Romance In France
This review is part of the Do You Remember? book tour hosted by Fiction Addition Book Tours.
2005 was the most traumatic year of Emma Barron’s life. It was the year her mother died and the year she met Guy Duval. Eight years on, she’s an English teacher with a doting boyfriend and a young son. Life’s been hard but now it’s comfortable. She’s settled and content…so why would she risk it all for another chance with the man that broke her heart?
Guy’s an international renowned footballer newly signed to a top UK team. But behind the confident facade is a man determined to drown the horrors from his childhood with fame, success and money.
Unable to confide in her best friend, Ally, Emma tries to hold her life together as her heart is pulled apart. Did she turn her back on love too soon?
Neither of them know what really happened on 5 September 2005 and as events are slowly revealed can anyone cope with the truth?
Shortly after the death of her Mother, Emma and her Father go on holiday to France. Whilst there, she meets Guy Duval, a local French boy who works on site. Emma’s convinced he couldn’t possilbly be interested in a bookworm like her when there are far prettier girls around, but he slowly shows her that she is the one he wants and they embark on a teenage romance.
Guy leads a troubled life and is determined to do his best for his baby Brother, to keep him out of harm’s way and give him a good life. Despite only spending a few weeks together, Guy and Emma decide they want to spend the rest of their lives together.
Then on the last day of Emma’s holiday, something happens that tears the couple apart. Emma returns home with her Father and the resolves never to see Guy again.
Cut to present day and Emma is a teacher with a young Son. She’s in a steady relationship with dependable Chris, but reluctant to get married. Her best friend, Ally is opening a new leisure centre and arranges a visit from a very special Sports star for the Grand Opening. Enter Guy Duval, who sends waves through Emma’s steady life and makes her question everything that happened 8 years ago. Did Emma make a mistake leaving Guy behind all those years ago and what will happen now that he’s back in her life?
Do You Remember? is the first of Mandy Baggot’s novels that I have read and it had me gripped from the opening. I wanted to find out what happened in France in 2005 just as much as I wanted to find out what was going to happen in the present day, when the Emma and Guy are brought back together unexpectedly.
The story flips back and forth between the two periods, slowly filling in the gaps and answering your questions (of which there will be many!) and the pace doesn’t let up. I had to remind myself to breath several times as the suspense was literally going to kill me! You also get the perspective of both main characters, which I don’t see often in a book but it worked brilliantly.
This book asks a lot of questions (What would you do in Emma’s situation?), is full of crossed wires (Just what did happen on that day in 2005?) and plays host to a number of shocking revelations. If you’re like me and try to guess the ending of a book whilst reading it, you’ll be hard pushed to figure out the full story and no doubt end up changing your mind a few times. There is an air of mystery to this story but all will be revealed …
I’m a big fan of all things French and I adored how Guy’s French accent can be heard throughout, and how you can tell his English has improved between the two time periods. For those not up on the French language, Emma cleverly translates what Guy is saying during their early conversations. This cross channel dialogue works well and really helps make the story what it is.
My rating 5/5 – Do You Remember? is a heart-wrenching, breathtaking story of life, death, love, family, regret and hope. It will have you gripped from the start and will hold onto you until the very end, slowly feeding you information until everything slots into place. Combining several gasp-inducing revelations, great characters, fantastic dialogue and dashings of romance – this is chick lit … “on skis”. Do You Remember? is not only a story that will have you remembering your own first love, it’s a story that you will remember long after reading. This may be the first Mandy Baggot novel I’ve read, but it certainly won’t be my last.
About The Author
Mandy Baggot brings you award-winning fiction! In 2012 she won the coveted Innovation in Romantic Fiction award at the UK’s Festival of Romance. Her novel Strings Attached was also short listed for Best Author Published Read!
Mandy writes strong contemporary romance and characters you’ll fall in love with. Previously self-published, she was traditionally signed by US publishing house Sapphire Star Publishing in January 2012. Shortly afterwards she became a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. She has recently signed a two book deal with Harper Collins’ Romance Imprint, Harper Impulse.
She regularly writes of writing magazines and blogs and is a regular contributor to online magazine, Loveahappyending Lifestyle.
Mandy lives near Salisbury in Wiltshire, UK with her husband, two daughters and two cats called Kravitz and Springsteen.
She is an advocate for women in business and belongs to the networking group Women on Wednesdays.
11 lucky winners will be able to choose an eBook from a selection of Mandy Baggot novels.