The Season of Dreams – Fiona Valpy

Published By: Lake Union
Pages: 205
Released On: 01/09/2022

Once upon a time, in an ancient château nestled above a golden river among the vineyards of Bordeaux, Sara and Gavin opened a wedding venue where fairy tales come true…But when Sara discovers Gavin in the arms of a wedding guest, their own happiness crumbles to dust. Faced with five beaming couples yet to say ‘I do’, she realises it’s up to her to host the rest of their first make-or-break season alone.

For the summer to go off without a hitch, Sara must bury her broken heart and her fear that she’ll soon be packing her bags for London, and lean on her local team of helpers. So when handsome Thomas Cortini, wine salesman and amateur DJ, crosses her path, Sara’s thrilled to draft in further reinforcements―and finally dares to hope the summer might not be a total disaster…

But with her life savings at stake, can Sara pull off a successful season, save her budding business and―just maybe―find her own happy-ever-after before the summer ends?

*****

Thanks to NetGalley and Lake Union for the advanced copy of this title in return for an honest review.

This was a slower burn for me than the first one in the French series I read, “The Recipe For Hope”, but I think that’s because this is set in the summer – I intensely dislike the summer – whilst the other was set at Christmas time – and I intensely love the winter.

I felt it with the first one, but even more with this one, the feeling that these characters have become your friends and you want to stay with them on their journey, you want to know what happens to them and if they all live happily ever after.

I haven’t been to France for a good few years now, but Fiona Valpy’s writing is reminding me how much I love it. Okay, so I haven’t stayed in an isolated village or in a grand chateau in the countryside, but considering I am not a city girl, and yet I like Paris, I think goes to show that I’d love the French countryside.

There were a few standout characters for me: our main protagonist Sara is a lovely woman, working through some difficult times but full of love; Thomas, our French wine merchant who sounds so dashing and loving; as well as all of Sara’s chateau staff – I won’t name them all, otherwise this review will becoming like a school register – but they’re all fabulous in their own way. Even Gavin, the two-timing arse of a man makes an impact (not a very nice one, mind); and all of these manage to push Sara’s story to the right place.

Who wouldn’t want to live in a gorgeous chateau in the French countryside, with gorgeous views, hosting fabulous weddings? It sounds perfect to me. Each wedding is perfectly described an you feel like you’re there, surrounding by all the celebrating.

You’ll find yourself wiping away tears of sadness, tears of anger, tears of joy, and mostly tears of happiness.

It’s a quick read, but just like the other one, I actually wish it had gone on longer. I could live in this French romance for ever. But it does mean you can curl up in the corner with it and get completely lost in it, without worrying it’ll take too long to finish.

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