The Scent of Triumph by Jan Moran Blog Tour and Giveaway

3 Comments

Author Jan Moran

on Tour

March 28-April 16

with

SCENT OF TRIUMPHScent of Triumph:
A Novel of Perfume And Passion

(historical novel)

Release date: March 31, 2015
at St. Martin?s Press
384 pages

ISBN: 9781250048905

***

SYNOPSIS

Perfume is the essence of beauty, the heart of illusion, the soul of desire. It is my past, my present, my future. ?from the journal of Danielle Bretancourt

When French perfumer and aristocrat Danielle Bretancourt steps aboard a luxury ocean liner, leaving her son behind in Poland with his grandmother, she has no idea that her life is about to change forever. The year is 1939, and the declaration of war on the European continent soon threatens her beloved family, scattered across many countries. Traveling through London and Paris into occupied Poland, Danielle searches desperately for the remains of her family, relying on the strength of Jonathan Newell-Grey, a British shipping heir and Royal Navy officer. Finally, in the wake of unspeakable tragedy, she is forced to gather the fragments of her impoverished family and flee to America. There she vows to begin life anew, in 1940s Los Angeles.

Amidst the glamour of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Danielle works her way up from meager jobs to perfumer and fashion designer. Still, personal happiness eludes her. Can her sheer force of will attract the elusive love she desires, or will it only come at the ultimate cost?

********************************************

My Thoughts

The Scent of Triumph is a triumph. I utterly enjoyed it; pulling me in right away. As you start each chapter, there is an informative epigraph that is “written” by Danielle, the main character, that brings together life and perfume. I loved reading each one; there was something magical about it with no magic involved. Although the war was a heavy influence on the plot, there was still perfume on the mind–which I loved. I tend to be drawn to books that have talk about perfume or are about perfume solely, or a majorly. This book was no exception.

Danielle was my favorite character in the book. I though she was well-written. I liked her immediately and felt connected to her in no time at all. I could sense what she was feeling without the author having to go too much into detail. I like when that happens. It doesn’t happen often or as well as it did here. As for the other characters, I liked them as well. I was torn between liking Max, Danielle’s husband, but I adored John, the shipping heir. Not immediately, but pretty quickly.

The plot was well written. The juxtaposition  between the war and Danielle’s Hollywood life was different. What I loved the most, as is the norm I suppose in good books, is the end. Who doesn’t like a good ending? I would highly recommend this book. There were so many good elements in here. Jan Moran definitely did her research and did it well. I was impressed; and it seems like it’s hard to impress me these days. I hope you check this one out.

****************************************************************

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Scent of Triumph - Jan MoranJAN MORAN is the author of Fabulous Fragrances I and II,
which earned spots on the Rizzoli Bookstore bestseller list,
and other contemporary novels,
including Flawless, Beauty Mark, and Runway.
A fragrance and beauty industry expert,
she has been featured on CNN, Instyle, and O Magazine,
and has spoken before prestigious organizations,
including The American Society of Perfumers.
She earned her MBA from Harvard Business School
and attended the University of California at Los Angeles Extension Writers? Program.

Visit her website. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest

Subscribe to her newsletter

Go deeper with her Reader?s Discussion Guide
***

Buy the book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Apple iBooks

IndieBound | Powell?s | Books A Million | Kobo | eBooks.com | GooglePlay

***

You can enter the global giveaway here
or on any other book blogs participating in this tour.
Be sure to follow each participant on Twitter/Facebook,
they are listed in the entry form below
.

Entry-Form

Visit each blogger on the tour:
tweeting about the giveaway everyday
of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time!
[just follow the directions on the entry-form]

Global giveaway open internationally:
1 winner will receive 1 print copy of Scent of Triumph

*

Scent of Triumph Vintage Perfumes

BONUS OFFERED BY THE AUTHOR
independently from this book tour
With every purchase of Scent of Triumph,
she is offering a free ebook of Vintage Perfumes,
a nonfiction guide to the finest classic perfumes, for epub and mobi.
Just email her some proof of your purchase
(receipt, email receipt, photo of yourself with the book or ebook on your reader, etc.),
and she will send you the free ebook of Vintage Perfumes.
*

CLICK ON THE BANNER
TO READ OTHER REVIEWS, EXCERPTS,
GUEST-POST AND INTERVIEW

Scent of Triumph banner

Advertisements

The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M.J. Rose Blog Tour

3 Comments

Author M. J. Rose

on Tour

March 15-April 3, 2015

with

The Witch of Painted Sorrows cover

The Witch of Painted Sorrows

(historical suspense / paranormal)

Release date: March 17, 2015
by Atria Books/Simon & Schuster

ISBN: 978-1476778068
Hardcover, 384 pages
also available as ebook

***

 

SYNOPSIS

Possession. Power. Passion. New York Times bestselling novelist M. J. Rose creates her most provocative and magical spellbinder yet in this Gothic novel set against the lavish spectacle of 1890s Belle Epoque Paris.

