Susannah Cates had had a tough three years trying to bring up her teenage daughter alone since her husband had been sent to prison. Money was tight and Susannah juggled several jobs to make ends meet and get by. Even her best friend was half a world away in Australia!
Things begin to look up when her best friend Patsy returns to Europe to head up a beauty company's division in Paris and her enterprising teenage daughter, Neve, seeks out Susannah's first love, Alan Cunningham, on Friends Reunited and starts contacting him while pretending to be her mother. Susannah is at first shocked by her daughter's actions and then thrilled to be caught up in a whirlwind romance with her long-lost first boyfriend. Patsy enjoys the challenge of her new job in Paris, but is both intrigued and irritated by the enigmatic Frank. Is she attracted to him and what does he really think of her?
Things move fast for Susannah and while her romance with Alan deepens, she auditions for her first acting role in years and is stunned when they offer her the leading role in a racy, new drama. Susannah's glamorous new life starts to unfold, but little does she know of the true reasons why Neve has become so depressed and uncommunicative, and that maybe her perfect partner Alan is desperately trying to hide secrets from her that could tear their relationship apart and destroy their reputations forever.
Although this book is well written, I am not sure whether it is trying to be a glamourous 'bonkbuster' on the lines of Jackie Collins or something darker and grittier. The main theme is very dark indeed, but I feel is trivialised a little by the emphasis on champagne, worldly success and beautiful surroundings. I suppose a lot of books have a happy ending, but this one seems surreally unrealistic and idyllic especially so soon after the traumatic events that the main characters went through. Or maybe I'm just turning into a grumpy old woman!
A summer book to read by the pool, so champagne seems to be the order of the day for this book along with pate de foie gras.