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5.0 out of 5 stars Never a dull read with Belinda Jones
I haven't read a bad book yet by this author. I love her books which are clean, fun, descriptive and thoroughly entertaining.
If only all authors had the ability to write good books without bad language, sex and violence like Belinda.
Published 23 months ago by Doug Powell

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
I have only recently discovered Belinda Jones and have absolutely loved her books - until I read this one. I was really disappointed - I just didnt engage with the main character Kirsty at all - I think an earlier reviewer pointed out that you are supposed to be rooting for the main character as if she is your best friend and in this instance I just didnt care about her...
Published on 21 May 2009 by Nicola Halliday


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, 21 May 2009
By 
This review is from: The Love Academy (Paperback)
I have only recently discovered Belinda Jones and have absolutely loved her books - until I read this one. I was really disappointed - I just didnt engage with the main character Kirsty at all - I think an earlier reviewer pointed out that you are supposed to be rooting for the main character as if she is your best friend and in this instance I just didnt care about her at all. If you want Belinda Jones at her best then pick up a copy of any of her other books and you will have a fab read - I love Capri and the Paradise Club were my faves - come on Belinda - lets have more romance along those lines!!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing., 1 Feb 2008
I was first introduced to Belinda Jones by a friend who decided to force me into reading two of her books - Divas Las Vegas and The Love Academy.
After reading Divas Las Vegas and finding myself completely engrossed in the lives of Jamie and Izzy, I moved on swiftly to The Love Academy for more charming, funny (albeit unbelievable) and romantic adventure . . . boy was I disappointed.
The whole premise of the main character Kirsty being a writer for a womens magazine and being sent on a mission to Venice to infiltrate the infamous Love Academy and expose it as just a "an escort agency with an Italian accent and fancy glass chandeliers" seems wholly believable and quite an interesting concept for a story - add in Kirsty's feelings on her relationship with the boyfriend she left at home, Joe and her disillusions about love, romance and fairy tale endings - you can see why it starts off promisingly.
However, thats where the good stuff ended for me. I couldn't bring myself to like any of the characters involved at all - particuarly Kirsty, who being the heroin should have made me want to be her BFF and love her to pieces. Instead, I found her to be completely shallow, unfunny and boring and couldn't find it in myself to feel any sympathy for her or anyone else for that matter.
The relationships between Kirsty and her brother Kier, proved to be the most tiresome - in fact, through most of the book I quite easily forgot that they were even related. I know they were supposed to be having a few communication problems and Kier, broken hearted and a little distant - but throughout the saga, they seemed like complete strangers.
A lot of the reviewers on Amazon didn't like the amount of detail on Venice, but I must admit that I didn't have such a problem with it. Without it, I don't think I would have made it through the book.
Add in a few cliches and a happy ending and The Love Academy is the final result.
This has not put me off Belinda Jones for life though. Like I said at the beginning, I really enjoyed Divas Las Vegas - so I'm willing to read more. But this one isn't her best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Struggling to finish it., 26 May 2011
This review is from: The Love Academy (Paperback)
What is it about a book that can grab you and hold you all the way through it? This doesn't hold me at all, but I can't quite put my finger on it. There was a lot of characters that I couldn't connect with, and names that didn't stay with me, so maybe that is the problem.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Never a dull read with Belinda Jones, 22 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The Love Academy (Paperback)
I haven't read a bad book yet by this author. I love her books which are clean, fun, descriptive and thoroughly entertaining.
If only all authors had the ability to write good books without bad language, sex and violence like Belinda.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking and very romantic, 14 Sep 2012
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This review is from: The Love Academy (Paperback)
I really struggled to get into this book. It was a slow starter and the main character was a bit over developed for my liking. There was an awful lot of Kirsty, our heroine, narrating her thoughts. And she was very much an over-thinker! However, I stuck with it and, on my third attempt, it got going. The reason I stuck with it is because I love Belinda Jones's books and my sister (also a fan) told me this particular book had a reappearance of Luca and Kim from I Love Capri. I wanted to know what happened with Luca and Kim more than anything!

As always, Belinda's leading men steal the show. Dante, Kirsty's amore, was the kind of man you dream about meeting. I was a bit disappointed with how Adam turned out. I was rooting for him at one point. Even Joe managed to steal my heart at the end. For the majority of the book, however, I wanted to give Kier a good slap. He was just so miserable and this put me off.

I love that it was set in Venice. As always, very well described (a little too well at times, and makes you feel like you're reading a guide book) but The Love Academy is a novel that makes you feel like you're in the beautiful setting.

Nice ending. Worth sticking with, but not one of Belinda's best novels. It does give you something to think about though, with all the soul-searching that Kirsty does, something that is rare in chick-lit.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fancy a trip to Venice!!, 3 April 2012
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realovesbooks (South east London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Love Academy (Paperback)
I am sure many of you are chick lit lovers and I am sure that if you love chick lit then at some point you must have read Belinda Jones books! Belinda Jones has travelled to many different countries through her life due to her work and this shows in her books. She has a way of making you feel as if you are in the same country when you are reading any of her books and this book, The Love Academy is one of them. The book is set in Italy and after reading this book I feel a trip is in order for me!!

Kirsty Bailey is a reporter for Hot magazine, she has a new undercover report to do on The Love Academy. This is where all the single Brits who are unlucky in love and who I struggling to believe in that little thing called romance go to see romance first hand by the true romantics, the Italians!
The problem is for Kirsty is she is already in a relationship so she needs to put this aside in order to find out if The Love Academy is the real deal or if it is a glorified Brothel!!
Kirsty takes her newly broken hearted brother with her to get a brother/sister concept on The Love Academy. Unfortunately her brother is not overjoyed to be going back to Italy as this is where he had his heart broken question is will The Love Academy be able to mend his broken heart?

