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Loch Ewe, 1940. When gamekeeper’s daughter Flora’s remote highland village finds itself the base for the Royal Navy’s Arctic convoys, life in her close-knit community changes forever. In defiance of his disapproving father, the laird’s son falls in love with Flora, and as tensions build in their disrupted home, any chance of their happiness seems doomed.
Decades later, Flora’s daughter, singer Lexie Gordon, is forced to return to the village and to the tiny cottage where she grew up. Having long ago escaped to the bright lights of the West End, London still never truly felt like home. Now back, with a daughter of her own, Lexie learns that her mother—and the hostile-seeming village itself—have long been hiding secrets that make her question everything she thought she knew.
As she pieces together the fragments of her parents’ story, Lexie discovers the courageous, devastating sacrifices made in her name. It’s too late to rekindle her relationship with her mother, but can Lexie find it in her heart to forgive the past, to grieve for all that’s lost, and finally find her place in the world?
An RNA Romantic Novel Award nominee.
Heartbroken and hoping for a new start, Abi Howes takes a summer job in rural France at the Château Bellevue. The old château echoes with voices from the past, and soon Abi finds herself drawn to one remarkable woman’s story, a story that could change the course of her summer—and her life.
In 1938, Eliane Martin tends beehives in the garden of the beautiful Château Bellevue. In its shadow she meets Mathieu Dubosq and falls in love for the first time, daring to hope that a happy future awaits. But France’s eastern border is darkening under the clouds of war, and history has other plans for Eliane…
When she is separated from Mathieu in the chaos of German occupation, Eliane makes the dangerous decision to join the Resistance and fight for France’s liberty. But with no end to the war in sight, her loyalty to Mathieu is severely tested.
From the bestselling author of Sea of Memories comes the story of two remarkable women, generations apart, who must use adversity to their advantage and find the resilience deep within.
A Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and Amazon Charts bestseller.
From the bestselling author of The Beekeeper’s Promise comes a gripping story of three young women faced with impossible choices. How will history – and their families – judge them?
Paris, 1940. With the city occupied by the Nazis, three young seamstresses go about their normal lives as best they can. But all three are hiding secrets. War-scarred Mireille is fighting with the Resistance; Claire has been seduced by a German officer; and Vivienne’s involvement is something she can’t reveal to either of them.
Two generations later, Claire’s English granddaughter Harriet arrives in Paris, rootless and adrift, desperate to find a connection with her past. Living and working in the same building on the Rue Cardinale, she learns the truth about her grandmother – and herself – and unravels a family history that is darker and more painful than she ever imagined.
In wartime, the three seamstresses face impossible choices when their secret activities put them in grave danger. Brought together by loyalty, threatened by betrayal, can they survive history’s darkest era without being torn apart?
When Kendra first visits her ailing grandmother, Ella has only one request: that Kendra write her story down, before she forgets…
In 1937, seventeen-year-old Ella’s life changes forever when she is sent to spend the summer on the beautiful Île de Ré and meets the charismatic, creative Christophe. They spend the summer together, exploring the island’s sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters, and, for the first time in her life, Ella feels truly free.
But the outbreak of war casts everything in a new light. Ella is forced to return to Scotland, where she volunteers for the war effort alongside the dashing Angus. In this new world, Ella feels herself drifting further and further from who she was on the Île de Ré. Can she ever find her way back? And does she want to?
From the windswept Île de Ré to the rugged hills of Scotland, Sea of Memories is a spellbinding journey about the power of memory, love and second chances.
Fans of Katie Fforde, Carole Matthews, Victoria Connelly or Erica James – and everyone who enjoyed Nick Alexander’s The French House – will love Fiona Valpy.
Can happy-ever-after get lost in translation?
Gina has lost her perfect job, her boyfriend and her favourite aunt all within the space of a few months. So when she inherits her aunt’s ramshackle French house, Gina decides to pack her bags for the Bordeaux countryside – swapping English weather for blue skies, sunshine, great wine and a fresh start.
What she hasn’t factored in is a hole in the roof, the most embarrassing language faux pas, and discovering family secrets that she was never supposed to know.
