Patricia Sands

‘I Promise You This’ (Love in Provence Book 3) by Patricia Sands #RBRT #TuesdayBookBlog #BookReview

Rosie's Book Review team 1

I reviewed ‘I Promise You This’ for Rosie Amber’s Book review team.

Suddenly single after twenty-two years of marriage, the calm of Katherine Price’s midlife has turned upside down. Seeking to find her true self, she took a chance on starting over. A year later, she is certain of this: she’s in love with Philippe and adores his idyllic French homeland, where he wants her to live with him.

But all that feels like a fantasy far removed from Toronto, where she’s helping her friend Molly, hospitalized after a life-threatening accident. Staying in her childhood home full of memories, Katherine wonders: Is she really ready to leave everything behind for an unknown life abroad? And if all her happiness lies with Philippe, will it last? Can she trust in love again?

Searching her heart, Katherine finds the pull of the familiar is stronger than she thought. An unexpected meeting with her ex, the first time since his cruel departure, and a stunning declaration of love from an old flame spur her introspection.

With sunlit backdrops and plot twists as breathtaking as the beaches of Antibes, author Patricia Sands brings her trilogy about second chances to a provocative and satisfying close that proves that a new life just might be possible—if you’re willing to let your heart lead you home.

promise

Amazon.co.uk   Amazon.com

I read the first in this trilogy ‘The Promise of Provence’ last year and very much enjoyed it. Although I haven’t read the second book, the author does a good job of letting the reader know what has happened since the end of Book One, so it wasn’t too difficult to pick up the threads of the story.

Katherine is back in Toronto, taking care of her friend Molly who has suffered severe injuries in a car accident. Being back in her home city with her family and friends and her memories, and being away from Philippe makes Katherine begin to doubt her certainty that France is where she belongs. She loves Philippe, but she wonders if that is enough.

What I really enjoyed about the first book was that Katherine had a humanity to her – she wasn’t perfect, she didn’t find things easy, and she suffered, like we all would, when her world came crashing down. I was happy that she was happy at the end of the novel. She deserved that happiness. In this book, however, I felt that the relatable and human side to her wasn’t as well-drawn. She was a bit too perfect, a bit too wonderful and kind and desirable. It didn’t feel real. Her relationship with Philippe, despite her cold feet, was also too perfect; he was too perfect.  While I enjoy a bit of escapism, I do like to be able to identify with, sympathise with and relate to characters. I found that quite difficult to do here. The other characters all seemed far too kind-hearted and generous and supportive too. While people can be all these things, they aren’t all of them all of the time, and for me that meant the book lost the edge of the first in the trilogy.

I also felt that a lot of the dialogue was unrealistic. There were a few occasions, particularly at the beginning, where it seemed to be used to pass information to the reader.

That said, the descriptions of France, as in the first book, were wonderful and engaging and very enjoyable to read. The ending, while sentimental and beautifully soppy, was lovely, and absolutely perfect for the trilogy. I may even have had a tear in my eye. But for me, the book didn’t work as well as the first.

3.5 stars

#RBRT ‘The Promise of Provence’ by Patricia Sands #BookReview #TuesdayBookBlog

Rosie's Book Review team 1

I read ‘The Promise of Provence’ for Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team.

provence

Amazon.co.uk  Amazon.com

I’m not really a romance fan, but I was drawn to this book because I love France. But I admit I was a bit wary.

The beginning of this book really draws you in. Katherine goes home after a long day at work hoping to celebrate her anniversary but instead finds her life falling apart. Her husband has left her for a younger woman. Katherine is devastated, and her reaction is portrayed sympathetically and authentically. In too many books these scenarios are treated in a rather cavalier way – the feisty (god, I hate that word) protagonist seems to bounce back and quickly finds love or strength or whatever – but here Katherine suffers, questions herself and definitely hits those lows.

Her mother, an absolutely wonderful character, offers warmth, sympathy and love, and, along with cousin Andrea and friend Molly, helps Katherine to slowly come back to life. But there is more trouble and grief in store, and Katherine decides to go to Provence, a place that holds happy memories from her past.

The descriptions of Provence are wonderful; the detail is engaging and entertaining, especially if, like me, you love France. I can see, however, that it might be too much for some people and I do think readers need to be aware that this book is definitely part travelogue. For me though, that was the interesting bit and I really enjoyed reading about the countryside, the people, the food and the weather.

The book details two trips to France along with more about Katherine’s life back in Canada. This details her relationship with Molly and Molly’s problems. For me, this was part of the book that I really didn’t get along with. I like Katherine; I’m interested in her story. I didn’t like Molly at all, and I wondered why her trials and tribulations were part of the narrative. For me, they detracted from the main story and weren’t necessary. This is about Katherine and I think that the author has gone too far in bringing so much of Molly’s story into the novel.

Leaving out this side plot would also make the book shorter. It is a very long read and there were definitely lots of bits that I thought could have been cut. In all honesty, it could have been half the length.

That said, I surprised myself by enjoying this novel very much. There is something very warm about it, very engaging, and the author’s love of France comes across very clearly.

4 stars