Beach book!

Tout Sweet: Hanging Up my High Heels for New Life in France by Karen Wheeler is the bittersweet story of a successful beauty and fashion journalist who leaves her glam life to look for love and the "meaning of life" in a French village.

Karen is single, in her late thirties, has a glam job as a fashion editor, a fabulous flat in London, and the man of dreams. When she is jilted, she takes off on a trip to France. The mini-vacation is at the invitation of yet another eligible man. He also disappears from Karen’s life. But on this trip Karen falls in love with the small French village. 

In no time, Karen has bought a house with “lots of potential” and no running water.
She spends the next year renovating her house and her life.
 
Wheeler is not a coy story-teller. She is up front about the pain of rejection in her autobiographical novel. She attempts to make fun of all the clichés about English expats living in France. This part of the book comes off a bit lame, because Wheeler is a bit of cliché herself as an expat living in France.
 
Tout Sweet is about recovering from a lost love and healing a broken heart. Wheeler writes about being broken-hearted in painful detail, but also a sense of wry self-wariness.
 
This is a perfect summer read full of drama and all things French!
 
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Romance thru the ages

Jewel of St. Petersburg by Kate Furnivall sweeps readers back to the grand and turbulent final years of Tsarist Russia. Valentina Ivanova, the daughter of a Russian aristocrat, is a beautiful talented pianist caught up in the revolution that sweeps the country. Men from all factions pursue her as she fights for her family’s survival.

Jewel of St. Petersburg is a passion-packed romance that will delight readers who admire a strong-minded heroine. If you the heat is getting to you, relax with a tale set in snowy Russia of bygone days.
 
The Secret Eleanor: A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine by Cecelia Holland tells the lesser-known story of a young Eleanor of Aquitaine in the court of the French king Louis VII. Eleanor of Aquitaine remains one of the most powerful and compelling women in history. Born in the Aquitaine region of what is now France, she married twice to become the queen of both France and England. She was also the mother of three Kings. She is credited with the creation of “courtly love”.
 
The Secret Eleanor: A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine tell of Eleanor’s plot with her sister Petronilla to escape her dull marriage to her religious and monk-like husband Louis VII to marry a young and virile Henry Anjou.
 
Eleanor was well-educated and literate. She was reported to be cunning and adept at politics. Cecelia Holland tells a tale of deception and passion that is riveting and entertaining.
 
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