So much humor and lessons learned in this book, I was smiling from beginning to end! At first I was intrigued by the idea of a young woman being lost and taking shelter with a man she doesn't know - it sounds like a great recipe for a fantastic romance. Then as I began reading, I realized it was going to be so much more than a girl-meets-boy sort of story, as there were class differences to consider. A story set in France, with a woman of British descent used to living in the city and a man from generations of French farmers living in the countryside, is bound to produce a happy ending to remember.
Julia Weston has something to prove to her father. Saddled with an elderly companion, she knows her father doesn't trust that she can make it to Paris on her own. Determined to prove that she is an adult, capable of traveling alone, she makes her way off the train at a stop to pick up a cake from a local vendor. Upon returning, she bumps into a fellow traveler and his friend, almost missing her train before it leaves the station. Exhausted, she falls asleep, and when she awakens, she comes to realize that the train is not her train after all, and now she is stranded in a small town where she knows no one. With the next train no leaving for another week, she is forced to accept the offer of shelter from a young man named Luc Paquet, the man she was introduced to do the previous day. As they spend more time together at his aunt's home, they butt heads frequently, but eventually their angst turns into something more. However, both know that their time together is drawing to a close, and love is not always enough to live on.
I really enjoyed both characters, even though their prejudices annoyed me at times. That was exactly what the author wanted me to feel, however, because it allowed the reader to see their individual growth as the story progressed. Julia started out as a fairly spoiled young woman, unaware of how others lived and not realizing how her actions affected other people. When she met Luc, all that changed as she was forced to rely on someone who had no reason to coddle her. Luc was an aloof man, not someone who was prone to talking or company, so it was an interesting contrast to Julia's friendly personality. It was comical watching them dance around each other, particularly when Julia kept causing problems each time she tried to help. Each time she stumbled, I would laugh while Luc would get frustrated, until eventually he saw that she wasn't trying to make life difficult. Her heart was in the right place, and that was what Luc needed to understand - Julia just wanted to do the right thing. While I wasn't a fan of her actions towards the end of the book, as I felt she took a step back in her maturity level, I understood why she did what she did. It was gratifying to see Luc hold her accountable but also learn forgiveness. They were a couple perfect for each other.
This was my first book by this author, and I look forward to reading more in the future!
**I received a free copy via NetGalley and this is my honest review.**