Sandrine Salome flees New York for her grandmother’s Paris mansion to escape her dangerous husband, but what she finds there is even more menacing. The house, famous for its lavish art collection and elegant salons, is mysteriously closed up. Although her grandmother insists it’s dangerous for Sandrine to visit, she defies her and meets Julien Duplessi, a mesmerizing young architect. Together they explore the hidden night world of Paris, the forbidden occult underground and Sandrine’s deepest desires.

Among the bohemians and the demi-monde, Sandrine discovers her erotic nature as a lover and painter. Then darker influences threaten. Her cold and cruel husband is tracking her down and something sinister is taking hold, changing Sandrine, altering her. She’s become possessed by La Lune: A witch, a legend, and a sixteenth-century courtesan, who opens up her life to a darkness that may become a gift or a curse.

This is Sandrine’s wild night of the soul; her odyssey in the magnificent city of Paris, of art, love, and witchery.

****************************************************************************************

My Thoughts

I really enjoyed reading this novel. It was fresh, provocative, and alluring. I was sucked in. I have to admit, not immediately, it took about fifty or so pages, but once she arrived in Paris and really entered the scene, I was hooked. Having read a book by Rose before, I thought I knew what to expect. She has a way of setting the scene before you to get you ready for the madness and surprises to come. She did that and much more. I enjoyed this novel more than I did the previous novel I read of hers.

There was something about this book that you don’t want to put down. Having read it in two major sittings, I really did enjoy it. The setting was perfectly erotic, but not too much so. Once Sandrine started to discover that part of the night, I started to enjoy the novel more. There was a darkness, but a lightness to it as well. The sensuousness of the novel was becoming.

I adored the Grandmother, and most of the characters in fact. I had some problems with Sandrine in the beginning, but they were slight. It was more of not understanding her situation well. I found her whiny, but honestly if I had a husband like hers, I’d probably behave like that tenfold. Once she really let herself go, though, I loved her. There was a freshness to her. She was becoming her she truly was meant to be.

I will definitely continue reading the series if not for the atmosphere alone. I loved how Rose painted that world. It pulled me under, what can I say? I hope you give this book a try. Remember, it’s just the beginning pages that are a little slow. Once she meets a man named Julien Duplessi, it’s fast reading.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

mj-roseNew York Times Bestseller, M.J. Rose grew up in New York City
mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum,
the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park
and reading her mother?s favorite books before she was allowed.
She believes mystery and magic are all around us
but we are too often too busy to notice?
books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it.

Please visit her website, her blog: Museum of Mysteries
Subscribe to her mailing list

Follow her on Facebook and Twitter

Buy the book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

***

You can enter the giveaway here or on the book blogs participating in this tour.
Be sure to follow each participant on Twitter/Facebook,
they are listed in the entry form below
.

Entry-Form

Visit each blogger on the tour:
tweeting about the giveaway everyday
of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time!
[just follow the directions on the entry-form]

5 winners
Open internationally
$20 gift card

CLICK ON THE BANNER
TO READ OTHER REVIEWS AND AN INTERVIEW

The Witch of Painted Sorrows banner

Blog Tour and Giveaway Rodin’s Lover By Heather Webb

6 Comments

Author Heather Webb

on Tour

January 19-28

with

Rodin's Lover cover

Rodin’s Lover

(historical fiction/ women’s fiction)

Release date: January 27, 2015
at Plume/Penguin

320 pages

ISBN: 9780142181751

***

SYNOPSIS

A mesmerizing tale of art and passion in Belle Époque France

As a woman, aspiring sculptor Camille Claudel has plenty of critics, especially her ultra-traditional mother. But when Auguste Rodin makes Camille his apprentice—and his muse—their passion inspires groundbreaking works. Yet, Camille’s success is overshadowed by her lover’s rising star, and her obsessions cross the line into madness.

