Book review: You Had Me At Merlot by Lisa Dickenson

31 Jul

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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?

A couple of weeks ago I featured part 1 of You Had Me At Merlot in my Serial Spotlight. Since then I’ve been happily working my way through parts 2, 3 and 4 and I’m delighted to be back on Lisa’s epic blog tour today with a full review of the book.

As you will have seen from my review of part 1, I loved this book from the start and I’m very pleased to say that the rest of the story lived up to expectations making this one of my favourite reads of the summer so far! Lisa’s writing is bright, bouncy and laugh out loud funny but she’s also not afraid to make a serious point and I thought the messages in this story were spot on. Lisa tackles, love, friendship, glass ceilings, independence and happiness in a fresh and honest way and although You Had Me At Merlot is a lighthearted rom-com on the surface, it’s a pretty inspirational read too!

I already thought best friends Elle and Laurie were fab but as I read on I discovered a new favourite character; Elle’s colleague Donna. I love it when characters take me by surprise and Donna did just that. Her story is very much focused on her life and job and I was shocked to find out the reason she’d chosen to go on a You Had Me At Merlot holiday. As the story progressed I found myself smiling at Donna’s revelations and I’d love to read what happens next to her (hint, hint Lisa!)

There were plenty of surprises from the other guests too and Lisa cleverly kept me guessing as to what would happen to them all next and where the romances would spring up. Despite her best efforts, Elle finds herself more than a little drawn to the owner’s handsome son Jaime. He starts off as a bit of a Mr Darcy figure but we soon get to see the softer side of him and as he whisks Elle off for a day in Florence in part two of the story, the scene is set for romance!

The descriptions of Italy and food in this book are just brilliant – it will make you want to pack your bags and run away to a sun-drenched vineyard. But it was Lisa’s cliffhanger endings that had me dying to read the next part of the story and I thoroughly enjoyed the surprises and twists to the tale.

Whether you are holidaying or not this summer, You Had Me At Merlot will provide the perfect escape and I can’t wait to read more from Lisa Dickenson.

5/5

Parts 1-3 of You Had Me At Merlot are out in ebook formats now.

Part 4 will be released on 4th August.

Find out more about Lisa and her books at: http://www.lisadickenson.com/

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