Book Review: The French Chateau Dream, by Julie Caplin

The French Chateau Dream


About the Book, The French Chateau Dream The French Chateau Dream

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ HARPER COLLINS (July 1, 2023)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English

When wedding planner Hattie signs up for her dream job, organising her cousin’s wedding in France, it offers the perfect escape from a relationship that’s been going south for a while.

Unfortunately when she arrives at the idyllic Chateau St Martin, not everyone is as enthusiastic about the forthcoming wedding, including Luc Bremont, son of the owner of the chateau.

Luc has finally been given the chance to make his own champagne at the family vineyard and everything rests on making it a success, the last thing he wants is the distraction of a big wedding at the chateau.

Will Hattie be able to build bridges between the inhabitants of the chateau in order to allow the wedding to go ahead?

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About the Author, Julie Caplin Julie Caplin Bookshelf

Julie caplin, formerly a PR director, swanned around Europe for many years taking top food and drink writers on press trips (junkets) sampling the gastronomic delights of various cities in Italy, France, Belgium, Spain, Copenhagen and Switzerland. It was a tough job but someone had to do it.

These trips have provided the inspiration and settings for the highly successful Romantic Escapes series which have hit the best seller charts in Italy, Germany and the Czech Republic and have sold a million copies worldwide.

The first book in the nine strong series, The Little Café in Copenhagen, was shortlisted for a Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

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My Thoughts MissMeliss - 2023

Just in time for the heat of summer is Julie Caplin’s latest novel, the bubbly (but not too fluffy) romance, The French Chateau Dream.

In this installment of her Romantic Escapes series, author Caplin follows Hattie to an estate in France where she’ll be taking over as her cousin’s wedding planner. There she meets the owner’s son Luc, and hijinks ensue. Except it isn’t all hijinks. There’s some very real family drama which has French history, especially where champagne and World War Two are concerned, cleverly woven into a plausible story where secrets abound but love is also strong.

I loved Hattie’s no-nonsense English style and the way it brushed against Luc’s thoughtful French aesthetic. I liked that each of these lead characters was strong enough to have an independent storyline, but that they meshed well, and worked together well to further a plot that had just the right pacing. Like the perfect champagne, the dialogue in this novel was crisp, with just a hint of saltiness at times – but that only added character.

I appreciated the character of Marthe, the doyenne of Luc’s family, as well. It can be challenging to write older women as both fragile and strong – the contradiction is hard to capture – but Caplin has done so very deftly, and she quickly became one of my favorite supporting characters.

I also liked that the chateau itself was a non-speaking character in this story. Old houses hold more than secret rooms, they absorb the energy of those who dwelt within them, and this house was the ultimate backdrop for Caplin’s blend of secrets, romance, and history.

Overall, this novel was a delightful read, light enough for beach reading, but not so frothy it felt saccharine.

Goes well with: chilled champagne and fresh strawberries still warm from the sun.

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