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Summary

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.

When Seren and Reid first meet, there is an instant attraction, but they are both people who have been hurt and each has dreams that are so far apart, they aren’t even on the same page. 

Can they enjoy one summer of happiness together, as life bestows a gift of memories to cherish for the rest of their lives? Or is their destiny to chart a path into the future, in a home where dreams can come true?

Seren and Reid may be about to discover that love is as much about what you are prepared to give up as what you are prepared to keep hold of.

Let Lucy Coleman transport you away to sun-drenched Portugal where true love really can conquer all and home is where the heart is. Perfect for all fans of Trisha Ashley, Holly Martin and Sue Moorcroft. 

©2020 Lucy Coleman (P)2020 Boldwood Books

Critic reviews

"Beautifully written, comforting and utterly uplifting, Lucy Coleman’s stories are the perfect tonic when life is a little grey." (Holly Martin) 

What listeners say about The Villa of Dreams

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Don't blame the reader, it isn't her fault.

Too many words looking for a story. There is an 'I've been to Lisbon and this is what I saw' factor that is the main feature. There is a whole chapter on buying Pasteis de Nata and a lot of garbled nonsense about an planned event that sounds really gross. The romance weaves through it like a pulled thread on a pair of leggings.... Should I continue?
This is one of the most boring books that I've read.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Boring

Yaaaawwwnnn. Got as far as chapter four and couldn't stand any further.
Seriously! The description of the Portuguese custard tarts... Groan...

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Boring unable to finish

It feels like it was written by a 12 year old. I dislike how every action or feel has to be described to the reader leaving nothing to the imagination.

1 person found this helpful

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Slow start but worth the read.

I struggled with this initially. I thought it took time to get going and at times I felt like I was reading a guide book for Lisbon. However the story does unfold well and picks up in the second half. Beautifully narrated and does evoke a sense of the city.

1 person found this helpful

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A pleasant easy listening book.

enjoyed this book as an easy listen, very descriptive writing and you really get a feel for it.

I've not been to Lisbon yet and I thi k if I had that knowledge of the area I'd have had a better connection to thr story. however the detailed description really helped and transports you in to thr story where you can be the architect of you own imagination and build the scene.

The narration was great and such a relaxing lovely voice, I could listen to Lucy read cereal boxes and still find it enticing.

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The main character cannot pronounce her own name.

I am half Welsh and half French so as I started listening I immediately thought the main character was named Serene and it was French because that was how the narrator said it. But as the story progressed it started to appear she was mispronouncing the Welsh name Seren. The story places her and other characters firmly in Wales so no real chance they would all be getting it wrong. It grated on me so much that I went to the Kindle sample to check hoping against hope the name was Serene and not Seren. Alas no.
I tried hard to listen to this but I kept getting dragged out of the story every time (and it happens much more than with other writers I read) the main character spoke her own name. I could persuade myself people in Portugal might get it wrong. But a person with a Welsh name and a Welsh background ought to know how to say their own name correctly.
Such a pity because otherwise I think it would have been a fun listen. Probably best to read this book if mispronounced names get under your skin as much as they do for me.

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Slightly abrupt ending, but BRILLIANTLY narrated!

Brilliantly narrated, a wonderfully descriptive story, but with an abrupt ending! However worth the listen!

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Disappointing

I’d hoped for something more from this. Instead of a story of love and overcoming of obstacles, I heard quite a lot about pastry, cake, and food. There were a lot of repetitions of the same conversation in how difficult the exhibition would be, and all dialogue was spoken as if written, not spoken. My mind wandered off to shopping lists or filling the washing machine quite a bit with the amount of shoe leather this story contained. It was, unfortunately, a disappointment, which I ended up listening to at 2x speed, because it was read so slowly.

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Didn’t like the narrator

Could not listen passed chapter 1. The narrator’s tone was condescending and beyond irritating. Shame.

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Disappointing

Read like a long drawn out travel advert for Portugal. Sounds like a lovely place.
I skipped several chunks in the hope that the story would pick up, for me it didn’t .

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-12-21

Hallmark movie romance novel

If you like predictable romance movie and novels, the books by Lucy Coleman are something that you will like. I found her books overdone with predictable emotion and happy outcome. since the books are written in the viewpoint of the main character, her every thought and emotion are described, which after a while, I found annoying. I just wanted her to stop over analyzing everything and let the story get to the predictable happy ending where she wins the guys heart and they live happily every after. Free download books, not something that I would ever pay for as overall boring stories

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jennifer D. Gillman
  • 12-10-21

Good, but…

Great visuals. So much drama for no reason. Her repeated bad assumptions and avoiding honest conversations was exhausting.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • MakeMeMelt
  • 26-09-21

Boring and unsatisfying

If you're looking for romance between the main characters, look elsewhere. This book was very disappointing. The story had more detail about her job than her "relationship." Forced myself to finish it. I should have stopped listening at chapter 3, like I wanted.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Claudia
  • 04-05-22

Boring DNF

Usually I force myself to listen a bit further into a book before dropping it, but at chapter 6 and after 3 hours I don't see how this book might turn into something for me.
Mainly I find it bland, plan and the narrator does not help, I might even call her lethargic. Even the interactions between the MC and the LI left me absolutely cold. I'm glad other people liked it and I suppose that if you want to listen to a story set in Portugal... this might be the one for you. Because, yeah, another thing I did not enjoy was the feeling that the author opened a Lisbon book guide and forced all the turist attraction into the story.
I didn't reach that point but I could bet money on the fact that the lovestory will have a major development while the two characters are looking at the sunset from a miradouro.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-04-22

good book

a warm story about the different paths that love takes place around the world

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Laurie Wittges
  • 07-04-22

Predictable

The descriptions of Lisbon and the surrounding area make me want to travel. Unfortunately, that is the only compelling thing about the story.
The narrator has a lovely voice and does a good job at accents, but the pace is a little slow even in the "upbeat" sections.
I got about half way through before giving up. I had other books by this author on my wishlist that I have removed.
I dislike giving up on a book - but it just did not capture me.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • ThunderMom
  • 13-02-22

Slow and uneventful

Nothing exciting happening here. lovely setting, nice descriptions of the scenery and her job, but no real point to the story. Not enough plot twist or even plot story.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jane1988
  • 08-10-21

Beautifully written but a little lacking

I really liked the storyline and the author sets a beautiful scene but would have liked more interaction between the romantic leads. It led to a strong character who was left to constantly second guess herself instead of fighting for the relationship. I enjoyed the narrator who did very well differentiating among characters.