Published by HQ Digital on June 7th, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Chick Lit
Where dreams come true…?
Wendy Clayton stopped believing in fairy tales a long time ago. Instead, she has a ‘nice’ life. Nice job. Nice flat. Absolutely no men. Until her life is turned upside-down when her elderly neighbour, Eulalie, passes away and leaves her the Château of Happily Ever Afters!
But there’s a catch: she must share the sprawling French castle with Eulalie’s long-lost nephew, Julian. And no matter how gorgeous he is, or how easily she finds herself falling head over heels, Wendy needs to find a way to get rid of him…
Because surely happily ever afters don’t happen in real life?
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
“The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters is not just a house, or a home, or a castle. There is magic in the walls, and there is treasure too… When you find it, you will be rich enough that you will never have to worry about anything again. But the chateau will show treasure to you only when you are ready to see it.”
The Chateau of Happily-Ever-Afters is a funny, romantic, and whimsical holiday read perfect for anyone who wants to escape from reality and go on an imaginary trip to a chateau in France.
When an elderly neighbor/close friend who died recently bequeaths you a chateau in Normandy, France, you leave your small flat in London to go and protect the chateau from a grand nephew who never knew said neighbor existed finds himself inheriting half the place. And that’s exactly what Wendy Clayton does after a solicitor informs her of her dear friend Eulalie’s will and testament and she meets her grand nephew, Julian McBeath.
Written in Wendy’s POV, this book is more about her journey in opening up again and getting out of her comfort zone by finding it in Le Chateau de Chataignier, Eulalie’s old chateau in France. She hasn’t always been so afraid of doing more fun things and going on adventures, but a bad romantic experience turned her jaded and extremely protective of what she has left.
The banter in this book is ace! I laughed a lot throughout this story, especially when Wend and Jules are going at it.
“Not my fault you can’t appreciate musical talent.”
“I’d appreciate your musical talent if you were performing it in a box. Twenty feet underground. Preferably on a different continent.”
Dear Julian McBeath. Honestly, much like Wendy, I didn’t like Julian at the start of the story. He seemed to be this mercenary who wants his half of the chateau for money. But he proved Wendy (and me) wrong, and boy, I was putty in this man’s hands. He’s a green thumb animal lover who has a great sense of humor but has insecurities you wouldn’t expect someone as fit and beautiful as Julian would have. And when he opened up to Wendy and showed her who he really was? Squeal!
“You’re the first person I’ve ever not had to hide with, and there are no words I can say to tell you how much that means.”
I have to admit, as much as I understood where Wendy was coming from, it annoyed me when she still attacked and put little trust in Jules even when he’s proven how trustworthy he is. Other than that, I had no complaints about Wendy. She’s kind when her claws aren’t out, and she’s such an effortlessly funny person. I loved her quips!
I loved these two, but I enjoyed the side characters just as much, especially English ex-pat baker, Kat, and her burgeoning romance with Theo, the butter-making local.
I would have given this book four stars, but the ending felt a bit rushed and abrupt. Just as I was getting attached and in love with Jules and Wend’s romance, there were only a few pages left. I definitely want to read more about them.
To end things, here’s a GIF of Aidan Turner as a half-naked Ross Poldark scything away. Mmm.
Tropes: Hate to Love, Inheritance from a distant-relative/old person
POV: First Person, Female POV