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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

With Love For Bookouture: Return to The Little French Guesthouse by Helen Pollard - Book Review, Interview & Giveaway

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Review by Anniek

Emmy has decided to take a leap of faith and left her life in England behind to stay with Rupert, the owner of La Cour des Roses. She's the manager of this beautiful guesthouse now and is determined to learn everything she needs to know to help Rupert make La Cour des Roses a success. Emmy fell in love with this place from the moment she arrived. Although the short holiday made her see the true colors of her boyfriend Emmy chooses not to dwell on it and wants to follow her dreams. Emmy has built a life for herself and is making loyal friends along the way. When an unexpected and unwanted return of Gloria, Rupert's ex-wife, is about to mess things up, Emmy is devastated. What will this mean for her job at La Cour des Roses?

Emmy has taken on the responsibility of her job with a lot of enthusiasm. She's thinking outside the box to attract more customers. Not all of them are as easygoing as Emmy hoped they would be. She invites a well know travel blogger, who has a lot of followers, to hopefully gain a positive rating. She doesn't know that this blogger has some rare character traits that might disturb the other guests. She also receives a massive booking with a lot of extras and Emmy has no idea how to pull it off. The days at La Cour des Roses are never dull and Emmy needs all of her skills to meet everyone's expectations. Will she be able to show everyone what she's made of or did she make a rash decision when she moved to France?

Emmy is such a sweetheart. She's full of life and even though she doesn't know everything there is to know about her job yet, she always tries to make the best of it. I love it when a person is looking on the bright side of life. I had a huge smile on my face when I was reading about the way Emmy interacts with people. She's a hard worker and she's never been one to crumble in the face of a crisis. Emmy has taken a huge risk, but I totally understood her motivations and I could easily imagine her living in France. Emmy has gotten burned by love and now that she has met Alain she's slowly trying to let someone in again. I loved to read about the journeys of the main characters and found them all incredibly interesting.

Ever since I read The Little French Guesthouse I fell in love with La Cour des Roses. Rupert is such a colorful character and the descriptions of the food that he cooks made my mouth water. I would be perfectly happy to spend my holiday reading in his beautiful garden and enjoying the peace and quiet at La Cour des Roses. Helen Pollard managed to take me with her on her journey to France. I have been in France when I was younger and while I was reading Return to The Little French Guesthouse all I could think about was packing my bags and start driving. Return to The Little French Guesthouse is an enchanting and heartwarming story that had me mesmerized from the beginning until the very end. I can't wait to read the next book in this series and to return, once again, to the beautiful La Cour des Roses.


If you're looking for the perfect read for a lovely day in the sun, I highly recommend taking a trip to France with Helen Pollard and enjoy the magical surroundings of La Cour des Roses.

About Helen Pollard

As a child, Helen had a vivid imagination fuelled by her love of reading, so she started to create her own stories in a notebook.

She still prefers fictional worlds to real life, believes characterisation is the key to a successful book, and enjoys infusing her writing with humour and heart.

When she's not writing, Helen enjoys reading, scrapbooking and watching old seventies and eighties TV shows.

Helen is a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association and The Society of Authors.

Author links

Website & Blog:


1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

I live in Yorkshire with my husband, my daughter who finished university last year and is now back with us and working nearby, and my son who will return from a year volunteering abroad soon but will then be off to university. We have a cat with a Jekyll & Hyde personality – one minute lovingly draped in your lap, the next viciously clamped onto one of your limbs with all teeth and claws. Antiseptic cream is always close at hand!

2. Where do you find the inspirations for your stories?

Often it will be a setting. That won’t necessarily inspire a whole story, but I do need a sense of where the story takes place before I can get going with the actual writing. Otherwise, characters just seem to turn up in my head one day and refuse to leave until I’ve woven a story for them.

3. Do you have a writing routine?

No, not really, but I do like to get any admin, e-mails etc. out of the way before I feel free to get stuck into my writing. Creativity used to be precipitated by my mid-morning coffee, but nowadays I’m decaff so I don’t get quite the jolt I used to!

4. What do you like the most about writing romance?

Romance is timeless. I can’t imagine a world without it. My books often have a serious side, too, but romance is the thing that will keep the characters going; give them and the reader hope. I love taking a couple who are attracted to each other, putting obstacles in their way and getting them through them at last . . . I’m a sucker for a happy ending.

5. If you're not writing or reading what do you like to do?

I don't watch much TV – something has to be really good to keep my attention. I try to go for a short walk once a day to blow away the cobwebs, and I enjoy a coffee and a chat with friends or family.

6. Could you describe your main characters in six words each?

Emmy is good-hearted, open, loyal, self-deprecating, practical and funny.

Alain is sexy, kind, thoughtful, empathetic, warm-hearted . . . and tall!

7. Are there certain elements that a story by you has to have, so readers can easily recognize it as yours?

I always like to have some element of humour in my books. The amount will vary depending on the story, of course, but I’ve had plenty of scope for it at the Little French Guesthouse, which has been fun.

8. What makes your heart beat faster?

Knowing that I’m more in love with my husband now than I was twenty-plus years ago.

9. What's the best writing advice you've ever been given?

Trust your own instincts.

10. What can we expect from you in the future?

I’ve just completed the third in the La Cour des Roses series, Summer at the Little French Guesthouse, which is due out on 12th July. Then I have a busy summer and autumn ahead on the family front, so I’ve decided that a break from writing might be in order before I plan my next project!


One very lucky reader of With Love For Books will receive a digital copy of Return to The Little French Guesthouse and a gorgeous book cover necklace.

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.


  1. What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

  2. I went through the early 1900's reading the Molly Murphy Mystery Series by Rhys Bowen.

  3. Return to The Little French Guesthouse sounds like a lovely feel-good romance, a perfect read for the summer.

  4. What a wonderful book! La Cour des Roses sounds like a lovely place to visit. Thanks for sharing.

  5. amzing story, full of emotional moments...really captivating!

  6. What a lovely inviting cover. This looks like a great holiday read!

  7. I'm looking forward to reading Helen's books. Thank you

  8. I love this series, can't wait for the third installment

  9. Makes me feel like getting my Francaise on.

  10. Wonderful book! Thanks for sharing.

  11. very interesting article! definitely, i will take into consideration some of your recommendation From:

  12. Another one to add to my list, bring on my retirement

  13. Looks a fantastic read.

  14. Wow,looks like a great book. And awesome review!

  15. Thanks for the review and giveaway!

  16. Those are great descriptions of Emmy & Alain.

  17. Thanks for the giveaway.


  18. Great interview! Thanks for sharing.