Rodin’s Lover brings to life the volatile love affair between one of the era’s greatest artists and a woman entwined in a tragic dilemma she cannot escape. [provided by the author]

***

 

ADVANCE PRAISE

“Dazzling!….. In Rodin’s Lover, author Heather Webb brings to life, with vivid detail, the story of brilliant and tormented sculptress Camille Claudel and the epic love affair with the legendary sculptor who worshiped her. Deeply moving and meticulously researched, this book will capture your heart, then hold it tightly long after the final page.” –Anne Girard, author of Madame Picasso

“A rich, sensuous novel…[was] written with great empathy for the very human Rodin and his lover, this novel of the visceral world of the 19th century Paris ateliers, of clay-stained dresses and fingernails, lithe models who vow to remain and then go, family love which stays through all difficulties and talent which endures, comes vividly to life.” –-Stephanie Cowell, author of Claude & Camille: A Novel of Monet

***
 What I Thought
In the Nineteenth Century, affairs were more common, and mental illness dealt with more poorly. Sculptor Camille Claudel managed to have both a high profiled career and a rather difficult to treat even now mental illness-schizophrenia. Heather Webb tackled both subjects with the right amount of propriety, while writing a book that was fascinating, easy to read, and left me swooning and screaming at other parts.
I felt she dealt with Claudel’s mental illness in the most suitable way. There was no stigma to be seen, where it would come across with an agenda of sorts. Writing books that feature mental illness are always tricky, but Webb handled herself well. The illness felt real, not too over the top, and not in the way that is too much for a reader to handle, graphic wise. I thought it was handled nicely.
The love affair! Oi! That was intense. I liked it. And didn’t like it. I’m all over the place. At the end, I think I was for it. I’m not sure. I might have to read the book again.
I really enjoyed Webb’s writing. I immediately liked Camille from the moment I met her. I liked her fierceness, her audacity, and her spirit. It’s sad what became of her. I wish she, and she and Rodin, had a happier ending.
This is definitely not a book to pass on if you are a fan of either of these sculptors’ works; or, of historical fiction in general. Webb did a wonderful job portraying these two artists. I really enjoyed this novel. I hope you will, too.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rodin's Lover- Heather WebbHeather Webb is the author of historical novels BECOMING JOSEPHINE
and RODIN’S LOVER published by Plume/Penguin,
a freelance editor, and blogger.
You may also find her contributing to award-winning writing sites
including WriterUnboxed and RomanceUniversity.org.
When not writing,
Heather flexes her foodie skills
and looks for excuses to head to the other side of the world.

Visit her website and her blog. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter

Subscribe to her newsletter.

Buy the book: Plume/Penguin | Amazon | B&N | IndieBound

***

Click on Entry-Form to enter the giveaway:

Entry-Form

Visit each blogger on the tour:
tweeting about the giveaway everyday
of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time!
[just follow the directions on the entry-form]

Giveaway open to US/Canada residents:
your choice of print/kindle copy of this book
2 winners

CLICK ON THE BANNER
TO READ OTHER REVIEWS, INTERVIEW AND EXCERPT

Rodin's Lover banner

 

Blog Tour: Excerpt from The Beautiful American by Jeanne Mackin

2 Comments

I was in Cafe de Flores, drinking coffee and talking with a friend, Madeline from Albany, when the man sitting next to us put down the paper he had been reading, stood so quickly that he was unsteady on his feet, and rushed out the door.

“He’s in a hurry,” Madeline commented. She had a high-pitched voice that carried quite a distance, and the other diners looked up as well. Our waiter pursed his lips and blew through them, making the familiar sound of Parisian disdain. He took away the half-finished coffee, the untasted ham and cheese baguette, but before the waiter could take the paper I reached for it.

It was the New York Times from two weeks before, the Tuesday, October 29 edition.

“Stock Prices Slump $14,000,000,000 in Nation-Wide Stampede to Unload,” I read.

“Daddy must be so upset,” Madeline said. “Bet he’s going to cut my allowance. And I just ordered a dozen new frocks.”

“Just a dip. It’ll right itself,” Jamie said when I went back to our room on rue Froidevaux, across from the old cemetery. “Dad must be nervous, though,” he admitted, after he had thought about it for a moment. “I can’t go back yet, Nora. We’re okay.” When we made love that afternoon, rolling naked in the warmth of the early autumn weather, Jamie seemed a little preoccupied. “Don’t worry,” he repeated so often that I began to worry.

