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Annabel (Bels) Lewis has only two days to get to Rome for her wedding to Simon but she is faced with one problem after another. Destiny rears its head and takes hold, casts it spin and the fun begins. Now Christian, an adventurous strapping lad who she comes across along the way. Little did Bel know when she meets Christian that things were to get more complicated than she wished?
The long trip that should have taken a matter of hours takes a day but to make it a little easier she makes this journey through France in a battered out citron with a man she has only just met much to the ignorance of her fiancé Simon, who is in Rome holding it together with the rest of the families. This eventful trip with an annoying but stunning man has given her time to think and reflect her life and whether she really wants to marry Simon.
Well even before she boarded the flight she was having doubts about her wedding so the eventful events that happened to cause her to miss her connecting flight were a relief to her. She still wants the wedding to go ahead so she has to find a way to get across France and onto Italy. This is where Christian comes in, he has an idea for them to hire a car and travel together. Much to Bels annoyance what with her being so fashion conscious she has to travel in a clapped out Citron (known as the Lemon) and to top it off he suggests stopping off at the shops so that she can buy some clothes. Bels is used to designer labels not the supermarket ones she is faced with.
Bels is not prepared for the upcoming advents like being involved in a petrol robbery, having to spend the night with a fashion model and having to act as Christians fiancé and just as they approach the Boarder the car breaks down. These are just a few of the events that Bel has to face along the way. As the trip unfolds Bels begins to see Christian in a new light and he changes from this annoying person to an interesting companion. Bels through out the journey compares the two men in her life and can not help but think that Simon is a controlling obnoxious man so it is not a surprise that when she arrives in Rome she has the biggest decision of her life to make.
The book is such an easy, enjoyable read with funny parts to it. Bel is a great character who the read can really connect with. I really got drawn into the characters especially the relationship between Bels and Christian, you really at times can feel the chemistry that emerges between them and who really feel for Bels when she has to make that all important decision if she is to marry Simon or not.
I can not think of anything bad that I would have to say about this book. Once I picked it up and started reading it I did not want to put it down. It is fun to read and a great place to lose you.
When Annabel Lewis (Bels) boards her flight, she has two days to get to her wedding in Rome. Plenty of time one would think. However, Bels does not take into account a sick passenger that causes a diverted landing; an untimely messy accident with some croissants and jam; and having to travel through France in an old battered Citroen with a man she has only just met. Much to the consternation of her fiancé, Simon, she is now cutting it fine, but this unexpected detour with a very attractive, if somewhat annoying, man also gives her time to think. Does she really want to marry Simon after all?
Even before Annabel Lewis boards the flight to Rome that will take her to her wedding, she is having doubts. After all, she has only known Simon for seven months and he does tend to be quite controlling and not much fun. So, when a series of unfortunate events causes her to miss her connecting flight, although she is reluctant to admit it, it is a welcome relief. She does still intend to go ahead with the wedding though, so she needs to find away to get across France and into Italy. As there are no flight options, she ends up agreeing to share a car with the man who inadvertently made her miss her flight. As a fashion conscious stylish woman though, she is more than a little perturbed when the car in question ends up as a clapped out old Citroen (affectionately known as the lemon) and when Christian, her travelling companion, stops at a French supermarket so that she can get some clothes to wear. Bels is much more used to designer labels than cheap and functional clothing.
Also, she is not at all prepared for the eventful journey that follows. Involvement in a petrol station robbery, staying the night with a top fashion model and impersonating Christian's Texan fiancée, and the car breaking down just outside Rome are just a few of the events that occur. Also, somewhere along the way, Christian changes from being a very annoying person to a sympathetic and interested companion - one that Bels can't help comparing with Simon who becomes more obnoxious the longer it takes her to arrive. It's no wonder that by the time she reaches Rome she is facing the biggest dilemma of her life - does she really want to marry Simon at all?
'Croissants and Jam' is a very enjoyable book and is very funny in places. Bels is a great central character and I loved the way she seemed to lurch from one catastrophe to the next. It's very easy to empathise with her too as the pressure on her to marry the very suitable Simon mounts. Her relationship with Christian, as they get to know each other, is very appealing too, and I was really drawn in to their emotional, as well as their geographical journey.
I do have one slight criticism with this book though and that is that I feel that it is too busy. It's less than two hundred and eighty pages long and it is packed with so many incidents. This did really give it a sense of pace but I also felt that some of the more important events were short changed a little. I wanted a little more depth instead of always moving on to the next thing. I felt that the book either needed to be longer or that some of the happenings needed to be sacrificed for the sake of others.
Overall, this book is a lot of fun and a great way to lose yourself for a few hours if you are looking for a light and easy read.
This review has previously appeared under my name at www.thebookbag.co.uk