The Season of Dreams

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Pub Date 1 Sep 2022 | Archive Date 15 Sep 2022
Amazon Publishing UK, Lake Union Publishing

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In this romantic tale in the Escape to France collection from bestselling author Fiona Valpy, Sara has one summer to make wedding wishes come true. But can she save her own happy-ever-after?

Once upon a time, in an ancient château nestled above a golden river among the vineyards of Bordeaux, Sara and Gavin opened a wedding venue where fairy tales come true…But when Sara discovers Gavin in the arms of a wedding guest, their own happiness crumbles to dust. Faced with five beaming couples yet to say ‘I do’, she realises it’s up to her to host the rest of their first make-or-break season alone.

For the summer to go off without a hitch, Sara must bury her broken heart and her fear that she’ll soon be packing her bags for London, and lean on her local team of helpers. So when handsome Thomas Cortini, wine salesman and amateur DJ, crosses her path, Sara’s thrilled to draft in further reinforcements—and finally dares to hope the summer might not be a total disaster…

But with her life savings at stake, can Sara pull off a successful season, save her budding business and—just maybe—find her own happy-ever-after before the summer ends?

Revised edition: Previously published as The French for Always, this edition of The Season of Dreams includes editorial revisions.

In this romantic tale in the Escape to France collection from bestselling author Fiona Valpy, Sara has one summer to make wedding wishes come true. But can she save her own happy-ever-after?

Once upon...

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ISBN 9781662503757
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Average rating from 27 members

Featured Reviews

From the title to the ending, this is a fun quick read. The author brings the characters to life on the pages in a cannot out down book. It was sent to me by Netgalley for review. I enjoyed this book.

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Thank you NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK Lake Union Publishing for the eARC.
Sara and Gavin have bought and refurbished a chateau in the wine country of Bordeaux and turned it into a wedding venue. But when Sara discovers Gavin in a compromising situation with one of the guests, her world practically collapses.
How she turns around the situation and finds love again is a wonderful story, told with much sensitivity and optimism. It's a lovely read, especially in these difficult times in the world, Definitely recommended!

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This is another fun book with great characters. I wish I was friends with everyone in this book. I only wish I was in France drinking a fabulous glass of wine at a cafe while reading this charming story.

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I realised too late this book is part of a set but it does not matter. A lovely story of weddings, a beautiful chateau , unfaithful partners, finding true love. Learning to trust again. The wedding descriptions were lovely. I loved it

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Sara and Gavin run the Chateau Bellevue providing beautiful weddings in the French Countryside, until she discovers Gavin with one of the bridesmaids. With her dreams of her own fairytale wedding in shatters Sara has to regroup and try and salvage the rest of the years bookings whilst trying to find a way to hold onto the chateau. Will she get her own Happy Ever After?
A delightful read with lovely descriptions of all the weddings. Relatable characters and links to other books by Fiona. Perfect summer read

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“The Season of Dreams” is a republished book by Fiona Valpy and the second book in a series. This book, however, can be read as a stand-alone book. Here’s what I liked about the book - it’s a quick read. Ms. Valpy lived in France for a number of years and her description of the countryside read as being authentic. I liked how this book began - a booked wedding venue with the owners (engaged) breaking up. One wants to keep the venue, the other immediately sell. I liked the tension this set for the remainder of the book. This book had a lot of optimism that I found enjoyable. I also like how, for a middle of a series book, this book didn’t feel like a “middle book” - no cliff-hanger no strong hints to another book in the series. A quick read with an enjoyable cast.

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Sara is co-owner of a French chateau with her fiance, which whom she runs a wedding venue business. But she catches him cheating on her with a wedding guest, and is left broken-hearted in the chateau she sunk her savings into, with a season of weddings to host. She will take all the help she can get, including from Thomas, the wine salesman moonlighting as her DJ.

Previously published as The French for Always, this is part of the Escape to France series, although I think it is one of the weaker books in the trio. The prose is… a lot. It felt like it needed another editing pass, because there were too many words for what it was trying to say, and it left the book a bit bloated, considering it is quite a short story.

The tone is light and fun, and I think this could be the perfect book if you want a slice of idealised life in rural France, with a sugary romance and buckets of sentimentality. But it lacked the depth of Valpy’s other books, and left me unenthused.

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I read this book first not realizing it was a series. I loved the secondary characters in this book and can’t wait to read their stories in Book 1 & 3. A perfect beach read!

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I have read and enjoyed Fiona Valpy before. While I think this new series is a little more frothy with a little less substance than her previous books, I did enjoy them very much! Perfect beach read,

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I enjoyed the story. This is definitely one for the beach and something I'd consider a light read. The author has a way of placing you in the setting and making you feel as if you are there. Would I recommend it? Yes.

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The Season of Dreams, book number two in the Escape to France collection was great! A dreamy location and romantic chateau in a French wine country turned wedding venue, this book has it all. But will there be a happy ending? I enjoyed the wedding descriptions and romance. All of the characters were very relatable. Great read!

