Wednesday 26 July 2023

Guest Review: The French Chateau Dream by Julie Caplin

You are invited to a summer of sparkling champagne, warm buttery croissants and a little bit of je ne sais quoi

With a broken heart and a broken spirit, Hattie is in need of a summer escape. So when an opportunity comes up to work at a beautiful, stately chateau in the Champagne region of France she books her flights quicker than the pop of a cork.

Romance is the last thing Hattie is looking for but then she wasn’t expecting gorgeous Luc to stroll into her life. With picnics in the warm French sun and delicious foodie trips to the local market, Hattie starts to wonder if a holiday fling – or maybe even something more – might be just what she needs.

Review: This is the tenth book in the Romantic Escapes series by Julie Caplin. The lighthearted romantic stories in this series are set in various destinations across the world. Each one centres on a particular character, but one or more players from other books in the series pop up on a regular basis. Although the books can all be read as a standalone, I have enjoyed reading them in order and recognising the ‘visiting’ characters. As the title suggests, this story is set in France.

The central character in the book is wedding planner Hattie, who has been sent on ahead to a French chateau where her cousin is to be married in a few weeks time. She is glad of the chance to get away from life at home, where a long association with a needy ex has left her drained. The chateau with accompanying vineyard is imposing, but very rundown inside. Hattie hopes to find assistance from staff in preparing the house for the wedding, but finds resistance to her ideas at every turn. She has to use her skills to circumvent the obstacles in her path, including bringing in her own caterer from home. Fortunately, Luc, the handsome son of the chateau’s owner, is more helpful and a relationship develops between the two which makes Hattie realise how much better life could be.

I have really enjoyed all of the books in this series, this being no exception. There is a host of interesting characters in this story in addition to Hattie and Luc. It was nice too to meet up with someone from a previous book in the series. Food plays a big part in all of the books; this one having a wedding at its centre features lots of delicious dishes, sweet and savoury, all with a distinctly French flavour. In addition, especially as Luc is a winemaker, there is lots of information about wine and specific pairings with food. I loved watching Hattie blossom as she grew in confidence and found real romance with stunning and sensitive Luc. He certainly sounded a hero that will appeal to many readers. I can thoroughly recommend this new addition to this already successful series.

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