A faded photograph will lead one young woman to a ruined French castle where she will discover the truth of her own identity . . . and the enduring mystery of love.
Traveling to France on business, Alexandra Dawson has decided to seize the opportunity to explore a mysterious piece of her own heritage—a half-burnt picture of a woman who looks eerily like her, taken more than a hundred years ago in a local castle. In the charming rural village of Chandeniers, she discovers something else too—the gruff, ruggedly good-looking heir of the crumbled chateau.
Eric Lagnel is completely uninterested in Alex’s queries, until he realizes that she may have stumbled on a way to save the building. Their unlikely partnership is a surprise. But as Alex slowly unravels the secrets of her great-great-grandmother’s photograph—and the true history of the chateau—she begins to understand that no one is ever prepared for the ways love can heal old wounds and open the hardest hearts.
This is a dual romance set in France. The story jumps between past and present with entirely different stories. The past features Gabrielle, great grandmother of Alex, the protagonist of the present story-line. We even have Alex reading Gabrielle’s diary entries at the present time in line with the events as we see them happen in the past time.
I liked the past story-line slightly more than the present one. The point of contention for me was that Alex has a fiance who happens to me a good guy. Although, her and Eric’s relationship start off on a frosty note, they slowly warm up to each other and we still don’t see Alex telling him about her fiance, even as both of them start growing feelings for each other. I can’t describe the frustration I felt for her. The direction their story took ended up being predictable no matter how hard I wished the author to thwart my expectations.
Gabrielle and Thomas were a midge more enjoyable to read. But honestly, both the romances didn’t click with me. The writing felt corny to me, for lack of a batter word. I did like the conversations between both the couples as they get to know each other. I also loved the literary references. But this novel just failed to engage me.
My Rating: ★★★☆☆
Publication Date: 25th December, 2018.
Source: ARC from Publisher (via Netgalley)