Review: 'One Christmas in Paris' by Mandy Baggot (2016)
Ava and her best friend Debs arrive in Paris just as the snow starts to fall. The Eiffel Tower glitters gold and the scent of spiced wine is all around, but all Ava can think about is Leo, her no-good, cheating ex.
Debs is on a mission to make Ava smile again, and as they tour the Christmas markets, watch lamplight glittering on the river Seine, and eat their body weight in pain-au-chocolat, Ava remembers there’s more to life than men ... Until they cross paths with handsome, mysterious photographer Julien with his French accent and hazelnut eyes that seem to see right inside her.
Ava can’t ignore the intense chemistry between them, but her fingers have been burned before and she can’t forget it, especially when her ex, Leo, starts texting again. Can Ava really trust Julien – and what exactly is his secret?
Will Ava go home with a broken heart, or will she find true love amongst the cobbled streets of Paris?
One of my favourite Christmas novels of 2015 was definitely Mandy Baggot's 'One Wish in Manhattan' (click here to read my review). The novel had this lovely Christmas touch to it, a wonderful setting, great characters and a good storyline with a fabulous romance aspect; everything a reader could possibly look for in a festive read, if you ask me! So, it's no surprise I was really quite excited to check out this year's Christmas release by Mandy Baggot titled 'One Christmas in Paris' and released by publisher Bookouture in October 2016. The sparkling snowy book cover already grabbed my attention straight away and I have to say I had pretty high hopes for this book, but also a good feeling I wouldn't be disappointed...!
Twenty-something Ava is still trying to get over the shock of discovering her boyfriend cheating on her. Without an actual job and her mother pushing her to do modelling work, Ava can't shout 'yes' quickly enough when her best friend Debs asks her to join her on a last-minute pre-Christmas trip to Paris. Ava knows this will be the perfect way to get her mind of everyday life. Parisian Julien has been through a lot and it's been difficult picking up his life again after the loss of his sister, especially when it comes to his passion photography. When Julien meets Ava, she has a positive effect on him; making him smile and wanting to grab his camera again. But is Ava really ready to spend time with this handsome Parisian man, and what exactly does Paris have in store for her for the holiday season?
If I'm completely honest I've never really been the biggest fan of Paris; it's definitely not my favourite city in real life, but I do understand the magical touch it can occasionally have in novels, and that's also the case in Mandy Baggot's festive 'One Christmas in Paris.' Main character Ava ends up in the French capital with her best friend because she desperately needs a break from everything, especially her cheating ex-boyfriend. On her first day Ava meets photographer Julien and this is the start of a new friendship as the two continue to meet up. The story is told from both Ava and Julien's point of view, and I really enjoyed both of their storylines. Lots of things were going on, so there was always something to make me want to continue reading at the next chapter.
The book is definitely a Christmas read with many references to the festivities and decorations, so it's a good one to pick up in the lead-up to the holidays. I couldn't help but compare this one to Mandy Baggot's other Christmas read, 'One Wish in Manhattan', and have to admit I personally loved that one more than this one. I couldn't help but miss a bit of that magical romantic Christmas touch in this read, and Debs drove me kind of crazy with her over-use of the word 'totes'... However, Mandy Baggot still gave us an entertaining and warm-hearted Christmas read in the form of 'One Christmas in Paris', and even though it's not one of my favourite novels written by her, it's a read I definitely enjoyed and I'm sure many other readers will fall in love with!