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14 October 2013

Review: 'Kissing My Old Life Au Revoir' by Eliza Watson (2013)

Event planner Samantha Hunter is prepared for a few challenges when escorting a group of good ole boy beer distributors to Paris, the city of haute cuisine and fine wines. However, she doesn’t foresee being passed up for a promotion because she is too professional and doesn’t knock back beers with her clients.

Her focus soon switches from landing the well-deserved promotion to finding her free-spirited sister, who lives in Paris and has disappeared, leaving behind family secrets to be uncovered. A sexy puppeteer helps Samantha search for clues to her sister’s whereabouts and teaches her to embrace her inner child. And a funeral-crashing psychic demonstrates the importance of living life to the fullest. It takes Samantha’s life spiraling out of control for her to finally get a life.

When I was contacted by Eliza Watson with the question whether I wanted to review her novel, ‘Kissing My Old Life Au Revoir’, I didn’t really need to think twice. I instantly liked the title, and when I read the story was mainly set in Paris, I was definitely sold. What better place to set a romantic tale than in the city of love, right? I couldn’t wait to discover more about Samantha Hunter (I’ve always secretly wanted to be an event planner, it’s just one of those jobs that sound so glamorous and like so much fun) and her Parisian adventures!

Samantha Hunter seems to have everything going for her: she has a fabulous job as an event planner (and a big well-deserved promotion coming her way), a handsome boyfriend, and a few days to spend in the amazing city of Paris, partly working, partly visiting her younger sister Libby. However, when Samantha is unexpectedly confronted with not getting the promotion she had been working hard for, but also finding out her boyfriend actually knew about that decision and supporting it, and Libby being 8 months pregnant, without wanting to tell anyone who the father is... Her Paris trip is suddenly turned upside down. Soon, Samantha is running around the city of Paris, not only to try and help her sister, but also making some important decisions about her own life in the process.

I already enjoyed this novel from the first few pages, mainly because of its quick pace and the great main protagonist. The reader is immediately thrown into the story, and after a quick setting of the scene, we are taken along on Samantha’s journey. I loved how strong and independent Samantha is; she’s ambitious and with her fight for gender equality within the business world, a true example for female readers all over the world. However, she also shows her more emotional side, which comes to the surface in relation to her family, specifically her relationship with Libby. Of course, the setting of the novel, the city of Paris, also adds a charming, French touch to it all, which made me crave a croque monsieur and a trip to the Eiffel Tower!

Some elements in the novel slightly confused me, and I think at times certain parts of the plotline could have been left out without doing any damage to the main storyline. I felt a bit lost every now and again, trying to connect all the pieces, but sometimes that connection wasn’t that straightforward. Next to that, I also wasn’t particularly taken in by the romance tale at the centre of the novel. I don’t want to give too much away, but I would have liked to be thrown off my feet by a male character, which didn’t happen for me with this particular novel. However, overall, ‘Kissing My Old Life Au Revoir’ is a fun, engaging, fast-paced read with a great heroine at its centre, and a book that will certainly make you want to book a short trip to Paris yourself!


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