Title: Maybe in Paris

Author: Rebecca Christiansen

Pages: 240 Pages

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing

The Blurb

Keira Braidwood lands in Paris with her autistic brother, Levi, and high hopes. Levi has just survived a suicide attempt and months in the psych ward—he’s ready for a dose of the wider world. Unlike their helicopter mom and the doctors who hover over Levi, Keira doesn’t think Levi’s certifiable. He’s just . . . quirky. Always has been.

Those quirks quickly begin to spoil the trip. Keira wants to traipse all over Europe; Levi barely wants to leave their grubby hotel room. She wants to dine on the world’s cuisine; he only wants fast food. Levi is one giant temper tantrum, and Keira’s ready to pull out her own hair.

She finally finds the adventure she craves in Gable, a hot Scottish bass player, but while Keira flirts in the Paris Catacombs, Levi’s mental health breaks. He disappears from their hotel room and Keira realizes, too late, that her brother is sicker than she was willing to believe. To bring him home safe, Keira must tear down the wall that Levi’s sickness and her own guilt have built between them.

The Review

Oh where do I begin with Maybe in Paris?

Ok, so my love of Paris and being a self confessed Francophile made me select this book. The thought of travelling to Paris and seeing the sights and falling in love with the city sounds like absolute heaven to me so understandably I liked the idea of this novel. And whilst I cannot say that Rebecca Christiansen writes in a bad way (because she doesn’t) I cannot say I enjoyed this book.

Pourquoi? I hear you scream.

Well it had such unlikable characters. Let’s start with Keira and Levi’s mum. Within the first few chapters she has basically called her daughter a slut. Makes out that she is some wanton harlot. Now if that was the case then why hasn’t the mother taken some parental responsibility and tried to speak to her daughter before basically writing her off and feeling that it was ok to speak to Keira like she was muck on her shoe.

Then we have Keira who, yes, is a little bit flighty which can be forgiven but she is also incredibly selfish and naive and really takes no responsibility in her actions. She thinks she is right all of the time and acts on instinct which nine times out of ten is wrong.

Then we have the younger brother, Levi. Levi quite clearly has mental issues alongside a potential diagnosis of autism. It feels that, at times, Christiansen uses his autism to justify some of his actions which are just plain arsey which is unfair to those who have autism.

Overall, I feel that the story would have been better if Christiansen had made her characters much more likeable.

Maybe in Paris by Rebecca Christiansen is available now.

For more information regarding Rebecca Christiansen (@rchristiansenYA) please visit www.rebeccachristiansen.com.

For more information regarding Skyhorse Publishing (@skyhorsepub) please visit www.skyhorsepublishing.com.

Title: The Paris Effect

Author: K. S. R. Burns

Pages: 264 Pages

Publisher: Velvet Morning Press

The Blurb

Friendship, loss and a tantalizing trip to Paris in this highly praised #1 Amazon Best Seller!

Amy and Kat had planned a secret trip to Paris. Even Amy’s husband wouldn’t know about it. But when Amy loses Kat to cancer, she knows the plan is gone forever. Or is it?

Guided by memories of her friend and dissatisfaction with her own calorie-counting life in Phoenix, Amy sneaks off to Paris while her husband is away on a business trip. Once there, she’s robbed, stalked, arrested and almost kidnapped. Worse, she finds that all her problems have come right along with her.

Through her adventures, laced with luscious descriptions of food and Paris, Amy learns that often in life, love and friendship, nothing is exactly as it seems. Grab a croissant and settle in for a decidedly non-touristy trip to the City of Light.

Fans of Ella Carey’s Paris Time Capsule and Allison Winn Scotch’s Time of My Life will enjoy this touching and thoughtful story of self-discovery and second chances.

The Review

I went through a mixture of emotions when reading The Paris Effect by K. S. R. Burns. At first I thought, yes, this is the book for me. A Francophile like myself is just going to drop sticks and go and have a Parisian adventure – something I would love to do. I thought I was going to be able to live vicariously through Amy.

However, as I was reading the book I realised that I didn’t much like Amy as a character. Sure, I sympathised with her over the loss of her best friend but she was a little whiney for my taste.

It was hard to decide whether she was naïve or just really self-centred. It got to the point where I actively began to dislike her rather than just passively so.

However, I did enjoy the story and I think that if Amy had been a bit of a nicer person I would have been able to get on board with some of the things she was doing. I suppose a positive is that I would like to read the sequel and if I really hadn’t liked The Paris Effect then I wouldn’t even contemplate picking that up.

The Paris Effect by K. S. R. Burns is available now.

For more information regarding K. S. R. Burns (@WorkingGirl) please visit www.ksrburns.com.

For more information regarding Velvet Morning Press (@V_Mpress) please visit www.velvetmorningpress.com.

 

A Second Chance at ParisThe Blurb

One week in Paris. One chance with her childhood crush. And one lie that could ruin it all.

Before she was Dr. Celeste London, Astrophysicist, she was Mary Celeste Haverford: dork, loser, the geek formerly known as Hairy Mary. But she’d left all that behind—and left Ion Blackwell behind, nothing but an unrequited crush and the memory of a high school field trip, a night in Paris, and the words Celeste had never had the courage to say. She’d never expected to see him again…until a surprise encounter on a Parisian riverboat tour brings him back into her life, and gives her the opportunity to start over as someone new. Someone Ion doesn’t recognize, transformed from a social outcast into a polished, professional woman that Ion doesn’t realize is the girl he’s been longing for since childhood, the ideal he’s dreamed of his entire life.

Suddenly this vivacious (if charmingly awkward) “new” woman is teaching him that real love is better than any dream—but Celeste is hiding more than her identity. Hiding something that makes it hard to trust her increasingly erratic behavior, and her frequent secretive phone calls. When the truth comes out, the deception could shatter them both…unless they can give each other a second chance, and take a risk on love.

The Review

A Second Chance at Paris is a cute love story. It is about socially awkward Celeste London who spent her formidable years known as “Hairy Mary” and pining over the most beautiful guy in her class. We’ve all been there, haven’t we? It is this story hook that makes A Second Chance at Paris so relatable. We have all felt like that ugly duckling.

When Celeste bumps into her high school crush, Ion Blackwell, her world comes crashing around her. She recognises him instantly but he doesn’t have a clue that she is the nerdy girl from his graduating class. This is the perfect opportunity for Celeste to live out her high school dream and finally get the hunky Ion. Surely such subterfuge can only end badly.

So the truth of it is that A Second Chance at Paris is a really enjoyable read and having recently bumped into my high school crush after 16 years I felt with acute intensity the awkwardness of Celeste’s situation. Fortunately, the years since high school have been a lot kinder to me and I am no longer the walking freckles and fringe that I was then but this is what I mean. We have all crushed on someone we never quite got with and we all carry demons from high school and wish we could change things or relive them a different way and it is this very thing that makes A Second Chance at Paris a good story.

Admittedly, I found a few things very cringe-worthy and the ending really wasn’t to my personal taste but I can understand why McCade ended it in this fashion. Give it a read! If you are a lover of romance fiction then you will enjoy A Second Chance at Paris.

A Second Chance at Paris by Cole McCade is available now.

3 Stars