29 July 2016

Book Review: You Had Me At Merlot by Lisa Dickenson

"Elle and Laurie are the last ones standing: they're single, they're not having babies any time soon and their weekends aren't filled with joyful meetings about mortgages. For Elle, this is fine. She likes her independent life, but Laurie wants love and she wants it now.

So when Laurie begs Elle to come with her on a singles holiday to a beautiful vineyard in Tuscany, Elle is reluctant. She has no intention of swapping her perfectly lovely life for someone else's idea of her Mr Perfect, but ten days under the Italian sun with her best friend and lashings of wine? How bad could that be?"

Rating: 5/5

You can buy the book now.

I read my first book by Lisa Dickenson last Christmas and really enjoyed it, so when I saw her summer offering You Had Me At Merlot on Netgalley, I decided I had to give it a go, and I'm so pleased I did because it's become one of my favourite summer reads this year! It's the story of two best friends, Laurie and Elle who go on holiday together, simply because Laurie begs her best friend to do so, and Elle doesn't really have anything better to do! They find themselves in a beautiful Tuscan vineyard, with Elle determined she won't be finding love on their singles holidays. But when she meets the vineyard owner's son, she might be have no choice but to change her mind...

One thing I do love is a book that can make me laugh, and I have to say right off that this book definitely did that for me! There were plenty of laugh out loud moments, and I found myself giggling away as I was reading which for me is always the sign of a great read, especially when it comes to summer books! It's actually the second book I have recently with a vineyard setting, but I haven't read a book set in Tuscany in a while, so that was nice! I have been lucky enough to go to Italy myself, but never Tuscany, and Lisa's descriptions of Tuscany and the vineyards were just beautiful, it really came alive in my mind and I could picture it all really clearly as I was reading.

I really enjoyed the ensemble cast too, they were all fun characters and I enjoyed what each of them brought to the story. Elle and Laurie are the main characters in the book, but others included the lovely old vineyard owners, their son Jamie, and a rich American businessman who was more than a bit smitten with Elle, despite her desperately trying to put him off at every opportunity! Jamie was a great character - young, handsome and a hard worker, you can see why Elle had to try to stop herself from falling for him, he certainly seemed like the complete package! The other people on the holiday were fun too, and I liked that there was a broad section of people there, ensuring match-making, fun and a lot of laughs amongst each other! The humour element was definitely one of my favourite parts of the book, from a disastrous Vespa ride, and the banter between the characters was just such fun to read.

This book was a joy from start to finish, and I have to admit I fell in love with Lisa Dickenson's writing style right from the very beginning. The pace was good, there was lots going on, characters I loved and a brilliant setting - what more could you ask for?! Throw in a bit of romance, a lot of humour and a really well written story, and you've got the recipe for the perfect summer read. This is definitely one I can recommend you pack in your suitcase or on your Kindle for your summer holidays this year, and I can't wait for Lisa's next offering which is sure to be a festive treat! Fabulous read - don't miss it!

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