Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Book Review - Escape to the Little French Cafe by Karen Clarke

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Title: Escape to the Little French Cafe
Author: Karen Clarke
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Bookouture 
Publication Date: 18th March 2019
Rating: 5 Stars

On the beautiful French coast lies the Café Belle Vie, a peaceful haven offering a warm welcome and delicious pains au chocolat – and where Natalie’s quiet life is about to be turned upside down…

When thirty-one-year-old Natalie Bright’s boyfriend dumps her and immediately gets engaged to his ex-girlfriend, she escapes her heartbreak and moves to the charming village of Chamillon on the Île de Ré.

She’s determined to build a new life there: writing about farmer’s markets for a local magazine, exploring the local vineyards on her bike, and taking advantage of the sunshine. And in the Café Belle Vie she finds a bustling community – including new best friend Charlie – and a near-constant supply of cakes.

All in all, things are looking pretty good.

So when a blast from the past – her teenage crush Jay Merino – suddenly turns up in Chamillon, Natalie’s thrown. She’s sworn off men ever since she moved to France, but she and Jay have a connection that stretches back years.

But could taking a chance on an old flame complete her new life – or ruin everything she’s worked so hard for?

Karen Clarke has done it again, with another enchanting read that I couldn't' bare to be apart from for long.   I was loving my time on the Île de Ré, and am delighted to learn this is the first book of a series, so can't wait already to start reading the next one. 

Charming is another good word for this story, it is so warm, and cosy with lovely characters and a bit of scandal too, with a hint of mystery. 

I loved getting to know Natalie, best friend Charlie, her family and the man she is hopeful of interviewing in order to get a big career break. 

There are some incredibly funny scenes in this, including where Natalie comes face to face with Jay, for the first time in many years.   What a way to become instantly memorably in someone's eyes. 

There are ambitious women, parental dating episodes, a gorgeous hero, a fabulous best friend, misunderstandings, and just a fabulous feel to the whole book, set in glorious sunshine.  I loved every moment I spent with these characters and this story. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

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