Friday, 25 April 2014

The French for Always - Fiona Valpy

About the book...

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?

About the author...
Fiona Valpy lives in France, having moved there from the UK in 2007. She left behind a career in Marketing and Public Relations to explore new avenues and now teaches yoga and writes.
Having renovated an old rambling farmhouse with her husband, she has developed new-found skills in cement-mixing and interior decorating, although her preferred pastime by far is wine-tasting.

Read more about Fiona and her books at her Website or follow her on Twitter 
My thoughts...

I was offered a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review by Kim at Bookouture  in exchange for an honest review. Kim wasn't wrong when she suggested I might enjoy reading this book.

Sara and Gavin are engaged to be married, have sold up in the UK and ploughed all their savings into renovating and running a French Chateau as a wedding venue only for Gavin to jump ship part way through their first season.

Sara comes across as vulnerable but has a hidden strength of character that she wears like a mask - ensuring her troubles didn't affect her wedding parties.  I was rooting for Sara all the way.  

I just loved this book it was a beautiful read and Fiona just sold it to me.  Her descriptions of the Chateau and the local village were so vivid I could have been there, sitting on the terrace admiring the view whilst enjoying a glass of wine in the late evening sun. I could almost smell the dusty heat and taste the beautiful food. 

It is a book that will make you sigh with happiness over and over again. Whilst I read it I smiled a lot, laughed and it even brought a tear to my eye. Sara's attention to detail along with her cool, calm outlook is the perfect antidote to the high octane stress levels experienced in different ways by each of the wedding parties.  Nothing appears to be too much trouble and no problem unsolvable for Sara and her team of staff that became her backbone when Gavin jumped ship.  Sara bends over backwards to ensure that every wedding is perfect and memorable for all the right reasons putting her own problems to one side.

If I was getting married again I wouldn't hesitate I'd be on that plane booking into Chateau Bellevue  Anyone who hasn't visited France, eaten fresh bread and croissants bought first thing in the morning from a local boulangerie is missing something special. August would be my choice of month too - I have been fortunate to experience the Perseids meteor shower and this would be the perfect end to a magical day.

I highly recommend this feel good book that will bring a touch of France into your home along with happiness, sunshine and laughter whatever the weather is doing outside. 

I gave this book 5/5 stars