Two weeks later Jamie had a letter from his father explaining that his monthly income would have to be reduced a little, but otherwise all was well. People will always buy bread. Two months later there was another letter, saying that the Tastes-So-Good Bakery had almost defaulted on a loan and staff were being laid off.

“Come home,” his father wrote. “It’s time.” Jamie grimaced and tugged at his ear, the way he did when he was upset. “No,” he said back to the letter.

Blog Tour: The Beautiful American by Jeanne Mackin

3 Comments


The Beautiful American

The Beautiful American

(historical fiction)

by

Jeanne Mackin

Release date: June 3, 2014
at New American Library/Penguin

352 pages

ISBN: 978-0-451-46582-5

Website | Goodreads

SYNOPSIS

As recovery from World War II begins, expat American Nora Tours travels from her home in southern France to London in search of her missing daughter. There, she unexpectedly meets up with an old acquaintance, famous model-turned-photographer Lee Miller. Neither has emerged from the war unscathed. Nora is racked with the fear that her efforts to survive under the Vichy regime may have cost her daughter’s life. Lee suffers from what she witnessed as a war correspondent photographing the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps.

Nora and Lee knew each other in the heady days of late 1920’s Paris: when Nora was giddy with love for her childhood sweetheart, Lee became the celebrated mistress of the artist Man Ray, and Lee’s magnetic beauty drew them all into the glamorous lives of famous artists and their wealthy patrons. But Lee fails to realize that her friendship with Nora is even older, that it goes back to their days as children in Poughkeepsie, New York, when a devastating trauma marked Lee forever.

A novel of freedom and frailty, desire and daring, The Beautiful American portrays the extraordinary relationship between two passionate, unconventional women. [provided by the author]
For reviewers’ attention: brief, very mild sex and violence

***

My Thoughts

The Beautiful American tells the story of two very different women in the span of over twenty years, from the early 1920s to after the second World War. Nora Tours is not an artist. She follows her photographer, High School sweetheart Jamie from New York all the way to Paris where they meet the celebrated Lee Miller–model, photographer, and surrealist Man Ray’s mistress. There, a foursome is formed. They take the city by storm. Soon, secrets start to pile up. Lee won’t acknowledge the past she shares with Nora that is tainted.  Soon, devastation and secrets revealed shatters the foursome, breaking them up.

This novel was an interesting read. I didn’t love it, as I had hoped to. However, I did like it. I liked the Paris years. Lee was an interesting, selfish, perfectly conceited side character that kept me wanting to read more. Having known a little about Man Ray, I enjoyed learning more about him. I found Nora to be boring, far too love sick for me. She had limited desires to work, make a name for herself, be anyone but Jamie’s girlfriend. Jamie, too, I felt was a flat character. He was a little whiny when he talked. He didn’t add much. I think Nora could have done better. I did feel somewhat bad that he wasn’t given better chances as a photographer, though.

The plot and structure of the story was interesting. The backstory took up a majority of the book, which I wasn’t too happy with. I did enjoy it, for the most part, but would have liked it broken up a bit. It didn’t flow as smoothly as it could if it was broken up better. It was written with the current problem given a chapter in the beginning, then the backstory kicks in for the majority, then the current problem randomly kicks back in. There wasn’t much fluidity to it. It worked okay, but it could have been better. Again, wasn’t a major issue, but did stop me from giving it four or five stars rather than three on goodreads.com.

I thought Mackin did an excellent job historically. I felt I was in Paris during that time period, meeting everyone. She did not slack on the details. She did a great job describing the devastation of the War, as well.  There are a lot of redeeming qualities about this book, but what she misses on, she really misses. I just didn’t feel the connection as deeply as I would have liked. I still would recommend this book as a good historical fiction novel because of the accuracy historically. I think you really feel you are there, in the past. I may just be too picky with the characters. There wasn’t anything immensely wrong with this novel. I hope you do give it a glance at.

