Yet again, T.A. Williams, author of several romance novels like “Dreaming of Venice“, “Chasing Shadows” and “What Happens At The Beach“, wrote a perfect read for some relaxed hours at the couch or in the garden. His trade marks: black labradors and a beautiful setting. His new book, “To Provence With Love” is set at a castle (or chateau) in the south of France, the Provence. I’ve never been there. My only visit to France was a week in Paris in 1998 at the age of 12. The drive-through by Eurostar two years ago doesn’t count.
So I’m not familiar with the setting but thanks to Williams’ style of writing and his ability to draw pictures in my head I felt like I knew the surroundings of the book. I could imagine the lavender fields (I love lavender!) and the playing dogs, Marlon and George. Oh, and the food. Williams’ not only has a thing for dogs, but also for good food and wine, I think.
Lavender fields, labradors and a handsome farmer
This new book, “To Provence, with Love*” is about a young teacher and author, Faye, who gets the chance to write the biography of a former moviestar, Miss Beech. The old lady lives at a chateau in Provence. Why she choose Faye, you will learn in the novel. I had a feeling and when I got to the point, I was like “ah, I knew it!” Although it’s obvious, it’s a really nice story. And it’s not only about Miss Beech, but also about a handsome farmer from the neighbourhood, Gavin. He’s grieving about the loss of his wife and brother two years ago and he feels responsible for the tragic and for his brother’s wife and small daughter.
At their first meeting, Gavin appears grumpy which suits Faye just fine as she isn’t interested in men since her last boyfriend broke her heart. But of course, she feels attracted to Gavin. Mostly they meet by chance because Faye loves walking Marlon, Miss Beech’s dog and Gavin walks the dog of his late brother. So it is thanks to the dogs that they see each other more or less regularly.
Reading about their developing friendship as well as Faye’s new life in France was very relaxing and on the one hand, I didn’t want to put my Kindle down, while, at the other hand, I didn’t want to reach the end. Because I felt so comfortable. But what I “don’t like” (that sounds a bit strong, it’s more like it made me a bit sad or something) is that the reader mostly never gets to know how the relationship between a new couple, like in this Faye and Gavin’s, develops because in every book the couple gets together at the end. That’s a bit different from other romance novels I’ve read so far, but I think it’s significant for books by T.A. Williams. Just like at least one black labrador.
Other books are more like: they meet, kiss, have sex, then it gets complicated due to a misunderstanding or something and in the end there is a happy ending. While in Williams books it’s like this: they meet, they get to know each other by meeting by chance or on purpose, they become friends, they tell each other how they feel but say that they aren’t ready yet and at the end, they finally get together
But nevertheless the book is a very good read and I liked Faye and Gavin very much but really want to know how their relationship develops. I gather, that’s for me to imagine because Williams never writes a sequel. Maybe he should consider it! I would really love that!