I love the character of Kirsty, she feels like your normal girl next door. She is in a relationship with Joe but like most of us the romance has sort of dwindled away leaving her wanting a little bit more. Her relationship with her brother comes into the story a lot which only helped to relate to her character making her feel real.

The book is very much romantic based which is to be expected from the title and from the location the book is set in but each part of the course at The Love Academy is also teaching them different aspects of romance which makes for a loving read. I didn't find that the book was predictable which helped to keep us as the reader gripped, I found myself closing the book at the end of a chapter only having to open it up again to read the next as I needed to know what was going to happen next!

I liked that the book was on an even keel from the first chapter we are brought straight into the story and even the ending was wrapped up nicely without it feeling rushed.
All in all I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The book is 400 pages long and it is defiantly a chick-lit, romance book but it does have a little more depth to the story than many other chick-lit books and I think this is due to the amount of information about Venice itself, the sights they see and the food they eat and even down to the little bits of Italian which is spoken.

I would recommend this book although I would put a warning with it as since reading this book I now have the urge to go to Venice!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars I'm on a different planet, 8 Feb 2012
This review is from: The Love Academy (Paperback)
Clearly I'm on a different planet to many of the other reviewers because for me, The Love Academy totally lived up to my expectations from reading Belinda's other books (Divas Las Vegas, California Club, Tiki Room, etc)

We follow Kirsty and Kier, a brother and sister, on their exploration of the Love Academy in Venice - set up to teach single men and women what romance is, and how to believe in themselves when it comes to love. Sounds corny, right? Right! But Kirsty hasn't been entirely truthful to them - she's there on a case from work, as a journalist, hoping to show them up for the money grabbing louts they must be. Meanwhile Kier is nursing a broken heart, and only came at her plead for help. Oh, and she's not actually single. She has a boyfriend who she loves dearly back at home...

Belinda has set up a funloving, chemistry-filled storyline between the Italian 'Amores' who wine, dine, and - perhaps a little something else - their guests, as well as exploring the path of what love really is, and does romance exist. Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed it - it's a light read for definite, but far better than California Dreams (pub. 2011). I woudl recommend this, if you're after something fluffy with a little bit of depth! Certainly I enjoyed it - and there was a nice little twist at the end, unexpected!
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Love Academy by Belinda Jones, 23 Oct 2011
This review is from: The Love Academy (Kindle Edition)
Journalist Kirsty Bailey is sent on an assignment to Venice by her magazine on an undercover mission to "The Love Academy" to find out if "The Love Academy" is all it claims to be a school for singles, teaching lessons on how to find romance and true love or if it is what her editor suspects it to be just another well dressed up escort agency.

Back home Kirsty love life and relationship with her boyfriend Joe is a big disappointment to her due to the lack of romance that Joe brings into her life. Kirsty feels that Joe takes her for granted. Kirsty dreams of more love and romance in their relationship but excepts now that is never to be.

But how will Kirsty feel once she attends "The Love Academy"? When she is surrounded by the love and romance she is craving in her own life. Will she give into the temptation and embrace the romance and send Joe packing when she returns home?

Belinda Jones writes fantastic chick lit that is warm and friendly, keeping the reader entertained along the journey in a fun packed read that sails you away in a gondola of love and romance in the delights of Venice.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Romantic Italian treat, but not as good as previous books, 4 Dec 2007
This review is from: The Love Academy (Paperback)
I read this latest book from Belinda Jones in great anticipation having enjoyed all her other books and especially her second novel which was also based in Italy and was called I Love Capri and has to be one of my favourite books of all time from Belinda.

The book centres around Kirsty Bailey who goes to Venice to run an undercover story on the mysterious Love Accademy. Kirsty leaves her boyfriend Joe behind and enters the accademy to see whether she too can find a little romance in her life as her relationship with Joe was becoming too staid and not exciting enough. On her journey at the accademy, she meets other characters who are also there to see if they too can find romance.

Belinda's book is another beautiful travelogue taking us from London to Venice and then onto Lake Como and Florence and Italy is obviously somewhere she feels passionate about as she writes lovingly about the food, people and scenery. However, I could not give this book the 5 stars I usually commend to Belinda as I just didn't feel it flowed as well as some of her other books and the idea of the heroine discussing love and romance on every single page did make the book a bit boring at times, I felt the book had quite a few peaks and troughs with it picking up more when Kirsty goes to Lake Como and then onto Florence.

A very nice touch which I am not sure if other readers noticed was the wedding at Lake Como which involved the characters from her book I love Capri and this seemed a lovely way to move on their story which at the end of that book was left very much as an unanswered question.

I would recommend this book as I think Belinda is a very good author and I am looking forward to her next book which I understand from her website will be set in Greece now but I did think that she could have made it a little more exciting in places.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Romance isn't dead, 14 July 2008
By 
This review is from: The Love Academy (Paperback)
This is an essential holiday read if you're heading off to somewhere equally as glamorous as Venice, or if, like me you are just living vicariously whilst snuggled up on the sofa (good old british summer).

It is beautifully written (the sensory descriptions of Venice itself are lovingly crafted and feel authentic) and I personally enjoyed the often cliched characters within the Love Academy.

The clever tie-in with previous novel I Love Capri towards the end of the book is unexpected and delightful - a thoughtful nod to Belinda Jones' fans who were wondering just what had happened to the star-crossed lovers.(I will admit to cheering out loud at this point - I was so excited!....aherm)

All in all, a lovely romantic dance through Venice - schmaltzy yes, but truly fabulous too!
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The Love Academy
The Love Academy by Belinda Jones (Paperback - 19 July 2007)
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