Dec 9, 2015

Happy Harper Christmas Book Review, Extract & Giveaway: From Paris With Love This Christmas by Jules Wake

Amazon USA Amazon UK

Review by Suze

Because of her rich French family Siena is used to living in luxury. She can buy whatever she likes, has the most beautiful designer clothes and she doesn't have to work. Unfortunately things aren't as great as they seem. Her fiance isn't a man she should want to marry and because of that she decides to run from home. Her sister Laurie owns a house in England and she promised Siena she'd always be welcome there, so that is where she'll go. 

Siena hasn't spoken to Laurie in a while and doesn't know that someone else is living at her cottage now. His name is Jason and he's quite grumpy. He isn't happy with Siena's company, but she has her own room at the house, so he lets her stay. After a difficult start they're getting to know each other a little bit better. Even though they're from different worlds they're getting along very well. Siena even manages to find some breathing space and she learns how to live her own life now that she's away from her family. Only her stay was always meant to be temporary, she has to go back to France before Christmas...

From Paris With Love This Christmas is another wonderful story by Jules Wake. I also loved From Italy With Love. The books are linked, but they can easily be read as a standalone. The way Jules Wake describes fashion, wine, food and other good things in life, is great. She writes about the rich and the not so rich in an equally comfortable way. I like that about her writing. She manages to make her stories come to life so well. Her descriptions are vivid and colorful. When you read one of her books you can see what her main characters are seeing and feel what they are feeling. 

I'm always a big fan of stories set in two countries and of course I'm also very much in love with France. It was great to read about Christmas in Paris, about the markets and the traditional Christmas food. I loved this book, it has such a good vibe. Siena is resourceful, brave and lovely. Jason is a nice guy even though he's a bit moody sometimes. They both made me smile. I loved how Siena took control of her own life and the lessons she has to learn are valuable. I highly recommend this warm and romantic Christmas story. From Paris With Love This Christmas is a book that will bring readers joy and happiness.

Extract

‘Sorry you’re British. Stupid question. I can tell from your accent. You going home for Christmas?’ 

Stoopid, as ‘perhaps Mary’ pronounced it, wasn’t so stupid. Officially, Siena was as British as Marmite and Twinings tea which Maman insisted on having for breakfast every day, but she’d lived most of her life in France. She thought she felt French but then how would she know if what she felt was French or English? Sometimes, quite often really, she had no idea what she should feel about a lot of things.

‘No I’m going to stay with my sister. I have to be back in France for Christmas,’ she blurted out. Back at the Chateau for Harry’s sixtieth birthday party on the twenty-third. She looked at her watch and worried at her lip. They’d have missed her by now. The dinner reservation was for eight thirty. Yves, her almost fiancé, would be cross, her mother furious and Harry, her stepfather, disappointed perhaps.

‘How lovely, dear.’ Mary’s face dimpled with a gentle smile. ‘I love spending time with my sister.’ 

Siena flushed. Mary would think she was a terrible sister. She hadn’t seen Laurie for two years despite the open invitation. Resolutely ignoring that chain of thought, she focused on her possibly celebrity neighbour. Had she read somewhere that Mary Steenburgen had a sister? Siena did know she was married to that guy from Cheers and CSI. There’d been pictures of them out walking their dogs in Hello or Grazia. 

‘She older or younger than you?’ 

‘Sorry? What?’

‘Your sister, older or younger?’

‘Older. Eight years older.’ 

‘You close?’

Siena swallowed. ‘We text. Facebook a bit.’ That sounded rubbish. With a sigh she added, ‘It’s a bit complicated. A lot complicated actually. My parents split up when we were young. I lived with my mother in France. Laurie stayed with my father in England. I only met her properly for the first time two years ago.’ So no, not close at all. 

‘Oh, my!’ America’s perfect mom actress, if it was her, looked horrified. ‘That’s an unusual arrangement.’ Then with a sympathy laden smile she added, ‘How lovely that you’re going to see her. Will you be staying long?’ 

