Monday, June 24, 2024

Book review of Couples Retreat by Lorraine Brown

French Village Diaries book review Couples Retreat Lorraine Brown
Couples Retreat by Lorraine Brown

Couples Retreat by Lorraine Brown 

Two writers. One pressing deadline. No time for romance...

Scarlett and Theo have one bestselling novel to their names: the psychological thriller they wrote together years ago. None of the books they've written separately have sold anywhere near as well...

Now at risk of being dropped by their respective publishers, their agent tells them that working together is the only way to save their careers and sends them off on a writers' retreat in the south of France.

It wouldn't be the worst way to spend a summer--except that they've accidentally been booked on a couples retreat instead, and spending so much time together stirs up some very inconvenient feelings!

With their careers on the line and a pressing deadline, romance is the last thing on their minds...

Beach Read meets The Proposal in this gorgeously escapist and wonderfully bookish romcom set in the south of France

French Village Diaries book review Couples Retreat Lorraine Brown
Couples Retreat by Lorraine Brown

My Review

Scarlett and Theo, two writer ‘friends’ with issues and history need each other. They may not have spoken in six years, but writing a second book together is the only way their agent can see a future for their writing careers. Reluctantly agreeing, they are prepared to work together, but what they are not bargaining on is the emotional journey of a couples retreat with group therapy sessions. Picking through their feelings and emotions, they learn a lot about both of their pasts, presents and ultimately their futures too. 

I instantly felt for Scarlett. I could feel her vulnerability, her need to always step in and put others before herself, and (uncomfortably) recognised some of her traits in my own behaviour. There are lots of humorous moments in this book that worked well with the emotional scenes where difficult times from the past were shared openly. It was an entertaining read that also highlighted the benefits and importance of facing up to our feelings, emotions, and the other rubbish we all carry around with us.

Their best seller had been written in alternating chapters, but cleverly, this book is written just in Scarlett’s voice. It worked - nicely keeping Theo a simmering mystery, meaning I kept wondering what his chapters about their time in Cannes, and his take on the therapy sessions would have been like to read.

French Village Diaries book review Couples Retreat Lorraine Brown
Couples Retreat by Lorraine Brown

The south of France provides a warm, colourful backdrop to this book. From seafront walks to afternoons exploring the villages inland, the healing powers of France certainly play their part, as well as providing inspiration for two writers desperate to recreate the magic they’ve lost.

Full of tension and simmering chemistry, with lots of humour around the awkwardness of the situations they find themselves in, this book radiated energy and fun, meaning it was a perfect pick-me-up escape that I looked forward to reading every evening.

This is one to add to your holiday reading pile this summer.

Purchase links

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Amazon UK purchase link 

Purchase here

French Village Diaries book review Couples Retreat Lorraine Brown
Lorraine Brown

About the author

Lorraine lives in London with her partner and their 10-year-old son. She previously trained as an actress and has recently completed a postgraduate diploma in psychodynamic counselling and now delivers counselling sessions to university students alongside her writing. UNCOUPLING is her debut novel and was published in the UK by Orion Fiction on 18th February 2021 and in the US by G.P. Putnam's Sons on 24th August 2021 (as THE PARIS CONNECTION). Her second novel, SORRY I MISSED YOU, was published in September 2022 and her third, FIVE DAYS IN FLORENCE,  on 20th July 2023. For monthly updates, a behind-the-scenes look at the world of publishing and Lorraine's monthly favourites (including TV, movies and books), please go to her website and sign up to her newsletter. 

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French Village Diaries book review Couples Retreat Lorraine Brown
Couples Retreat by Lorraine Brown

French-themed reading bingo

This year I’ve set myself a reading challenge bingo, with twenty-five different types of French themed books to tick off. This book nicely ticks off “A romance set in France”.

French Village Diaries French themed reading bingo challenge 2024
French themed reading bingo challenge 2024

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