Praise for The Beautiful American

Readers will rank [it] right up there with The Paris Wife?. A brilliant, beautifully written literary masterpiece???New York Times bestselling author Sandra Dallas

Will transport you to expat Paris and from there take you on a journey through the complexities of a friendship. Breathes new life into such luminaries as Man Ray, Picasso, and, of course, the titular character, Lee Miller, while at the same time offering up a wonderfully human and sympathetic protagonist in Nora Tours.Suzanne Rindell, author of The Other Typist

Achingly beautiful and utterly mesmerizing. Sure to appeal to fans of Paula McLain’s The Paris Wife and Erika Robuck’s Call Me Zelda, or indeed to anyone with a taste for impeccably researched and beautifully written historical fiction. Jennifer Robson, author of Somewhere in France

Beautiful.A fascinating account of a little-known woman who was determined to play by her own rules.Historical Novel Society

***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeanne MackinJeanne Mackin is the author of several historical novels set in France,
and has earned awards for her journalism
as well as a creative writing fellowship
from the American Antiquarian Society.
She lives in upstate New York with her husband,
cats and herd of deer,
and is still trying to master the French subjunctive.

Visit her website.

Follow Jeanne Mackin on Twitter | Facebook

Buy the book | on Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Books a Million | Google Play | iBookstore | Indiebound | Powells

Giveaway time!!

***

Click on Entry-Form to enter the giveaway:

Entry-Form

Visit and follow each blogger on the tour:
tweeting about the giveaway everyday of the Tour
will give you 5 extra entries each time!

5 copies:
print for US/Canada residents only.

CLICK ON THE BANNER
TO READ OTHER REVIEWS, GUEST-POST, EXCERPT

The Beautiful American - banner

Blog Tour and Giveaway: The Sharp Hook of Love by Sherry Jones

10 Comments

Displaying Sharp Hook of Love - banner.jpg

The Sharp Hook Of Love

Displaying Sharp Hook of Love - cover.jpg

By: Sherry Jones

[historical/biographical/literary fiction]

Release date: October 7, 2014
at Simon and Schuster/Gallery Books

384 pages

ISBN: 9781451684797

Author’s website | Goodreads

SYNOPSIS

“To forbid the fruit only sweetens its flavor”

Among the young women of 12th century Paris, Heloise d’Argenteuil stands apart. Extraordinarily educated and quick-witted, she is being groomed by her uncle to become an abbess in the service of God.

But with one encounter, her destiny changes forever. Pierre Abelard, headmaster at the Nôtre Dame Cloister School, is acclaimed as one of the greatest philosophers in France. His controversial reputation only adds to his allure, yet despite the legions of women swooning over his poetry and dashing looks, he is captivated by the brilliant Heloise alone. As their relationship blossoms from a meeting of the minds to a forbidden love affair, both Heloise and Abelard must choose between love, duty, and ambition.

Sherry Jones weaves the lovers’ own words into an evocative account of desire and sacrifice. As intimate as it is erotic, as devastating as it is beautiful, The Sharp Hook of Love is a poignant, tender tribute to one of history’s greatest romances, and to love’s power to transform and endure.

*****************************

All it takes is a “chance” meeting and serenade to ignite a love affair so fierce and passionate, it would inspire many forbidden tales of love centuries to come. 

The Sharp Hook of Love tells the thought-provoking, captivating, heartbreaking, and intensely passionate story of world renowned eleventh century French philosopher Petrus “Pierre” Abelard  and his student,  Heliose d’ Argenteuil. Told achingly through Heloise’s point of view, the love affair begins slowly, until it morphs into a love so tragic it can’t be true. While erotic, passionate, and full of lust, something ever more devastating awaits the forbidden lovers.

Each chapter beginning contains a brief passage from the lovers’ letters. While I enjoyed reading them, most of them were written by Heloise. I had a small problem with this mainly because I felt the reader is already getting one side of the story, why not have at least the chapter epigraphs be alternating, so the reader can get a full sense of the relationship. I did savory each one, though. All so achingly beautiful. Matched the chapters perfectly. I just wish I could have read Abelard’s love letters, or just letters more.

Jones does a meticulous and wonderful job at incorporating parts of their letters into the narrative itself; which I found held me as a reader more. The voice of Heloise kept me interested; often taking me along with her. I felt her love, her pain, and her sorrows. Her journey from a young woman to where she ends in the story was written in such a cohesive way. I didn’t feel lost as the years skipped around a bit; I followed her through. What Jones accomplished, was making me want to be there for Heloise. Chastise her a little bit. Hold her when Abelard scorns her. Be there for her as no one really was for her. Not many authors can successfully do that in a novel, let alone a historical fiction one. I was completely moved.

