It’s such a pleasure today to be joining the blog tour and sharing my review of That Night In Paris by Sandy Barker, to be published for kindle by One More Chapter on 15th April (available for pre-order), with the paperback to follow on 25th June. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation and support, and to the publishers for my advance reading e-copy (provided via netgalley).
Do you know, I really meant to read and review the first in Sandy’s Holiday Romance series, One Summer in Santorini – then I hit a bit of a bottleneck, and it sadly just wasn’t to be. But it’s still there, on my kindle, waiting for the right moment – and if you’d like it to be on yours too, I see it’s just 99p at the moment. But there was no way I was going to miss out on her new one… and what a great read it was!
Note to self: don’t sleep with your flatmate after a curry and three bottles of wine… especially if he’s secretly in love with you and wants you to meet his mum.
Cat Parsons is on the run. She doesn’t do relationships. After ten years of singlehood even the hint of the ‘L’ word is enough to get Cat packing her bags and booking herself onto a two-week holiday.
A European bus tour feels like a stroke of genius to dodge awkward conversations at home. But little does Cat realise that the first stop will be Paris, the city of love itself.
Joined by new friends, Cat has got two weeks, eight countries and a hell of a lot of wine ahead of her. As they discover hidden treasures and the camaraderie of life on the road, will Cat find a new way of looking at love?
Discover the beauty of Europe’s most romantic cities in this uplifting and laugh-out-loud novel for fans of Samantha Parks, Alex Brown and Mandy Baggot.
I really should have read that blurb more carefully – I was expecting Paris (of course!), and always rather look forward to a visit to the city of love. But this wonderful book took me on a whistle stop tour of Europe, on a coach, with Cat and her new friends – and what tremendous fun it was. The descriptions of every location are so well done that you feel you’ve been there – and in many cases I have, sometimes on a coach tour myself (but with nicer hotels!), and I really did feel I’d been given the opportunity to return albeit from the comfort of my armchair. Or actually, when I say “armchair”, I read this book on one of those hot April days in the garden – I’d recommend that you do that too, because I can’t think of a better book to have with you when you’re reclining in the sunshine.
It’s much, much more than just a travelogue though – and believe me, some of the places where they found themselves staying have the potential to put you off travelling for life. I really took Cat to my heart – badly hurt in love, making mistake after mistake while trying to make sure she’s never hurt like that again – and her voice, perfectly sustained throughout the book, is just wonderful.
And I loved the portrayal of her new friends too – and I think it’s those friendships and their ups and downs that I’ll remember most about this book. Each of the women is entirely three-dimensional, with their own reasons for being on the trip and really well-drawn backstories – and they all shift at times from being funny and likeable to something entirely other (well, except for her bus bestie Lou maybe – she’s a friend I’d rather like to have too).
Cat also has a great relationship with her sister, with their FaceTime exchanges punctuating the story – and it’s particularly useful that she was once a tour manager for the holiday company, and could manage Cat’s expectations about their destinations and the inadequacies of their accommodation.
The romance at the book’s centre is just one of the most perfect ever – it hinges on one of those chance happenstances in a Paris backstreet, and develops so wonderfully that it made me feel really warm and fuzzy inside. In fact, there’s tremendous warmth in the whole story’s telling – and I thought the many moments of humour were really perfectly judged. It’s nicely balanced too – there are moments of real poignancy, echoes of the past, times when real life raises its head and glowers a little.
Did I mention that Cat is an Aussie living in London? I loved the way that was handled, and the jokes around it – and the fact that the friends are from different places and backgrounds too added some extra texture to the story and its friendships.
This was just such a lovely read – the best of armchair travelling, plenty to entertain, a wonderful romance and a journey back to happiness. Do give it a try – one very happy reader here, and I’m already looking forward to A Sunset in Sydney!
About the author
I’m a writer, traveller and hopeful romantic with a lengthy bucket list. I love exploring new places, outdoor adventures, and eating and drinking like a local when I travel, and many of my travel adventures have found homes in my novels. I’m also an avid reader, a film buff, a wine lover and a coffee snob.
My first novel, a romantic comedy set in Greece and inspired by my real-life love story, was published in June 2019 by One More Chapter (HarperCollins). In 2020, two follow-ups to One Summer in Santorini hit the shelves: That Night in Paris in April and A Sunset in Sydney in June. A stand-alone Christmas novel, The Christmas Swap, will be published in October.
I am represented by Lina Langlee of the Kate Nash Literary Agency.