When bookshop owner Sarah Smith is offered the opportunity for a job exchange with her Parisian friend Sophie, saying yes is a no-brainer—after all, what kind of romantic would turn down six months in Paris? Sarah is sure she’s in for the experience of a lifetime—days spent surrounded by literature in a gorgeous bookshop, and the chance to watch the snow fall on the Eiffel Tower. Plus, now she can meet up with her journalist boyfriend, Ridge, when his job takes him around the globe.
But her expectations cool faster than her café au lait soon after she lands in the City of Light—she’s a fish out of water in Paris. The customers are rude, her new coworkers suspicious and her relationship with Ridge has been reduced to a long-distance game of phone tag, leaving Sarah to wonder if he’ll ever put her first over his busy career. As Christmas approaches, Sarah is determined to get the shop—and her life—back in order…and make her dreams of a Parisian happily-ever-after come true.
I loved the premise of this book, book shop owner in the U.S. swapping placed with a bookshop owner in Paris and growing during the process. While the romance does play an integral part to the story, I wouldn’t necessarily describe it as a romance. It’s more about Sarah, the main character, finding her voice and learning who she is and what she wants in her life. She does go through a lot of struggles that include miscommunication, insecurities, trouble fitting in and more. While the romance does play a large part in some of her struggles it’s not necessarily the main topic.
I loved the descriptions of Paris and especially how Paris was seen through Sarah’s eyes. Each of the people who became her friends and showed her what they loved about Paris had such unique personalities that were fleshed out and fit into the little family that worked in Once Upon a Time. The different conflicts and issues that each character had were also well thought out and complimented the story.
There were parts of the story which were a little predictable, but in a warm story such as this that’s totally fine. If you like heartwarming stories about coming into your own, definitely check this out.
Rebecca Raisin is the author of several novels, including the beloved Little Paris series and the Gingerbread Café trilogy, and her short stories have been published in various anthologies and fiction magazines. You can follow Rebecca on Facebook, and at http://www.rebeccaraisin.com