One Christmas in Paris by Mandy Baggot
Let me start off by thanking the lovely people at NetGalley and Bookouture for allowing me to read this festive book for an honest review.
I have just returned from Paris (albeit fictionally) courtesy of the lovely Mandy Baggot who once again has delivered a truly wonderful festive book. She has whisked us off to romantic Paris! Ooh la la! (Sorry, I had to get that in somewhere)
We first meet Ava who joins her "totes" best friend, Debs on an improntu trip to Paris. Ava is escaping a cheating boyfriend and an overbearing mother. Ava's mother, Rhona, runs a modelling agency and has been trying to push her in front of the camera since she was a small child and is always pushing her to loose weight. This is not what Ava wants to do with her life but she is unable to stand up to her mother. Ava's parents are divorced and Deb's mother and step-father are like surrogate parents to her. Deb's is heading to Paris for some research for a magazine article so off the two go on a Parisian adventure.
Ava immediately falls in love with Paris while ignoring constant texts from Leo (the cheating boyfriend) and frantic calls and voice messages from her mother. Meanwhile Deb finally opens up to Ava about what has been upsetting her and she reveals that herself and her mother have reason to believe that step-dad Garry is having an affair. (He's been acting suspiciously) Deb can't believe he would do this to them especially when he promised that he would never do what her biological dad did. So this turns in to an investigation as Garry is in Paris rather than where he said he would be.
On their first night they meet Julian who is a photographer and his friend Didier. The initial meeting does not go down too well. Ava is on a heated telephone call with aforementioned boyfriend Leo when Julian sees her outside a cafe. He is mesmerised by the anger and fire in her and he pulls out his camera to photograph her. Ava sees him and is furious that another photographer is taking pictures of her and judging her appearance which of course is not the case. Julian is trying to put himself back together after the tragic death of his sister Lauren and this is the first time since her death that he has used his camera. He has been dragged out on this night by his friend Didier. Julian and Ava are persuaded by their friends into the cafe to talk out their differences over dinner. Before he knows it Julian is offering to show Ava Paris and from there One Christmas in Paris takes us the reader on a Paris adventure just like Ava and Julian.
Mandy draws us in to the various themes in this story from Ava and her issues with her mother, Deb's problems with her family, Julian and the heartache he and his family are going through and last but not least the full of life Didier.
The story goes from strength to strength with gorgeous detailed descriptions of Paris that I felt I was there too right beside this wonderful cast of characters not to mention the scrumptious food and cakes (although I do not like the sound of snail butter...)
So get downloading and curl up with this treat of a book. Perfect in the run up to Christmas which will definitely get you into the spirit of the season.