The Paris Apartment

The Paris Apartment by Kelly Bowen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



My obsession with Paris began many years ago, and I’ve read multiple stories about abandoned apartments in Paris and the storylines of their owners. This book, like all others, was unique and full of war horrors and losses of the war.

After her adopted family has been taken away by the Nazis, Estelle joins the french resistance. For months she hides her fellow allies, collects and shares info picked up during her time at the Ritz, and thru this work, she meets the mysterious and fearless Sophie. The list of events that took place after the fateful meeting, divided Estelle’s life into before and after. And seventy years later, Estelle opens a door to an apartment that was vacated during the war and discover’s her grandmother’s past.

I absolutely loved Estelle and Sophia’s timeline. Both of their stories are filled with bravery. I was once again amused by the courage of the resistance, who risked their lives in order to protect the innocent. Unfortunately, the “present” part was a bit disappointing. I wish the story was told without Aurelia and Gabriel’s romance. Their story seemed tacky in comparison to the service their relatives provided during WWII.



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The Paris Apartment

The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The Paris Apartment is my second novel by Lucy Foley, and boy was I excited reading this book!

When Ben failed to greet Jess at his place, it didn’t ring a bell of danger. But when he didn’t appear at his apartment the next day without a word of explanation, Jess began to dig deeper into her brother’s life in Paris. Strangely, the tenants of the exclusive apartment building where Ben has been residing since his move to Paris had the least to say about his life in this strange city.

This novel is full of twists and turns. I was screaming with excitement when the second part of the novel confirmed my suspicions!! And the story got even bigger and better with each chapter. This book is a page-turner. I’ve finished it within 24 hours. If you’re a thriller junkie like myself – look no further, lock yourself in a quiet place, get lots of treats and wine and enjoy this gripping novel.



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The Honeybee Emeralds

The Honeybee Emeralds by Amy Tector

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Every piece of jewelry tells a story

A Mysterious Honeybee Emerald neckless lived many lives before it landed in the hands of a young researcher of the Parisian oldest magazine “Bonjour Paris.” A group of very diverse characters formed a “fellowship” made it their goal to a) find the rightful owners of the mysterious neckless and b) save the drowning magazine from issuing its very last copy. During long but very thorough research, the group discovered a list of very exquisite owners of the neckless, but the biggest and most shocking secret of all was uncovered during the reading of the very unique letter left by a least expected individual.

I was pleasantly impressed by the plot. This novel is up to my alley – it has a great history and mystery, and it is based in a beautiful Paris. I was particularly pleased with the author’s pairing of the characters. I was very well matched and didn’t create the sappy love novel instead of focusing on the peculiar jewelry with its grand history. I enjoyed learning about its owners and the link that connected them all. This is a nice, easy read, with enough excitement to keep the reader glued to the pages of the book. Thank you, NetGalley and Keylight Books publisher, for a free and advanced copy of the novel.



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How Paris Became Paris

How Paris Became Paris: The Invention of the Modern City by Joan DeJean

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



I left my heart in Paris… ever since every time I visit this magnificent city – I fall in love with it over and over again.

The city of light represents more than an Eiffel tower and shops on the Champs-Élysées, it’s more than fresh croissant from the local boulangerie, or a love lock on pond des arts. Paris holds so much history, although it is not an “old” city. This book is a phenomenal historical guide on the raise of the city of lights. Paris was a city of many firsts – the sidewalks, street theaters/entertainments, shops, street lights… The book includes the history of Paris’ bridges, architecture, streets/boulevards, and most importantly the history of the city’s financial growth and new wealth. Do not get me started on fashion and romance.

The history Paris has to offer is overwhelming. And this wonderful book highlights the major changes that made Paris what we know it today.



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Until Leaves Fall in Paris

Until Leaves Fall in Paris by Sarah Sundin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Beautiful, heartwarming, and an aspirational novel about war, books, love, and survival.

