A Forget-Me-Not Summer by Sophie Claire #aforgetmenotsummer #sophieclaire #hodder&stoughton #review #interview

It’s taken years, but Natasha Brown’s life is finally on track. Running a florists in the quaint village of Willowbrook, she’s put her short-lived marriage to Luc Duval far behind her. That is, until he unexpectedly walks through her shop door, three years after their divorce.

Luc reveals that he never told his family about their split, and now his father is desperately ill and demanding to meet Natasha. Luc needs her to come to France and pretend they’re still happily married. Natasha is horrified, but when Luc makes her an offer she can’t refuse, reluctantly packs her bags.

The deal is two weeks on a vineyard with his family, but will Luc and Natasha be able to play the perfect couple after years apart? And in the glorious Provence sun, will the old spark between them be impossible to ignore?

Chells and Books Review:

I would like to thank Sophie for emailing me to review her wonderful book and for answering some questions for me which appear below. I would also like to thank Hodder & Stoughton for sending me a copy to review.

Three years after they divorce Natasha ends up face to face with her husband over the counter at her florists. Natasha did not think she would see her ex=husband again but he hadn’t told his family about the divorce and now with his father is ill and he needs Natasha to travel with him to the family home in France and while there in the sunshine pretend to be a happy couple. A hard task considering what this couple had been through and why they got divorced in the first place.

I loved this idea for a story and the cover is delightful, I love sunflower and stories set in France so I knew I would love this read. I was not disappointed the descriptions of France and the setting of the story was so believable you can really tell that Sophie has spent time in France and loved it. France is one of my love to go destinations and it is always such a joy to read a book set there. The characters are strong and you really get a feel for what they have been through, although it took me w while to warm to Luc but once you read the story from his point of view it was a lot easier to like him.

A brilliant summer read.

About the Sophie Claire:


Sophie Claire writes emotional stories set in England and sunny Provence, where she spent her summers as a child.
She has a French mother and a Scottish father, but was born in Africa and grew up in Manchester, England where she still lives with her husband and two sons.
Previously, she worked in Marketing and proofreading academic papers, but writing is what she always considered her ‘real job’ and now she’s delighted to spend her days dreaming up heartwarming contemporary romance stories set in beautiful places.
You can find out more:

Website: sophieclaire.co.uk

Twitter: @SClaireWriter

Facebook: @sophieclairewriter

Instagram: sophieclairewrites

Interview with Sophie Claire:

Thank you very much for taking the time to appear on my blog.

  • Please, tell us a little background about A Forget-Me-Not Summer?

Hi Michelle, and thanks so much for having me! A Forget-Me-Not Summer is Natasha’s story. She runs a florist’s in the quaint village of Willowbrook and has finally got her life on track after her short-lived marriage to Luc Duval. That is, until he unexpectedly walks through her shop door three years after their divorce.

Luc reveals that he never told his family about their split, and now his father is desperately ill and demanding to meet Natasha. He needs her to come to France and pretend they’re still happily married. Natasha is horrified, but when Luc makes her an offer she can’t refuse, she reluctantly packs her bags.

The deal is two weeks on a vineyard with his family, but will Luc and Natasha be able to play the perfect couple after years apart? And in the glorious Provence sun, will the old spark between them be impossible to ignore?

  • What was your favourite chapter (or part) to write and why?

I loved writing about their time in France. It took me right back to my childhood and the summers I spent in Provence at my grandparents’ house. My mum is French and every year at the end of July we used to pack up the car and make the two-day journey to the South of France. Air travel was expensive back then so we only saw my grandparents once a year and I loved those long summers at their house.

I have wonderful memories of sunshine and trips to the beach and delicious meals that stretched for hours with my extended family all gathered around the table. My grandmother was an excellent cook, and there’d be wine flowing, lots of laughter, stories and jokes – it was a wonderful, happy, relaxed time.

In A Forget-Me-Not Summer I drew on these memories when I wrote about Luc’s large and noisy family, and it wasn’t difficult to make Natasha wish she belonged at Chateau Duval. Natasha doesn’t have any family of her own, so she’s particularly envious and sees a whole new side to Luc when he’s with his family. But the deal is that after two weeks she’ll leave. I’ll let you find out what happens when she faces that dilemma…

  • Tell us about your writing process, any research you do and how you come up with your plot and characters?

I love writing about Provence and last year I had a wonderful research trip there with my mum. I was planning to go back but that’s on hold for now, so any research I do will be through books or films.

As for my writing process, it’s different for each book. My starting point might be a character, a title, or a situation, and I build from there. With A Forget-Me-Not Summer I’d had the back story in my head for while – I knew they’d had a passionate affair followed by an accidental pregnancy, shotgun wedding, then a miscarriage and a hasty divorce – but I couldn’t think of a reason to bring them back together again and start the story in the present day.

Then I went to a writing workshop where we were asked to write about a situation where two people wanted opposite things. The opening scene of A Forget-Me-Not Summer landed in my head and wrote itself: Luc walks into Natasha’s shop desperate for her help; whilst she is horrified and certain that she will never, under any circumstances, become entangled in his life again. It raised so many questions – why hadn’t he told his family about the divorce? Why was his father so adamant he wanted to meet Natasha? What would persuade her to go?

I came away from the workshop buzzing, and desperate to get started on the story.

  • What is a typical day writing like for you and do you have a favourite place to write?

I’m a big fan of routine, and I’m at my desk every morning, ready to write. This is when I get my best creative work done. After lunch I write or edit more, and also do all my admin tasks and social media (which I love!). Before lockdown, I used to sometimes write in cafes – especially if I had a daunting piece to write. I find that being out of the house with just my notebook really frees up the imagination.

  • What advice do you have for anyone who would like to start writing and be published?

Read and write – a lot. And keep doing those: in other words, persevere. It took me fifteen years to get my first book deal with a small press, Accent. And then another 4 years before I was published with Hodder & Stoughton. In that time I had so many rejections, and spent long months waiting for replies, but it was worth it in the end. To hold my books in my hand and see them in bookshops is a dream come true.

  • What are your future projects?

I’m working on book 5 at the moment (there are a few in the pipeline!) and I have another idea on the back burner, simmering away. Book 5 is another hot summery story set in Provence and I’m really enjoying escaping there in my imagination!

Thank you again for appearing on my blog and taking the time to answer these questions?

Thank you, Michelle! I really appreciate you featuring my book on your lovely blog.

Sophie.x

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