Books & Reviews

CIao BellaCiao Bella
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There was one subject that was never mentioned when Helena Frith Powell was growing up. Her eccentric Italian father. But one day a letter arrived saying that he wanted to meet her. She travelled to Italy with her mother and was mesmerised by him, as well as stunned by his advice on sex and relationships. He introduced her to Rome, Venice and Naples, and they stayed in touch irregularly until she lost contact with him when he stormed out of her wedding, leaving her mother to walk her up the aisle. Several years later, the mother of three children and the author of two successful books, Helena travels to Italy to write about the glamour of Italian women. But walking up the steps of her father’s old Florentine apartment powerful memories come flooding back, and she realises that there’s another story she needs to tell. She desperately wants to understand the peculiarly strong emotional bonds that tie them together despite his unreliable nature. In this moving and entertaining journey to the places she visited with her father, Helena combines descriptions of Italy, its food, fashion, culture and people with a search for the most mysterious man she’s ever met.

Two Lipsticks & A LoverTwo Lipsticks & A Lover
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Click here to purchase it at – where it’s called ‘How To Be Impossibly French’
French women are innately elegant and sexy. How do they do it? Author Helena Frith Powell goes undercover in her new book TWO LIPSTICKS AND A LOVER to transform herself from a Fulham frump to a sensual French woman in just one year.

This edgy and hilarious guide takes Helena on a journey where she unlocks French secrets and learns:

-> The best way to have an affair
-> Style tips from French female icons
-> How a little Flaubert keeps you sexy
-> Exercise tips without breaking a sweat
-> How seduction must be in the forefront of your mind at all times
-> How French women age with elegance and without botox

In her quest for French elegance, Helena interviews iconic women including Inès de la Fressange, ‘It’ girl Hermine de Cleremont-Tonnerre, fashionistas from underwear designer Chantal Thomass to the head of Tifffany’s in Paris, politicians, and the mysterious politician M. B who adds a twist on the male perspective.

Covering all aspects of French Style from literature, food, fashion, sex and exercise and written with Helena’s signature wit and irreverence, Two Lipsticks and a Lover – A Year in Suspenders delivers excellent advice in a hugely entertaining format.

NEW! – You can now get a copy of the French version of Two Lipsticks and a Lover – simply send an email to Jacques Kuhnle for more information.

More France Please, We're BritishMore, More France Please
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Forget about avoir and être! In More, More France Please, the French Mistress of the Sunday Times talks the reader through the pitfalls of life in France in the ultimate French lesson!

When asked where they would most like to live, a good percentage of UK citizens will likely name the south of France. The very name calls up images of blue skies, golden sun and plentiful red wine, making most Englishmen and women pause wistfully before shelving the idea of moving as an impossible dream.

The French dream became reality for Helena Frith Powell when she decided to take the plunge and move from London to the Languedoc with her husband. Discovering a dearth of resources to help those contemplating the southern exodus, she decided to collect her experiences in an account of real-life stories and disasters.

Among the topics discussed are the pros and cons of various regions, choosing and buying a house, running a vineyard, owning a chateau, the elements, becoming friends with the locals, learning French, dealing with the ever-present threat of tax investigation, and, of course, the presence of fellow Brits. She relates amusing tales of triumph and failure, the pitfalls and loopholes of relocation revealed – while never losing sight of the many delights of life in southern France.

Based on her own experiences, those of her friends and of the many readers who write in to her Sunday Times column French Mistress, Powell tells the story of life in La Douce France in a fresh, fast and humorous narrative.

An essential read for all of us rosbifs dreaming of sunny skies and French wine that is bound to become an instant classic.
‘Sparkling’ Sunday Times

69 thoughts on “Books & Reviews

  1. Hello Joyce
    Thank you for your lovely message, how brilliant it was there on the table, no one would ever see it otherwise!
    All very best Hx

  2. Hello Helena,
    I just read your book “What You Need to Know To Be Impossibly French” and I really enjoyed it. Your style of writing is so real, easy to read, and I love your Brit humor. I’m an American but my dad is from London, England and I still have relatives across the pond. So reading your book brought me back to my roots a little and seeing your language and your wit reminded me why I love having so much Brit in me. Thanks for that!

