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Synopsis: Evie used to LOVE Christmas, but this year she can’t wait for the tinsel and presents to be a distant memory.
When her best friends offer the use of their cottage in the beautiful French countryside, Evie jumps at the chance. With her soon-to-be-ex-husband, celebrity chef Will Brooke, plastered over the news with his latest ‘love interest’, leaving the country seems like the perfect plan.
Armed with her French grandmother’s tattered notebook of recipes, Evie is determined to ignore Christmas altogether and bake herself back to happiness.
And when Evie meets her next-door neighbour – the très gorgeous doctor Didier she finds a very willing taste-tester. But is it possible that he could be interested in more than just her Tarte Tatin?
My Review: I recently read on of Fiona’s other books The French for Love and really enjoyed it so was looking forward to reading this book. The main character Evie seems like such a sad and forlorn character in the beginning I wondered if life could ever look up for her. When her friends offer her their cottage in the rural countryside of France, Evie jumps at the chance to take some time out. Although it’s Christmas she wants to spend some time alone and recharge her batteries and try and get a fresh perspective on her life.
Although the reasons for Evie’s sadness are extremely sad Fiona Valpy manages to make this book more about hope and survival rather than a ‘poor me’ kind of book. She also does a wonderful job of making the reader feel like they are right next to Evie as she takes in her new surroundings. Her neighbours in France are not quite what she was expecting but the introduction of Didier the local doctor, and the elder couple Mathieu and Eliane are a pleasant addition.
In addition to the beautiful descriptions of this idyllic French house and area, we also get the mouth-watering descriptions of the beautiful food that Evie cooks. I did spend quite a bit of the time whilst reading this feeling extremely hungry! The story is a very happy and uplifting one which has the festive touches guaranteed to make for a wonderful Christmas read. It has everything you could want from a book for this time of year, all you need is the time to read it and a warm and cosy fire to sit in front of.