The Relax and Read book club

Bringing new meaning to the term R&R

What is Relax and Read?

Whilst technology can be great, it’s also important to have time away from it and make time for ourselves. The two places we think provide the best opportunity for just that are between the pages of a book and in a spa. Fortunately, the two go perfectly together, making a spa break the perfect time to tune out and reignite the senses by picking up a good book.

This is why we have launched the Relax and Read Book Club, bringing new meaning to the term R&R. The Relax and Read Book Club will give you the chance to discover new books, learn about the authors, share your opinions and really escape into an inspiring world of literature.

Each month we will select five customers from a self-nominated pool to read and review a newly released or soon-to-be released book, spanning all genres. They will have six weeks to read the book before writing reviews that will be published on our acclaimed wellbeing blog and shared with club members via a dedicated newsletter.

Relax and Read's book of the month

Escape to the French Farmhouse by Jo Thomas

Can Del find her recipe for happiness?

Del and her husband Ollie moved to a beautiful village in Provence for a fresh start after years of infertility struggles. But six weeks after they arrive, they’re packing the removal van once more. As Del watches the van leave for England, she suddenly realises exactly what will make her happier… a new life in France – without Ollie.

Now alone, all Del has is a crumbling farmhouse, a mortgage to pay and a few lavender plants. What on earth is she going to do? After discovering an old recipe book at the market run by the rather attractive Fabian, Del starts to bake. But can her new-found passion really help her let go of the past and lead to true happiness?

Click here to buy the book

Download a sample chapter

Meet the author

Q&A with Jo Thomas

1. If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?

I would like to have learnt to cook at college and run a small bistro, possibly a pizza restaurant or tapas taverna. I love to have people enjoying food around the table and for them to enjoy themselves. A bit like my books, I want people to enjoy the company, the time they spend with there, share some laughs and touching moments along the way and leave feeling full and satisfied and happy, promising to come back again soon.

2. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Just do it! Once you’ve written something, something can always be made better. Just do it! I got way too bogged down in books and courses and trying to learn about writing, instead of just writing. And write the stories you want to read, not what you think someone else wants to.

3. Where is your favourite place to write?

I used to write in my car all the time. I had three children under the age of three. I would drop the eldest off at school, the middle one at nursery and then the baby would fall asleep in the car and I would park up, pull out my laptop and write for the hour the baby was asleep. It was my time. Then, as they got older, and we moved to Ireland for three years, I would drop them off at school and not wanting to go home to an empty house, in a place where I knew no one, I would pull up at the beach, overlooking Galway Bay, and it’s there that I wrote my first book, The Oyster Catcher. Nowadays, I write in the mornings, before the teens have woken, when its still quiet and let my mind travel out to sea and to the places I’d like to be.

Read the full interview

Win a copy of Escape to the French Farmhouse and a £50 voucher

Like the sound of Escape to the French Farmhouse? Enter here to win a copy!

We are giving away 10 copies of Escape to the French Farmhouse by Jo Thomas. It has been a big hit with our Relax and Read reviewers, why not see for yourself?

The first winner picked at random will also receive a £50 voucher!

For full terms and conditions, promotional information and privacy policies please see below.

Competition terms and conditions

  • The prize draw opens on 28/07/20 and closes at 9am on 03/10/20. All entries after this point may not be included.
  • Winners will be drawn at random.
  • A total of ten copies of the book ‘Escape to the French Farmhouse’ by Jo Thomas will be given away in this competition.
  • The first winner, selected at random, will also receive a £50 voucher with their copy of the book.
  • When ticking the competition opt in box for Jo Thomas' newsletter, you agree to receive their newsletters about Jo's books. You give permission for to pass on your information to Penguin for this purpose. To view their privacy policy [click here] You can unsubscribe at any time.
  • The £50 voucher will be valid for twelve months.
  • Prize is non-transferable and non-exchangeable.
  • The Prize Draw is open to residents of the UK aged 18 or over.
  • If the Prize(s) is not claimed within 14 days of the Winner(s) being notified, reserves the right to award the Prize(s) to an alternative winner(s).