Then the juicy parts. Oh, the eroticism that was there! My, for the eleventh century, they knew how to express themselves. There is a significant amount of love making going on in this book; this is not the book for you if you cringe and want to pass pages– you will miss something if you do. I enjoyed how passionate the lovers were; but, not just that, I loved how it translated to the page. It wasn’t x-rated in the way that every detail was written. There was no, he moved her this way, then that way. Yes, it was descriptive. It was erotic, passionate, and very realistic. Was it realistic for that century? That I don’t know. There are two or three scenes in where I felt the love making was more modern. I won’t go into details. I will say this though, it was not overly explicit, it was not just thrown in there at random times, nor was it always pretty. There was one scene that upset me, which I won’t spoil for you. A part of me hopes it was out of character, but after some outside research of the lovers, it does fit, which makes me sad.

This love story is tragic. I remember the tales of Tristan and Isolde; Romeo and Juliet. All the fallen lovers. The lovers who tried so hard to be together. Their stories, their made up stories are nothing compared to this true romance. I cried at the end. It was hard not to. Abelard says something to Heloise (that I will wish was true!) and my heart melted. There’s so much beauty and love in this story, yet the pain and, yes, brutality that occurs, somewhat taints it. It’s truly beautiful, no matter how devastating. I truly loved this novel. I hope that all the feelings were true. Pick this book up. You won’t regret it. It’s a love story that should be known and forever remembered. It’s a great example or discourse on what love was like back then, who was allowed to love, what the cost was, and what the reward was. Jones tackles the topic of societal norms and expectations of that era, without deterring from the lovers’ story. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Displaying Sharp Hook of Love - Sherry Jones.jpg

SHERRY JONES is also the author of Four Sisters, All Queens;
The Sword of Medina;
and her controversial, internationally bestselling debut, The Jewel of Medina.

She lives in Spokane, Washington.

Visit her website. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter , Google +, Pinterest, and Linked In

Subscribe to her newsletter.  Send her an email: sherry [at] authorsherryjones [dott com

Buy the bookS&S  |  Amazon  |  B&N  |  BAM  | IndieBound  | Kindle   | iBookstore  | Nook

And now for the giveaway…

Blog Tour and GIveaway! A Paris Apartment by Michelle Gable

5 Comments

Displaying Paris Apartment banner.jpg

A Paris Apartment

Displaying Paris Apartment cover.jpg

by

Michelle Gable

 [Women’s Fiction/Historical Fiction]

 Release date: April 22, 2014

at http://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250048738

384 pages

ISBN: 978-1250048738

Author’s website | Goodreads

SYNOPSIS

THE NATIONAL BESTSELLER!

Bienvenue à Paris!

When April Vogt’s boss tells her about an apartment in the ninth arrondissement that has been discovered after being shuttered for the past seventy years, the Sotheby’s continental furniture specialist does not hear the words “dust” or “rats” or “decrepit.” She hears Paris. She hears escape.

Once in France, April quickly learns the apartment is not merely some rich hoarder’s repository. Beneath the cobwebs and stale perfumed air is a goldmine, and not because of the actual gold (or painted ostrich eggs or mounted rhinoceros horns or bronze bathtub). First, there’s a portrait by one of the masters of the Belle Epoque, Giovanni Boldini. And then there are letters and journals written by the very woman in the painting, Marthe de Florian. These documents reveal that she was more than a renowned courtesan with enviable decolletage. Suddenly April’s quest is no longer about the bureaux plats and Louis-style armchairs that will fetch millions at auction. It’s about discovering the story behind this charismatic woman.

It’s about discovering two women, actually.

With the help of a salty (and annoyingly sexy) Parisian solicitor and the courtesan’s private diaries, April tries to uncover the many secrets buried in the apartment. As she digs into Marthe’s life, April can’t help but take a deeper look into her own. Having left behind in the States a cheating husband, a family crisis about to erupt, and a career she’s been using as the crutch to simply get by, she feels compelled to sort out her own life too. When the things she left bubbling back home begin to boil over, and Parisian delicacies beyond flaky pâtisseries tempt her better judgment, April knows that both she and Marthe deserve happy finales.

Whether accompanied by croissants or champagne, this delectable debut novel depicts the Paris of the Belle Epoque and the present day with vibrant and stunning allure. Based on historical events, Michelle Gable’s A Paris Apartment will entertain and inspire, as readers embrace the struggles and successes of two very unforgettable women.

