Tuesday, August 6, 2019

BOOK REVIEW- Paris, Actually (3 sizzling summer reads) by Alix Nichols

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 This box set includes 3 standalone romances set around a Parisian coffee shop:

THE DEVIL’S OWN CHLOE — Patient and strong, Hugo prides himself on being able to fix anything. Will his love save his high-school crush Chloe from herself, or will fixing her leave him broken?

“Few authors possess the ability to make a book both somber and funny the way Alix Nichols has done with this one.” (Up Close and Literal, a book blog)

AMANDA'S GUIDE TO LOVE — Maverick gambler Kes knows he's in trouble when he falls for It-girl Amanda after a one-night stand. Can he convince the snarky belle they're right for each other?

AN AUTUMN IN PARIS — For single mom Daniela, passion has come and gone. When she meets handsome vet Thomas, will she dare to love again?  AMAZON LINK  4 STARS

My thoughts on each:
THE DEVIL'S OWN CHLOE- -     I found this book to be different, quirky, charming and unusual. Part of that quirkiness I think comes from the main character, Chloe. She has some really twisted way of looking at things. That definitely keeps everything interesting. It also helps her go through men like they are water. No strings, no attachments, no real relationships. As I read the story I realized that Hugo was the eternal optimist, and Chloe is the master of doom and Murphy's Law. She's always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Even with all of that, I still really liked her. A lot. And Hugo? What's not to like about him? He's a good guy, in fact he's a great guy. He's never given up on Chloe although at times he doesn't totally understand what makes her tick.
I also have to make mention of there being other interesting secondary people in the story as well.

AMANDA'S GUIDE TO LOVE-   A different kind of love story. I liked both of the Main Characters but there was also times when Amanda was such a snot ( I mean snob) that I wanted to smack her in the head. Sometimes she was just trying to protect herself but oh she could be kind of mean. Of course I guess that where the Taming of the Shrew part comes in, right? Kes, was such a great guy, who puts up with all her snide comments and put downs with grace and goodness. To me, he was a "saint" with his ability to deal with her and still come out wanting her. He really "got" her, one of the few people who really did. There were several places in their interactions when I caught myself laughing right out loud. He actually thought a lot of the things she said were pretty funny. He wasn't looking for a nice, boring, carbon copy of a woman. And she was far from that, the only thing I can say is that he liked the challenge of a complicated woman.
Each chapter starts with a cute numbered Guideline, Rationale, Word of caution, Permissible Exceptions, Damage Control, and Pitfalls to Avoid. All of this is in Amanda's "Guide to Perfection". Sounds innocent enough doesn't it?
It is nice to be being back at LaBoheme again though. I've read several, maybe all in the Series and enjoyed them. One thing I will say about this book is that a few times, it did feel like it dragged a bit. But then when it began to pick back up again, things did begin to really move. I was very happy with the ending and it did end. No cliffhangers here.

AN AUTUMN IN PARIS by Alix Nichols
There are three different divided sections in this book.  It beginnings with Part 1 Daniela who is often called Dana.  Part 2 is the voice of Thomas; his point of view.  There is also a Part 3- which is BOTH of them each sharing their P.O.V.'s back and forth.  I found that was different but I did like it. 
Dana's son, Liviu had such an unusual name.  Well at least to me an American reader.  It also caused me to wonder about what the right pronunciation of his name was. And so I went and searched it and came up with several choices.   Liviu also has a dog; a fluff ball named Baloo who helps introduce Dana and Thomas originally.  Dana left quite the first impression.....*sigh how embarrassing and surprising. 
Thomas was quite the guy.  He was funny, loyal to a fault and he was a softie when it came to both animals and people.  He is a regular "Marshmallow Man".
 The relationship between Thomas and Dana was being slowly built but not in a way that was painfully slow.  As a reader, they exposed me to differing cultures, and some slang in languages.  It was a fun trip and I also ended up feeling like I had taken a romantic European trip from their adventure.  I also felt like the emotional parts of the story was handled well and felt realistic.  But not only was there emotions but the story made me smile more than once.  Some of that humor was provided by Liviu but Dana was no slouch when it came to witty humor.
I really liked that Liviu was part of this story because he also added so much.  His interactions with Dana and Thomas and even his grandmother were an enjoyable, believable thing.  So suited to his age and you got a pretty good look into his personality. 
Manon, a woman friend of Dana's adds some color and humor to the story.  She was a great friend. She also added a HUGE misunderstanding on the part of Thomas in the beginning.  It makes me smile again just remembering it.
I thoroughly enjoyed Dana's Romanian mother, Ioana, the times that she showed up in the story. She was kind of flamboyant in a good way. I think Thomas put it best.  He realized that the way she dressed matched her personality.  That was so discerning  of him and kind too. 
Yes, the main characters do get together for world rocking sex.  And of course that is before the past shows up to rock their worlds in an unexpected not quite as good way.
Epilogue anyone?  Oh yes, I always want one of those.  And Daniela provides a good one from her P.O.V. 
It was kind of nostalgic to have some time spent at La Boheme since I have read some of the other books by Alix Nichols that featured it.
I just have to add how attractive I thought the eBook cover is.
 “I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”

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