Title: False Start Fairy Tale
Author: Kelly St-Laurent
Publication Date: June 9, 2020
Synopsis: Adèle Villeneuve is attempting the impossible. At twenty-four she’s opened an events company in her small French village, which at last count has a population of 1501. Even her parents tried to stop her. But Adèle has a plan. Or, at least she did.
Then the Reniers returned to town.
Aside from the dilapidated chateau that’s sat in ruin for the past forty years, Saint-Germain is known for one other thing: a bitter feud between the Reniers and the Villeneuves that has gone on for so long no one remembers how it started. It’s practically folklore, a hatred so deep it ended with the Reniers leaving France back in the eighties, never to be seen or heard from again.
With the feud reignited, Adèle’s quiet life is upended. Even more so when she finds out that the Reniers are not only refurbishing the chateau but also opening a competing events company. When Finn Renier, the alluring son of her father’s enemy, offers her a truce that could save her business, she makes a decision that goes against her family, a choice that changes everything.
As she finds herself falling for the one person she’s not supposed to, secrets and lies become entangled, a dangerous truth threatening to be revealed.
Because Finn isn’t all that he seems.
And the Reniers didn’t just return to Saint-Germain for a fresh start.
False Start Fairy Tale is like a modern-day Romeo and Juliet without all the tragedy and death. When Adele Villeneuve, owner of the only events company in her small French hometown, learns that her family’s arch enemies, the Reniers, are returning to open and events-company, she is determined that they won’t run her out of business. As Adele and Finn work together instead of against each other, there seems like there could be hope for both businesses and families.
However, the more she gets to know Finn, the more she questions the old feud and everything she knows about her family and the Renier’s. Can Adele and Finn heal the wounds of the past and have a future together, or will the rivalry ruin their chances?
Oh my word, the enemies-to-lovers romance! The chemistry between Adele and Finn is fantastic! They know that their love is forbidden, and yet they are drawn together. Finn hesitates, not wanting to put Adele’s life at risk because of his dark past. Adele also tries to fight her feelings because of the family feud. However, their feelings for each other prove stronger than their misgivings.
Though the romance between Adele and Finn is the highlight of the book, the mystery of the Villeneuve-Renier feud is also worth mentioning. Like Romeo and Juliet, no one really remembers how it began, and yet it still continues. It is interesting to see how different sides have different stories of what occurred in the past.
I also appreciated the strong messages presented. Facing one’s past, choosing love, trying to live up to parental expectations, exposing and moving on from the truth of the past, and learning one’s self-worth are all woven into the story in a powerful and meaningful way.
This is a great contemporary romance with a sexy love story, a decades-old feud, a quaint and close French setting, and strong themes of love, family, and community. Though it is my first Kelly St-Laurent books, it sure won’t be my last!
- The romance, of course! Adele and Finn have some sizzling hot chemistry!
- The mystery behind the feuding families. This is an interesting component of the story, and I was curious to find out the whole story behind this decades-long conflict.
Readers who enjoy contemporary romance will love this story!