What do you do after your husband cheats, your marriage is in shambles, and you have the immediate chance to go to Paris for work without him? You go. 

April is struggling. She is on the verge of drowning in a marriage where she avoids having the talk. She just avoids. And avoids. Maybe it’ll go away, the truth. But, it won’t. When her boss sends her to Paris on a last minute assignment, she thinks this is the perfect escape. Again, she avoids. What she finds is bigger than anyone ever expected. How she handles things starts to change as she becomes enthralled by the dead Marthe de Florian’s life lessons. What does she learn? That, you will have to read the book to find out.

The dual perspectives were great. There wasn’t one I preferred over the other, which is surprising for me because I normally can choose pretty easily. I found both women to be completely three dimensional. They both had their flaws, faults, and amazing attributes. Marthe was brilliant, ballsy, and brave. April was a more modern, albeit a little more conservative version of her. Both women were entertaining. Marthe more so at times with her vulgar language and adult escapades. It was the twist revolving around Marthe that I really loved. I won’t say what it was, but man I loved it. It was really surprising, but made sense. I was caught off guard. And, to think it is actually true blew my mind even more. So, maybe I did like Marthe more. Her life was definitely more interesting. Boldini never painted April.

April had her pluses, though, too. She had a somewhat creepy Frenchman after her, sort of. She had her marriage problems. She was more of a today’s woman. It doesn’t make her less interesting. But, when you find out Marthe’s origins, she becomes ever more interesting. Sorry, April. But, April has got sass! She really stands up for herself. I was impressed with how she transforms herself throughout the book.

This was a phenomenal debut. It was entertaining while informative, the characters were extremely well written and developed, the transition between story lines were seamless, and it leaves you wanting more. I can’t recommend this enough. It was such an engrossing read that I can’t imagine anyone wanting to pass this up. Next time you are thinking of buying a book, look into this one. You won’t regret it.

PRAISE FOR A PARIS APARTMENT

“With its well-developed, memorable characters and the author’s skillful transitioning between story lines…this stunning and fascinating debut will capture the interest of a wide audience but particularly those interested in stories about women behind famous men like Melanie Benjamin’s The Aviator’s Wife or Nancy Horan’s Under the Wide and Starry Sky. Highly recommended.” –Library Journal (starred review)
“A charming read about a fascinating history and the woman behind it.” –Historical Novel Society

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Displaying Paris Apartment - Michelle Gable.jpg

Michelle Gable is a writer and also a mom, wife, financial executive, sports-obsessed maniac (Go Chargers! Go Aztecs!),

Southern California native, barre class fiend, tennis player, and card-carrying member of the Chickasaw Nation.
She grew up in sunny San Diego and attended The College of William & Mary,
where she majored in accounting as most aspiring writers do.
Throughout a career that started in public accounting and then moved to private equity, then investment banking,
and ultimately to the head of FP&A for a publicly-traded software company, Michelle continued to write. And write and write.
Her first novel was released on April 22, 2014, her second scheduled for Spring 2016.

Michelle currently resides in Cardiff by the Sea, California, with her husband, two daughters, and one lazy cat.

Visit her website. Follow her on Facebook, and Twitter 

 

 

Travel in Retrospect

Geographers don't get lost; they merely explore.

Read Voraciously

Devouring words one page at a time.

Creative-Lee Designed

Getting through life one craft at a time.

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon

The Original 24 Hour Readathon

stampingwithreneetorres

Independent Stampin' Up! Consultant

My OBT

What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

Attack Of The Quarterlife Crisis

Because suddenly you wake up one day and realize you're an adult

An Unconventional Librarian

Those who are clever, who have a Brain, never understand anything.

November Notebook: A YA Lit Blog

Updated Sundays & Wednesdays

Glenn Hates Books

Brutally Honest Book Reviews

Roof Beam Reader

A Writer and His Reading

Michelle Gable, Writer

Fiction and Finance

Words And Peace

Book reviews and good books for you to read

Pages And Tea

Because life is better served with a good book and a cup of tea. Book reviews and general bookish writings. I love many genres, so all manner of books may appear on my blog.

retrohipmama

vintage inspired creativity

Crafts 'n Coffee

Get your creative buzz as we craft with STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam. Brought to you by The Dow Chemical Company.

Squeakerchimp

Vintage and Retro Emporium