Sunday, December 18, 2016

Christmas in Paris by Anita Hughes

I discovered Anita Hughes' novels last year, and I've enjoyed the few that I've read.  I've still got at least two more sitting on my bookshelves.  But I spied this somewhere on the web, and decided it was a perfect read for Christmas.  

I'll say right off the bat that I was not enchanted with this novel.  I had to keep reminding myself to suspend my sense of reality and just go with the flow.  Seriously, there's no way this could ever really happen to anyone!

Isabel Lawson calls off her wedding three days before the big event.  She realizes her perfect fiance just wasn't a perfect fit.  They both decide it would be a great idea for her to fly to Paris and stay in the ritzy hotel suite they had reserved for their Christmas honeymoon in Paris.  Isabel is a beautiful analyst who works for JP Morgan, and loves numbers.  This is her second broken engagement, and she's a bit puzzled as to why she can't fall in love with the right man.  

Isabel meets Alec, a French children's book illustrator, when she is stuck on her balcony, and she throws a shoe at his window to get his attention.  Alec is also nursing a broken engagement; his beautiful fiance dumped him for a gorgeous Australian a week before their wedding.  Both Isabel and Alec are taking advantage of pre-booked honeymoon suites at the Crillon, the most exclusive hotel in Paris.  It's a lousy way to spend Christmas in Paris.  

Alec and Isabel decide to explore Paris together, and they have a good time seeing the sights and eating delicious food.  Isabel loves Paris, and has studied up on the history of every place they go.  A chance meeting with a fortune teller sends Isabel on a quest to find the perfect love in Paris.  Only problem is, she's not seeing her perfect match is Alec.  Will she keep following the fortune teller's predictions or will she open her eyes and see Alec?

Okay.  Isabel is a woman who loves the sense and orderliness of numbers.  She's brilliant at math.  But she decides  to swallow the predictions of the fortune teller and ignore what her heart is telling her.  After all, she's been an utter failure so far at romance.  But she's had amazing sex with both of her ex-fiances!  Gotta say this is a lucky girl in that respect.  I just found it completely beyond belief that this young, brilliant, beautiful woman could be such a ding-dong.  She's so enchanted with Paris, the food, the places...she finds the perfect gown for every occasion, and isn't really too blue being in Paris by herself at Christmas.  

Alec is slightly more down to earth.  He's broke after spending a chunk of his income on his ex-fiance; he eats nuts and drinks scotch in his hotel suite and draws Gus, his famous dog in all sorts of situations.  He works through his feelings by constantly drawing, which I thought was a cute quirk of his.  He's miserable, thinking about his ex-fiance, and never wants to fall in love again.  

I found it impossible to suspend belief long enough to think that two people could fall in love so fast after being thisclose to marriage with two other people.  Yes, they both realize they weren't in love with their ex-fiances, but really?  I know love can appear when we least expect it, but I'm not a huge proponent of jumping into another relationship a week after leaving another one.  Isabel seemed like such a contradiction, and fairly shallow.  Alec was endearing, but a little lost.  It was not easy to believe they could fall in love with each other so quickly.  

Rating:  5/10 for a lovely tour of Paris at Christmas time, but Isabel was just too poorly developed as a character to believe, and Alec and Isabel fell in love way too quickly after leaving other relationships. It is definitely a perfect read for Christmas if you read it purely for fun.  

Available in paperback and e-book.

1 comment :

  1. I think you were right not to take this piece of fluff seriously. I have always wanted to stay at the Crillon. I had coffee there once.