What if you found yourself stranded at the altar, knee-deep in your absent fiancé’s gambling debts?
Stranded at the altar, knee-deep in her fiancé’s gambling debts, Vicki Marchant seizes her freedom and moves to France, to paint.
It’s her time. No man will get in the way of her ambition again.
She learns two things: some men are hard to resist, and her judgement of them is still on the dodgy side.
Rosie Dean has been writing stories and plays since she was big enough to type. After studying ceramic design and gaining a ‘degree in crockery’ as the man in her life calls it, she became an Art & Pottery teacher. Seven years later, she moved into corporate world, writing training courses and marketing copy until the lure of being a full-time writer became irresistible.
Her passion is to write entertaining love stories that can make a reader chuckle, laugh out loud or, occasionally, feel a lump in the throat. Most of all, she loves developing the characters who inhabit her stories – eccentricities and screwball scenarios pop up in all of her work. Some of these characters have four legs – because animals offer an interesting counterpoint to human dramas.
Vicki’s story is close to Rosie’s heart. Once an art teacher herself, and going through a difficult time, she would dream of escaping it all to paint. From these dreams, she wrote Vicki’s Work of Heart
Rosie lives on the Isle of Wight, and can see the sea from her writing den.
Vicki’s Work of Heart is a very sweet and enjoyable story. This is my first story by Rosie Dean, but it will not be my last as I enjoyed the way she brought the characters and setting to life. The reader is effortless transported to the gorgeous countryside outside of Limoges, France. I have been fortunate enough to travel all around to different parts of France and this novel transported me back there with the sights, the wines, and even the food.
The story opens with 28-year-old Vicki Marchant on her wedding day. The only problem is that the groom, Marc Morrison, did not show, so Vicki decided to move ahead with the reception and just have a party. Not only has she had her heartbroken by being left at the altar, she is now stuck with his gambling debts due to her name being linked to them. After one blow after the other, she begins to reevaluate her life as she enjoys being an art teacher, but she knows it is not her life’s calling. Instead, she dreams about being a full-fledged painter.
After talking with her best friend Isabelle, who lives in Paris, it is worked out that Vicki will spend the next year at Isabelle’s friend, Christophe’s home in the countryside. Christophe Dubois is a 34-year-old equine vet and has a lot of room to spare at his home. With his travel and obligations, Vicki only needs to cook for him in exchange for room and board. While in France, she is introduced to an art critic/journalist named Daniel. He takes an interest in her as a new artist and the two of them get to know each other. Although Vicki has some growing feelings for Daniel and his encouragement for her work, she cannot help that she has an attraction to Christophe.
Vicki was a great character as her broken trust was portrayed well as she does not fully close herself off, but she has become a lot more cautious. Although she was disappointed by her fiancé, she was not fully broken hearted and the way her feelings were portrayed was well done. There was a natural reveal of how Vicki dealt with the fallout. Although the majority of story is told from Vicki’s perspective, there are some bits from Christophe. As he is a very reserved character in Vicki’s eyes, it was nice to get a small insight into his thoughts. There are also some from Daniel’s, so it felt well-rounded to include all three in some capacity.
Overall, this was a very enjoyable story filled with a colorful cast of characters. All the characters were enjoyable and had their own unique personalities. I liked how Vicki was slightly different depending on whom she was interacting with as it felt very realistic. Many people will open up a little easier with those in the same field as there is an unspoken connection that typically happens. As I loved Christophe and Vicki interacting, I did wish there was more. There was a nice progression to Vicki’s journey and I loved the twists and turns throughout the pages. This was an excellent and heart-warming read that brings the reader to lovely French countryside!
**I give a special thank you to Rachel @rararesources and the author, Rosie Dean, for the opportunity to participate with this enjoyable novel. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**