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This is another great book by Fiona Valpy. It is a rollercoaster of emotions and delights. The Setting in France of these books really make you feel like travelling there. This is a throughly enjoyable book.

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A really enjoyable read by Fiona Valpy. Based in lovely France, I felt like I was there through the pages. A fun, romantic read!

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I have been reading a few of the shorter books on offer lately as I fell I need a break from long drawn out stories and this is just what I needed.

A book where you can escape to your world for a time and enjoy a story of giving life and love another go is a perfect way to escape into a good book.

I loved Sara, loved her courage, loved the settings and found this an enjoyable book to read. Not too heavy, not too light!

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Not as good as The Recipe for Hope, another book by the author in the Escape to France series. I redacted three stars because firstly, Sara felt like a hypocrite who reasoned the fallout of her relationship with her former fiance is due to her jumping into an engagement after one year of dating him but jumps (again) into another engagement after less than 3 months of dating afterward. Because the guy isn't greedy and a cheater (yet) like her previous fiance? The author claimed Sara was an overcautious girl who's afraid to enter a relationship but jumps into one that can be called a rebound very easily. Thomas can be a rebound, yet we're expected to believe this relationship will work even though the previous one didn't.

The second reason I redacted two stars is because the last wedding of the season was of a British veteran from Afghanistan. I cannot justify the atrocities the Western world left in Afghanistan after they were the one who started all the war and atrocities there. But I was trying to overlook it until the author compared the veteran groom's time in Afghanistan to the French resistance groups rebellion during the WWII. If you're gonna compare a veteran from Afghanistan to the French resistance groups, then the Afghan people must be the Nazis, non?? Why else would you say the army veteran was "protecting" their country if you don't consider the Afghans in the same vein as the Nazis?? Did Afghanistan attack Britain like the Nazis occupied France?? Isn't that the other way around?? The Soviet and the USA attacked Afghanistan and forever destroyed that country and its people and made them refugees?? Shame on the author for spreading this kind of narrative through her feel-good book about hope and love against hate and vice versa.

Thank you, NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK, for providing me with an eARC in exchange for my honest opinion

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This was a nice read. However I think that the team and author might need to brush up a little bit on some of the war history. As some of the ties that it tries to compare the Afghanistan war with the world war is a little bit worrying and a little bit misplaced in my mind. It's always hard to try and compare wars and I thinks it's something that shouldnt really be done. As they are all such horrific events. Other than that it's a good read.

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Thanks Netgalley and the Publisher. I enjoyed this book, liked the storyline and the characters. Would recommend.

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My rating:

Plot: 4 out of 5 stars
Writing: 4 out of 5 stars
Character development: 4 out of 5 stars
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars

Recommended for readers of:

Women’s Fiction
General Fiction



A great summer read that’s uplifting and full of positivity. Set in a beautiful chateau in the Bordeaux region of France. The book is well written and flows well. The surroundings are very vividly depicted and the characters are interesting, their actions were explained in detail, this made them realistic, an enjoyable book to escape with for a couple of hours

Review copy provided by NetGalley at no cost to me.

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I didn't realize until I started reading this that I had previously read this in 2020 under the title The French for Always. While somewhat predictable, The Season of Dreams is a pleasant tale of love and second chances. I enjoyed reading the stories behind each of the five different weddings described in the book, especially the last one, and how each of these love stories affects Sara and her business at the Château Bellevue. A fast read. Fiona Valpy's novels are always enjoyable.

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Such a romantic story….Sara has one summer to make wedding wishes come true. But can she save her own happy-ever-after?
My cheeks hurt from smiling through this delightful book. This one kept me hooked and entertained until the last page… The characters each have these little pieces that make them such believable characters!

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This was a slower burn for me than the first one in the French series I read, “The Recipe For Hope”, but I think that’s because this is set in the summer - I intensely dislike the summer - whilst the other was set at Christmas time - and I intensely love the winter.

I felt it with the first one, but even more with this one, the feeling that these characters have become your friends and you want to stay with them on their journey, you want to know what happens to them and if they all live happily ever after.

I haven’t been to France for a good few years now, but Fiona Valpy’s writing is reminding me how much I love it. Okay, so I haven’t stayed in an isolated village or in a grand chateau in the countryside, but considering I am not a city girl, and yet I like Paris, I think goes to show that I’d love the French countryside.

There were a few standout characters for me: our main protagonist Sara is a lovely woman, working through some difficult times but full of love; Thomas, our French wine merchant who sounds so dashing and loving; as well as all of Sara’s chateau staff - I won’t name them all, otherwise this review will becoming like a school register - but they’re all fabulous in their own way. Even Gavin, the two-timing arse of a man makes an impact (not a very nice one, mind); and all of these manage to push Sara’s story to the right place.

Who wouldn’t want to live in a gorgeous chateau in the French countryside, with gorgeous views, hosting fabulous weddings? It sounds perfect to me. Each wedding is perfectly described an you feel like you’re there, surrounding by all the celebrating.

