Title: The Little French Guesthouse
Author: Helen Pollard
Release date: April 28th 2016
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 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?
Meet Emmie Jamieson. Worn-out and in dire need of a change of scenery, she leaves her London life for a two-week vacation with her longtime boyfriend Nathan, hoping a break in their routine would reignite the spark. Never had she imagined the spark would involve the guesthouse’s wife and that she would see Nathan running away with a much older woman!
Now alone and heartbroken in a foreign country, Emmie decides to stick around and team up with Rupert, the abandoned husband, to take care of the house. What starts as a way to take her mind off her broken heart quickly evolves into a way of life. What if all she needs to be happy is a beautiful home lost in the French countryside, bottles of the best wines, and a few friends to share it with?
The opening takes you right to the heart of the action, with Emmie being the unfortunate witness of her boyfriend’s activities with Gloria, the lady of the house. I could not help but fall for Emmie right away. I got mad with her, I felt hurt with her. The way Helen Pollard wrote her main character leaves you with no other choice than to become Emmie’s friend from the start. I went through the whole range of emotions as the story progressed. My heart broke again when Emmie’s efforts to save her relationship failed. But don’t be afraid, this book is not the sad story of a betrayed girlfriend. This is the story of a strong woman in her thirties who discovers her haven in a gorgeous corner of the French countryside. This is the story of a warm and lovely woman who discovers a family away from home.
Every character has their charm, every character brings something to this summer to make it unforgettable. I was under Rupert’s spell very early on, despite his tendency to stick his nose in people’s business. I never knew accountants could be sexy and charming. I wish my gardener was an Adonis too. Well, if I had a garden. I truly believe this is the first story in which I can say without lying that I like every single character. This itself is an achievement. Helen Pollard created a family, a bunch of longtime friends it feels good to have by your side.
As a French girl tired of hearing clichés about her country, I was amply satisfied by the author’s portray of France and its winding little roads, its cafés and markets, its way of living. I felt transported to Pierre-la-Fontaine as if it were I had spent my holidays there as a kid. Her detailed writing gives you a chance to taste the amazing food, feel the breeze on your face, smell the gorgeous flowers, and just be in the moment.
With a breathtaking setting and lovely characters you feel you’ve known forever, The Little French Guesthouse is the perfect read for an afternoon at the terrace of a café on a beautiful summer day, although unlike Emmie, I would order a diabolo violette rather than coffee! If there is room for only one book in your suitcase this summer, The Little French Guesthouse is the best candidate!
I am delighted to inform you that the sequel, Return To The Little French Guesthouse, will be available on 26th August! I can’t wait to reunite with Emmie!
You can find the author on:
WordPress: @ helenpollardwrites.wordpress.com
Many thanks to Bookouture for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.