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4.4 out of 5 stars146
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 10 July 2013
Review: this is the perfect summer read! It was just the right amount of warmth and exotic location for this British summer. I loved the idea of the story, someone escaping to France and it was just as enjoyable as I expected! We are introduced to Gina and her hopeless situation straight away, and I loved her as a character. She is a strong person who knows that she has to get away in order to sort her life out. I like the fact that she has lost her job and so she is trying to further her education as well-an admirable quality!

At the start of the book, the plot does tend to jump from time zone to time zone, moving back to moments before Gina had lost her job and before she had come out to France. Initially I found this to be a little confusing, but after a while the book got into its flow and told Gina's story in a more chronological way. The ending of the book was a slight down point for me, however, I felt like the events that happen at the end of the story, where everything is being resolved, could have been stretched over a longer time, it all felt a bit rushed. In other words, I think that this book could have been another 50 pages or so long. Although this part of the book did feel a little hurried, it didn't affect my enjoyment overall...

Of course the real star of this book is the setting! I love books with well-described settings and this is no expception to that. The French landscape is described in detail, as is the house/villa that Gina has inherited from her aunt. As there is building work going on in the house and as Gina travels around the region visiting people and tasting wines, we are treated to even more fabulous description-lucky us!

I would definitely recommend this book as a summer read to anyone. The heat of the sun here would combat any british summer blues, or indeed compliment an unexpected heat wave. This is definitely one to pack in your suitcase. A little bit of romance, a nice glass of wine and a wonderful summer setting. A good summer read!
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on 11 July 2013
Fiona Valpy's The French for Love is the kind of summer book whose imagery lingers after the story has come to its conclusion. She achieves that most difficult of writerly tasks in giving you a cast of vivid and engaging characters and placing them in a context that is utterly believable. It's the detail in the descriptive passages, almost documentary in their precision, that set the scenes in which the human dramas of new starts, new horizons and new romance unfold.

These dramas twist and intertwine. They reach into the past and the future in the person of Gina Peplow. Without giving anything away, the great themes of human existence play themselves out as the stories (for there are more than one) unfold.

The French for Love has that extra something that is often missing in contemporary novels in these wikipedia-instant-expert times: authenticity. The prose is as bright and vibrant as the French countryside the reader is transported to. Recommended.
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on 11 July 2013
I loved this book! The characters feel like friends and I find myself wondering what they are doing while I am at work or ironing. Couldn't put it down! I have read The French House by Nick Alexander too, but feel that this is a league above - better storyline and a fascinating insight into the wine-making industry. I hope her next book will build on what she has shared with us here. If you haven't got this on your Kindle click "Buy now" - you won't regret it! I might even have to buy a hard copy as I love the cover!
Good luck with your next book Fiona - looking forward to it!
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on 11 July 2013
A believable heroine tells the universal story of the complexity of relationships and the difficulty of finding love for a 21st century women which is all the more enhanced by the beautiful setting of the vineyards of south west France.
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VINE VOICEon 15 August 2013
I've just finished this highly enjoyable book. Fiona Valpy knows her France and it is evoked beautifully in this sharp tale of love and loss, betrayal and ultimate happiness. Gina is a 20-something woman who, a short while ago had a great job in the Wine business, a boyfriend and a much loved Aunt Liz who lived in France. Within the space of a few weeks, the job has gone, her boyfriend has run off with someone else and her beloved Liz has died - leaving her house to Gina in the Dordogne area. But she also comes to discover a secret that Aunt Liz had kept from her which gives Gina a jolt and doubts over family trusts start to seep into her mind. It is not long though before she meets four brothers who are the sons of Liz's neighbour, Mireille, who have come to repair the roof of her house after a massive storm. One of whom she finds attractive and is happy to discover there is a chemistry brewing between them. After a few misunderstandings things work out well for Gina. This isn't just another romance for the Summer, Ms Valpy gives us an intelligent insight into French village life, her descriptions of the French house and the wonderful evening Village celebration of Bastille Day, together with an in-depth knowledge of the French Wine industry all makes this a wonderfully uplifting tale. I shall look out for more books from Fiona Valpy.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 6 October 2014
The synopsis is certainly not original and I have seen these ‘relocations and fresh starts’ many times in other books. However, Fiona Valpy has done the MOST important thing in my opinion. She has managed to weave a tale that is descriptive enough to actually take me to France in my mind and picture the village and house, as well as giving me the main character Gina who I just fell in love with. If you can get the setting right, and characters that are likeable that’s half the battle.

Gina seems to have lost everything in a very short space of time including her boyfriend, her job and now her aunt. Her aunt has left her ramshackle farmhouse in France to Gina and she decides to give life in France a try…after all she has nothing holding her back now. We watch as she makes a fresh start and decides to take time out and study, as well as adjust to a slower pace of life. When the roof on the farmhouse is damaged in high winds, her wonderful neighbour Mereille involves her four sons in the repairs.

In the meantime, Gina is discovering that her Aunt Liz had secrets of her own. Gina starts to delve and soon realises that there was more to her Aunt than she originally thought. This along with the wonderful storyline that involves Gina working on her Masters of Wine qualification makes for a very interesting read. This book was a wonderful and uplifting read, just perfect for a beach, a plane or even a comfy sofa. It will transport you to the beautiful area in Southern France and give you a much needed break from real life.

I am so pleased I got around to reading this book and was especially pleased at the Epilogue (I do love it when authors add this in). I am now totally ready to read another book in this series and cannot wait.

• It may be worth noting that the ‘French Series’ is not a continuation with the characters, merely a series of books based in France *
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on 19 August 2013
I've just finished reading 'The French for Love' and really enjoyed it. I've read many books set in France during the summer and this was the best. The author certainly seems to have a way with words - very handy for a writer! If you like books set in France with a potential romance thrown in for good measure, you'll love this.
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on 26 August 2013
I've read lots of novels set in Provence where the descriptions really do bring back great memories of the villages and scenery. This book is set in Bordeaux, much closer to where I live, but again the descriptions of the area are spot on and made me feel very much at home.

The main character Gina finds herself starting again in France, not because she is following her dream but because it seems her only option. Her boyfriend has left her, she's lost her job and her favourite aunt has died, leaving Gina her home in France. It is not long before she discovers a family secret that not only shocks her but also leaves huge questions and no one left to answer them. To distract herself she keeps busy with projects on the house and in learning more about the local wine industry. There is the inevitable possible love interest with a Frenchman, with lots of delicious frissons of electricity and undercurrents of will-they-won't-they moments, but as always things are complicated.

I really enjoyed this book, it is a fun, easy, novel and a comfortable read that I felt at home in, if you know what I mean? I am looking forward to reading more from Fiona.

I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher.
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on 29 August 2013
A great read, super story line, really enjoyed every page.

Of course a real romantic story and super for holidays and as a girls read, but still interesting and unputdownable.
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on 18 June 2014
I am not one for usually writing reviews, but just had to after reading this. I consider a book a good read, if I cannot put it down because I just have to get to the end to find out how the story concludes & this was most definitely so in this case! Beautifully written, you can picture yourself in France with the characters, the story is maybe a little predictable, but that didn't deter me, so much so that when I finished reading it only a few minutes ago, I straight away logged onto Amazon to load my Kindle with anything else Fiona had written!
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