Everyone who knows me is aware of my love affair with France. That's why I jumped at the chance to review a romantic comedy novel by Stephanie Dagg called Fa-La-Llama-La.
When I began reading Fa-La-Llama-La, frankly, I was tired. I didn't know how much I'd get through that night, but I quickly got swept up in the story of poor Noelle, who had been dumped by her fiance and lost her job so she had moved back into her parents' home just in time for Christmas. By the time Noelle had agreed to pet sit some llamas, packed her car and driven across France in a worsening blizzard, I was shivering in sympathy. Dagg's word pictures took me to that darkened house in the French countryside as Noelle's luck got worse -- no power and no furniture. As she settles down to
wait out the storm in a nest of sleeping bags and blankets, she's awakened in the middle of the night by an intruder with keys. A new owner from Australia who isn't too pleased to find Noelle in his empty house and llamas in his fields which were supposed to be empty.
"They assured me they'd sold the llamas." Was I imagining it or did he sound a little less sure of himself. The torch went back to the contract.The two continue verbal sparring, which can only lead to them respecting each other as they both blunder through a snowy Christmas in France. The fact that they are both new to France helps the reader experience it as though for the first time when they tramp through the snow to take a llama to a manger scene in the church's midnight service.
"Well then, they're obviously homing llamas since they're out there in the field,"....
The traditions of France, the strength of family, the appreciation of good food and good wine all shine through Dagg's descriptions, interwoven with the blossoming romance.
So in the end, Fa-La-Llama-La, didn't leave me shivering in the cold with Noelle; it left me feeling lovely and warm as I ended another trip to France, if only in a book.
I highly recommend Fa-La-Llama-La for a quick, escapist read and a little travel to France.
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Fa-La-Llama-La(Christmas romantic comedy) Release date: October 21, 2016 Self-published ASIN: B01MF7F813 165 pages
It’s very nearly Christmas and, temporarily jobless and homeless, Noelle is back at home with her parents. However, a phone call from her cousin Joe, who runs a house-and-pet-sitting service, saves her from a festive season of Whist, boredom and overindulging. So Noelle is off to France to mind a dozen South American mammals. She arrives amidst a blizzard and quickly discovers that something is definitely wrong at the farm. The animals are there all right, but pretty much nothing else – no power, no furniture and, disastrously, no fee. Add to that a short-tempered intruder in the middle of the night, a premature delivery, long-lost relatives and participation in a living crèche, and this is shaping up to be a noel that Noelle will never forget. Fa-La-Llama-La is a feel-good, festive and fun romcom with a resourceful heroine, a hero who’s a bit of a handful and some right woolly charmers.