The French Promise

Written by Fiona McIntosh
Review by Cathy Kemp

Having read The Lavender Keeper, the first in this series, I was interested to follow the developments in the story surrounding Luc and Lisette Ravens in this book. Their survival of the Second World War, as an undercover agent working for the French Resistance and as a British spy, respectively, left them both scarred, and they flee to Tasmania to seek a new life, free from the constant reminders of their old lives. Lisette supports Luc in his dream of becoming a lavender farmer once more, and their family settles into a loving community with ambitions to develop their business internationally to rival the perfume houses based in Europe. Back in Strasbourg, a young law student has discovered part of the history relating to the father he has wanted to know of all his life, as his mother lies dying from cancer. Max discovers there is a link between his father and the Ravens, so he sets out to delve further and in doing so uncovers the answers to a number of questions harboured by Luc Ravens.

As this story evolved I found myself prepared for the developments in advance, possibly due to the similarities to the storyline in her previous book. This left me a little disappointed with the plot and somewhat robbed of the surprise and anticipation generally associated with a good read.