Thursday, June 16, 2022

A Wedding in Tuscany by Sandy Barker - Book Tour

A Wedding in Tuscany

The Parsons sisters are all loved up.

Sarah is living in Sydney with Josh and their cat, Domino, but is anxious about her fast-approaching fortieth birthday.

And Cat is still living in London with her flatmate, Jane, but is in a long-distance relationship with Jean-Luc, her childhood sweetheart and recently re-discovered love.

One of the sisters receives a surprise wedding proposal – it’s a yes! – and everyone heads off to Tuscany for a destination wedding.

Reunite with favourite characters from the Holiday Romance series in one of the most beautiful locations yet for love, laughter, wedding vows, and just a smidge of sisterly mayhem

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I love the scenes early in the book where Cat breaks her news to her ‘bus besties’, the women she met while she was travelling a couple of years ago. In this scene, she calls Lou, who lives in Vancouver, and for readers who don’t know how Cat and Jean-Luc met, there’s a lovely recap. We also meet Anders, Lou’s new boyfriend.


‘Hellooo!’ At the sight of Lou’s face on the screen, I break into a broad smile.

‘Hey, so good to see you!’ she says.

‘It feels like it’s been ages.’

‘Too long, for sure. So sorry―I’ve just been unbelievably busy with work.’

‘And with Anders,’ I tease. Her new boyfriend is a veterinarian from Toronto who moved to Vancouver late last year.

She giggles, then leans her face close to the screen and whispers, ‘He is so wonderful, Cat.’

‘Why are you whispering? Is he there?’ She nods. ‘Well, can I meet him?’ I can’t believe after several months, I am finally going to meet the famous Anders. Lou has been keeping their relationship close to her chest―not even posting photographs on social media―but she’s been gushing to me about him for ages. It seems very likely that Anders is her person and I want to meet him properly.

‘Hey, hon, there’s someone I’d like you to meet.’

Lou is looking offscreen and I can tell the exact moment he comes into view because her face lights up like it’s been illuminated by a thousand candles. Anders steps behind her and lowers his head so he’s in frame.


‘Hello, Anders.’

‘You must be the famous Cat.’

‘I was just thinking the same about you―the famous Anders, I mean.’ We grin at each other.

‘What are you up to?’ he asks.

‘Actually, I have news,’ I say excitedly.

‘Oooh,’ says Lou, bouncing in her chair.

I let the moment build, just for a few seconds, then blurt, ‘Jean-Luc and I are getting married!’

Lou leaps from her chair and all I can see is her mid-section while she jumps up and down and squeals. Anders chuckles good-naturedly in the background and eventually Lou settles back onto the chair, her face flushed.

‘Oh, my goodness! Oh my goodness!’

‘I know. It’s very exciting.’ I will not ruin this moment by revealing that my excitement is accompanied by a hefty dose of terror.

‘Oh, Cat …’ she sighs, blinking back tears. ‘Who would have thought it, huh? Jaelee accosts a guy on a street in Paris, he turns out to be your high-school sweetheart, and now you’re getting married!’

That’s the dustcover version, but she’s essentially correct. I was on a bus trip in Europe―booked hastily in the aftermath of the ‘sleeping with my flatmate’ debacle―and I met Lou, Jaelee, and Dani, forming a firm foursome on the first day. And one night in Paris, we did (indeed) randomly run into Jean-Luc on the street―well, Jaelee stopped him to ask for recommendations on somewhere to go, assuming someone as hot as him would be in the know.

And call it kismet or fate or whatever, we were reunited―French exchange student and the bookish Sydney schoolgirl who were best friends for years, then estranged, reunited on a Paris street on a Monday night. The stuff of romcoms.

And now we’re getting married.

‘I know. I can hardly believe it myself.’

‘Lou says that even a few seconds either way―if you were walking down the street a little faster or slower―you would have missed him,’ says Anders. I’ve thought the exact thing a thousand times since that night and it always leaves me feeling slightly queasy. It must show because he quickly backpedals. ‘Sorry,’ he drawls in that sweet Canadian way. ‘I didn’t mean to put a dampener on your news. It’s just an amazing story, is all.’

‘No, it’s all right. And it’s not unlike you two. If you hadn’t been the vet on duty that night …’

‘Or if Mr Snuffles hadn’t decided to eat my yarn …’ adds Lou, turning her head to smile up at Anders.

‘Exactly!’ I declare. Mr Snuffles is Lou’s neighbour’s wayward feline who she was minding at the time―apparently, he has a propensity to eat things that aren’t edible. That was his third trip to the vet in a year.

‘Anyway, I’ll let you two talk but so nice to finally meet you, Cat.’

‘And you, Anders.’ His broad shoulders and handsome face disappear from frame. ‘He’s so lovely,’ I say softly to Lou.

‘Yeah.’ She shrugs―slightly self-satisfied but also humble, the way that only Lou can be.

‘And you’re going to think I’m an idiot, but I was sort of picturing Chris Hemsworth as Thor … you know, the Nordic Viking look.’

She chuckles. ‘It’s the name. You probably won’t meet many black men named Anders Eriksen. But his dad’s got the Viking look down pat―broad shoulders, like Anders, but blue eyes … he even has long hair, though it’s silver now. He was born in Norway―came here for college in his twenties and never left. He met Anders’ mum, they fell in love, the usual story …’

You’re in love, Lou,’ I say.

She shrugs, pressing her lips together, then breaks into a broad smile. ‘Maybe.’

Author Bio – Sandy Barker

Sandy is a writer, traveller and hopeful romantic with a lengthy bucket list, and many of her travel adventures have found homes in her novels. She’s also an avid reader, a film buff, a wine lover and a coffee snob.

Sandy lives in Melbourne Australia with her partner, Ben, who she met while travelling in Greece. Their real-life love story inspired Sandy’s debut novel One Summer in Santorini, the first in the Holiday Romance series with One More Chapter, an imprint of HarperCollins.

The series continues in That Night in Paris and A Sunset in Sydney and there are two more to come in 2022. Her standalone novel The Christmas Swap celebrates her favourite time of the year, and next up is The Dating Game, a laugh-out-loud romcom set in the world of Reality TV.


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