Blue skies, new love, and a glass of Bordeaux . . . what could possibly go wrong?
When Emmy Jamieson leaves her life behind and moves to La Cour des Roses, a gorgeous guesthouse amidst vineyards in France, everything is resting on her success as the new guesthouse manager.
Looming in the calendar is the biggest booking ever, when the entire eccentric, demanding Thomson family will descend for a golden wedding anniversary. With airbeds on the floor and caravans in the garden, La Cour des Roses will be bursting at the seams.
Emmy knows she’s up to the challenge, especially with the support of the gorgeous Alain, the half-French, half-English, caramel-eyed accountant. But she hadn’t counted on a naked, sleepwalking travel blogger, or the return of owner Rupert’s venomous ex-wife Gloria.
Gloria has a few things to say about Emmy’s new role, Rupert’s finances, and the unsuspecting Alain, which send everybody reeling. Just when Emmy can see a future for herself of endless sunshine, true love and laughter, are her dreams about to be ripped at the seams?
I was delighted to have the opportunity to read Return to the Little French Guesthouse (thanks to NetGalley and the publishers Bookouture). I loved the first book, The Little French Guesthouse, and you can read my review here.
Return to the Little French Guesthouse is a brilliant sequel. It really is “a feel good read to make you smile”. It’s as good as, if not better, than the first book. You could read it as a stand alone and be able to pick up the back story but I think you would get so much more from the sequel if you had already read the first book.
Return to the Little French Guesthouse continues where the first book left off. Emmie has left her life in the UK behind and has returned to France and La Cour des Roses to assist the owner Rupert with managing the guesthouse. This time however she is going back to a place she knows a lot better and where she now has some friends.
Things don’t go quite as smoothly as Emmie had hoped. Within a day or two of starting her new role as guesthouse manager there is an incident involving one of the guests who happens to write a travel blog with a large following. I don’t want to spoil it but within a couple of pages I was laughing out loud. Despite Emmie’s best efforts to deal with the problem, the guest leaves and she is then left worrying about potential bad publicity.
In the first book, Rupert’s wife Gloria had run off with Emmie’s boyfriend. Just by chance Emmie takes a call from someone who had apparently spoken to Gloria and had booked the guesthouse and gites for a large group of family members, including lots of special requests. Of course none of this had been written down by Gloria who hadn’t even mentioned it to anyone at the time and Emmie is thrown in at the deep end trying to accommodate all of this.
Emmie is such a lovely character. I feel as if I know her now. She just gets on with things and makes the best of everything even when hit with crisis after crisis. I love it when things go right for her but sometimes the obstacles seem to be almost insurmountable and her plans to live and work at La Cour des Roses and also get her own business off the ground to allow her to stay there begin to look rather shaky, especially when Rupert’s wife Gloria re-appears and wreaks havoc.
It isn’t all bad of course. There is the compensation of living in such a beautiful area and the joy of good friendships. The potential love interest that appeared in the first book is still a feature. There are lots of funny moments and touching moments. I chuckled often and there were even a couple of belly laughs. Anyone watching must have thought I was mad!
I love Helen Pollard’s writing. There is no slow introduction. You are there, in the thick of things, almost immediately. Her storytelling is wonderful and she makes it so easy to imagine the people and the places. (Could there be an adaptation for television?) There is something to keep you wanting to turn the page. The story held my interest throughout and in fact one night, being unable to sleep, I decided to read just a few more pages and ended up reading until 3 am! Needless to say at that point I had to give in and wait until breakfast time to finish it. Now that is what I call a good book. I would love to read a third one. Please?