Vicki’s Work of Heart by Rosie Dean
Stranded at the altar, knee-deep in her fiancé’s gambling debts, Vicki Marchant seizes her freedom and moves to France, to paint.
It’s her time. No man will get in the way of her ambition again.
She learns two things: some men are hard to resist, and her judgement of them is still on the dodgy side.
Before I start my review, I have an apology to make to the author. This book has sat neglected on my kindle for a long time, and when I started reading it for this blog tour, I knew before the end of the first chapter, that I’d been missing out on a gem of a read. Even more so when I realised it is set near Limoges, which isn’t far from where I live. I am sorry Rosie.
Vicki is likable from the beginning, when she has to put on a brave face and invite her wedding guests to feast and party, despite the fact there’s been no wedding, as there is no longer a groom on the scene. Once she’s cleared up his mess, her life can start again, in France, on her adult gap year. For the first time in too many years Vicki is giving herself the permission to do as she pleases and concentrate on her painting. Go Vicki. As she settles into her new home, as housemate who cooks, for vet Christophe, the landscapes and people she meets inspire her to put paint to canvass for the first time in years. As her confidence in her work grows, she allows herself to live, to enjoy and to discover. What an inspirational idea and what an uplifting read this book is.
Christophe piqued my interest from their first meeting, when he was late and obviously preoccupied with his own problems. I couldn’t wait to discover more about him, why his smile rarely meets his eyes and how their year living in the same house would pan out. The more I read, the more I had to read, and ultimately the more I smiled. As Vicki discovers, Christophe is a man of many surprises, with a complex extended family and eyes like molten chocolate (can you imagine anything better, I certainly can’t). He’s not the only man she meets, but I’ll leave you to discover the rest.
I thoroughly lost myself in this book and it was a pleasure to do so.
Vicki’s Work of Heart would be a great read for anyone looking for an escape this summer.
Rosie Dean has been writing stories and plays since she was big enough to type. After studying ceramic design and gaining a ‘degree in crockery’ as the man in her life calls it, she became an Art & Pottery teacher. Seven years later, she moved into corporate world, writing training courses and marketing copy until the lure of being a full-time writer became irresistible.
Her passion is to write entertaining love stories that can make a reader chuckle, laugh out loud or, occasionally, feel a lump in the throat. Most of all, she loves developing the characters who inhabit her stories – eccentricities and screwball scenarios pop up in all of her work. Some of these characters have four legs – because animals offer an interesting counterpoint to human dramas.
Vicki's story is close to Rosie's heart. Once an art teacher herself, and going through a difficult time, she would dream of escaping it all to paint. From these dreams, she wrote Vicki's Work of Heart.
Rosie lives on the Isle of Wight, and can see the sea from her writing den.