Roma Tearne has followed her editor Clare Smith from HarperCollins to Little, Brown, with Abacus acquiring the next novel by the Orange-longlisted author.
Publishing director for fiction Smith bought UK and Commonwealth rights through Felicity Bryan at Felicity Bryan Associates to The Road to Urbino. Abacus will publish as a Royal trade paperback on 5th July 2012.
The novel is set in Tuscany, Sri Lanka and London and focuses on themes of obsession, love and art.
Smith said: "I couldn't be more delighted to be publishing Roma at Little, Brown—she's a brilliant writer and her novel is truly remarkable."