Third and final blog tour of the day is for ‘Summer at the Little French Cafe’ by Karen Clarke. I am super excited to be sharing my review today as part of the tour! Many thanks to Bookouture for the blog tour invite, and the ARC. Here is my review:
In the beautiful village of Chamillon lies the Café Belle Vie, where you’ll always find croissants and friends when you need them the most – and where Elle is hoping to uncover the truth about her past…
Thirty-year-old Elle Matheson has decided it’s finally time to find the mother who gave her up as a baby. With a faded postcard from the Café Belle Vie in hand – one of the very few things she has from her mother – she heads straight to the Île de Ré to begin her search.
With only the postcard and the ivory shawl she was wrapped in as clues, finding her mum is like trying to find a needle in a haystack, even with the help of friendly – and gorgeous – café-owner Charlie. And since Elle hasn’t exactly told her younger sister what she’s up to, the little white lies about where she is are starting to add up…
But Elle is really starting to feel at home on the beautiful island. The locals are welcoming, the café is homely, and Charlie is always there with a helping hand, a listening ear, and a pain au chocolat.
Is Elle about to discover not just where she came from – but where she belongs?
What does TWG think?
Oh my, what a delightful little book this is!!!! One minute I was opening my kindle to begin reading the book, and the next I saw that I had read 70% of it!! It’s safe to say that Karen Clarke’s ‘Little French Cafe’ had me hooked – it may have a very colourful cover, but the storyline has so much more to it than pretty colours.
Elle has never met her birth mother and now, due to the passing of her father, she embarks on the journey to France to try and find the parent that ‘got away’. However, Elle doesn’t know her mothers name, nor does she know her age. All Elle can go buy are the clues she found in her fathers things. But would they be enough? And, if Elle were to come face to face with her birth mother, would she have the courage to ask those all important questions?
Like I say, there is a A LOT more to this book than a French cafe, although the cafe does play a huge part in Elle’s journey. Take Dolly and Charlie for example, two people Elle first meets on French Soil – they are such eccentric (well, Dolly is) and warm characters, it would be incredibly difficult not to sit yourself under their wings for safety. I adored them, they really did make the story come alive.
My heart went out to Elle multiple times because the journey she had found herself on was one which was full of uncertainty. She had absolutely no idea whether she would come face to face with her birth mum, nor did she know whether her birth mum would even WANT to talk to her if they did manage to cross paths. I couldn’t even begin to imagine the emotions that were threatening to spill out of Elle – it was certainly emotional for an outsider to read though, that’s for sure.
Despite Elle’s emotional journey, her character had me in absolute hysterics. I thought I was accident prone! Elle put her own little spin on that! I loved getting to know her character, and laughing alongside her with her infectious humour. I felt the community spirit within Cafe Belle Vie tenfold, if only the place and the characters were real! I would move there in an instant!!
‘Summer at the Little French Cafe’ was an absolute joy to read, I honestly don’t think I could have devoured the book any quicker if I tried. I was actually quite bereft when the book came to an end as I could have read more about Elle and Charlie until the cows came home. Yeah…..I was invested!
Karen Clarke has done her characters proud with this book, and I feel that a lot of readers will be falling in love with her little French cafe, just like I have. A cosy, heart-warming novel that left me with a ginormous smile on my face.
About the author.
Karen Clarke writes romantic comedy novels. Her BEACHSIDE series is set in the fictional seaside town of Shipley and features recurring characters, but each book can be read as a standalone. She is currently working on a new, three-book series set in Devon.
Karen has also written three romcoms with a paranormal twist, all available to download
When she’s not working on her novels, Karen writes short stories for women’s magazines and has had over three hundred published globally. Some of them can be read in her short story collection ‘BEHIND CLOSED DOORS…and other Tales with a Twist’
Karen lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband and three grown-up children.
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