I am extremely grateful to Mandy Baggot for an advanced reader copy of One Christmas in Paris in exchange for an honest review. One Christmas in Paris is published in e-book by Bookouture on 7th October 2016 and is available for purchase here.
One Christmas in Paris
They say Paris is the City of Love, so bring your je ne sais quoi and don’t forget the mistletoe!
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?
Join Ava and Julien in the most romantic city in the world this Christmas, as they discover the importance of being true to themselves, and learn how to follow their hearts.
One Christmas in Paris is a gorgeous, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy – perfect for fans of Jane Costello, Miranda Dickinson and Lucy Diamond.
My Review of One Christmas in Paris
When Ava joins her friend Debs on an impromptu trip to Paris, she doesn’t realise just how much it will change her life.
I confess I haven’t got round to reading Mandy Baggot before as I was somewhat disbelieving of the rave reviews she always gets. I was utterly wrong to doubt her. One Christmas in Paris epitomises the best of its romantic comedy genre and is a delight to read.
I think what works so well is the reduced cast of characters. With the main focus on Ava and Julien, both of whom I adored, Debs and Didier play an excellent supporting role (though I was irritated by Debs’ constant use of ‘totes’ peppered throughout her speech) so that the reader feels they have chance to get to know and understand the characters as people – pretty much in tune with how they come to understand themselves. Readers can identify with so many facets of their personalities, their fears, hopes and insecurities. There is a brilliant balance of viewpoint from the perspectives of Ava and Julien giving a hugely satisfying read.
Mandy Baggot has a cinematic style when writing about setting. I may have been reading One Christmas in Paris on the hottest September day for over a century, but I was completely transported to snowy Paris just before Christmas. Somehow Mandy Baggot provides enhancing detail at the same time as moving on the plot to perfection so that I felt I really wanted to be there too to experience the markets, the Seine cruise and the iconic landmarks. My only ‘criticism’ here is the description of food as it is so realistic it made me ravenous. I really needed a baked Camembert!
The romantic elements are beautifully handled. There’s a sensuality that simultaneously remains realistic so that those moments are ones the reader can relate to.
Alongside what readers might expect from a book in this genre, there are deeper and affecting themes too. Yes, there’s romance and the hurdles it faces along the way, but there’s also deeper elements like reference to the Paris attacks and how other life changing events might simply be overlooked in their wake. There’s an investigation of how both physical and emotional scars can prevent us from engaging with our present and future. There’s an exploration of family dynamics that I think will resonate with so many readers.
I know some readers are sceptical about this genre, and I have been myself in the past, but if they were to read Once Christmas in Paris by Mandy Baggot I think they would have to agree this is wonderful writing that transports you from the mundanity of life to a world of romance laughter and a crackingly good read. I loved it.
About Mandy Baggot
Mandy Baggot is an award-winning writer of romantic comedies, chick-lit and contemporary romance.
In February 2016 her romantic comedy novel, One Wish in Manhattan, was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association Romantic Novel of the Year award.
Mandy loves mashed potato, white wine, country music, World’s Strongest Man, travel and handbags. She has appeared on ITV1’s Who Dares Sings and auditioned for The X-Factor.
Mandy is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Society of Authors and lives near Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK with her husband, two daughters and cats, Kravitz and Springsteen.