This is the third and final book in The Little Paris Collection and having read and enjoyed the first two I couldn’t possibly not read the final book. Having said these are a collection, each book can be read as a stand alone. Many thanks to Rebecca Raisin and LRR Promos for having me on this blitz today.
Blurb: What is French for falling in love?
When Del leaves small town America to compete in a perfume competition in Paris, she thinks it is just the next step on her five-year-plan. It’s an exciting opportunity. What started out as just a dream for Del and her twin sister is nearly in her grasp. If she wins this competition, they are on their way to opening their very own perfume boutique!
Arriving in Paris, watching the sun glinting off the Seine and wandering the Champs-Elysees, Del discovers the most perfect perfumery she’s ever seen. Yet, as the competition dawns Del realises that whilst she might have had the best nose in her small village, her competitors seem to know more than she could ever have dreamed. This competition isn’t going to be easy…
Del has the romance of Paris to sweep her away from her worries, but as the competition heats up, so does her desire for that which she cannot have! If only the dashing owner Sébastien didn’t smell so seductive, look so handsome and make her heart flutter like it never has before. They say love smells as sweet as a red rose in bloom, but Del would tell anyone that true love can’t be bottled – it’s beautiful and unique to everyone…even herself. With everything on the line for her future, can Del really let a little attraction get in the way of securing her dreams?
Review: Out of these three Paris books the first one, The Little Bookshop On the Seine, has been my stand out favourite, I absolutely loved that book, but this one comes in at a very close second. For the first few pages we meet Del and see her arrive in Paris meeting some of the other people involved in the competition, it’s a quiet start and then suddenly off it takes and my feet barely touched the ground. I ran around Paris, mixed perfumes, visited other areas, met lots of people, struggled with the noise of the competitors and learnt more about perfume, including the fact that actually I wasn’t completely ignorant on the subject.
This is a whirlwind of a story, you get caught up in Del’s competition, trying to decide whether you can or should trust any of the competitors, trying to work out what they are up to, if anything. You spend time exploring Paris (I always love this part!) and feel Del’s struggles with confidence as she has trouble believing in herself. And then there is Sebastien who is a complicated mixture, he reminds me of Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, he talks and can be interested and caring but at other times is almost sullen and withdrawn.
Rebecca Raisin has a way of writing that is so evocative, it brings each and every scene to life. I genuinely felt as if I was wandering round Paris with all the sights and sounds that come with it. There are other scenes set elsewhere (not saying where as that would spoil it!) and while those are places I never visited before (unlike Paris) I could immediately see and smell everything there. The pace and feel of the story changed dramatically in these other places and that came across very strongly to me. It was almost like running a marathon and then going for a leisurely walk. The characters are also well-described, each one has their own characteristics and mannerisms that make them so realistic you could easily bump into them on the street.
In short, this is a fabulous book. In reading I was transported somewhere almost magical and at the same cosy and welcoming. If you want something to transport you from the dreary weather (snow in April!), where you can meet realistic and, for some, larger than life characters and visit Paris without needing to leave the comfort of your sofa then this is the book for you.
Rebecca Raisin is a true bibliophile. This love of books morphed into the desire to write them. She’s been published in various short story anthologies and in in fiction magazines, and is now focusing on writing romance. Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friends with. People with big hearts who care about relationships, and most importantly believe in true love.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads