Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Barb reviews I PROMISE YOU THIS by @patricia_sands #wwwblogs

Today’s team review is form Barb, she blogs here http://barbtaub.com/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Barb has been reading I Promise You This by Patricia Sands

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My review: 5 out of 5 stars for I Promise You This by Patricia Sands

I Promise You This is about what comes after happily-ever-after. The lovers have met, fallen in love, faced trials, and finally expressed their commitment to one another. That’s where the curtain goes down in most romances. But in this one, it’s just the signal for the beginning of Act 3.

This is really not the book to start without reading the preceding two novels in this series. As we saw in the earlier books, the main character, Katherine, is a woman who spent her entire married life going through the motions of what was expected of her, without ever considering what she expected of herself. Her unfaithful husband leaves her the cruelest way possible, but from the beginning the reader suspects what Katherine only eventually discovers—it was a desperate act to save himself from a soulless marriage. And it saves Katherine as well, although she is in agony along the way.

In the previous books we see how Katherine comes to terms with her relationships, both with her failed marriage, and with her dying mother. But most importantly, she takes a chance on life, both by fulfilling a decades-old promise to herself to return to France, and by accepting that she still has a chance at a loving and fulfilling relationship. In France, the setting itself becomes another main character—one that soothes and supports Katherine, encouraging her to unfold and become the person she was meant to be. And in France, she and Philippe fall in love.

So why the third novel? Katherine has committed to Philippe, but—as she realizes when she returns home to Toronto to care for her best friend Molly after a devastating accident—she hasn’t committed to leaving behind her old life, her home, and her history.

As an expat myself, that’s where the story got really interesting. Because no matter how much we expats are pursuing the life we’ve worked to achieve, no matter how committed we are to living in that incredible but ultimately foreign place, no matter how desperately we want to be there—it’s still not the place that our heart labels “back home”. The place where we’re not different, we don’t stand out, we sound like everybody else. The place where our memories and the things that define our past will always live.

Katherine is shocked to find out that in committing to Philippe and their love, she still has to do a lot of work to come to terms with all the other parts of her past that have defined her. This book is the lovely story of that journey. And, because I’ve come to know and love the huge cast of the three books, I have to admit that I cried when Katherine did successfully arrive at her journey’s destination.

I recommend this book and the series to anybody who wants to read a contemporary love story about a mature woman, a beautiful setting, and a wonderful supporting cast. And you’re so lucky that the series is complete, so you can read it all now. Bon voyage!

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT I PROMISE YOU THIS by @patricia_sands #Romance #Provence

Today’s team review is from Alison, she blogs at http://alisonwilliamswriting.wordpress.com/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Alison has been reading I Promise You This by Patricia Sands

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‘I Promise You This’ (Love in Provence Book Three) by Patricia Sands

I read the first in this trilogy ‘The Promise of Provence’ last year and very much enjoyed it. Although I haven’t read the second book, the author does a good job of letting the reader know what has happened since the end of Book One, so it wasn’t too difficult to pick up the threads of the story.

Katherine is back in Toronto, taking care of her friend Molly who has suffered severe injuries in a car accident. Being back in her home city with her family and friends and her memories, and being away from Philippe makes Katherine begin to doubt her certainty that France is where she belongs. She loves Philippe, but she wonders if that is enough.

What I really enjoyed about the first book was that Katherine had a humanity to her – she wasn’t perfect, she didn’t find things easy, and she suffered, like we all would, when her world came crashing down. I was happy that she was happy at the end of the novel. She deserved that happiness. In this book, however, I felt that the relatable and human side to her wasn’t as well-drawn. She was a bit too perfect, a bit too wonderful and kind and desirable. It didn’t feel real. Her relationship with Philippe, despite her cold feet, was also too perfect; he was too perfect. While I enjoy a bit of escapism, I do like to be able to identify with, sympathise with and relate to characters. I found that quite difficult to do here. The other characters all seemed far too kind-hearted and generous and supportive too. While people can be all these things, they aren’t all of them all of the time, and for me that meant the book lost the edge of the first n the trilogy.

I also felt that a lot of the dialogue was unrealistic. There were a few occasions, particularly at the beginning, where it seemed to be used to pass information to the reader.

That said, the descriptions of France, as in the first book, were wonderful and engaging and very enjoyable to read. The ending, while sentimental and beautifully soppy, was lovely, and absolutely perfect for the trilogy. I may even have had a tear in my eye. But for me, the book didn’t work as well as the first.

3.5 out of 5 stars.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com