When Emmy Jamieson arrives at La Cour des Roses, a beautiful guesthouse in the French countryside, she can’t wait to spend two weeks relaxing with boyfriend Nathan. Their relationship needs a little TLC and Emmy is certain this holiday will do the trick. But they’ve barely unpacked before he scarpers with Gloria, the guesthouse owner’s cougar wife.
Rupert, the ailing guesthouse owner, is shell-shocked. Feeling somewhat responsible, and rather generous after a bottle (or so) of wine, heartbroken Emmy offers to help. Changing sheets in the gîtes will help keep her mind off her misery.
Thrust into the heart of the local community, Emmy suddenly finds herself surrounded by new friends. And with sizzling hot gardener Ryan and the infuriating (if gorgeous) accountant Alain providing welcome distractions, Nathan is fast becoming a distant memory.
Fresh coffee and croissants for breakfast, feeding the hens in the warm evening light; Emmy starts to feel quite at home. But it would be madness to walk away from her friends, family, and everything she’s ever worked for, to take a chance on a place she fell for on holiday – wouldn’t it?
Rating: 3 1/2 Stars
This was a gentle stroll of a book for me. I didn’t think of the characters while I wasn’t reading or race back to see if they were okay or what they were doing, and I didn’t neglect me housework or my offspring to squeeze another few pages in my day. But I did get a jolt of enthusiasm when I found time to read and remembered what I had loaded up on my Kindle, and I basked in the eternal French sunshine of fiction.
I enjoyed Emmy as the main character, although felt that maybe she accepted suddenly being alone a little too easily and then rolled right on with her life. I didn’t always like Rupert, though – he sometimes seemed overly-familiar with Emmy, especially in the early days when he seemed to ask her a lot of personal questions. The atmosphere/setting of La Cour des Roses came across very well, and my over all sense of ‘holiday’ was good, which made reading a great escape from day-to-day life.
The story line seemed to wander, though, and did wonder if the whole Ryan thread could have been cut or trimmed to make a tighter finished product. Although I think I have an idea of the part he played in Emmy’s journey, he felt a bit surplus to requirements. On a personal bugbear note, Emmy blushes – a lot – and is able to describe her own blush to the reader, which is probably the thing that drew me out of the story the most.
The ending has some satisfaction to it but did leave me wanting more, so I am very glad to see that there is a sequel on the way. I found this book to be a pleasant read with a great sense of atmosphere and an interesting cast of characters. I think all of us might wish for a little piece of the idyllic French paradise that Emmy finds herself in.
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.