The journey is only as good as its end…
It’s been a hard journey, but Lizzie Lambert’s life is a Provençal dream come true. Her business is wildly successful, and with her little boy and the love of her life, Cal, she is making a beautiful home on the vineyard for their blended family.
But when Cal goes to America to support his son through a teenage crisis, it becomes clear the kid’s not the only one with some growing up to do: Cal’s glamorous ex-wife wants to get her claws in him again. As Cal spends longer and longer away, Lizzie wonders, was it all too good to be true?
Escape to Provence with Karen Aldous’ The Riviera, the perfect read for an idyllic summer.
Welcome to my stop on The Riviera blog tour!
Having just recently read The Vineyard, I slipped straight into The Riviera with ease, and was so happy to carry on with Lizzie and Cal’s story. This could read just fine as a stand alone, but you will miss out on the utter joy that brings us up to this point in The Vineyard, and will not have the same instant relationship with the characters, so I do implore you to read that first.
As we start The Riviera, Lizzie and Cal are happily in the throws of love in the early stages of their relationship, and to be quite honest, they are simply wonderful. They are so deeply in love, their emotion and warmth for one another simply radiates off the pages, and it’s a wonder to behold. I was so happy to reconnect with all of the characters, especially my darling little Thierry, Lizzie’s son, who melts me constantly.
Things start to become more strained, however, when Cal’s son, Jack, appears to be in trouble, so Cal flies over to help him. With his trip getting extended longer than planned, and interference from Jack’s mum, Kelly, tension starts to grow between the couple as Lizzie grows more and more concerned. She continues to worry about their family relationships when Jack comes to stay for the holidays, and when Cal returns to Nantucket for even longer, just as Kelly has split up with her partner, tensions are certainly running high!
Lizzie has her own demands to deal with too though, as business is booming, and there is a wonderful sub plot of long lost family members and possible reunions, which was a delightful aside to the main plot. This book is just so chock-a-block full with emotion, all of which felt so incredibly raw and real, it was impossible not to get swept up inside the story.
Karen has such a wonderful way of creating realistic characters which you really connect with, and for absolutely engaging all your emotions. As with The Vineyard, The Riviera is full with wonderful themes of love, family, friendship and trust, and about how relationships deal with being stretched to their very limits, and pulled, twisted and tested in every way possible.
My heart was in my throat for Cal and Lizzie, as I prayed for them to defeat all the obstacles life was throwing at them, and Karen really keeps you on your toes as to how it could possibly work out. Honestly, Karen is such a cruel mistress in how she toys with your emotions, I almost felt physically exhausted by the time I finished this book because I was so emotionally invested it!
Another absolutely wonderful novel, which has certainly left me wanting more from this wonderful writer. A perfect book for these final summer days, to indulge in with a glass of wine or two. Simply charming.
About Karen Aldous
Karen gets much of her inspiration from her travels and if she had to choose, France, Greece, Switzerland, Italy and the USA would be her favourites. However, wherever she goes, she discovers a new character emerges in ‘Karen’s World’. She likes to write about strong independent women who can direct their own lives – but struggle to control them! And, of course there’s always a gorgeous hunk or two!
Connect with Karen