Suddenly feeling a long way from home, Gina will have to rely on new found friends, her own hard work – and Cédric – her charming, mysterious and très handsome new stonemason.
But whilst desire needs no translation, love is a different matter. Can Gina overcome the language barrier to make her French dream come true?
Like a glass of wine in the French afternoon sunshine – The French for Love is the perfect summer escape.
Five weddings. The perfect venue. One little hitch…
Leaving the grey skies of home behind to transform a crumbling French Château into a boutique wedding venue is a huge leap of faith for Sara. She and fiancé Gavin sink their life savings into the beautiful Château Bellevue – set under blue skies and surrounded by vineyards in the heart of Bordeaux.
After months of hard work, the dream starts to become a reality – until Gavin walks out halfway through their first season. Overnight, Sara is left very much alone with the prospect of losing everything.
With her own heart breaking, Sara has five weddings before the end of the season to turn the business around and rescue her dreams. With the help of the locals and a little French courage, can she save Château Bellevue before the summer is over?
What people are saying about The French for Always
‘This was set in the gorgeous French countryside which, itself, was another character in the novel, I honestly felt like I was there drinking in the sunshine, the atmosphere and the wine! The description in this book was just beautiful full on wonderful metaphorical language and adjectives that tasted wonderful in the mouth!
Overall this novel would be a lovely summer read, you will feel the heat emanating off the page and so will definitely put you in the mood for barbecues and a glass of wine or two alfresco. This is a stand along novel, so if you haven't read anything from this author before, it would be a great introduction to her lovely writing!’ 4/5 Fabulous Book Fiend
‘I fell in love with this novel as soon as I had read the first few pages. I am a sucker for any story that in one way or another has to do with weddings, but I have to admit, I’m not a particular fan of France. Yet, the descriptions of Chateau Bellevue, the surroundings, the small village and its inhabitants... I loved it and the whole atmosphere in the novel immediately made it feel like summer, even though it was raining where I was! The main character, Sara, was easily likeable and I felt myself rooting for her and her wedding business, especially after her fiancé Gavin decides to leave her and she suddenly has to set up the business on her own. Luckily, Sara is surrounded by a great cast of supporting characters, including the trustworthy Karen and handsome and charming Thomas.
The storyline, which revolves around Sara and her attempts to save Chateau Bellevue, was really enjoyable, especially because of the five weddings that are organised at the venue while the story enfolds. Each of the weddings featured a specific couple, all of them different from one another with their own background. Fiona Valpy’s writing is great; well-paced, detailed, and captivating, and I definitely look forward to reading more of her work in the future. ‘The French for Always’ is a wonderfully warm and thoroughly enjoyable read, and definitely the book to pick up if you are looking for your first taste of summer!’ 9.5/10 Spoonful of Happy Endings
París, 1940. Con la ciudad ocupada por los nazis, tres jóvenes costureras tratan de salir adelante lo mejor que pueden. Sin embargo, las tres ocultan secretos. Mireille lucha con la Resistencia; a Claire la ha seducido un oficial alemán; y Vivienne ni siquiera puede compartir con sus amigas lo que hace, porque eso la condenaría.
Dos generaciones después, la nieta inglesa de Claire, Harriet, llega a París. Desarraigada y a la deriva, desesperada por encontrar información sobre su pasado, se establece en el mismo edificio de la rue Cardinale, donde también trabaja, y descubre la verdad sobre su abuela, y sobre sí misma, lo que la llevará a desentrañar una historia familiar más oscura y dolorosa de lo que podía imaginar.
En tiempos de guerra, las tres costureras se enfrentarán a decisiones imposibles al verse en peligro por las actividades secretas que llevan a cabo. Unidas por la lealtad y amenazadas por la traición, ¿podrán sobrevivir a la era más oscura de la historia europea sin acabar destrozadas?
Gina entschließt sich, ein Jahr Auszeit zu nehmen, sich in Sachen Wein fortzubilden und danach in London noch mal richtig durchzustarten. Allerdings hat auch das Leben in Frankreich so seine Vorteile, besonders einen sehr attraktiven namens Cédric Thibault ...