That was the million dollar question. Siena crossed and uncrossed her legs, staring down at her recent manicure, admiring her Santa Scarlet glossy nails. The text she’d sent Laurie asked if she could stay for the weekend. The note she’d left her mother said she’d be back in a month. Neither was quite true. 

‘I don’t know yet. Until I’m ready to go home, I guess. Spur of the moment thing, you know.’ 

That sounded better. Spontaneous. Fun. Not a desperate and pathetic escape. Sisters hanging out. Spending quality time together. Not arriving completely out of the blue with only five hours’ notice. 

‘You gotta stay for Christmas. I love London at this time of year. The stores. Hyde Park. The lights.’ Mary gave a self-deprecating laugh. ‘What am I talking about? You come from Paris. Now there’s a city at Christmas.’ 

Siena closed her eyes at the quick punch to her heart. Galeries Lafayette’s exterior, encrusted with the brilliance of thousands of sparkling lights and of course, the tree. The fir lined Champs-Élysées lit up and glittering, refracting diamond shards of white into the night. That swoosh of skates on ice at the Eiffel Tower and the breathless bump when you hit the sides. Tartiflette, hot and warming, from the Christmas Markets at Notre-Dame and the Trocadéro. 

She loved the build-up, but somehow every year when Christmas finally arrived, the sparkle had burnt itself out. The actual holiday itself never seemed that enjoyable. 

So why had she stupidly promised in her note to go back in time for Christmas when she could be lonely anywhere? 

Giveaway

Three very lucky readers of my blog will receive a paperback copy of From Paris With Love This Christmas. Good luck!

Visit every blog on this tour for more great information, reviews and giveaways.



35 comments:

  1. Actually I would love to visit Paris at Christmas time! It would be wonderful!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I would stay right here at home because this is where I'm the happiest.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'd love to be anywhere for Christmas as long as mom is beside me.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I would love to celebrate Christmas in Norway, where it snows and the scenery is amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I would like to Celebrate Christmas in Jamaica

    ReplyDelete
  6. I will always love having a summer Christmas here in New Zealand :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I would like to read this because the review of yours seems promising ;)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I would like to read this because the review of yours seems promising ;)

    ReplyDelete
  9. i would like to celebrate Christmas in any place that snow, to have a real white christmas
    Here in Chile its summer...
    thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'd love to experience a white Christmas in London. It is so HOT here.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'd love to experience a white Christmas so my child could see it for the first time :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'd love to go to Jerusalem -Mary Rose Benipayo

    ReplyDelete
  13. I would pick australia because I have never been and I love stories that take place anywhere in europe.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Nebraska, because my love is there~

    ReplyDelete
  15. I would love to spend Christmas in Paris! Have been there but never in December. And I love reading books that take place in Paris!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I would love to spend Christmas in New York.
    Great review, thank you for the chance!

    Raffle name: Artemis Giote

    ReplyDelete
  17. I would celebrate in Eastern Russia way in the boonies.

    ReplyDelete
  18. It always so cold here, I'd like to spent Christmas somewhere where it's warm and I get to be in bikinis. I haven't read a book where the stories are set in two countries and I would love to.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Actually I couldn't imagine myself spending Christmas anywhere in the world but in the place where I've already spent every Christmas so far in my life...St.Ulrich, in Val Gardena, Italy. With my parents and family!

    ReplyDelete
  20. If I could celebrate Christmas anywhere in the works if love to didn't it in England! It seems like it would be nice and cold, it might snow and pretty decorations!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Id like to spend Christmas in New York

    ReplyDelete
  22. Love to be on Cunard's QM2 Liner as we had Christmas on the Old QE11.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I would go visit Austria, where my family is from

    ReplyDelete
  24. I think north pole in Santa village

    ReplyDelete
  25. I would love to spend Christmas in the USA where my son and his family live.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I would go to New York, i've always wanted to go. xxx

    ReplyDelete
  27. I would like to give this book to my mother in law as I think she would love it.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Outstanding post its really mind-blowing key for solving your math question thanks for share it postgraduate personal statement .

    ReplyDelete

Be an e-tailPR blogger