Escape to the Little Chateau by Marie Laval
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Escape to the Little Chateau

Published Date: October 20, 2020

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352 pages


Will Amy’s dreams of a Provençal escape come true?
There are many reasons Amy Carter is determined to make Bellefontaine, her farmhouse hotel in the French countryside, a success. Of course, there’s the time and money she’s put in to making it beautiful, but she also has something to prove – particularly to people like Fabien Coste.

Fabien is the owner of the nearby château, and he might just be the most arrogant, patronising man Amy has ever met … unfortunately, he’s also the most handsome.

But as rumours circulate in the local community and secrets about the old farmhouse begin to reveal themselves, Amy quickly sees the less idyllic side of life at Bellefontaine. Could Fabien be the man to help prevent her Provençal dream from turning into a nightmare?

Available as an eBook and audiobook on all platforms. Paperback available from all good bookshops and online stores.

Marie Laval

Originally from Lyon in France, Marie now lives in Lancashire with her family. She works full-time as a modern languages teacher, and in her spare times loves writing romance and dreaming about romantic heroes. She writes both historical and contemporary romance, and her historical romance The Lion’s Embrace won the Gold Medal at the Global eBook Awards 2015 (category Historical Romance). She is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Society of Authors. Her native France, as well as her passion for history and research, very much influences her writing, and all her novels have what she likes to call ‘a French twist’!


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FREE Audio Story

Listen to a fabulous, heart-warming FREE short story from Marie Laval.

Message on a Pebble by Marie Laval narrated by Gordon Griffin. Click the play button to listen.

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Customer Reviews


  1. Phoebe H
    Phoebe H at

    A page turner from the get go. This story has romance, mystery, and keeps you guessing right up to the very end. It includes everything from a mysterious handsome neighbour, to secret cults, hidden temples and missing treasure, all set around a beautiful french chateaux.

  2. Stacey Dodsworth
    Stacey Dodsworth at

    A page turner from the get go. The perfect addition for your holiday must reads. A simple but elegantly written storyline that keeps you wanting more. I look forward to reading Marie Lavals other books.

  3. Anne
    Anne at

    Murder, mystery and romance set in a beautiful location in France. When Amy purchases an abandoned farmhouse and decides to run it as a hotel, it clearly becomes clear someone doesn’t want her business to succeed, but who? Is Fabian her knight in shining armour or a real danger. Marie deftly manages to weave horror elements through this with mysterious lights and a real sense of an evil presence. I couldn’t put it down. Loved every minute of it.

  4. Debbie Southwell
    Debbie Southwell at

    I love the way Marie adds history and mystery into her books and this one was no exception. Amy has decided to move to France and has bought a lovely old house for which she is going to turn into a small scale hotel. Unfortunately others may not want her to be very successful and so this book takes us on a journey of what appears to be nightmares and forgetfulness but in fact is reality and evil at work.
    Luckily Amy had the wonderfully handsome Fabien, the owner of the Manor ‘next door’ who Amy finds herself drawn to, but can she trust him?
    This book will keep you reading for more, wanting to get to the bottom of the ‘curses’ and what secrets will be revealed.

  5. Stacey Rinnert
    Stacey Rinnert at

    This is the second book I’ve read by author Marie Laval and I loved it just as much as the first one. I loved the characters, I loved the setting, and the mystery was so engaging! I could not put the book down. I can’t wait for Marie’s next book – this one was fabulous!

  6. Barbara p
    Barbara p at

    This is a great story about starting a new life in France. Amy is starting her own hotel when love and hate intervene. The story weaves ancient history with contemporary life in a scary manner. I loved how the author made both Amy and myself distrust what was happening. The portrayal of the beginning of Amy’s new life was totally believable, but the horror interlaced would put anyone off of doing it! Meeting Fabian would however be a major bonus, what a hero! An exceptionally well written book with not one but two romances tied into it. I cannot wait for Marie’s next book.

  7. Vanessa
    Vanessa at

    A great story, packed with action, peril and romance. Never quite sure who can be trusted, we are led into a mysterious tale of family secrets, prophecies and fate, where the English newcomer is buffeted by her unwelcome feelings for the imperious Duc-next-door, as well as some strange scary happenings. It’s a roller coaster ride, with added romance and mystery.

  8. Donna Morgan
    Donna Morgan at

    Amy Carter is the new owner of Bellefontaine – a chateau which has a sinister past and is linked to sacred deities and curses. From the first day she arrives, she is plagued by bad luck and it seems that someone is out to ruin her business and make her leave. She also has nightmares and wakes up in the middle of the nearby forest with her nightdress torn after dreaming of being kidnapped. Will she ever find out why this is all happening to her? There are many twists and turns to this story & I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. Very well written.

  9. Gill L.
    Gill L. at

    I did enjoy this book – the plot was substantial, interesting, and surprisingly quite believable, all written in a flowing, easy to read and professional style. There is some fairly explicit sexual detail – which I don’t need and easily skipped, and a bit of gore, but not much. I did realise who the main villain was very early on, but it didn’t matter. Here is another place that Ms Laval has created that I would like to visit personally! A very pleasant interlude in the French countryside when we can’t be there ourselves ….

  10. Yvonne Greene
    Yvonne Greene at

    Great story! Set in French countryside, Amy’s dream of a new life is not as she planned. There are wonderful twists and turns including midnight visitors, secret cults, long hidden secrets and a gorgeous neighbour who may not be all that he seems. A rollercoaster of an adventure and possible love story set in great location. I loved every page! Totally recommend!

  11. Ruth
    Ruth at

    Losing her job has given Amy the incentive to leave her old life and move to France. Using her redundancy she purchases an abandoned farmhouse in Provence and, with no previous experience, intends to renovate and run it as a small hotel.

    On her arrival at her new home, there’s not the welcome she’d hoped for, locals are unfriendly and anonymous threats begin to arrive. The owner of the neighbouring château hotel is extremely hostile, anticipating her business venture to fail and treating her with suspicion. Although Le Duc frequently comes to her rescue, does he genuinely care about her or is he behind all her troubles.

    During the night mysterious lights appear in Amy’s garden and she senses an evil presence in and around Bellefontaine. There are rumours about people who’ve disappeared without explanation and tales of treasure hidden in a Roman temple where sinister rituals were practised. Her business is sabotaged when expected guests cancel their bookings for no apparent reason. Amy’s life as an hotelier becomes tougher than she expected. Her French dream is rapidly becoming a nightmare – then her life is threatened.

    A mix of murder, mystery and romance set in beautiful Provence.

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