You’ll find yourself wiping away tears of sadness, tears of anger, tears of joy, and mostly tears of happiness.

It’s a quick read, but just like the other one, I actually wish it had gone on longer. I could live in this French romance for ever. But it does mean you can curl up in the corner with it and get completely lost in it, without worrying it’ll take too long to finish.

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The Season of Dreams tells the story of Sara, a Brit, who with her then-fiance Gavin, purchases an old chateau, the Chateau Bellevue de Coulliac, in France and transforms it into a beautiful wedding venue. I felt like the characters really came alive and I enjoyed how Sara became completely invested in the chateau, setting down roots in the small French town with a cast of interesting characters. Sara grows throughout the novel, learning more about the background of the chateau from Mireille, a character I had previously met in The Dressmaker's Gift. Fiona Valpy has a writing style that I enjoyed and I was pleased that by the end of the novel, Sara gets her happy ending.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

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This is another lovely book by Fiona Valpy. It is set in France and has a beautiful background. Sara has a lot to deal with and the summer to find herself as she helps her scheduled weddings find their happily ever after.

Thanks NetGalley for this ARC!

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I've become a fan of books by Fiona Valpy because they are family oriented in their content and characters -- a mix of older generation with younger generation and neighbors with families who intermingle. I did read this particular series of books out of order, and it doesn't really matter except that I want to get the family members organized in my mind better (so I'm buying the I really do like the characters, and I like the insight into the background stories of each set of characters. I'm falling in love with the scenes from France.

A couple of reviewers raised valid points about the inclusion of the war in Afghanistan in The Season of Dreams book (not necessarily about the story of the bride and groom...although Valpy could have had the groom get his injuries in some other way). I don't know that there is time to revise that before the Sept. 1 publication date, but it is worth a try.

Another reviewer raised an eyebrow about Sara's propensity for jumping into relationships. It's a good point...but one that didn't strike me while reading the book. I was happy to be reading a book that could be read by a high schooler or a great-grandma -- if both read books with current day life in them (i.e. unmarried couples, but no sexually graphic scenes).

I got teary-eyed in a particular moment of the book (always a sign of a good book for me). It's definitely a "feel good" book which can be read quickly, and when I am reading many heavy books, I need a book like Valpy writes.
Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing (and Amazon UK) for this ARC.

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First of all, if you’ve read The Beekeeper’s Promise you’ll remember Sara, the owner of the castle. She’s the protagonist in this story. If you’ve read The Dressmaker’s Gift, you’ll remember Mireille and Eliane. They also appear in this book. If you’ve read The French For Love/Light Through The Vines, you’ll meet Gina and Cedric again! I love it when characters pop up in a book when you aren’t expecting them - it’s like meeting an old friend!

Secondly, if you’ve already read The French for Always, then you’ve already read this book!

Can you imagine moving to another country with your fiancé, starting a wedding venue business, and then catching him in flagrante with one of the client’s bridesmaids? What a let down! For someone in the business of creating fairy-tale endings and happy-ever-afters, this was gut-wrenching. Sara has to pick up her life and carry on without Gavin because she’s got five weddings booked and she can’t let the brides down on their important day. When a cute wine salesman crosses her path, Sara begins to imagine other options to just selling and returning to London.

What a dreamy setting for a wedding - an ancient chateau in Bordeaux! I loved reading about Chateau Bellevue de Coulliac, the mystery it holds and how it connects to a book I’ve previously read. Valpy writes such descriptive settings that it’s easy for readers to place themselves in the story. The added historical fiction flavour increased my enjoyment of this book. I also enjoyed learning about les larmes de Saint Laurent, the bluet (cornflower), the sage-femme, and Code Napoleon inheritance laws. Valpy has a lovely mix of genres in this book.

Equally exciting are her characters. Although I couldn’t connect to them as well as those in book 1, I did love how the chapters were copies of the wedding invitations and featured the couple to be married. What a lovely idea. The design of the invitation was a perfect way to introduce them as it gave readers an inkling of what the characters were like. I loved The Hels Belles and the Irish family! The title was a perfect choice for the wedding season and brides (and Sara’s) dreams for the future.

I already feel like I know this little community and I can’t wait to see what Valpy has instore for them in book 3.

I was gifted this advance copy by Amazon Publishing UK, Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley and was under no obligation to provide a review.

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Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy this one at all. It felt very rushed, there was no time to connect with Sara and care about her relationship before it fell apart and she fell for someone new in a minute. Very low stakes and the writing leaves a lot to be desired.

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A light and easy read.
Sara and Gavin move to a château in France and create an exclusive wedding venue employing local staff.
Unknown to Sara, Gavin has been unfaithful and after being caught he leaves.
Sara seeks help from her neighbour Thomas, who becomes her Knight in shining amour.
Sara soon finds hidden treasures in the château and wants to find out more about its past.
Can Sara survive on her own?

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