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As Weekends Go: Jan Brigden


Book blurb 

What if your entire life changed in the space of a weekend?

When Rebecca’s friend Abi convinces her to get away from it all at the fabulous Hawksley Manor hotel in York, it seems too good to be true. Pampering and relaxation is just what Rebecca needs to distract herself from the creeping suspicion that her husband, Greg, is hiding something from her.

She never imagined that by the end of the weekend she would have dined with celebrities or danced the night away in exclusive clubs. Nor could she have predicted she would meet famous footballer, Alex Heath, or that he would be the one to show her that she deserved so much more …

But no matter how amazing a weekend is, it’s always back to reality come Monday morning – isn’t it?

2014/15 Winner of Choc Lit & Whole Story Audiobooks Search for a Star competition.

My review

I’ve been reading out of my genre recently, don’t know why really but there’s so many good books out there and I needed a change so in downloading As Weekends Go was like wrapping myself up in a woolly throw with a mug of hot chocolate. 

It has all the elements of a good romance. A quirky likeable female lead with supportive BF. Nasty controlling husband Greg is the man we love to hate and then finally handsome hero male lead in the guise of hunky out of type footballer Alex. 

All elements converge and sparks start to fly when accident prone Rebecca trips over Alex at some up-market swanky resort in York. There’s no real plot surprises here, it’s all very upfront and gives the reader exactly what it says on the tin – an enjoyable light read that you’ll fly through with a smile on your face. 

Available from Amazon here

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French Rhapsody, Antoine Laurain

Book blurb

The arrival of a letter delayed by 33 years sparks off a quest that leads both on a nostalgic journey back to the 1980s and right to the heart of France today.

Middle-aged doctor Alain Massoulier has received a life-changing letter thirty-three years too late. Lost in the Paris postal system for decades, the letter from Polydor, dated 1983, offers a recording contract to The Holograms, in which Alain played lead guitar.

Overcome by nostalgia, Alain is tempted to track down the members of the group. But in a world where everything and everyone has changed…where could his quest possibly take him?

My review.

This is the third novel I’ve read by French writer Antoine Laurain and it certainly didn’t disappoint. In fact I was so keen to get my mitts on it that I contacted the UK publisher to find out the NetGalley release date.

Like with the other two books (The President’s Hat and The Red Notebook) French Rhapsody deals with loss, in this case the loss of a letter that arrives 33 years too late to make any difference, or so the main player Doctor Alain Massoulier thinks. In tracking down the lives and loves of his former band members he gets more than he bargains for and in a funny twist of fate changes the course of more than one timeline mentioned. The book is told from a variety of view points and some of them with startle you. Irina, the Russian er model/call girl for one – but believe me his inclusion of minor voices is what ties this all together in one extremely fancy package. I don’t know where he gets his ideas from, just as I love how his writing is presented.

The writing is strong and very current with frequent references to both French and world wide politics. Laurain has a talent for delving into the absurd and the comedic elements are  laugh out loud funny, so don’t be tempted to read in public places!

If you are a Francophile this is a fun light read with plenty of humour, pathos and plot. If, like me you spend a great deal of time in France and understand some of the French  nuances of both culture and past times this a must read. There is a fair bit of political reference but it must be remembered that it is a work of translation.

Antoine, thanks for the great read – when’s the  next one out?

Available to pre- order from Amazon here