Lea Mortimer specializes in restoring French Chateaus into boutique hotels. She relishes in the fact that she is a single, untethered woman who excels at her job and works well with the often aristocratic families that she often finds herself working for.
Only this summer is shaping up to be a little different for Lea. Sure, she still has a hotel to open…on time…but she has also invited her best friend, Stephanie, who is struggling through her own divorce and her daughter to accompany her to the Loire Valley. It was her friend’s one request when she called her on a rainy day to tell her that she had, in fact finally left her husband. Only Lea wasn’t exactly ready for that one request. Their presence shakes up Lea’s sophisticated world and threatens to make her miss her mark on her hotel opening and on landing the prestigious award that was just within her grasp. Even more shocking is the romance she soon finds herself in with the son of the estate’s owner that she is working to open as a hotel.
What flows is a secret romance that Lea and her handsome love interest are struggling to keep a secret, a lot of delicious French wine and a chateau that is about to experience its own rebirth. There is nothing to not like about this fun, summertime novel– the tasteful romance, the beautiful scenery and the friendships kept me reading even when I had other responsibilities to tend to. It has been sometime since I was able to lose an afternoon to a book and not feel too guilty. Fagan transported to my own time spent in gorgeous French chateaus drinking too much Beaujolais and falling in love. It also didn’t hurt that Lea’s friend, Stephanie, was figuring out her own life in none other than Morristown, New Jersey. From one Jersey girl with a love of France to another perhaps fictional one…I was hooked.
Overall, a delightful and airy debut novel from Chelsea Fagan. I hope she sticks with this genre, I would like to read more from her.
A Perfect Vintage by Chelsea Fagan is set to be released on June 6, 2023 from Orsay Books with ISBN 9781662938627. This review corresponds to an advanced electronic galley that was supplied by the publisher in exchange for this review.