When the lovely team at Boldwood Books asked me if I could help spread the word about A Riviera Retreat by Jennifer Bohnet – published on 23rd January for kindle (available via Kindle Unlimited too), in paperback, and as an audiobook – I was really delighted. What I’d really have liked to do was to read it, straight away, and share my review – but I think most of you know what my reading list is like, and sadly that was just impossible.
I do love Jennie’s writing – here on Being Anne, you’ll find a few reviews of her earlier books (A French Pirouette, The Little Kiosk by the Sea – particularly loved that one! – and Rosie’s Little Café on the Riviera) and a few other features and guest posts too.
But I’ve been neglecting her shamefully – I just couldn’t fit in A Year of Taking Chances or Summer at Coastguard Cottages (so frustrating – but they are waiting on my kindle!). And then she joined Boldwood Books, the perfect home for her writing – and I could have cried when I just couldn’t fit in the reading of Villa of Sun and Secrets either. So sorry Jennie – I’ll be there for Rendez-Vous in Cannes (out in April), come hell or high water!
But let’s take a closer look at her latest…
Take time out to find what makes you happy…
When Retreat owner Amy offers three lucky competition winners a holiday on the Cote d’Azur, she has no idea that this simple act of kindness will have life-changing repercussions on her own life as well as those who join her…
Young entrepreneur Chelsea has just been subjected to a very public relationship break up and needs to get away to lick her wounds.
MP’s wife Victoria is at a crossroads in her life now that the children have left home. She realises she has ambitions of her own and needs some ‘me time’ to figure things out.
Recently widowed Matilda is assessing life without her beloved husband. Can she find the courage to follow their dream on her own?
The four women, despite their differences, bond and support each other, making memories and forming friendships that will last for years.
A heart-warming, uplifting novel, perfect for fans of Jill Mansell and Erica James.
Doesn’t that look just wonderful? It’s such a pleasure to welcome Jennie as my guest to tell us more about her characters…
Thank you Anne for the opportunity.
The tag line of my new book A Riviera Retreat reads ‘Take time out to find what makes you happy’ – something that I’m sure many of us dream of doing! Three of the four characters in A Riviera Retreat are lucky enough to be given the opportunity to do just that. For different reasons they all welcome the chance of a real break from reality down on the Cote d’Azur – a time to gather their thoughts, their needs, to try and work out a plan for the future. The fourth character Amy, owner of the retreat, is facing her own demons.
The four are all strangers to each other at the beginning of the book but as the days go by friendships are formed and lives become entwined in unexpected ways as secrets are revealed.
The women might span three different generations with a variety of life experiences between them but they discover they have things in common that draw them together in friendship and a desire to protect each other.
The problems the four women are facing are not unusual in life – loneliness, money worries, marriages that go wrong – and I think many readers will identify and recognise everyday situations in the book – even though its being played out on the French Riviera.
Readers have described my characters as ‘real women’ and that the characters were more like real-life friends by the time they’d finished reading because they seemed so real. I give myself a metaphorical pat on the back when this happens because to me whilst writing the book, I was telling the story of my friends.
I think perhaps above all else the book is a story about female friendship and how it empowers. One of the early reviews says, ‘This novel celebrated female friendship and its ability to repair and support without judgement.’ Happy to take that!
Thank you Jennie – that sounds just perfect!
And with thanks to Megan at Boldwood, I have one other little treat – an audio extract from the book. Just to make life a little easier, she’s even uploaded it to YouTube for me – you’ll find it HERE.
About the author
Jennifer Bohnet is the bestselling author of over 12 women’s fiction titles, including Villa of Sun and Secrets and The Little Kiosk By The Sea. She is originally from the West Country but now lives in the wilds of rural Brittany, France.