Friday 25 April 2014

Review: The French For Always by Fiona Valpy

Five Weddings. The perfect venue. One little hitch...

Leaving the grey skies of home behind to transform a crumbling French Château into a boutique wedding venue is a huge leap of faith for Sara. She and fiancé Gavin sink their life savings into the beautiful Château Bellevue – set under blue skies and surrounded by vineyards in the heart of Bordeaux.

After months of hard work, the dream starts to become a reality – until Gavin walks out halfway through their first season. Overnight, Sara is left very much alone with the prospect of losing everything.

With her own heart breaking, Sara has five weddings before the end of the season to

turn the business around and rescue her dreams. With the help of the locals and a little courage can she save Château Bellevue before the summer is over?

Review: having loved The French for Love by this author last year, I was keen to get my hands on a copy of this new novel and it proved to be just as much of a lovely read as the first! This was set in the gorgeous French countryside which, itself, was another character in the novel, I honestly felt like I was there drinking in the sunshine, the atmosphere and the wine! The description in this book was just beautiful full on wonderful metaphorical language and adjectives that tasted wonderful in the mouth! 

The character of Sara was likeable, if a little weak. I found myself really warming to her but at some point am asking her to pull herself together and ask for some help. The supporting characters really complimented her well and there are two leading men, one of whom we loved to hate and the other of whom we loved, of course. Sara really does do well at preserving her wedding business and is so calm and collected in front of her brides, where her personal life is concerned though, she really is a bit of a flounderer! 

The storyline left a little to be desired in my opinion. I felt a bit like nothing really happened. There was the danger of the business going under and the chateau being sold to someone else, but the weddings at the chateau seemed to be the main issue that was dealt with and I felt that this had been done before, and a little better, in other novels. There was one dramatic turn which had me seriously worried and brought a tear to my eye, but apart from this, nothing more dramatic. The lack of drama didn't really bother me because the writing was so beautiful and it was such a simple story, it proved to be a quick read, however if you are looking for something with lots of twists and turns, you won't find it here. 

Overall this novel would be a lovely summer read, you will feel the heat emanating off the page and so will definitely put you in the mood for barbecues and a glass of wine or too alfresco. This is a stand along novel, so if you haven't read anything from this author before, it would be a great introduction to her lovely writing! 

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