There have been a few Social Media posts, recently, asking people to identify their favourite author of romantic fiction. I can honestly say that Sue Moorcroft is mine. I discovered her writing after moaning on Twitter that I’d read all the books by Jill Mansell and Katie Fforde, and they only seem to publish one per year. It was Katie who suggested that I read Sue’s books and the rest is history.
I find myself more critical of Sue’s writing as I am always determined that my reviews are unbiased. I am delighted to say that this is another wonderful story that allowed me to escape reality for a few hours. As I write this review, the news is full of the horrors in Ukraine, and I certainly needed this distraction.
I’m grateful to Rachel’s Random Resources and Avon Books for the digital ARC received in exchange for my honest review. You can read my thoughts below.
Sparkling sun, strolls in the gorgeous French countryside, that first sip of cool, crisp wine – Summer is Kat’s favourite season. And this year should be no exception…
As soon as Kat Jenson set foot in the idyllic French village of Kirchhoffen, she knew she’d found her home. Now she has a dreamy boyfriend, a delightful dog and the perfect job managing a bustling book café in the vibrant Parc Lemmel.
But when she learns her boyfriend isn’t all he seems, it’s the start of a difficult summer for Kat. Vindictive troublemakers, work woes and family heartache follow, and the clear blue sky that was her life suddenly seems full of clouds.
Then she gets to know the mysterious Noah, and her sun begins to shine brighter than ever. But Noah has problems of his own – ones that could scupper their new-found happiness. Together, can they overcome their many obstacles, and find love again?
The perfect summer read for fans of Trisha Ashley, Sarah Morgan and Carole Matthews.
With the vibrant yellow cover, Summer at the French Café was always going to create the warmth of a summer’s day as Kat and Noah’s story unfolded. I was immediately drawn to Kat, her job at the book café in Park Lemmel sounded idyllic, as did the village of Kirchhoffen. The opening pages set the scene as Kat’s romantic future implodes with the revelation that her boyfriend isn’t as available as he had seemed. The fallout of this revelation will resonate throughout a huge part of the story, but it is certainly not the main theme.
Kat is a capable, independent woman whose childhood was affected by divorce, leading her to feelings of both abandonment and displacement. Despite that, she has developed a better relationship with her stepbrother, Solly, since he arrived to spend the summer working at the Parc. It’s Solly’s roommate, Noah that helps Kat to move on from her heartache and push forward with the book café.
Noah has his own issues as he is dealing with his own familial heartache having arrived at the Parc, hot on the heels of his ex-wife and his daughter Clemence.
I just love romantic fiction, I doubt anyone who follows my reviews will be surprised by that statement, but I love it when a story brings a couple together and unites them early on. Seeing them work together and battle through their challenges as a couple is somehow more romantic than some other tropes.
There is a strong supporting cast in this story, and I just loved the way they all fell into place. Kat’s relationship with her father was the perfect motivation for Noah’s determination to remain part of Cle’s life. Sadly, it’s this determination that Kat is sorely missing from her life; nobody has ever seemed to put her first, a fact that she finds hard to reconcile.
Part of the joy of Sue Moorcroft’s writing is her ability to create fabulous, well-developed characters who are instantly believable. Her stories are often complex and deal with some serious aspects of life. She doesn’t pull her punches as difficult topics are explored, but it never feels like heavy going as she steers the story to its perfect conclusion.
I enjoyed my escape to France and am already excited about the next book from this wonderful author.
Sue Moorcroft is a Sunday Times bestselling author. She’s reached the coveted #1 spot on Amazon Kindle UK and Top 100 on Kindle US. She’s won the Goldsboro Books Contemporary Novel of the Year, Readers’ Best Romantic Novel award and the Katie Fforde Bursary.
Her novels, short stories, serials, columns, writing ‘how to’ and courses have appeared around the world.
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