Schlagwort: English

review: To Provence With Love (T.A. Williams)

Yet again, T.A. Williams, author of several romance novels like „Dreaming of Venice„, „Chasing Shadows“ and „What Happens At The Beach„, wrote a perfect read for some relaxed hours at the couch or in the garden. His trade marks: black labradors and a beautiful setting. His new book, „To Provence With Love“ is set at a castle (or chateau) in the south of France, the Provence. I’ve never been there. My only visit to France was a week in Paris in 1998 at the age of 12. The drive-through by Eurostar two years ago doesn’t count.

So I’m not familiar with the setting but thanks to Williams‘ style of writing and his ability to draw pictures in my head I felt like I knew the surroundings of the book. I could imagine the lavender fields (I love lavender!) and the playing dogs, Marlon and George. Oh, and the food. Williams‘ not only has a thing for dogs, but also for good food and wine, I think.

Lavender fields, labradors and a handsome farmer

This new book, „To Provence, with Love*“ is about a young teacher and author, Faye, who gets the chance to write the biography of a former moviestar, Miss Beech. The old lady lives at a chateau in Provence. Why she choose Faye, you will learn in the novel. I had a feeling and when I got to the point, I was like „ah, I knew it!“ Although it’s obvious, it’s a really nice story. And it’s not only about Miss Beech, but also about a handsome farmer from the neighbourhood, Gavin. He’s grieving about the loss of his wife and brother two years ago and he feels responsible for the tragic and for his brother’s wife and small daughter.

At their first meeting, Gavin appears grumpy which suits Faye just fine as she isn’t interested in men since her last boyfriend broke her heart. But of course, she feels attracted to Gavin. Mostly they meet by chance because Faye loves walking Marlon, Miss Beech’s dog and Gavin walks the dog of his late brother. So it is thanks to the dogs that they see each other more or less regularly.

Reading about their developing friendship as well as Faye’s new life in France was very relaxing and on the one hand, I didn’t want to put my Kindle down, while, at the other hand, I didn’t want to reach the end. Because I felt so comfortable. But what I „don’t like“ (that sounds a bit strong, it’s more like it made me a bit sad or something) is that the reader mostly never gets to know how the relationship between a new couple, like in this Faye and Gavin’s, develops because in every book the couple gets together at the end. That’s a bit different from other romance novels I’ve read so far, but I think it’s significant for books by T.A. Williams. Just like at least one black labrador.

Other books are more like: they meet, kiss, have sex, then it gets complicated due to a misunderstanding or something and in the end there is a happy ending. While in Williams books it’s like this: they meet, they get to know each other by meeting by chance or on purpose, they become friends, they tell each other how they feel but say that they aren’t ready yet and at the end, they finally get together

But nevertheless the book is a very good read and I liked Faye and Gavin very much but really want to know how their relationship develops. I gather, that’s for me to imagine because Williams never writes a sequel. Maybe he should consider it! I would really love that!

review: Summer at Conwenna Cove (Darcie Boleyn)

about the book

In a gorgeous Cornish village, two brokenhearted people fall head over heels. But can the magic of Conwenna Cove heal the hurts of the past? A feel-good summer romance perfect for fans of Holly Martin, Phillipa Ashley and Jenny Hale.

Eve has a glittering career, a loving husband and a future. But a terrible twist of fate means she loses it all, and with nowhere left to turn she flees to her Aunt Mary’s home in Cornwall. The last thing on her mind is romance – until she meets Jack.

Jack has seen the worst things people can do to each other and realised he is better off alone. He settles in Conwenna Cove, and saves his affections for the rescue dogs he cares for. But when Eve arrives in the village he can’t deny his attraction to her.

Eve and Jack are both scared to trust, but when they come together it’s impossible for either to ignore their feelings. Can they put their fears aside and learn to love again?

Summer at Conwenna Cove is an emotional and heart-warming holiday read about being brave enough to take a chance on love.Goodreads

my opinion

This is the my first book by Darcie Boleyn, but not her first one. She is the author of several other romance novels. „Summer at Conwenna Cove“ is set in Cornwall and features not only a handsome man but also dogs (Greyhound dogs) and two cats as well. There is also cake involved. Lemon drizzle cake seems to be really famous it sounds very delicious so that I should bake one too. So, in conclusion: nice man, wonderful setting, animals and cake. Oh, and of course love. You know I have a weakness for those novels.

So, back to the book: Eve needs a break from everything after she suffered a mental breakdown at work and the only place to go is the little Cornish village where her aunt Mary lives. She hasn’t seen her in ages although Eve spent her holidays there when she was a child and she has only good memories.

The last years have been very hard for her because of her miscarriage and her aunt’s home helps her to heal. I can’t really relate to what Eve went through because first I’ve never been married before (therefore not divorced either) and I never experienced a miscarriage. But what I know is how anxiety and loneliness feel. You need people who support you, no matter if you suffer a miscarriage or a mental illness. For Eve, her work as a head teacher is a nice distraction to avoid all her problems, but it’s not good for her health. In consequence, she has a breakdown and has to think about her future. She can’t carry on like this.

In Cornwall she has time to think and to recover. She has the support of her aunt and of Jack, Mary’s tenant. But Jack has a troubled past, too and he doesn’t want to get hurt because Eve might only stay for a few weeks and leave him for her job back in Bristol.

The book is predictable and if I’m honest, most books like this have a similar plot. Nevertheless, somehow I love these books and enjoy them all. So this one was no exception. I loved the setting although I’ve never been to Cornwall before. I only can guess what it’s like there.

„Summer at Conwenna Cove“ is perfect for the summer, to snuggle up to the couch or lay in the garden. I didn’t want this book to end but an the other hand, I had to. I was a bit disappointed that the epilogue is set maybe a year later because I hoped that there would be another book. But it’s okay.

For you it must seem strange that I always enjoy the books I get for free to write a review (they are called „arc“ – advanced reader copy). But I can’t help: I always chose books that I like. Maybe I have a good sense for those books, at least for books that are good in my opinion. Although I got this book for free via NetGalley, my opinion is not biased. That would be so wrong.