    But now I’m on a quest for good skin care since I am like you and never used to wash my face properly (yes, poor dear). LOL! Your story on the French emphasis of cleansing your face hit home to me. I saw in your blog you menioned Clarins night cream. Can you tell me your day cream and your cleanser that you recommend as well?

    Thanks Helena, and I am now a big fan. I’ll check into your blog and get some more books. I think the differences in culture are so facinating.

  3. Hello Laurie and thank you for your lovely comment. At the moment I am using Soap & Glory cleansing cloths and Dermalogica day cream. I also love Philosophy products but can’t get them here in the Middle East.
    Take care and all best

  4. Hi Helena
    Picked up ‘Ciao Bella’ in one of our many charity shops. I really loved it and have now lent it to my daughter. I am at present reading ‘Two lipsticks .. and hope to read your other books. I enjoy looking at your blog on this website too.

  5. Hi Helena

    Did not know you had a blog but now I am hooked lol! Love, love, love your book ‘Two Lipsticks’, I have read it heaps of times and I just wanted you to know what a difference it has made in my life.

    I eat far better now, get regular manicures, wear matching underwear, have got rid of my tacky highlights for a natural chestnut hair colour and have stopped going to bed in an old t-shirt! I was in Paris recently and quite a few people came up to me and spoke to me in French – I was so pleased!!!

    I live overseas these days and my partner here always says how stylish he thinks I am and I have a little smile to myself – my parka/trakkie bottom wearing and broken nail days are OVER!

    Thanks so much I really love your work xoxo

  6. hi miss helena!

    i really really like your book “two lipsticks and a lover”. I’ve just finished reading it. Keep up the good work. love u!

    from your newest fan.

  7. Helena

    I lived in the South of France for three years with my (former) husband. My daughter (now 15) was born there. Your book often made me chuckle, and reminded me of all the good things from that time. I have regained some wonderful old habits and feel sexier and healthier. Thank you

  8. Loved “Two Lipsticks and a Lover” ….. what an eye-opener ! … a must for the “not-so-young” anymore !! A wonderful booster for the body and the and the soul !! Thanks .. cannot wait to read your other books too. xx

  9. i read two lipsticks and a lover twice and will be reading at again in the future.. really enjoyed the book and just read about the book.. to hell in high heels.. have to try and find it, two lipsticks a a lover was really helpful in trying to look like a french woman..really admire the french actresses especially bridget bardot..wish i looked like her.. thanks for writing the books

  10. Hi there Helena,
    i have just finished to hell in high heels and i have been researching you all day! It was an amazing book, very well written and witty and full of useful information. I can’t wait to read more of your books, and i think you are an inspiration to all working mums. Im glad you have a blog so i can keep up with you 🙂
    all the best, Kiri

  11. Dear Helena
    A friend recommended the book to me, but out of print in my area. I just went through a few reviews, and found myself immediately elated. I have also now just recommended to a few of my friends who also immediately fell in love with your writing.
    I am hunting for the next available copy I can lay my hand on.
    A must to read. Thanks

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  13. Hello, I just finished your excellent book Two Lipsticks and a Lover, given to me as a gift in the French version by a former French girlfriend. Delightful writing and instructive anecdotes, even for those of us who have lived in France for a long time….bravissima…. I will now be deciding which of your other books to read next…

    One small error which you may want to correct in future editions: In the chapter Dangerous Liaisons, in the 3rd para before the end, you wrote that in returning to the St Germain quartier you found yourself passing the Hotel Meurice… that hotel is not near the St Germain district, it’s opposite the Tuileries Gardens, on rue de Rivoli, on the other side of the river. Or perhaps the hotel was Hotel Lutetia in St Germain?

    Best regards and keep up your great work,

    John D

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