Thursday, July 06, 2023

Blog Tour/Paris in July: The French Chateau Dream by Julie Caplin


Do you have an author who you buy the books from, even though you have never read any of their books? Julie Caplin is one of them for me. I have at least 3 books from her Romantic Escapes series on my Kindle, and yet, here I am reading book 10. Normally I am a stickler for reading in order but I didn't really feel as though it mattered in this case. There are brief glimpses and mentions of previous stories which just makes me want to read those stories as opposed to making me annoyed that I had read out of order. 

Hattie needs a new start. She's just broken up with her long term boyfriend Chris and she needs an opportunity to take the next step in her wedding planner career, just to prove to herself she can! She has been an assistant for years, but her cousin is getting married in a no expense spared event and it's up to her to make it all happen. Even if that means having to spend the two months leading up to the wedding staying in a chateau in the heart of champagne country in France.

This is something of a surprise to Luc Bremont. He has just returned to the one place that feels like home to him with big plans to start producing champagne again from their family vineyard. His father has agreed to let an old friend use the chateau for his daughter's wedding. There's no point fighting his father, so he might as well let Hattie do her thing. Everything will be fine as long as she stays out of his way.

The chateau has been somewhat neglected over the last few years. Luc's aunt, who is one of the most important people in his life, is getting on in age and the housekeeper, Solange hasn't been herself since her husband died. She also has some other things on her mind. Her firebrand daughter is getting married soon herself and she has to look after her grown son who seems to have no intention of settling down any time soon.

Hattie has to deal with the local politics that suddenly sees many of the people she wants to employ unavailable. Suddenly she needs to find new caterers, and she has to start cleaning the chateau herself. All this as well as having to be in close proximity to the handsome Luc all the time. She is also learning all the time about wine making and the local area. There's no point in even dwelling on her growing attraction to Luc. After all, at the end of the two months she's going back to the UK.

There was some delicious sounding food in this book! I am currently looking for a inspiration for a French recipe to make as part of Paris in July, and I did highlight several passages in this book to either share as quotes at a later date or as potential recipes to try. I also liked non food related passages including a quick trip to Paris and the information about the area. I am really tempted to insist that we visit the area around Reims next time we go. Did you see how I am putting that out there?  It's not a question of if, but rather a question of when.

I really loved the subplot between Luc's friend Alphonse and Hattie's friend Fliss who joins the team at late notice. The sparks really fly between these two characters. And I loved seeing Sylvana gradually come back to life as more people begin spending time in the chateau.

If I was to look back at my recent reading history, I am sure that I would see an increasing number of these escape/new start romances over the last couple of years. I just can't seem to get enough of them, especially if they are set in France or Italy. And this book is a really good entry in this reading adventure I am on.

When we were in France we took the opportunity to visit a number of chateaus from Chambord to Chenonceau and popping in to look at Dick and Angel's place from Escape to the Chateau. Whilst I can't imagine living in chateau's that big, we did stay in a smaller chateau in a small town in the Loire Valley. I could definitely imagine staying in a place like that for a couple of months. Especially if the hosts were there to serve us the amazing breakfasts that we had!

I am sharing this review with Paris in July, which is being hosted by Emma at Words and Peace this year.

Thank you to the publisher, Netgalley and Rachel's Random Resources for the review copy. Check out what other people thought about this book at other stops on the tour!

Rating 4/5

About the book

The French Chateau Dream

When wedding planner Hattie signs up for her dream job, organising her cousin’s wedding in France, it offers the perfect escape from a relationship that’s been going south for a while.

Unfortunately when she arrives at the idyllic Chateau St Martin, not everyone is as enthusiastic about the forthcoming wedding, including Luc Bremont, son of the owner of the chateau.

Luc has finally been given the chance to make his own champagne at the family vineyard and everything rests on making it a success, the last thing he wants is the distraction of a big wedding at the chateau.

Will Hattie be able to build bridges between the inhabitants of the chateau in order to allow the wedding to go ahead?

About the author

Julie Caplin, formerly a PR director, swanned around Europe for many years taking top food and drink writers on press trips (junkets) sampling the gastronomic delights of various cities in Italy, France, Belgium, Spain, Copenhagen and Switzerland. It was a tough job but someone had to do it.

These trips have provided the inspiration and settings for the highly successful Romantic Escapes series which have hit the best seller charts in Italy, Germany and the Czech Republic and have sold a million copies worldwide.

The first book in the nine strong series,The Little Café in Copenhagen, was shortlisted for a Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

Social Media Links – 

@JulieCaplin Twitter



  1. I've never come across Caplin but I keep buying Elizabeth Chadwick's books although I haven't made time to read one for at least 20 years. I read a couple ages ago and thought they were among the best historical fiction out there; I know they'll be there when I am ready.

  2. I am very behind on my Chadwick's too!!

  3. Buying books from an author you don't read anything by. Ha! I know that one. Then you have them all there in case you do like them, right? I've tried to get better about this over the years...

    This does sound like a fun one & a good Paris in July.

    1. One clicking on ebooks make it so much easier to do this than having to buy actual books Reese

  4. I didn't know this book, sounds perfect for #parisinjuly2023!
    And hmm, am getting hungry at the idea of cooking food inspired by these recipes!
    Yes, please do visit Reims, beautiful. Beside the (gothic) cathedral, be sure to visit La Basilique St Remi. It's in the much older romanesque architecture style and really gorgeous. Plus it's a super important place for French history

    1. I have a few ideas of things to cook from this book! And others.

  5. Thank you so much for introducing me to Julie Caplin's work. The French Chateau dream sounds my sort of read. I feel a lot of us have a desire to escape to a French chateau, such a great setting!
    We have just returned from a fabulous French holiday. I can already picture this chateau in my mind. I often think passing by such places oh, the stories they could tell!

    1. She has books set all around the world. I will definitely be reading more.