Take a trip to Southern France!

  • Book: The First Noël at the Villa des Violettes
  • Location: Antibes, Strasbourg
  • Author: Patricia Sands

Review Author: Courtnee Turner Hoyle



Are you ready for a holiday trip to the South of France? The First Noel at the Villa des Violettes allows you to experience the sights, sounds, tastes, and romance of the country without leaving your favorite reading spot. Patricia Sands constructed a love and life in her Love In Provence Series that readers can’t leave, so the first book in her Villa des Violettes box set returns them to Kat’s and Philippe’s beautiful villa.
Kat is worried about Christmas (Noel) and the imagined expectations of her friends and family. She still worries about nefarious people from her past, and she’s concerned that someone has been on her property. The mystery deepens when one of Kat’s and Philippe’s dogs disappears. Will they find their treasured pet? Will Kat overcome her anxiety over the perceptions of her family and friends, and enjoy the holiday?
I won the book during an online giveaway, so I read it without having read the Love In Provence Series. It was easy to follow the plot, though, because Patricia Sands merged details from the original series effortlessly into the book. I felt as though I had met the characters on my own French vacation, and they filled me in about their past with easy dialog. I was impressed by the strong female bonds between the characters, and the differences in age did not prohibit a friendly connection. Additionally, the diction is lovely and easily drips from the pages as Patricia Sands blends French and English languages seamlessly.
I enjoyed the story, and I recommend it for anyone who enjoys travel, food, and a tiny dose of intrigue!

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Enter the 2021TripFiction 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition!

A story in which the location plays as important a role as the rest of your words.

2,500 word maximum, 750 word minimum

Judges include Victoria Hislop and Rosanna Ley

First Prize of £1,000 / US$1,350

Prizes total £1,750 / US$2,362 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 6th November 2021