Escape to The Little French Cafe by Karen Clarke

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Natalie Bright desperately wants a new lease on life, her boyfriend ended things to get back with his ex-girlfriend and now they’re engaged. The only remedy for this heartbreak is a little village on the French Coast by the name of Chamillon, and it’s everything that Nat needs to stay content but recently she’s been eyeing a certain magazine by the name of Magnifique to really stake her claim in the writing game.

Luckily, a little excitement is just around the corner when a hot actor arrives to film his newest movie, and he just so happens to be from one of the most memorable kisses from her past, considering he ran away right after it ended. When Nat tries to cash in on a promise from their past she literally ends up tackling her situation head on, and by situation I mean Jay himself!!! With her world suddenly on hyper drive Natalie has to figure out how to keep it from getting out of control but have things ever gone according to plan for her?

In Escape to The Little French Cafe Clarke writes a sweet and sunny romantic comedy about fate bringing two kids from childhood back together in the most unlikely of ways.

Click the picture to go to Goodreads

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I received this as an ARC through Netgalley, this in no way sways my opinions about its contents

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My Thoughts:

I initially requested this ARC because of the cover and then upon reading the synopsis I thought it would be a cute read. The main character Natalie is nothing if not a little naive, but she means well. Sometimes she doesn’t think things all the way through before she does them and she’s been known to flubb a few details to make things seem better but at the end of the day she just wants to make it through life unscathed. I liked her character and my only complaint was that I wish she had more development, it seemed like instead of resolving her issues she had a breakdown and then waited for someone to tell her what to do.

The love interest Jay Merino is the most likeable and well rounded character of the book but only because he was so set in his ways. He was charming and sweet and completely alluring to Natalie so there are no problems there.

As far as atmosphere I thought that it made me feel like I was walking down the cobbled streets of the small French town. I loved the little cafe that Natalie’s best friend Charlie works at and the little Dog Hamish and his owner that are a permanent fixture within its busy restaurant walls. This book would be a wonderful summer read.

My only cons with this book are the fact that it didn’t seem like the conflict had a very strong resolution or direction. It seemed as though it was too predictable to figure out what was going to happen as the end of the book came along, the pacing was slightly off and if that was fixed maybe it would have melded better. I wish there were more romance and that Jay & Natalie actually had more screen time in the book to make the relationship seem more genuine. The chemistry was definitely there but it just seemed like they fell back in love too quickly upon reuniting and I don’t know where it came from, once again this just could be pacing. It honestly seemed like the main character was more worried about her parents’ relationship and what was going on in that, than anything that was in front of her.

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I would continue to read the other books in the series simply because Clarke creates such a sweet and simple story. If you’re looking for a more complex romance with lots of word building and character depth I wouldn’t recommend this novel. I rated it 3/5 stars 🌟

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Thank you for reading!

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