Becoming Beauvoir

Becoming Beauvoir: A LifeBecoming Beauvoir: A Life by Kate Kirkpatrick

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My very first book about Simone de Beauvoir and I loved every detail about her life.

The biography was well written and kept me very interested and entertained, mainly because Beauvoir was a fascinating woman. Such an extraordinary philosopher and novelist! I was blown away by her life story, so many interesting qualities in one tiny person. What caught my big attention was the years during Nazi occupancy, she didn’t join the resistance, and continued to write and publish her works. Although her devotion and relationship with Sartre were confusing to me. I was also amused by an unusual “family” they have created.

Great story about remarkable woman and feminist. I think the book was a bit too long, nevertheless, it was worth the time I spend reading it.

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The Paris Hours

The Paris HoursThe Paris Hours by Alex George

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Twenty four hours, four strangers, one great city.

Alex George introduces the reader to four doleful stories. Maid Camille, who carries a distressing secret. A puppeteer Souren who tells the kids untraditional tails. An American journalist Jean-Paul who mourns the tragic death of his wife and struggling romantic painter Guillaume.

During one day, all four strangers chaise their past in a city of lights, and conclude their day in Le Chat Blanc, where they hope to get their closure.

A terrific novel, with the appearance of Josephine Baker, Ernest Hemingway, Sylvia Beach, Marcel Proust, and Gertrude Stein. The author did an amazing job portraying four heart-rending stories, I found myself cheering for each character and hoped for them to get their well deserved happy ending.

Thank you Flatiron Books for an advanced and free copy of the novel.

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The Queen of Paris

The Queen of Paris: A Novel of Coco ChanelThe Queen of Paris: A Novel of Coco Chanel by Pamela Binnings Ewen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve been a big fan of Coco Chanel for many years. The more I read about the fashion icon – the more I fall in love with her personality, strength, stubbornness, and big loving heart. Coco’s intelligence and willingness to survive fascinates me and can’t get enough of her life story.

“The Queen of Paris” is a wonderful novel that shades more lights on Coco’s years during the great war, especially her collaboration with Nazi. The author did a great job explaining the action Coco had to take in order to save herself, her loved ones, and her business during the difficult years of the war.

As I read many books about the enchanting mademoiselle Coco, a lot of facts are already known to me, however, the part about the association with Nazi was extremely fascinating and informative. Thank you NetGalley and Blackstone Publishing for an advanced copy of the novel and Pamela Binnings Ewen for a wonderful story of The Queen of Paris.

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Three Hours in Paris

Three Hours in ParisThree Hours in Paris by Cara Black

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Three Hours in Paris” is an astonishing tale of an American young woman, in a heart of Paris, playing for the English team, with an order to execute German politician and leader of the Nazi Party, the Fuhrer himself. How did an American girl fell into the British spy army to fight against the world’s biggest bully?

Months prior to Sunday, June 23, 1940, Kate experienced the biggest loss of her life, the deaths of her husband, and newborn baby by the hands of the germans. Shortly after, she received an opportunity of a lifetime – to perform an act of revenge.

And finally, June 23, 1940, Kate is back in Paris, the city that once brought her happiness, loving husband, and hopes for a bright future. This time she is here on a mission of her lifetime. Unfortunately, Hitler’s assignation goes wrong, Kate is on a run. And shortly after the fatal morning, she realizes the horrific truth. His mission was never the main plan, she was being used as a decoy. Angry and betrayed, young American finds herself on the dangerous streets of once-beloved Paris, surrounded by an enemy. Kate’s desire to survive pushes her one step forward every time she meets new obstacles, and in the end, she concludes the mission her fellow agents were sent to do but failed in the process.

Yet another phenomenal story of strong women during the horrific days of WWII. I was on the edge of my seat while reading the book. I am fascinated by the bravery of all characters. Thank you, NetGalley and St Martin’s Press for an advanced copy of the novel, and Cara Black for a remarkable and gratifying novel.

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The Paris Mysteries

The Paris MysteriesThe Paris Mysteries by Edgar Allan Poe

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Edgar Allan Poe’s writing is unique, I absolutely think he was ahead of his time. His novel composition style is very dark and detailed. I’ve enjoyed all his stories that I’ve read in the past, therefore when I saw a new deluxe publication of his works – I wanted to give it a try.

