Saturday, August 27, 2016

Book Reviews - The Little French Guesthouse and Return to the Little French Guesthouse by Helen Pollard

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Review by Anniek

Emmy Jamieson has finally persuaded her boyfriend Nathan to take some time off and book a holiday. They decide to go to La Cour des Roses, a beautiful guesthouse owned by an English man named Rupert, in a small French village. Before Emmy can start enjoying her holiday she catches Nathan cheating on her with Rupert's wife, Gloria. Nathan doesn't seem to feel guilty at all and Emmy is shocked when he takes off with Gloria. Now Emmy is on her own at La Cour des Roses.

Rupert is ill and can't handle running the business by himself. Emmy doesn't have the heart to let him struggle on his own, so she decides to stay and help out for the duration of her intended holiday. Emmy soon discovers that La Cour des Roses has found a way to her heart and she enjoys the positive vibes of the place. She starts making friends and the work really suits her, so even though she doesn't have the relaxing holiday she planned to have she's having a great time. Eventually Emmy has to leave France though, to go back home where she has to face the end of her relationship with Nathan. Emmy feels sad to leave all of her new friends behind and is seriously thinking about changing her, until now, secure life.

Emmy tries so hard to make other people feel better that she sometimes forgets herself. Her boyfriend Nathan is a complete jerk and I was hoping Emmy would toughen up so she could take him down. Luckily being in France has a positive influence on her character and being there gives her the strength to deal with the issues at home. Emmy is a great person and I immediately loved her. Emmy is a smart and intelligent young woman with great ideas and I wasn't surprised that the people in and around La Cour des Roses opened their hearts to her as well.

Helen Pollard has written a wonderful story about taking chances when they present themselves to you. The characters of The Little French Guesthouse feel so real. I could perfectly imagine the scenery and I wished I could book a gîte or guestroom at La Cour des Roses. I want nothing more than to sit in the beautiful garden, smell the flowers and enjoy the stunning surroundings Helen Pollard writes about. The Little French Guesthouse is an enchanting and heartwarming story that will have you mesmerized from beginning to end. This story is the perfect read for a lovely day in the sun.

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Review by Suze

Emmy has decided to stay in France, so she can help Rupert with La Cour des Roses. She's now the manager and she wants to make a success of the guesthouse. It's such a lovely place to spend a holiday, so that shouldn't be too hard, or should it? There are difficult guests to deal with, there's a travel blogger with terrible habits who needs to be taken extra good care of and Elly has the responsibility to organize a huge event, which came as a complete surprise. Emmy needs to learn quickly and she has to be creative to make sure things won't fall apart. When Rupert's ex-wife Gloria returns she can't help but panic. Will Emmy be able to keep working at the guesthouse now that her nemesis is back?

Emmy likes Alain, Rupert's bookkeeper, a lot, but being together turns out to be more problematic than she initially thought. Alain is there for her when she needs him, but is he everything Emmy thinks he is? She made a mistake with Nathan and she doesn't want to repeat that. Will her stay in France be happy for Emmy or will it end in a total disaster?

Return to the Little French Guesthouse is another amazing summer story set in France. I love Helen Pollard's vivid descriptions of the French countryside. She makes La Cour des Roses come to life superbly with colorful guests, funny incidents and mouthwatering food. I loved the atmosphere at the guesthouse, Helen Pollard shows her readers exactly how things really are in France. She made me dream about gorgeous gardens, delicious food and lazy days in the sun. I could almost see, feel and taste it all, which is a fantastic experience to have while reading a book.

Emmy is a sweetheart. She wants to take care of everyone and she sometimes forgets herself while she's doing that. She's generous with her time and skills and her cheerful personality makes it easy to like her. Rupert is a wonderful man and I loved him from the start. His cooking skills are excellent and he's a perfect host. Alain is a sexy bookkeeper who has hidden depths. I enjoyed reading more about him. Every person in this story is interesting and I love that Helen Pollard gives her characters such distinctive personalities. It's fun to read about their adventures, both the big and the little ones.

Helen Pollard has a great distinctive writing style and I like her tone of voice. Her beautiful dignified sentences suit Emmy's character very well. While I was reading Return to the Little French Guesthouse I stopped noticing what happened around me, I was completely spellbound by the story set in my favorite romantic country. I love La Cour des Roses and its inhabitants, it's a magical place and I highly recommend you to take a fictional holiday by reading this book.

15 comments:

  1. Thank you both for reviewing - it's lovely to know you enjoyed the books so much! :)

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  3. Ohh, how I am swooning over here! Thank you, Suze, for the beautiful review and for introducing me to this Guesthouse.
    Many years ago I was fortunate to be able to travel throughout Western Europe, and I spent some time driving around France. UNfortunately, however, I didn't spend any time in the true countryside. (Every day, I daydream of lavender fields!)
    I would just love to pick up a copy of these two titles, and let myself be taken away to this Little Guesthouse.
    --Ann

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    1. You will love it, Helen captured it all beautifully. I love the French countryside as well. I've visited quite a few places and while reading this series I could daydream about going there again. Your trip sounds impressive, thanks for sharing. I'll keep my fingers crossed you can come back to see those lavender fields some day, they're definitely worth a visit.

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    2. Thanks for visiting, A.B. Hope you enjoy it if you decide to take your 'virtual' trip to France!

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    3. You both replied! You both replied!!

      ...And now, to find a way to get hard copies of each-- to deliciously savor late into the night. (Up-all- Night Owl here!)

      I'm very new to the world of e-books, as I only recently bought my first tablet-- an Amazon Fire-- this past Prime Day. While I do love it quite a bit, for me the full-on sensory experience of a book with Real Pages, Made of Paper! is like none other. (And I've certainly not gotten used to [the idea of] adjusting the font of what I'm reading!)

      While I would love to support the author by purchasing a new book, I simply cannot at this time. (Those pesky financial limitations!) But I will be calling around to every used-book store that I can think of-- unfortunately, there aren't many where I currently live-- and see what I can do. I'm on a mission! ...Or, BookSwap?-- this is something that I only heard of in passing, about a week ago.

      Regardless, I'm one heck of a brainstormer. And a ~determined~ one, at that!

      And oh, Suze. I'm afraid that I was bitten by the wanderlust/wanderlove bug many, many years ago. It's terribly difficult, when the reality of what can feasibly pull off collides with ones dreams.

      But for now... I need to track down a Guesthouse or two.

      (You both replied!) :)

      --Ann

      P.S. This just occurred to me, seemingly randomly and all of a sudden: One of my very favorite films. It's a French film called "The Intouchables" (English title/translation)... Highly, highly recommended. If you've yet to see it, and are interested in checking it out, I strongly recommend not reading any more about it than is presented in the very brief synopsis provided at the top of this IMDb page. HIGHLY recommended. <3
      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1675434/?ref_=nv_sr_1

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  4. I've had my eyes on The Little French Guesthouse since I saw it on authors Facebook page. And now here's Return to the Little French Guesthouse. Sometimes all a reader need is a warm, cozy book.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Irma :) I agree - warm and cozy is good!

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  5. Thank you for your honest review, looking forward to reading this one!

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  6. This sounds like two perfect reads for me, added them to my TBR :)

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  7. Ahh, sounds like a nice vacation read. Or rather, what I can read to pretend I'm on vacation. :)

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  8. Lovely covers,great reviews :)

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  9. It sounds like a sweet story, but Emmy don't seem like she has much fight in her.

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  10. I'd love to read some vivid descriptions of a French setting! Now, if Emmy isn't a full-on doormat...

    --Trix

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