I’m delighted to be one of the blogs opening the tour for the latest book in one of my favourite series by one of my favourite authors today. The Little Swiss Ski Chalet is the seventh book in the Romantic Escapes series by Julie Caplin. My thanks to Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on to the tour and to the publisher, One More Chapter, for my digital copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.
It’s time to pack your bags and head to the breathtaking, snow-covered peaks of the Swiss Alps for velvety hot chocolates, delicious cheeses and a gorgeous love story…
Food technician Mina has always believed that chocolate will solve everything – and it’s just what she needs when her latest relationship mishap goes viral!
So with her bags packed and a new determination to sort her life out, Mina decides to drown her sorrows with the best hot chocolate in the world at her godmother’s cosy Swiss chalet. Chocolate: yes. Romance: no. Until she has a run in on an Alpine train with a mysterious but oh-so-gorgeous stranger…
I don’t know about you but normally at this time of year I would be planning my travels for the upcoming months. Since lockdown has put the kibosh on booking any jaunts to foreign climes for the foreseeable future, the only travel I can currently do is from the comfort of my armchair via the pages of a book, and there is no better series than Julie Caplin’s Romantic Escapes to take you away for a short while.
So far I have travelled with Julie to Denmark, New York, Paris, Iceland, Croatia and Tokyo, and I have enjoyed every trip, so I was really looking forward to visiting Switzerland through Julie’s eyes. What would she make of the land of chocolate and cuckoo clocks? I can assure you I was not disappointed.
The book got off to a great start as the heroine, Mina’s life explodes in spectacular style as a romantic mishap goes viral and forces her to re-evaluate where she is and where she is heading. Mina is a spontaneous kind of girl who doesn’t really plan, but takes every day as it comes and often acts on a whim. Given the reaction to her latest spur-of-the-moment feat, she starts to wonder if this is the best approach to her future. She decides to head off to her godmother’s ski chalet in Switzerland for a holiday and a chance to take stock and decide what she wants to do with her life. No pressure there! I really loved Mina as a character from the start. She is so totally different to me in every respect that I adored living vicariously through her. If only I had had her gumption at that age!
A chance meeting with a handsome stranger threatens to derail Mina’s new level-headed approach before it really gets off the ground. But she is determined to get serious about her future, however tempting the alternative might be. The author does a great job of setting up sexual chemistry between Mina and the mystery man right from the start that it fizzes off the page and reminded me of how it feels when you first meet someone and there is instant electricity between you. It is perfectly captured here, and you will be wondering how Mina can resist! What willpower.
So, we follow Mina as she discovers her aunt’s cosy ski chalet and explores all the delights that surround it. Amelie has created a homely, welcoming guesthouse where her visitors are like family and return time after time. The lure of sampling delicious Swiss recipes and learning how to cook them, exploring the glorious alps on skis and snowshoes and taking a unique food-tasting trip soon draw Mina in to life in Switzerland, until she doesn’t want to leave, and who can blame her. I was totally in love with the setting and the characters by the time I had finished the book.
Julie Caplin is a genius at bringing the locations of her book to life using every sense available until you are absolutely there, experiencing it all, and this book is no exception. If you walk away from this book without a craving for fondue and hot chocolate, I’ll eat my hat. I could smell the pine and the minty fresh mountain air, feel the heat from the log fires and the crunch of snow under skis and hear the chatter of happy guests as they munched Amelie’s cakes. A 3D reading experience. To top it all off is the promise of a quirky love story at its heart to bring an extra glow to your cheeks.
This is a gorgeous hug of a book that will transport you to the Swiss Alps and then cheer you with food, friends and a happy ending. I can’t think of a more perfect way to while away a lockdown weekend, can you?
The Little Swiss Ski Chalet is out now as and ebook and will be published in paperback on 18 February. You can buy your copy here.
Please do make sure you visit the rest of the wonderful blogs taking part in the tour for more reviews:
About the Author
Julie Caplin, formerly a PR director, swanned around Europe for many years taking top food and drink writers on press trips (junkets) sampling the gastronomic delights of various cities in Italy, France, Belgium, Spain, Copenhagen and Switzerland. It was a tough job but someone had to do it.
These trips have provided the inspiration and settings for her Romantic Escapes series which have been translated into fifteen different languages.
The first book in the seven strong series, The Little Café in Copenhagen, was shortlisted for a Romantic Novel of the Year Award.
Connect with Julie:
Facebook: Julie Caplin Author