The Chateau of Happily-Ever-Afters by Jaimie Admans
Jaimie Admans is on the blog today with her latest romantic comedy featuring a chateau in France, an unexpected legacy and plenty of atmosphere in
The Chateau of Happily-Ever-Afters
Wendy lives a very limited life in London: she’s a creature of habit, unfortunately her habits are exceedingly limited and rather dour. A musty apartment in a less-desirable area, no family, little opportunities for happiness and her only friend is her elderly neighbor Eulalie, who she trades baked goods with and listens to endless stories about a young girl in France who married a Duke and lived happily-ever-after. Wendy has spent the last years struggling to make ends meet while guarding herself and her heart from any new experiences, joy or chances that are not sure-things. After Eulalie’s death, she can add friendless to the inventory of her life, when an unexpected bequest and request to meet with a solicitor comes to her door.
Apparently, Eulalie had owned a chateau in Normandy, and left it to Wendy. And, French Inheritance laws being what they are, they had also found a long-lost and unknown great nephew, Julian, who will inherit with her. Instantly Wendy is on guard: her dislike of Julian purely from his gorgeous appearance to his questions about the chateau and a mentioned ‘treasure’ have her hackles up. Taking the steps she believes will secure her piece of the estate, and keep Julian out – she heads to France: half packed, unprepared and ready to see just what is there. Not moments after she arrived to open the doors on an unused and ignored chateau of 40 rooms, bat-infested towers and whole villages of spiders, Julian arrives in a sports-car, top down, glammed up and ready to investigate the building.
From the initial moments where Wendy can barely get a sentence out without slinging insults and proving her lack of trust in anyone, to the genuine efforts Julian makes to show her he is not the cad she believes, Wendy is really hard to like, and frustrating to the nth degree. Not speaking any French, and not having prepared for the lack of electrics, plumbing, massive cleaning or need for food, both Wendy and Julian are offered a breath of fresh air in ex-pat Kat, another Brit who left the UK behind for life in Normandy, escaping the end of a bad relationship and taking a chance on a dream. When she spots Julian, and listens to Wendy’s never-ending litany of complaints about him, she instantly sees something is brewing there.
What kept Wendy out of the empathetic was her childish refusal to judge Julian by what he was showing her: his never-ending attempts to repair electrics, plumbing and clear the garden, his willingness to shoo away the creepy-crawlies, his slow change from fitness model perfection to revealing his unvarnished self. She listens to everything and watches him carefully – she can see his insecurities and his issues, although he doesn’t fully share any of it. And Wendy’s actual story doesn’t come clear until far too late in the story to fully redeem her: even as she shows her concern and care for Julian, and the house seems to be giving them spectacular little surprises from electrics in just one room, to the whole house, a library full of books, and a garden full of fruit and chestnut trees, the chateau and the essence of France is strong in this book. With a dash of interference from an elderly woman from beyond the grave and opportunities that scare as much as they excite, the story is quick to read and ends with some truly memorable moments.
Title: The Chateau of Happily-Ever-Afters
Author: Jaimie Admans
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Comedy, Setting: France
Published by: HQ Digital
Published on: 7 June, 2017
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Google
About the Book:
Escape to beautiful France this summer with this uplifting romantic comedy. Perfect for fans of Kat French, Caroline Roberts and Holly Martin.
Where dreams come true…?
Wendy Clayton stopped believing in fairy tales a long time ago. Instead, she has a ‘nice’ life. Nice job. Nice flat. Absolutely no men. Until her life is turned upside-down when her elderly neighbour, Eulalie, passes away and leaves her the Château of Happily Ever Afters!
But there’s a catch: she must share the sprawling French castle with Eulalie’s long-lost nephew, Julian. And no matter how gorgeous he is, or how easily she finds herself falling head over heels, Wendy needs to find a way to get rid of him…
Because surely happily ever afters don’t happen in real life?
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: