Sun, croissants and fine wine. Nothing can spoil the perfect holiday. Or can it?
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 gîteswill 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?
When Emmy arranges a holiday for herself and her boyfriend of 5 years Nathan, the idea is it will revive their relationship. Things have become a bit mundane and boring, but two weeks in an upmarket guesthouse ‘La Cour des Roses’ in the heart of France should help them relax, recharge the batteries and rediscover some of the old magic. But the only thing Nathan discovers is Gloria, their predatory cougar of a hostess, who he promptly run off with. This leaves Emmy and Rupert, the elderly and ailing cuckolded host to hold the fort. With hotel and gite guests arriving the pair knuckle down to present a united front and try and work out a way forward for each of them.
I loved this book, and for once it did exactly what it said on the cover because this is a perfect feel good summer read. Or in my case a wet bank holiday Monday with the husband watching snooker read. From the start I was hooked by an opening that is nothing short of a French farce, as Rupert falls off a stool with a suspected heart attack and Emmy goes to find his wife only to discover Gloria and Nathan in flagrante on the balcony.
What follows is a heartwarming read that introduces a range of characters who are all instantly like-able except our pantomime villains Gloria and Nathan. As Emmy refuses to be defined by Nathan’s treachery and mucks in to help, Rupert becomes increasingly avuncular and determined to find a suitable match for Emmy. With an attractive accountant and a sexy gardener as possibles to fill the void, we get to enjoy the possibilities as much as Emmy.
Reading the descriptions of the local area, with it’s chateaux, markets, cafes and of course the food, made me nostalgic for the many years we used to spend in France on our holidays. Sadly our gites never came with a sexy gardener. As the holiday comes to an end, it’s impossible not to want things to work out for Emmy and Rupert whose growing friendship is a delight to behold. But whether they can salvage something from the wreckage left by Nathan and Gloria, is something you’ll need to find out for yourself.
I’ve never read anything by this author before but I’ll certainly be looking for more in the future. On that front the good news is that this is the first book in a trilogy, so hopefully it won’t be too long to wait to catch up with what is happening in the lives of Emmy and Rupert.
I received a review copy via NetGalley in return for an honest review.