You Had Me at Merlot: Part 1

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The first part in this hilarious four-part digital romantic comedy, from the author of The Twelve Dates of Christmas – winner of the Novelicious Debut of the Year award.

Elle and Laurie are the last ones standing: they’re single, they’re not having babies any time soon and their weekends aren’t filled with joyful meetings about mortgages. For Elle, this is fine – she likes her independent life, she loves her job, and she has no desire to walk down the aisle anytime soon. But Laurie wants love and she wants it now.

So when Laurie begs Elle to come with her on a singles holiday to a beautiful vineyard in Tuscany, Elle is reluctant. You Had Me at Merlot Holidays promises crisp sunshine, fun and a chance to stir up some sizzling romance. Elle has no intention of swapping her perfectly lovely life for someone else’s idea of her Mr Perfect, but ten days under the Italian sun with her best friend and lashings of wine? How bad could that be?

You Had Me at Merlot is the kind of love story that will have you crying with laughter one moment and nodding your head in agreement the next. Full of sultry summer nights, hilarious moments and plenty of wine, it will warm even the most cynical of hearts and have you believing in the magic of romance (and the power of a decent glass of Merlot).

My opinion: This is the first book I have read by Lisa Dickenson, and boy was it a good ‘un!

Elle is an independent woman who is single, but quite happy as she is, thank you very much. Why would she want to get in a relationship and lose the time she has to do what she wants and learn the dances to Beyonce songs?! Her best friend Laurie books them on a Tuscan singles holiday and Elle vows that this is just a holiday to relax and drink lots of wine as she’s not interested in meeting anyone.

I was drawn into this book straight away and have to say that it is hilarious! I was sat out in the garden chuckling to myself when reading this. I liked Elle right from the beginning and felt that I could really connect with many aspects of her character. She is a workaholic, desperate to get noticed and as a result spends far longer than anyone else in the office, working like crazy. Despite this, she hasn’t quite been able to put her head above the parapet and get herself noticed yet, particularly by Donna, her MD and idol. I’ve seen this happening to others throughout my career, and it was a great detail to put into the story.

Tuscany is an amazing setting for the book. I love a book set in Italy (although I am yet to visit in real life as yet) and I couldn’t wait to read more, both about the beautiful vineyard setting and the shenanigans from the singles holiday. There is a great twist at the end of this book which leads perfectly into the next one and will leave you chomping at the bit to read part 2!

Fab characters, great writing and a hilarious storyline. Let’s see what part 2 brings us….

My rating: Five stars

This week I will be posting reviews of all four parts of You Had Me at Merlot, and will be culminating the week with a special interview with the author, Lisa Dickenson.

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