Title: Kiss Me in Paris
Author: Catherine Rider
Genre: Fiction/ Romance
Favourite Quote: “I used to look at love like kind of a jigsaw puzzle, that you needed two pieces that were similar enough to fit together. It was only when I found that in you I realised, we were too alike. Put us together, we just make the same shape, only bigger. But when you put two very different pieces together, they form something new.”
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley.*
Serena flies from Manhattan to her sister Lara’s apartment in Paris in the hopes that they can make a memorable scrapbook gift for her mum. 25 years ago, her parents had their romantic honeymoon trip to Paris that they always talked about. Serena and Lara planned a Romance Tour which consisted of visiting all of the places their parents went together as a means to remember their father through their memories.
When Lara backs out of their weekend plan to go to Madrid with her boyfriend Henri, Serena and her overly detailed itinerary get relocated to Henri’s friends dorm for the night. Jean-Luc, who has his own plans for the weekend to rectify his disappointing photography project, regrets picking up the phone to Henri to now babysit a young American girl. That is, until he meets Serena and realises that her plans to explore Paris might be the key to fixing his project by seeing the city through someone else’s perspective. They head out into Paris together, each with their own goal, but only end up frustrating each other in the process. Jean-Luc is determined to show Serena his Paris and believes that she needs to slow down and make her own memories, rather than just re-living her parents ones and Serena’s schedule itinerary becomes more and more unrealistic with him slowing her down.
‘This is a most curious turn of events – a few minutes ago, I was looking forward to shaking off this American girl, but now, as she’s getting ready to leave, I want to follow her. She’s my best hope of getting good shots for my project. It could even be ironic – pretentious crowd shots where the sea of humanity obscures one’s view of the world’s greatest city.’
This book was an absolute delight, I’m so glad I had the opportunity to read it.
When Serena is ditched by her sister in a foreign city, it doesn’t stop her from continuing with her plan to make a scrapbook of re-lived memories for her mum’s anniversary. She’s a determined character who is more organised than she needs to be which just adds to her introverted personality. With the few flashbacks we see of her life in America, we get a nice little build up of her character within the story as someone who can’t quite connect to others, especially ones of the opposite sex.
When Jean-Luc comes into the picture and offers to show her around Paris, she only agrees thinking that it might help speed up her schedule with his local knowledge of the city, so when he slows her down, she starts to snap. It’s easy to relate too for me as I’m probably just as organised as she is when I travel with a to do list in my pocket. When she starts missing locations from her Romance Tour, her frustrations are easily understandable as she isn’t just making a gift for her mum, she’s trying to reach a part of her dad that she misses so much.
‘Here I am in the foreground, staring out to the river and the city. The cathedral is in soft focus, as if it’s trying not to disturb my quiet, contemplative, personal moment, hanging back out of respect for my sadness.
“Feel’s appropriate,” I tell him, “My body is in one of the world’s greatest cities, but my mind is elsewhere.”
It’s great to see Jean-Luc’s perspective as he thinks he’s just trying to help rather than being the annoying and moody and serious French man in Serena’s eyes. Jean-Luc can’t understand why he wants to spend time with the American girl he’s just met, but even though she’s loud and her fashion sense is a bit lacking, he’s intrigued to see how she views Paris and is often disappointed and confused by her reactions. He finds it difficult to see why she would rather try and experience her parent’s memories rather than living her own and enjoying herself which causes them to bicker, a lot. Jean-Luc is a lovely character with his own flaws; he has a habit of running away when people get too close. You can really empathize with him which makes him a very easy character to like, even though sometimes it just makes you want to shake him.
I think the author has done a fantastic job with this story considering the detail that’s been spread out over one day of Serena and Jean-Luc in Paris. Their romance connection is sweet when they realise they enjoy one another’s company more than they’d expected. A lovely romantic story of opposites attract, coming together on the streets of Paris.
Serena has just flown all the way to Paris for a special pre-Christmas weekend with her sister, Lara. They plan to retrace the steps of their parents’ long-ago honeymoon in Paris, and create a scrapbook for their bereaved mother to remember it by.
It’s supposed to be serious sister bonding…until Lara takes off with her boyfriend instead.
Jean-Luc is Serena’s Plan B, a friend of a friend of Lara’s, who has some space in a place where Serena can stay. Just like his latest relationship, his photography final has been an epic fail. He has one night to retake all his pictures if he is to stay in school.
Jean-Luc can’t stand Serena’s loud voice or her bright orange sneakers.
Serena can’t stand his haughty manners or the way his camera is always in her face.
Together, though, they set out into a cold night that will warm their hearts, creating unforgettable photos and fresh romantic sparks in the City of Lights.