“The Paris Mysteries” edition includes three stories: “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”, “The Mystery of Marie RogĂȘt” and “The Purloined Letter”. All three cases are investigated by dazzling Chevalier Auguste Dupin. Some sections of the stories were graphic, which was very unusual for the 1800s writers, however, it made Mr. Poe’s stories to stand out.

I have mixed fillings about this collection of mysteries. I loved the writing and plots, however, I felt it was too short. I wish there was a lot of info provided for each case. Nevertheless, the new addition is an entertaining read. It’s perfect for first-time readers of Edgar Allan Poe’s works. Thank you NetGalley and Pushkin Vertigo publishing for a free and advanced copy of the book.

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The Paris Girl

The Paris GirlThe Paris Girl by Natalie Meg Evans

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Betrayal, despair and quandary are three words that describe Natalie Meg Evans’ new novel “The Paris Girl”.

The story starts off with an engagement of Russian former aristocrat Tatiana to a wealthy French nobleman, that sets a number of despondent events that would follow the young Russian princess. As the novel progresses, we follow Tatiana’s storyline which tends to change at a rapid speed. The first half of the book was thrilling and I could not get enough of the story. The novel covers major topics such as depression, rape, outside of wedlock pregnancy, wrongful conviction and fall of social status.

The second part of the book was anticlimactic. As many facts were already listed incorrectly since the beginning of the novel (that I was willing to ignore), the second half of the book simply lucked the realistic element of life and human nature. Nevertheless, I did enjoy the portion of the story. Thank you NetGalley and Bookouture for a free and advanced copy of the novel.

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All The Flowers In Paris

All the Flowers in ParisAll the Flowers in Paris by Sarah Jio

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Two women, two timelines, one apartment…

2019, sunny and warm Paris.
A terrible accident leaves Caroline without a memory. After returning from a hospital, she finds herself in a glamorous apartment in Paris… all alone. Between the flashbacks of her memory, Caroline rediscovers herself in today’s world. She uncovers the love for painting, delicious french cuisine… and french man. During one of the sleepless nights, Caroline explores her large flat only to stumble on old wartime letters hidden in one of the bedrooms.

1943, Nazi-occupied Paris.
Cecile’s world turns upside down when she sees a yellow star painted on the window of the flower shop owned by her father. To top that, she catches the eye of a tyrant German officer. There is only one way to avert the destiny that hovers over all jews in Paris – run. But her plans are discovered, and Cecile becomes a prisoner in the Nazi’s home.

All The Flowers In Paris is a bittersweet novel of two women that at some point in their lives share the same apartment on rue Cler. Their stories are heartbreaking and full of grief, but, in the end, it teaches a valuable lesson – the ability to forgive, love and be thankful for good times and bad.

Thank you NetGalley and Orion publisher for an advanced free copy of the novel, and Sarah Jio for a wonderful story.

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The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris

The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in ParisThe Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Everything in life happens for a reason, and “The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris” is a perfect example to prove the theory.

Anna receives a phenomenal opportunity of a lifetime. Therefore Anna leaves her previous life behind in a small town in England and on her way to concur Chocolate world in the city of light and love. Upon her arrival in Paris, Anna becomes an apprentice to a very famous French confectioner Thierry, and shortly after they become close friends. During one of their walks, le famous chocolatier suffers a heart attack. This unfortunate incident plays a big role in Thierry’s life – it gives him a chance to reunite with the love of his life.

A heartwarming novel about new chances and opportunities, young love and friendship. Thank you NetGalley and Sphere Publisher for a free and advanced copy of the book.

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The Little Bookshop on the Seine

The Little Bookshop on the Seine (The Little Paris Collection, #1; The Bookshop, #2)The Little Bookshop on the Seine by Rebecca Raisin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A sweet heartwarming story of friendship, trust, and determination.

Sarah is a kind and gracious friend, therefore when her friend from Paris asks to swap their bookshops and lives for a few months, she leaves her small and sweet little town behind in order to help her friend, and to get a taste of Paris.

