JOIN LAURA, AND HER FRIENDS IN ANOTHER ADVENTURE PACKED JOURNEY AT HER CHATEAU IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE.
Following her accident in the snow, Laura wakes up in Enzo’s bed. How did she get there? Is Enzo her ‘happy ever after? And, where is Shadow, her faithful companion? Follow her antics, as she experiences her first Christmas in the beautiful Ardeche, with exciting visits to Paris to attend the auction of her hidden treasures. Her struggles with builders, as the campsite is under construction and the Chateau refurbished. She also finds herself involved in an emotional court case and must deal with some eccentric guests along the way. Will the ghost of Aunt Mary make another appearance, and does Laura manage to find any information about the resistance in the war years? Read on to find out how Laura deals with her belligerent neighbour, Xavier, and much, much more!
Review 4.5 rounded up to 5*
Sweet Pea is the second book in The Chateau series written by Emma Sharp.
Laura Mackley is a character I struggled to like in the first book of the series. However, in this second book, I found myself admiring her a lot more and enjoyed watching her grow and flourish as the story progressed. Laura is an ex-nurse from England living in a chateau in France she inherited from her Aunt Mary.
The story picks up from the end of the first book. I don't want to spoil it for those who haven't read the first book, so all I will say is that Laura finds herself facing many challenges as she tries to get her new business up and running and the story is told through her eyes.
Most of the characters from the first book appear in the second one. Xavier is a French farmer, working for Laura. He comes across as intense and broody at first, but he seems to soften as this story unfolds. Alice is his elderly mother. Who, after recovering from her stroke, is now helping Laura and her son with the running of the farm. Then there is Gus, Xavier's ten-year-old young son. He helps around the farm when not at school and is a lovely character. Enzo is a Scottish vet working in France, and Jenny is Laura's best friend from England, who is a nurse. There are a few more characters that make an appearance, which gives the story a lovely realistic feel.
This story is an easy summer read. As mentioned above, Laura grows as a character, and I love reading books when the MC does do so. The challenges she faces are realistic and could happen to anyone, so makes them relatable. The title is apt because there is growth in all aspects of this story - in relationships, and farming, amongst other things. Speaking of relationships, I enjoyed watching one in particular flourish. I will not mention who, as I will leave it to you to read the story to find out. The story also continues about the history of the chateau. And the involvement of the inhabitants of the village during the Second World War. I found this aspect interesting.
The ending has a little twist, and I am now looking forward to reading the next book to see how it all works out.
Emma Sharp is a debut author who has written an intriguing story. Her writing has improved considerably since the first book. It's not often that the second book is better than the debut, but this one shows the growth of the author as well as the characters. It is still not as fast-paced as some books I've read, but it was enough for me to keep turning the pages. The story flows well, which makes it more enjoyable too.
Although there are no scenes of violence, there is some mention of a sexual nature (which fades and is not explicit), I do not recommend this book to younger readers, as I feel they may struggle with it. I do, however, recommend this book to readers of women's fiction, historical fiction, literary humour and romance. - Lynn Worton