Author: Kat French
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: 22nd June, 2017
Cover Design: Emma Rogers
Publisher: Avon / HarperCollins
What others are saying:
‘Warm, wild, witty and wonderful. Kat French at her best! KATEY LOVELL
‘I loved her quirky humour and the pace, not to mention the colourful cast. And the setting were amazing. I really was transported. What a happy uplifting book! Funny and evocative, refreshing as a G and T – this book is as good as a holiday!’ JANE LINFOOT
‘Brimming full of joy and sunshine I thought it was gorgeous, lovely characters, wonderful setting, original ideas and Jess and Winnie – well what a fabulous love story!’ JULES WAKE
A gorgeous summer read to escape with this summer!
A Greek island solves all life’s problems…doesn’t it?
Winnie, Stella and Frankie have been best friends forever.
When their lives unexpectedly unravel, they spontaneously decide to buy a gorgeous B&B on a remote Greek island. Drenched in hot sun, Villa Valentina is the perfect escape from reality. But when Winnie meets Jesse, their brooding neighbour, she finds that Greece is full of its own complications – not least how attractive he is…
Meanwhile, Frankie and Stella are discovering that Villa Valentina has its own secrets – starting with the large supply of gin in the cellar and the arrival of a famous rock band. A band with one very good-looking member who just might distract Frankie from thoughts of her husband…
Smart, sassy and sexy, this summer sizzler is perfect for fans of Lucy Diamond and Jane Costello.
HarperCollins UK: Paperback
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Reviewed by Rachel & Sharon Thérèse
‘Do you think it’s too early for a G&T?’
We want to go to Greece! We want to go to Ms French’s island in the Med where three gorgeous women turn a new page in their lives, who leave everything behind to start a new journey for reasons you’ll only find out by diving headfirst into this stellar summer read. Escaping to this little piece of paradise is holding on to the memory of an outstanding tale narrated in third person past tense; of three besties finding themselves. Quite honestly, we felt like we were there. As French is such a descriptive writer, she made it easy for us to imagine them preparing their drink of preference on the veranda of their newly acquired B&B overlooking the beach. Don’t get us wrong; there’s much more depth to the plot than just fixing a good ol’ G&T which in itself, is quite another story!
‘So what’s going on over at the B&B? “Are you three doing a Thelma and Louise?’
‘Bitter women running off together for an ill-advised adventure?’
We can’t begin to tell you how refreshing it was to read a book whose protagonists’ ages were slightly more mature than what we normally expert to see in this type of genre. Them being older meant we related to Winnie, Frankie and Stella with such an ease, we were even able to put ourselves in their flipflops! Less than a quarter of the way into the story and we’d already made our minds up. We were right in thinking it would primarily be Winnie’s story with Frankie and Stella close behind. French has got talent. Her character development of these bosom buddies who compliment each other but are so not alike, was spot on. And although they do have a strong emotional connection and living under the same roof, there was never any bitching. Quite the reverse actually. Their relationship could be described as all for one, and one for all. Nor did a moment exist when we felt three was a crowd. Of course, they’re out of their depths with not speaking the lingo and all that, so get ready for a few gem cock-ups.
‘You just wished me Merry Christmas in Spanish. It’s early May, and this is Greece.’
Winnie won us over when she went looking for The Fonz; and not only found it, but also her stroppy Australian neighbour, Jesse. Hmm… it was plain to see what was going to happen here but we really didn’t mind, what concerned us was Winnie getting hurt. You see, Jesse is a confusing guy who blows hot one second and cold the other. When we got to know this sculptor extraordinaire a bit better, was when we began to worry about him because oh boy, does he have problems! We liked that French held his story back, kept us guessing right up until nearly the end of the book. A brilliant piece of writing strategy. One thing we can’t argue about is their sizzling chemistry. Seeing as he’d shown us his snarky attitude thus far, we couldn’t help but warm to him where, in one sexy scenario, Winnie bares more than her soul…and the kiss, no words! Yep, we were well pleased with Jesse. Mind you, we’re not sure who was left more frustrated; him, her or us! The banter between these two is simply off the charts. Jesse’s dry wit and Winnie’s sassy comebacks kept us entertained throughout the read and for such a confessed unromantic, Jesse had our lips quivering when he described to Winnie what he saw in her. That being said, what we really liked and not just with Winnie and Jesse, was listening to all the characters’ inner-thoughts; the advantage of telling a story in third person.
‘I’m not a monk. I fuck sometimes. I even make breakfast afterwards. I’m one of the good guys; I don’t promise the moon on a string, because strings strangle relationships.’
What also caught our attention was how the author adapted the gals abilities to chores of their liking. Frankie’s a dab hand in the kitchen, Stella puts her business skills to good use and Winnie being a mum, is excellent at multitasking. Who made us scream was Stella. She came across as an abrupt, no nonsense kind of person. Then she discovers there’s more to one of the B&B’s guests than meets the eye and it was as if she underwent an inner-change. Frankie. Of all the gals, it was she who touched our hearts most. A worrier, her sensitive soul suffers in silence. Little did she know what was in store for her.
‘I’m worried people might mistake me for the Virgin Mary if I start riding a donkey around town.’ ‘They might all fall on their knees and worship me.’
‘I reckon you’re safe.’ ‘I don’t think Mary wore hotpants.’
The gals settle in to find out they’re going to have to adhere to well established island customs. Now then, we have inside info; we just happen to know what tipple a certain lady likes! So it was of no surprise to us to learn that the actual plot per se, was going to revolve around this wondrous beverage which has held up an entire empire. What was thrown in for good measure and we liked it a lot was a lesson or three about how it’s made, the importance of a certain berry and why it was worthy of the locals reverence.
‘I quite like the idea of us as bad fairies. Can we have that on the label?’
‘To the Secret Gin Fairies of Skelidos.’
Our rating caused quite an interesting discussion. We never doubted that this story deserved five stars, but… the big but! One of us had issues with a few phrases. She felt this lovely trio of ladies, Brits to the core, wouldn’t have used Americanisms; saying that, her buddy reader felt that the usage of them would be more attractive to the American reader. Me, the blondie writing this paragraph begged to differ saying our American friends across the other side of the ocean love British English. Oops, work this one out–we’re both blonde! Another tinsy-winsy gripe she had was with the editing. A few passages were too wordy and had a clunky feel to them. Nonetheless, the last word was the actual story which in itself, won those five stars hands down. How could it not when one of us had to read it out loud to her hubby because he was curious to see why she was laughing her head off, and had him cracking up, too! Bravo Ms French for a giving us a superb beach read!
More Summer Reads by Kat French
HarperCollins UK sale: 99 pennies on Amazon
Meet & Connect with Kat:
Slightly less smutty alter-ego of Kitty French, USA Today bestselling smut fictionista. USA Today bestselling author Kitty French writes sexy, escapist reads hot enough to burn your fingers…
The Knight Trilogy has been a best seller around the globe, and is available as individual books or as a complete trilogy box-set.
Regular Sex, nine sizzling individual short stories in one book with a bonus of Knight and Sleigh was published on 26th May.
SIGN UP FOR KITTY’S NEWSLETTER for all the gossip and release information by emailing on email@example.com
Kitty is also the disreputable alter-ego of a romantic comedy writer Kat French.
As Kat, her romantic comedies Undertaking Love, The Piano Man and One Hot Summer are available now.
Kat was born and raised in the heart of the Black Country, where she still lives with her husband and her two little boys.
She grew up with a healthy obsession for books, and several years ago she promised her husband she would write novels if Santa gave her a macbook for Christmas. It’s a promise she is very glad to have kept.