It’s been five years, and Lizzie Lambert has decided it’s time to try to make things right with her estranged mother.
She’s made a success of things in Cannes, she’s bringing up a lovely little boy on her own, and she’s ready to put the past behind her.
But it seems Lizzie’s mother has moved on as well. She’s moved her toyboy – a muscle-bound vintner named Cal – into the family home, and given him the run of the land that was meant to be Lizzie’s inheritance!
Cal’s wine business frequently takes him to France, and suddenly wherever Lizzie goes, he’s already there – meddling, giving unsolicited advice, saving her little boy’s life and stealing her heart. But none of this changes the fact that he’s her mother’s lover…
I’ve been wanting to read Karen’s books for ages, so as I’m taking part in the tour for her new book The Riviera next week, I finally made time to read it’s prequel, The Vineyard, first, and I’m so glad I did!
First things first, we know I’m a total cover slut, and just look at how pretty it is! Gorgeous, bold colours and pretty flowers give it such a beautifully summery vibe, and sits perfectly with the tone of the book.
It’s been 5 years since Lizzie ran away to France, leaving uni, her ex and her family behind her. She decides it’s time to put he past behind her and make amends, but when she visits her mother, it doesn’t take long for sparks to fly again after Lizzie discovered Caroline has moved in her toyboy, Cal, and given him Lizzie’s inheritance. For the second time, Lizzie bolts it back to France, leaving things left un-mended between her and her mother yet again.
She is very surprised, therefore, when she bumps into Cal in France shortly after – and not just the once. With Anton, the father of her three-year-old, Thierry, giving her an incredible amount of hassle, plus the strains of trying to get her new business set up, Lizzie really doesn’t have time for more complications from her mother’s lover. The biggest complication of all being the undeniable chemistry between them!!
First off: I LOVE THIERRY. That darling little boy just swooped right in and stole my heart from the word go. What a little slice of heaven he is.
Anyway, now that’s off my chest…Karen has done a wonderful job of creating each and every character in this story. They were all so rounded and three-dimensional. I didn’t instantly warm to Lizzie necessarily, but I think that’s what made her work as a character. I found her very quick to judge and slightly paranoid to begin with, but therefore hugely enjoyed watching her story arc unfold, as she went through a hell of a character progression throughout the book. Cal was so sweet and endearing, if a little confusing at times. I loved how naturally caring he was for Lizzie and particularly Thierry.
I also loved that this book was about so much more than just the relationship between Lizzie and Cal. It is full of love, friendship, family, trust, second chances and misconceptions. The story really pulls you in from the very start and keeps you held until the last page.
This is an utterly charming book that is a perfect summer read to settle down with a glass (or bottle!) of wine to.
Tune in tomorrow for my stop on the blog tour for The Riviera, the sequel to The Vineyard!