REVIEW: French Fry by Glynis Astie

French Fry Book Cover French Fry
French Twist
Glynis Astie
Chick Lit
322

Sydney Durand had finally achieved the perfect life she had always wanted. After a whirlwind romance with a charming Frenchman, she endured the three weddings it required to satisfy the members of the newly formed Bennett-Durand clan. All she had left to do was stroll into the sunset with Louis to enjoy their long-awaited happily ever after.

But everything changed when the stick turned blue. Suddenly, Sydney finds herself facing the daunting task of becoming a mother before she has even returned home from her honeymoon. Keeping a tenacious hold on her hard-won happiness, Sydney is determined not to give up without a fight – no matter what or who is thrown in her path…and that includes an overbearing mother-in-law, a know-it-all father and her own anxiety about having a baby.

Will she finally be able to tame her neuroses for the sake of her unborn child? Or will her hormone-induced panic cause a meltdown of epic proportions? One thing is clear: Sydney and Louis’ nerves are going to fry…

As promised, here is my review of the lovely Glynis Astie’s latest book, French Fry! 

For the last book in the French Twist series, we return to Sydney Durand’s whirlwind life to find her pregnant – naturally, a little ahead of schedule, and definitely unexpectedly. What follows is nine months of trying to keep crazy pregnancy hormones under control, juggling a best-friend bridezilla, dealing with the unexpected arrival of an eccentric French mother-in-law, and everything else a pregnancy throws at you!

I loved diving back into Sydney’s world. Having already read French Twist and French Toast (you can read my review of the first two books in this series here!), I already knew all of the wonderful characters and was excited to read what happened next in this semi-biographical whirlwind romance. So, I was able to completely enjoy every page from the get go.

Astie writes in a friendly, honest way, including the reader by giving them a peek into Sydney’s head and sometimes addressing them directly. It was lovely to pick up this book and feel like I was being welcomed back into her family.

This trilogy is a great example of great chick lit. It’s different from the same-same mould so many books follow, with plenty of twists and hilarity. Frankly, I’m a little sad to be saying goodbye to Sydney and her life! These books are definitely worth reading.

Amazon

I received a copy of French Fry from author Glynis Astie, in exchange for a review and my honest opinion. 

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Book Release! French Fry by Glynis Astie

Almost a year ago, I read the first two books in a trilogy, and I was hooked. French Toast and French Twist were the first two books in a series by Glynis Astie, based on her quirky meet-cute and shotgun marriage with a handsome Frenchman and the chaos that ensued. I really enjoyed the two books (you can read my review here), so I was excited when Astie reached out about the launch of the final book in the series, French Fry!

Here’s an overview of what happens when three weddings end in a looming patter of tiny feet…

Sydney Durand had finally achieved the perfect life she had always wanted. After a whirlwind romance with a charming Frenchman, she endured the three weddings it required to satisfy the members of the newly formed Bennett-Durand clan. French Fry by Glynis AstieAll she had left to do was stroll into the sunset with Louis to enjoy their long-awaited happily ever after.

But everything changed when the stick turned blue. Suddenly, Sydney finds herself facing the daunting task of becoming a mother before she has even returned home from her honeymoon. Keeping a tenacious hold on her hard-won happiness, Sydney is determined not to give up without a fight – no matter what or who is thrown in her path…and that includes an overbearing mother-in-law, a know-it-all father and her own anxiety about having a baby.

Will she finally be able to tame her neuroses for the sake of her unborn child? Or will her hormone-induced panic cause a meltdown of epic proportions? One thing is clear: Sydney and Louis’ nerves are going to fry…

I’m keen to know what happens, and you should be too! If I haven’t convinced you yet, come back on Thursday when I post my official review. For now, I’m lucky enough to be able to give you some words from Glynis Astie herself, about how her travel and marrying a Frenchman impact her writing and inspire her!

Travel Inspiration

One of the biggest difficulties I have as an author is finding inspiration. I wish I could be one of those people who has ideas spilling out of her head; someone who has characters fighting in her mind to get their stories told. Well, not in a creepy way. I’m not looking to pad my husband’s file for my commitment hearing or anything, but I wouldn’t mind a little stroke of brilliance–courtesy of a fictional character–now and then. Alas, this has yet to happen.

The truth is, I never planned to be a writer. I toiled away in corporate America for years, until my second son was born and I somehow fell into writing. My new career began when I decided to write a series of books based on the whirlwind romance my husband and I experienced, regaling the world with our swoon-worthy story. A big part of this epic tale is our cultural differences which result from our being raised in two very different countries. He is a charismatic Frenchman and I, well, I am a neurotic American. We make for quite the interesting pair!

Clearly, I added a dose of France to my life in the form of my husband, so inevitably, I would travel to this majestic country on a regular basis to visit his family. Meeting my new French relatives for the first time opened my eyes to a whole other way of living. The laid-back attitude, flexible nature and raucous sense of humor exhibited by my husband’s father and uncles took my breath away. Nothing seemed to faze them! His mother and aunts took me into the fold immediately and did everything possible to make me feel welcome–including sharing the family’s top secret cream puff recipe. The outpouring of love I was lucky enough to experience on that first trip made me want to be a better person. I knew there was a more relaxed, trusting and perhaps adventurous version of myself in there somewhere.

After a few days in my husband’s childhood home, I found myself affected not only by the interaction I had with his family, but also with the country itself. I discovered breathtaking scenery, exquisite architecture and riveting history. But what threw me the most was the extremely fluid sense of time. Things will get done when they get done. If an opportunity to do something great shows itself, a deadline may have to be pushed. Beauty, wonder and fun are rather unpredictable. For someone who lives and dies by her datebook, this concept was decidedly foreign.

And then there’s the food! I’m a girl who LOVES to eat. You can’t turn a corner in France without running smack into something delectable–be it cheese, bread, confection, wine… Oh, the list goes on and on! Given the astounding quality of the boulangeries and restaurants (don’t get me started on the patisseries), I know I could never live in France. There aren’t enough exercises in the world to combat the pounds I would pack on in the presence of such delicious offerings, but it’s comforting to know I have a place to visit which will inspire me to do great things!

We’ll be taking a trip to visit our French relatives this summer and the timing couldn’t be better! I’m ready to start writing my fourth novel and I’m convinced there is great insight waiting for me in those rolling hills, gorgeous beaches, historic villages and, of course, my mother-in-law’s kitchen. It may take longer than expected to find said inspiration, so I’ll have no problem extending the trip if necessary. That’s how dedicated I am to my craft.

Thanks for coming to share Glynis! I’m super excited for French Fry, and have my fingers crossed that this weeks book launch goes well. If you’d like to win your very own copy of this trilogy, you can enter a Rafflecopter Giveaway here (US only) – or, you could by a copy for yourself on Amazon.

I’ll see you back here on Thursday to give you some more reasons why you shouldn’t miss out on this great chick lit read!

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REVIEW: French Toast by Glynis Astie

French Toast Book Cover French Toast
Glynis Astie
Chick Lit
334

Sydney Bennett is back! And her pursuit of perfection is alive and well. Naïve to the core, Sydney believed that when she finally married the man of her dreams, the hard part was over.

Following a civil ceremony as a means to keep Louis from being deported, Sydney continues to plan the fairytale wedding that she had dreamed of since the age of five. Much to her chagrin, she discovers that her mother-in-law is planning what seems to be a rival wedding in France that SHE has been dreaming about for her only child since before he was born.

How will poor Sydney be able to ensure two perfect weddings in the midst of Louis’ fruitless job search? Especially when her mother-in-law’s idea of perfection appears to be having Sydney embarrass herself in front of hundreds of French people that she has never met?

As if she didn’t have enough on her mind already, Sydney finds herself faced with the trials and tribulations of being a wife. Sydney had always heard that marriage was hard, but she thought that this was just a ruse that married couples portrayed in a bid to make single girls feel less desperate. But as the bills pile up and emotions run high, she realizes that there may just be some truth to this statement. And as she watches Louis’ perfection fade away before her very eyes, she begins to wonder if she made a rash decision in marrying a man that she had known for a mere six months.

With all of the obstacles that Sydney and Louis will encounter, will they be raising their glasses in celebration or watching their impulsive marriage crash and burn? One thing is for certain, Sydney and Louis Durand are headed for one hell of a toast…

I received a copy of French Twist and French Toast by Glynis Astie in exchange for a review and my honest opinion.

French Toast, and it’s prequel French Twist, by Glynis Astie tell the story of how she met and married her French husband in six short month… and then proceeded to have three weddings, in three different time zones!

The plot was almost too cheesy to bear – until you remembered that it was based on a true story. Astie actually WAS swept off her feet by a charming Frenchman, and married him six months later! The fact that the story was true meant that instead of feeling annoyed at the fairytale love story, you felt hopeful and happy for the unlikely pair.

In French Twist, we meet protagonist Sydney (based on Astie herself), a stress-head who constantly doubted that the cliché love story she was living, and thought it must be too good to be true. I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what I’d be thinking, so her over-analysing rang true with me throughout the book. Luckily, her amazing family was there to diffuse any explosions of Sydney’s crazy, and saw her through to her wedding day without too many disasters.

French Toast picked up where the first book left off, with chaotic preparations for weddings number two and three (I’ll let you find out for yourself why three weddings were absolutely necessary), and stress-head Sydney is in full swing. It turns out that a speedy marriage isn’t all romance, and everyday life starts to take it’s toll on the lovebirds.

French Twist by Glynis AstieI read both books in sequence, but I think you would still enjoy French Toast on it’s own. That said, when you find a good book, more is always better, so why not start at the beginning! Both books are written in a fairly casual style, with some little asides to the reader that make you feel as though Sydney is telling her story just for you.

I particularly liked the supporting characters in the novels, and think the books wouldn’t have been the same without them. Sydney’s cheeky father and perfect sister in particular were great, and I’d love it if my family were  more like hers!

I’m looking forward to reading the third instalment of the series, French Fry, upon it’s release. You’ve still got time to read the first two books before the third comes out, so I recommend you grab then ASAP! You can find them on Book Depository here and here, or the ebooks on Amazon here and here.

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