Wow it has been a year since the fantastic L'Amour Actually by Melanie Jones was released. This has been a big hit on Amazon with an amazing 36, 5* reviews, which are all deserved! To celebrate a year in publication Melanie has been kind enough to offer me a signed copy of her book as a giveaway.
"The woman was one of those irritating expat types who felt she owed it to the world to impart on her all her superior knowledge of life in France. I realised that if I didn’t stop her now, she’d be bending my ear all the way to Bergerac.
‘Actually,’ I said, leaning in toward the woman, ‘I’m planning to integrate my way into the boxers of the first good-looking Frenchman I see. Can’t think of any better way to learn the language myself. You wouldn’t happen to know the French for "fancy a shag?" would you? Voulez-vous coucher avec moi just seems a bit nineteen-seventies these days.’"
After one particularly bad day at work, advertising executive and confirmed city girl Melanie Jones decides to give up her old life in search of something new and simpler in South West France. With little knowledge of the country, even less of the language and just the memory of a disastrous school French exchange and a few day trips to Calais, she embarks on her adventure with a suitcase full of optimism and not a little bit of naivety. After all, how different can life in France be?
After a series of adventures with skirt-ripping tractors, handsome twin farmers, celebrity not-quite-beens, unusual toilets and a bonkers ex-pat community, all topped up, of course, with lashings of rosé, Melanie begins to discover that her new life in France isn’t quite what she’d thought it would be.
The cover is gorgeous and so is the title, it has me hooked before I even opened the book!
This book is set in rural France and is almost everyone’s fantasy, leaving their old life behind and to begin somewhere new. New country, new job, new language… how hard could it be? Trouble is Mel is not a country girl, she has lived in the city and has had an attractive job.
We are taken on Mel’s journey to fit into a new community with no knowledge of the language and no job. This turns out not to be not the smoothest start to her new life. This is a hilarious semi factual book, which is written very well; poor Mel, having to put up with that toilet in her cottage needed a medal!
Mel is such a likable character, she arrives in France wearing completely unsuitable shoes; which she ends up having to dump and falling in ditches. There are certainly some cringe moments in the book. Mel’s attitude changes through the book, becoming less materialistic and less self- centred which she notices herself when her best friend comes over to visit.
Mel has a wonderful style to her writing, it’s smooth, humorous and flows well. I had to keep reminding myself that parts of this book are real as it read so much like a story and I got engrossed with the hilarious story line. I just hope that Mel didn’t really have so many embarrassing moments.
One of my favourite parts of the book is when Mel has to report on the oldest living cat in France (I won’t say anymore so I don’t spoil it for you,) this had me in stitches the entire time I was reading it, I could actually visualise what was happening.
I love Mel’s neighbour, Tracey the reality show singer and the relationship they have, I felt I was with them at times in the book in the pool and enjoying champagne. There are so many good characters in the book, they are all written so well, I do hope that these characters were real in the book or based on actual people.
Although the book is semi factual I felt I could have a good guess at predicting the end, this is where I was caught out and didn’t expect what I read. I love that it had a little twist to it and it made me feel all warm inside.
This book really made me want to give everything up and start a life somewhere new. It made me think about places off the beaten track to visit and want to escape reality. Mel is so lucky she had to opportunity to do this and I hope her travelling continues in her next book. This is a fantastic summer read that is a real page turner. L’Amour Actually is out to buy now!
I would like to thank Melanie for sending me her book to review – this has not affected my review of the book at all.
About The Author:
Born in Iran, Melanie spent her formative years in Tunbridge Wells before setting off on her travels, which took her to Bahrain for four years, then onwards to various places around the world. She spent a few hedonistic years following (her now ex)husband, a film/tv professional, around the world to various glamorous and not so glamorous film locations, with their two young children in tow.
A lifelong writer ever since her poem about a potato being made into a chip was so well received by her primary school assembly, she became a blogger during five years living in the heart of rural France and her first blog, 'What French Dream' was intended to show a more balanced view of life in France other than cheap wine and apparent endless sunshine. It made her, at times, only marginally more popular than the woman who put a kitten in a wheelie bin. The blog was eventually serialised in part by The Daily Mail. She has also written expat articles for The Daily Telegraph and is an occasional blogger for The Huffington Post and on her own blogs, The River Cottage Diaries and An Accidental Author.
Her first book, 'L'Amour Actually' is a fictionalised travel memoir based loosely on her adventures in France. Melanie says of the book, 'some of it happened, some of it happened but not exactly as I wrote it and some of it didn't happen at all. I leave the reader to decide which, but they might be surprised. Truth sometimes really is stranger than fiction.'
With a career that spanned publishing, Arts funding, celebrity PR and a two year stint as an air stewardess, she now divides her time between working in child protection, raising fluffy Orpington hens, looking after her children, and writing her next book.
So, to be in with a chance of winning a signed copy of this fantastic book, and it is fantastic all you need to do is enter the rafflecopter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks again and good luck!
L'Amour Actually is a Daily Deal on Amazon which means for only 99p you can grab yourself a bargain! This is only 99p for today only so don't miss out! Here is the Daily Deal link