Release Day Post: A Wedding on the Riviera by Evonne Wareham
A Wedding on the Riviera is my fifth book for Choc Lit and the second in what I hope will be a Riviera series. It can be read as a stand-alone, with a new central couple, but if you have read Summer in San Remo you have the chance to catch up with a few of the characters from that book, and see how their lives have moved on. It’s a romantic suspense, so you get some mayhem mixed in with the romance. I have to say that in this one not all the mayhem comes from the villains. The action centres around a group of friends taking on a con man, and to do that they set up a sting. Of course things are never quite that straightforward, and two of the group are on the verge of falling for each other, so it all gets quite exciting – or at least I hope it does!
It opens with a wedding in Bath, and a runaway groom who absconds with a large amount of money. He gets found out because my hero, Ryan, recognises him. Ryan is a professional escort, who is attending the event with Nadine, who is his favourite client. That professional relationship is the first stumbling block to any romance between them, but both of them are beginning to wonder if there may be a chance of something more. When the group sets out to try to trap the thief, they are thrown together. You can see where this is going, can’t you?
The sting operation gave me the opportunity to plan the most glitzy wedding in the South of France, which is the lure to draw the con man. I created a beautiful Art Deco villa outside Nice, with fabulous grounds and its own chapel, and had immense fun researching all the things I could include to make it the wedding of the century, and a few embellishments of my own on top. I have a weakness for glamorous settings and sunshine, and this book gave me the chance to channel those 1950’s films – blue sky, blue sea, fast sports cars on the coast road, motor boats …
I hope A Wedding on the Riviera will conjure up the spirit of a fabulous holiday in a gorgeous part of the world, but as it is a romantic suspense, it also has its dark side, as Nadine and Ryan realise that the con trick may be part of something a lot more sinister …
For various reasons I haven’t been able to travel abroad for a while, so the first draft of the book was written from memories of holidays in the past. I had a trip to the Riviera booked in May, when I was going to soak up atmosphere, collect quirky little details, take photographs… Well, we all know what happened to that. I’ve had to rely on memory and my trusty guide books, and the Internet, which is brilliant for images and even virtual tours. I was able to wander round the Cours Saleya market in Nice and around the Marais district in Paris, without leaving home. The scene in Paris didn’t make it into the final version of the book, but it’s still lurking there. I would love to write a Paris book. One for the ‘to do’ list. The one I’m working on next is set in equally glamorous Portofino. Riviera number three.
About the book:
A return to the Riviera on the trail of a runaway groom ... When out-of-work actor Ryan Calder attends a wedding as the plus-one of successful businesswoman, Nadine Wells, he doesn’t expect to get in a scuffle with the groom. But Ryan has a good reason. He recognises the groom from another wedding where the same man made a quick getaway, taking the wedding money and leaving a heartbroken bride in his wake. It seems he's struck again, and Nadine's poor friend is the target. Ryan and Nadine decide they can’t let it happen to another woman, so with a group of friends they hatch a plan that will take them to the French Riviera, hot on the heels of the crooked groom. But could their scheme to bring him to justice also succeed in bringing them closer together?
About the Author:
Evonne Wareham was born in South Wales and spent her childhood there. After university she migrated to London, where she worked in local government, scribbled novels in her spare time and went to the theatre a lot. Now she’s back in Wales, living by the sea, writing and studying a PHD in history. She still loves the theatre, likes staying in hotels and enjoys the company of other authors through her membership of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.
Evonne’s debut novel, Never Coming Home won the 2012 Joan Hessayon New Writers’ Award, the 2013 Colorado Romance Writers’ Award for Romantic Suspense, the Oklahoma National Readers’ Choice Award for Romantic Suspense plus was a nominee for a Reviewers’ Choice Award from RT Book Reviews.