Theme for today: Lovely books with Paris & France themes! Be sure to read the posts on Samantha Vérant & Roselle Lim too!
So when I heard about this book, I knew I had to read it (being a Paris-lover and all). I also thought the author’s name sounded familiar, but when I went to look at her Amazon page, I was stunned. The woman is prolific!
She has three major cozy mystery series out in the world, that I’ve definitely heard of, plus a few other little branches and some category romance and….
And since I loved this book, I just may go pick up a few of those too. I admit to being intrigued by Decoupage Mysteries….
But back to Paris!
This book was a great mix of deeper themes like extended grief and reclaiming one’s true self when life has become all work and no joy, held in tension with elements like reconnecting with old loves and finding them completely different than the hazy version of a decade ago.
One particularly memorable past love turns out to be quite a villain, but Chelsea manages to extricate herself from what might have been a really dangerous situation by keeping a cool head and standing up for herself.
However (not surprisingly—does the name give it away?) it’s Jason Knightley, her work nemesis, who swoops in under her radar and smashes her defenses. Unfortunately, it’s not just Jason whose secrets will impact her future. One huge project they’re supposed to work on together is on the wire, and they have to sift through their feelings and suspicions and get to the truth of what’s real and what they truly want.
PARIS IS ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA is a fun, sparkling book with some twists and turns you really don’t see coming. Watching Chelsea shift from the dour, no-nonsense workaholic she starts out as into the better-adjusted woman who embraces her power and strengths but also appreciates a lighter, more joyful approach to life is heart-warming and inspiring.
It’s a great concept and through Chelsea, McKinlay beautifully captures the essence of revisiting the past to reclaim a bit of one’s wonder and joyful enthusiasm, while also illustrating the point that sometimes a past love might be the one who got away, but Mr. Right should always be perfect for the person we are today.
PARIS IS ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA
A thirty-year-old woman retraces her gap year through Ireland, France, and Italy to find love—and herself—in this hilarious and heartfelt novel.
It’s been seven years since Chelsea Martin embarked on her yearlong postcollege European adventure. Since then, she’s lost her mother to cancer and watched her sister marry twice, while Chelsea’s thrown herself into work, becoming one of the most talented fundraisers for the American Cancer Coalition, and with the exception of one annoyingly competent coworker, Jason Knightley, her status as most successful moneymaker is unquestioned.
When her introverted mathematician father announces he’s getting remarried, Chelsea is forced to acknowledge that her life stopped after her mother died and that the last time she can remember being happy, in love, or enjoying her life was on her year abroad. Inspired to retrace her steps—to find Colin in Ireland, Jean Claude in France, and Marcelino in Italy—Chelsea hopes that one of these three men who stole her heart so many years ago can help her find it again.
From the start of her journey nothing goes as planned, but as Chelsea reconnects with her old self, she also finds love in the very last place she expected.
(This review is part of Read-A-Romance Month. Hope you’ll come back every day to check out my book recommendations. You can find the calendar here. Also check out The Romance of Reading, a Facebook “book club” where we’ll have great authors guest hosting every week.)
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