Hi guys, and happy Sunday! I am so, so thrilled and excited today to be a part of Kat French’s blog tour for her newest release “The Bed and Breakfast on the Beach”. I loved this book SO much and I really couldn’t wait to share my review of this sunny, summery story with you. The novel is already put as an ebook and out on 13th July in paperback, and I can guarantee that you are going to LOVE it! AND – I have an extract for you as well!
The Bed and Breakfast on the Beach by Kat French
Publishing Date: 13th July 2017
Source: Received from the publisher in return for an honest review!
Number of pages: 336
Genre: Literature/Fiction (Adult), Women’s Fiction
A gorgeous summer read to escape with this summer!
A Greek island solves all life’s problems…doesn’t it?
Winnie, Stella and Frankie have been best friends forever.
When their lives unexpectedly unravel, they spontaneously decide to buy a gorgeous B on a remote Greek island.
Drenched in hot sun, Villa Valentina is the perfect escape
from reality. But when Winnie meets Jesse, their brooding
neighbour, she finds that Greece is full of its own complications – not least how attractive he is…
Meanwhile, Frankie and Stella are discovering that Villa Valentina has its own secrets – starting with the large supply of gin in the cellar and the arrival of a famous rock band. A band with one very good-looking member who just might distract Frankie from thoughts of her husband…
Smart, sassy and sexy, this summer sizzler is perfect for fans of Lucy Diamond and Jane Costello.
Ah, guys, there is nothing better than a Kat French book, really. Yes, I somehow missed her last release but as soon as I’ve spotted The Bed and Breakfast on the Beach and then read the synopsis, there was nothing stopping me from reading this book. Literally nothing. And truly, one look at this gorgeous colourful cover made me fall in love with it, it just screams “summer, here we come”, don’t you think? And then the story itself, laugh – out – loud fun, relax and brilliant romance – absolutely brilliant.
So yes, guys, this book. I had a feeling that I can fall in love with it (as you have probably guessed) but I haven’t expected how much! It was such a lovely, light – hearted and uplifting read with this gorgeous feel – good vibe and the overwhelming summery feeling, and I really can’t stop thinking about me needing to immediately go on holidays or at least drinking G&T, or two. Already the cover is shouting holidays, here I come, but what is hidden between the covers is even better.
It was so easy to immediately fall in love with this gorgeous – unfortunately fictional – island of Skelidos and all of its specific inhabitants. Just imagine – not spoiled by the tourists, peaceful, with a donkey or two – a perfect place to spend your holidays, no? Or maybe to spend the rest of your life, even? Which happens to Winnie, Stella and Frankie who travel there to stay for a weekend only and end as the owners of the pink Villa Valentina.
I liked the book and the characters from the very beginning, and I also found myself liking it even more with every page turned! There was something magical in all of them, and in the writing, and I just didn’t want to put the book down. Heck, I didn’t want it to end! I could really read about the three friends and their adventures much, much longer. And they were really true friends, the three girls. You could see they like and respect each other, that they feel so good in their own company and it was lovely to see how they support each other. They weren’t afraid to say uncomfortable truths as well, they did it, they were not afraid to laugh at each other, but this is just what a real friendship is, right, and this one here felt so genuine and not at all forced. Winnie was running away from her abruptly ended marriage. Stella was a career woman, devoted to her job, but she was made redundant. Frankie was having the empty nest syndrome and when her twins left home, her marriage also came to an end – so they all really have their own reasons to risk everything, leave their old lives behind and try their luck on Skelidos. However, as you are absolutely right, things never run smooth and there are some troubles in paradise waiting for our lovely, likeable and believable girls, and it doesn’t only mean a stubborn donkey, underground gin distillery and not speaking a single word in Greek. And then there are of course all those hot men: hunky Australian Jesse, the Greek God Angelo and the member of a very popular band, Seth, but let’s not forget the husband Gav as well! And villagers worshipping a bush that grows only in the Villa’s garden – a recipe for disasters, no?
Kat French of course doesn’t forget about male characters, oh no, she doesn’t! And what great characters they were, guys! Jesse was so direct and outright that after my first jaw dropping moment I couldn’t stop to laugh at Winnie’s amusement, but I also wanted to cheer her on, high – five her and yell, you go girl, show him. I loved how he started to show her how to leave her comfort zones, how to appreciate herself – it was a gorgeous, beautiful subplot.
