Claire Bixby grew up watching Doris Day films at her grandmother’s house and yearned to live in a world like the one on the screen – sunny, colourful and where happy endings were guaranteed. But recently Claire’s opportunities for a little ‘pillow talk’ have been thin on the ground.
Until she meets new client Nic who comes into her travel agency looking to book the perfect get away. Too bad it’s for two!
But as Nic and Claire get closer, the sparks start to fly, and Claire’s questioning everything Doris taught her about romance.
Can true love ever really be just like it is in the movies?
Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps…"
I was very pleased to receive an early review copy of Fiona Harper's brand new summer read The Doris Day Vintage Film Club, complete with it's kitsch cover a few months ago. I will be honest and say I know nothing about Doris Day or her films, so hoped this wouldn't hold me back in my enjoyment of the book in any way. Of course it didn't, and I have to say the book is so much more than a story about a film club - in fact that's actually quite a minor part of the book overall, and I very much enjoyed the story as a whole. Here's why I think you should read it.
Claire Bixby loves Doris Day films thanks to growing up and watching them with her late grandmother, and as such runs a film club dedicated to Doris' films at her local pub. The group of friends meet regularly to watch the films, giving each of them hopes and dreams in their own ways. But Claire's a bit fed up of being alone. So when she meets mysterious stranger Nic, she decides to take a chance on him and open up her heart and herself to him. But Nic is holding something back from Claire, something that would ruin their newfound friendship if she found out the truth. But what is it he's hiding?
As I said, although the book is named after the club that Claire runs at the local pub dedicated to Doris Day films, that isn't the be all and end all of this book. I really enjoyed the story between Claire and Nic, the way their friendship develops and how Nic deals with his deception as well. It's a very intriguing book, and I didn't want to stop reading it once I had started. I really liked the main character of Claire - she was very likeable and I was hoping she would find some happiness in her life, she did seem so against letting a man back into her life and finding her own happy-ever-after.
You could see why she falls for Nic, and he is a great male lead for the book. He's got a good job travelling making documentary programmes, seems to be a nice person and seemingly falls hard and fast for Claire. However, there's something quite important she doesn't know about him, and I was sat just waiting for it all to go wrong when she finds out - I didn't want that to happen however, I wanted her to be happy with him and it all be fine! I really liked the email communication between the pair, it was a fun addition to the book and was a good way of building up the banter between the pair without forcing them together too much.
Doris Day films are of course mentioned in the books when they are shown at the film club, but having not seen any of them, they didn't mean that much to me. I'm sure those who love Doris and her films will appreciate the references in the books, but for me they were just a device to show how Claire got her views on romance and why she wanted to be wooed properly, much like Doris seemed to be in her films. There was a sweet side plot involving a new member of the club being transformed for a special night out after watching Doris' films, and I thought this was a sweet side plot and I really enjoyed reading about it.
This was a very enjoyable read from start to finish, and I found it very easy to read. Fiona Harper's writing is very enjoyable, allowing you to get absorbed into the stories of both Claire and Nic, and you're left hopeful of a happy ending, even if it doesn't seem that can possibly be the case at many points throughout the story! Everything was easy to imagine, from Claire and her travel agency, to her film club and her new found relationship with Nic too. A great book to curl up with, or to stick in your holiday suitcase for this summer's holiday! A really good read, definitely recommended.