and she can’t wait to escape. It made me think about a young actress playing the Audrey Hepburn role in a remake of Roman Holiday, wishing to escape from meeting the press in a similar ballroom, and explore Rome by herself.
In today’s culture, movie stars are much like royalty, in that they are followed everywhere they go. What if the actress (Amelia) borrows a maid’s uniform from the basement of the Hassler Hotel and goes out into the city by herself? Who might she meet and what trouble could she get into? And wouldn’t it be wonderful to disappear for a few hours and not have to worry about her hair and makeup and designer gown?
I fell in love with Amelia while I was writing her, much like I fell in love with Audrey Hepburn, when I watched Roman Holiday. There is an incredible vulnerability to Audrey Hepburn’s character which I tried to translate to Amelia. Amelia is a young woman in a foreign city on the cusp of great success in her career. She also has an uncertain relationship with her boyfriend who is not happy that her acting takes her away from him, and a new relationship with a man she is drawn to but isn’t sure if she can trust.
One of my favorite scenes in Roman Holiday is the last scene when Amelia knows she has to say goodbye to Rome and to Joe (Gregory Peck’s character) and return to her life as a princess. There is so much emotion between the two of them, even though they are in a press conference with dozens of other people and only speak to each other with their eyes. I tried to build that kind of rapport between Amelia and Philip, the journalist she meets in Rome. True love can be communicated in so many ways and a real bond between two people is hard to break.
I also devote a large section of the book (through fictitious letters Audrey Hepburn wrote during the filming of Roman Holiday) to Audrey Hepburn herself. We learn a lot about Audrey’s friendship with Gregory Peck, her professional relationship with the famous director, William Wyler, and the beginnings of her romance with Mel Ferrer. Writing this section brought to life Roman Holiday and helped tie Audrey Hepburn to Amelia and her own struggles.
I adored writing Rome In Love because I could explore one of my favorite cities – Rome. It is really one of the most fascinating cities in the world. It is full of ancient monuments, incredible food and the most elegant fashion. Imagining Audrey Hepburn zooming around Rome on the back of a vespa was a great inspiration to everything I wrote.