Excited about Reading: All the Way to Heaven by Becky Doughty

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The Cover Story~
Sometimes help comes from the most unlikely of hands, and sometimes getting lost is the surest way to be found.

Anica Tomlin, business major, has just learned that the man she’s been planning her future around, her Global Finance professor, already has a beautiful wife and family. Ani cashes in her graduation gift to herself a little early–a trip to Tuscany–but from the moment she boards the wrong train in Pisa, her plans for solitude and self-indulgence begin to unravel around her.

When a bicycle accident thrusts Ani into the skilled hands of the dashing Dr. Cosimo Lazzaro, she reluctantly accepts his invitation to recover in his family’s country villa, perched on a hilltop surrounded by the Lazzaro olive groves. But it’s been a black year for olive growers all over Italy, and generations of tradition are being put to the test like never before.

Ani is swept up in the drama of life in Tuscany, the convergence of old and new, and the passions that drive people to pursue the desires of their hearts. Just as Ani begins to get her feet under her again, an unexpected turn of events leaves her doubting the very existence of happily-ever-after, unless she can learn to trust the desires of her own heart.

Sharing My Takeaway~

First off, I almost didn’t download this book because the cover didn’t appeal to me. But, the bulk of the story takes place in Italy, more specifically on an olive tree farm/villa, so I understand the reason for the cover design. It’s just not a typical romance reader cover. But this isn’t a typical romance, either. 🙂
The beginning slogged with a bit too much backstory for my taste, but the story kept calling to me, and I refused to put it down. I’m glad I didn’t because I would’ve missed nuggets like this:

“Lucca is full of light and joy. If you look for it with open eye and open heart and open hand, you will find happy here.”

After discovering the ugly truth about her boyfriend/college professor, Anica “Ani” Tomlin escaped to Italy for an early graduation gift.

“Pain, she is a beautiful woman. You must hold her and comfort her until she is ready to go. Then she will leave some of her beauty with you when she goes.”

Doughty rocks descriptions! I felt like I’d wandered into the book and onto the pages myself, plunked right into the landscape of Italy. The pastry shop in the medieval city. The villa overlooking the olive tree farm. Truthfully, I didn’t want to leave. 
Through an unfortunate accident and the theft of her personal documents, Ani’s plans change. Not only her plans, but she changes. Initially, I sympathized with her humiliating discovery and then the chain of events that left her injured and stranded. But she seemed a bit self-centered, and even with her predicament, I found it hard to likeher, especially her treatment of Paulo. But when she finally realizes who her heart longs for and recognizes that her new friends are experiencing far more devastating issues, she redeems herself.
All the Way to Heavenis geared for New Adult readers, and I believe that’s accurate. But this Old Adult reader enjoyed it too. 🙂 Sweet and clean, awesome descriptions, a very subtle faith thread, and a romance that finally materialized, (did it ever!) I would definitely read another Doughty book.
How do you feel about covers? Would you choose to buy/read a book based on the cover alone? Do you judge a book by its cover?


Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book while it was offered free on Amazon. I was in no way compensated for my fair and unbiased review. 

8 thoughts on “Excited about Reading: All the Way to Heaven by Becky Doughty

  1. Dora, I appreciate your review. Authors who take me to different locations are ones I like to read….pastry shop clinched it! 😉 This cover wasn't a draw, though usually I prefer un-peopled cover designs. Glad you felt it was worth a slow beginning…..so I'll look for this book….and eat a pastry. Thanks!

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  2. Go for it, Sherida! I'm right there with you. And don't forget a cappuccino or granita. 🙂

    Thanks for your input on covers. Funny, all my covers involve the heroes and/or heroines. But I'm leaning toward non-peopled lately as well. Happy reading, er eating, Sherida! 😀

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