Upon her arrival in the city of lights, everything seems to fall out of order. Her bags with documents are stolen, the shop is in a complete mess, the staff seems very snobby. And no matter how hard Sarah tries to raise the sales, nothing seems to be working, and worst of all – money start to go missing from the cash register. On top of everything, her long-distance relationship with a handsome freelance reporter is starting to go down the hill as well.

As weeks go by, Sarah achieves one of her goals, bookshops’ employees start to open up and include her in their circle. She meets one of her favorite author, with whom Sarah strikes a great friendship. She also finds a stack of old love letters hidden in a dark corner of the bookshop.

I loved the story. A wonderful set of many different characters, and a great life lesson – don’t judge people your first impression of them, you never know what they are going thru.

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Mistress of the Ritz

Mistress of the RitzMistress of the Ritz by Melanie Benjamin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

While I really liked the entire book a lot, the beginning and the ending were outstanding.

The novel introduces us to Blanche and Claude Auzello, the Monsieur and Mistress of the Ritz. After returning from the line of war, the couple rushes to their beloved Ritz, just to find it occupied by Nazi. And like any other Parisian, the Auzellos do their best to follow the rules to avoid the opposite side of a German raffle. As the story unfolds, it seems that the Auzellos follow an old saying “keep your friends close, and your enemy closer”. But how long can they play this game? Joining the French resistance is not the only secret they must protect in order to survive, and stay alive.

I love books that pluck a piece of history and built an elaborate story around it. “Mistress of the Ritz” is a wonderful example of this. It is a fast-moving story filled with heroism, secrets, and a strong wish for survival. The author did a great job in the development of the characters. If you enjoy historical fiction, you do not want to miss this!

Thank you, Net Galley and Delacorte Press Publisher for a free ARC of this book.

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One Summer in Paris

One Summer in ParisOne Summer in Paris by Sarah Morgan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Opposites attract. And in “One Summer in Paris” the reader will witness the close friendship that will grow between two absolutely different characters.

Audrey and Grace arrive in Paris on the same day. However, their plans for a summer in Paris are completely opposed. Young Audrey, happy to leave alcoholic mother behind her in London, is looking for a new start in life. Although there are a few barriers laying on the way of her plan. Meanwhile, Grace’s original plan for summer in Paris was to spend with her husband of twenty-five years. Unfortunately, David has a different plan for the summer, that includes his twenty-year-old lover. Nevertheless, after arriving in Paris, Grace and Audrey’s paths cross in an unusual way and two characters fall on one another for a support that very fast will grow into an unbreakable bond and friendship.

I loved the setting of the novel, all secondary characters and little twists that were revealed at the end. This is an absolutely sweet and light read and will leave the reader’s heart full of warmth. “One Summer in Paris” not just a typical story of love, although that specific topic is a large part of the book, the novel also includes and discusses serious subjects like alcoholism and dyslexia.

Thank you NetGalley and HQN Books publisher for a free copy of the book and Sarah Morgan for a lovely story.

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The Lost Girls Of Paris

The Lost Girls of ParisThe Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, therefore I was very interested in what this novel had to offer.

One summer morning, Grace stumbles upon a suitcase at Grand Central Station. Inside it, she finds twelve photographs of young women. Hours after the encounter with the suitcase, Grace learns that its owner, Eleanor Trigg, has been hit by the car hours earlier and died on the scene, right in front of Grand Central. But when Grace discovers another piece of information about the victim, she does unthinkable – she goes to Washington DC to investigate further into Eleanor’s case and photographs she has found in her suitcase.

Two years prior, Eleanor formed a group of female secret agents that were sent to France to help with the resistance. A few weeks into the new operation, Eleanor noticed discrepancies in communication with her girls, and shortly after – the agents started to disappear without the trace. Eleanor was released of her duties as soon as she brought her suspicions to the Director of an agency. Two years later, her questions about the lost girls were not answered and Eleonor finally received a chance to follow their steps to discover the truth.

This is a great story about friendship and survival. I enjoyed each character, their determination to keep moving forward has inspired me. Thank you, NetGalley and Park Row publisher for a free and advanced copy of this book, and huge thank you to Pam Jenoff for an incredible story.

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