blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Way Back to You – James Bailey

When Simon reconnects with his first love Sylvie – the French pen pal he never met – he is determined to not let her go again.

Life may not be as straight-forward at sixty as it was at sixteen, but that won’t stop him.

Together with old school friend Ian, he sets off on the same bike ride – from Bristol to Bordeaux – that they attempted all those years ago.

But while they now have better bikes, more acceptable haircuts, and Google Maps, some things never change.

And it soon becomes clear that this trip will have even more bumps in the road than the first . . .

My thoughts: this was really fun, a clever road trip rom com, told from the male perspective and written by a man too. Which I really liked. Simon is 60, single after the death of his wife ten years before, running a very stressful B&B and in need of a change.

After an old school friend dies (I promise this book isn’t sad, there’s several laugh out loud moments) he and old pal Ian, decide to recreate a madcap adventure they had as boys and cycle to Bordeaux. Becoming MAMILs in the process (Middle Aged Men in Lycra – fetching, not!). They almost die a few times, and honestly it’s hilarious – there’s a bit where they camp out in a church and accidentally flash a congregation of French villagers and the priest.

I think the romance of letters, then emails, between Simon and Sylvie is very sweet but the real relationship here is the rekindled friendship between Simon and Ian – a bromance if you will. As they remember their teenage years, apologise for some terrible behaviour and bond in their adventures. There’s something very precious about friendships that last a lifetime, even when you don’t see each other for forty odd years in the middle.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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