Thursday, November 30, 2017

3.5 Wine Glass #Review of One Christmas in Paris by Mandy Baggot


31750478Title: One Christmas in Paris
Author: Mandy Baggot
Format: Kindle, 394 pages
Published: October 7, 2016 (Bookouture)
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Reviewer: Linda
Source: Amazon
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 Wine Glasses

They say Paris is the City of Love, so bring your je ne sais quoi and don’t forget the mistletoe! 

Ava and her best friend Debs arrive in Paris just as the snow starts to fall. The Eiffel Tower glitters gold and the scent of spiced wine is all around, but all Ava can think about is Leo, her no-good, cheating ex.

Debs is on a mission to make Ava smile again, and as they tour the Christmas markets, watch lamplight glittering on the river Seine, and eat their body weight in pain-au-chocolat, Ava remembers there’s more to life than men ... Until they cross paths with handsome, mysterious photographer Julien with his French accent and hazelnut eyes that seem to see right inside her.

Ava can’t ignore the intense chemistry between them, but her fingers have been burned before and she can’t forget it, especially when her ex, Leo, starts texting again. Can Ava really trust Julien – and what exactly is his secret?

Will Ava go home with a broken heart, or will she find true love amongst the cobbled streets of Paris?

Join Ava and Julien in the most romantic city in the world this Christmas, as they discover the importance of being true to themselves, and learn how to follow their hearts. 

Linda's Thoughts:
“We don’t wish the day away. We embrace every second. Every new sunrise brings the possibility of possibilities.”

One Christmas in Paris by Mandy Baggot is a contemporary romance set in the City of Lights and Love and teeming with the magic of Christmas. There’s French food, Christmas markets, sightseeing excursions to many famous Parisian landmarks, quirky supporting characters, a dashingly handsome photographer and even a bit of undercover intrigue. I had picked up this book last Christmas on a whim hooked by the words Christmas and Paris, thinking that the story might serve as a pseudo return visit to the lovely city I’d visited for a week years ago. Anyway, those same two words jumped out at me as I was browsing through my library of kindle titles, and, deciding it was a great time for an impromptu getaway, I started reading. This is the story of English ex-model Ava Devlin and French photographer Julien Fitoussi.

As the story opens, Ava is reeling from discovering that her boyfriend has cheated on her. Add in the facts that she’s now unemployed and that her controlling mother is after Ava to take on an unwanted modeling assignment. It’s all just too much and Ava wants to escape. When Debs, Ava’s best friend, asks Ava to accompany her on an assignment to Paris, Ava jumps at the chance to get away. Shortly after arriving in Paris, the two women meet two Frenchmen, Julien and his friend, Didier. Julien and Ava argue at dinner and thus begins their story!

I really liked both Julien and Ava… and besties Didier and Debs too. I thoroughly enjoyed watching from the sidelines as their relationship slowly evolved from enemies to friends to lovers. I’d already mentioned that Ava’s life was a mess. Julien was also coming from a rough place. He’d basically been a recluse for the last year since his sister suffered a horrific death. His family, who had been close before the tragedy, had come apart at the seams. AND, Julien, who had previously loved taking photos, hadn’t even touched his camera until Ava entered his life. They both desperately needed a new start. But, would they find that start together or apart?

My very favorite scenes in this story involved accompanying Julien and Ava as they traipsed around Paris visiting the sites. The author did a great job making me feel that I was there with them. When you pick up this tale, you can expect to visit the Eiffel Tower, take a romantic night-time dinner cruise on the Seine, visit markets and eateries all over Paris and much more…

Debs had an ulterior motive for being in Paris. I found that facet of the story to be silly and not needed. I almost quit reading at one point as I was so appalled at an over-the-top crazy stunt the two women pulled. Thankfully, I did not quit and soon after that, the clandestine sub plot resolved itself. Good riddance.

Following please find a few of my favorite quotes from One Christmas in Paris:

“Where they are setting up the market, it used to be a place for torture,” Julien remarked, indicating the place in front of them.
“Wow,” Ava said. “I know I said I wanted to ditch the romanticized idea of Paris with couples and hearts and flowers but I wasn’t thinking of touring all the places they once did waterboarding.”

“I cannot speak for someone I do not know, but he was looking for adoration not love and there is a big difference.”

“I believe, in life, there is no such thing as a bad idea. Only ideas that work and ideas that do not.”

This tale immersed me in the sights and sounds of Paris and left me salivating for Camembert and croissants. It’s the first book I’ve ever read by Mandy. I hope to check out more books by her in the future. If you are looking for a humorous holiday read set in Paris in which you will visit many famous landmarks from your armchair and with an ending that will leave you smiling, I’d recommend that you check out One Christmas in Paris.

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