Sunday, July 13, 2014

Paris in July Mini-Reviews (Fiction)

So, I'm slipping these two in for Paris in July, even though one of them isn't set in Paris (and the other isn't all in Paris). Both of them are mostly set in the south of France. But that still counts right? right??

L'Amour Actually, by Melanie Jones (goodreads)
source: own copy, for kindle

After one particularly bad day at work, marketing executive and confirmed city girl Melanie Jones decides to give up her old life in search of something new and simpler in South West France.

This is one of those books that describes itself as fiction based on true events, and like all novels I've ever read describing themselves as such, I really really want to know how much of the book is true. Melanie bumbles through a year in Southern France, stumbling from one over-the-top disaster to the next (really, some of the disasters are a bit to out there to be believed. Either she is literally the biggest klutz on the planet or more of this is fiction than fact). Although the writing wasn't to bad, I found the bumbling naivety of the main character exhausting and saw the major plot twist concerning her love interest coming from when he first entered the scene (and questioned how she didn't). Although I finished the book, there really was only just enough here to hold my interest. 2.5 stars

The Chocolate Rose, by Laura Florand (goodreads)
source: own copy, on kindle

Top chef Gabriel Delange never forgave his old nemesis Pierre Manon for all the other chef had cost him. And he most certainly couldn’t stand the sight of his own most famous dessert, the legendary Rose, claimed as Pierre’s own on the cover of his new cookbook. But even Gabriel could hardly go through with a lawsuit when he learned the older chef had just had a stroke. Especially not when Pierre had one very cute daughter willing to be Gabriel’s victim instead.

I picked this one up when it was a freebie for Kindle recently - I read the first one in the series, The Chocolate Thief, about a year ago and actually didn't enjoy it that much. Which shows how time heals all wounds, because I launched into The Chocolate Rose almost straight away. And I enjoyed it much more than its predecessor. A cute romance set between Paris and Provence, it features two main characters who are real and realistically flawed. Gabriel has a heart of gold, but has had it burnt to many times by women who leave him when they realise the reality of a chef's life to be able to trust easily. Jolie knows a chef's life from the inside-out, which makes her unwilling to admit she could be happy with one. It was a fun ride watching the two of them figure it out, and Florand's descriptions of French food and landscapes are lovely. 3.5 stars

Linking up with Paris in July, hosted by Thyme for Tea and friends this month!

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