There were enough twists and turns to keep me glued to the pages, and I loved how the author surprised me every now and then. The unexpected visits, the way the story took its turn – it was all so surprising, and even for me not predictable, as the villa itself had also hidden treasures to discover! It was absolutely great and inspiring to see the three friends coming back to Skelidos to make the best of the villa, to just see how their lives are going to turn out, to just grab the life by the horns.
The Bed and Breakfast on the Beach by Kat French has really had it ALL. Incredibly gorgeous setting, enough G&T to keep you happy, all – knowing neighbours, villagers that adored their own traditions, brilliant, bouncy and quirky characters, romance in the air and some stumbling blocks as well, and I simply adored it. It was easy to read, light and full of sun and humour and poignant moments – a perfect escapism. Brilliant story about new beginnings, second chances and leaving your comfort zones, being courageous. It is filled with friendship and hilarious moments and it is a must have accessory for your summer bag – really, guys, you don’t have to thank me for the recommendation. I am sure you are going to fell in love with all elements and Villa Valentina.
[Extract 3 from Prologue pp. 11-13]
Ajax placed a tray of three tall, fine-stemmed fishbowl glasses on the beach-bar table in front of them an hour or so later.
‘You’ve built our expectations sky-high now, you know that, right?’ Frankie said, lifting her eyebrows at him. ‘If these cocktails don’t make us feel a million dollars we’re going to want our money back.’
‘Your first drink is always on the house anyways,’ Ajax said grandly. ‘Villa Valentina house secret mix, guaranteed to make you happy.’
‘Free drinks always make me happy,’ Stella sighed. ‘People used to give me free drinks all over town. Stella! Come in, have a glass of champagne! And another!’
‘Ah, get over yourself, superstar. This one’s still free and looks amazing.’ Frankie reached for one of the glasses and handed it to Stella.
‘What is it?’ Winnie lifted her sunnies and squinted up at Ajax hovering close by for their verdict.
He shrugged. ‘Gin and tonic.’
It wasn’t like any gin and tonic Winnie had ever seen before. Peering into the glass as she slid it towards her, she could see rich shades of honeyed nectarine red sparkling with ice and slices of rose-pink grapefruit.
‘Is this rosemary?’ Frankie asked, plucking a herb from her glass and sniffing it.
Ajax preened. ‘I grow it myself in the garden at the back of the villa.’
Frankie dunked it back into her cocktail, using it to swirl the ice cubes. All three women looked up as the guy they’d spotted earlier with Ajax wandered over and placed a platter of glistening halved figs scattered with walnuts down on their table.
‘Oh. My. God.’ Winnie groaned. ‘How good does that look? They’re the fattest figs I’ve ever seen in my life.’
‘Best in the world. I grow them myself in the garden behind the villa.’
‘I’m sensing a theme,’ Stella murmured, then took a sip of her drink and gasped. ‘Bloody hell! That’s amazing. You have to tell me how to make this before I leave.’
Ajax ignored the request, choosing instead to make introductions.
‘Ladies, this is my husband, Nikolas.’
Nikolas stuck out his hand. ‘Nik, please.’
‘Well, thank you, Nik, for this. It looks wonderful,’ Winnie said, nodding towards the plate. ‘I’m Winnie.’
The others jumped up in turn and shook his hand, and he just nodded politely and excused himself.
‘He likes actions, not words,’ Ajax sighed, watching his lover wistfully until he’d disappeared back into the villa.
‘My kind of man,’ Stella laughed, making Ajax scowl theatrically.
‘What is it that you English like to say?’ he said. ‘Not on your nelly.’
He winked and blew them a kiss before threading his way through the tables in the direction of his husband.
‘Happy couples make me want to vom right now,’ Winnie said, taking a good gulp of her drink and then almost choking on the rosemary stem.
Stella grabbed for the glass. ‘Christ, Winnie, it’s too good to splutter all over the floor!’
Frankie lifted her drink so that the sunlight shone through the liquid, bouncing pink crystal shimmers all around them.
‘Everything about this place is special,’ she said. ‘The villa, Ajax, the cocktails, that view . . . it’s all blissful.’
Winnie had recovered sufficiently to raise her glass and toast the others.
‘To forty-eight hours of secret recipe cocktails and uninterrupted bliss.’
Stella clinked her glass against Winnie’s. ‘I’ll drink to that. And to friendship.’
Frankie nodded solemnly and touched her glass to the others. ‘To us.’
Ajax watched the three women carefully from an upstairs window of the villa, observing the way they laughed together, how they toasted each other, that they were relaxed in each other’s company.
With enough of his secret cocktails and a fractured kaleidoscope of sun-gilded images laid out to seduce them, just maybe.
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