At the beginning of WWII, an aspiring ballerina of the Palais Garnier buys an English bookshop from her dear Jewish friend. The provided funds buy the family a ticket to freedom. Just like people say – you save one jew – you save them all. And with that thought in mind and heart, Lucie leaves her beloved dream and begins a new journey as a bookstore owner. Thru the American/English-speaking customers, Lucie meets a widower Paul and his little girl. As sparks of mutual affection between Lucie and Paul grow, Lucie suddenly learns of Paul’s collaboration with the Nazi. But all is fair in love and war. And despite their differences, the two create a plan to escape the Nazi occupying country. Will their love survive the journey?

The fact this novel took place during WWII and in a bookshop was the reason I requested this novel. I loved everything about “The Green Leaf” shop: the coziness, books, and support of french resistance. American born but Franch raised young girl with no family throws herself into the most dangerous position, just proves her pure love for the country and its people. Lucie’s selfishness thru the war and her journey to America has inspired me. A beautiful novel, filled with joy, love, courage, and fearlessness. I would recommend this novel to any historical fiction lover like myself. Thank you NetGalley and Baker Publishing for a free and advanced copy of the book.



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All The Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


All The Lights We Cannot See is not a war love story. This is a story of a war between good and bad, entitlement, abomination, and obedience.

Blindness caught a young girl at a very young age. At the beginning of the great war, Marie-Laure and her father leave their beloved Paris behind in hopes to escape the brutality of the war and spend time in the scenic Saint-Malo, the hometown of her father. However, history repeats itself, and the war separates young Marie-Laure and her father. But her sight condition and her great uncle’s fear of the outside world do not stop the duo from joining the resistance.

The love of the radio and any form of wireless equipment has lands a young orphan boy in the Hitler youth program, and eventually into tracing, locating, and destroying the resistance. Although the lessons of racism that young boys were taught in the program didn’t change Werner’s human nature. In a mist of war, it helps him see the difference between the human race and the true enemy.

A Nazi party official Reinhold von Rumpel finds himself at the end of his life sentence. An illness, that cant be cured. But as a gemologist, he learns of the gemstone, located at the Museum of Natural History in Paris that can not only cure his illness but give him a chance to live forever. A myth or a fact? The only way to find out is to locate the gemstone.

The three characters meet at the highest point of the highest house in a beautiful yet half-ruined Saint-Malo.

I’ve waited for a long time to read this novel. Unfortunately, it didn’t stand up to the hype. Great story that shed light on so many characters that lived thru the horrific times, their resistance against bigotry, and their stand for human rights.



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The Paris Library

The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


“Without toi, there’s no moi.”
― Janet Skeslien Charles, The Paris Library

By 1939 Odile couldn’t ask anything better from her life. A new job at American Library in Paris brought her not only joy but many great new friends. Her relationship with the family couldn’t be better, loving parents and supportive twin brother. And of course, nouvel amour, that took her breath away. Odile’s happiness was short-lived as her beloved country and city were occupied by Nazi’s and her idyllic life came to an end. As the War progressed and brought sorrow into her life, Odile began to make decisions that affected the lives of the ones she dearly loved.

By 1983 Odile found herself in a new country, living a new lonely life when a knock on the door gave her an opportunity to make an impact on a young girl’s life. Meeting Lily and getting to know her family, and later supporting the young girl thru grief and grand change in her young life made Odile take a look back at her life, and for the first time open up and tell her story, and share her shame.

Odile and Lily’s friendship warmed my heart. Despite the significant age difference, they learned a lot from each other’s character. I wanted to love this novel, the build-up to Odile’s final twist in the novel was grander than the actual ending to her Parisian affair. It was a good but slow read. I read the book in my free time but I didn’t free my time to read the book. Thank you NetGalley and Atria Books publisher for a free and advanced copy of the novel.



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Paris Never Leaves You

Paris Never Leaves YouParis Never Leaves You by Ellen Feldman

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Two timelines, two stories, one woman.

A new mother and recent widow, Charlotte continued her employment in a book shop in an occupied Nazi Paris. Just like many of her fellow Parisians, Charlotte kept her head low and did her best to survive the shortage of food, medicine and heating supplies. The situation worsened after the imprisonment of her close friend. Unwanted friendship with a German officer carried Charlette thru some difficult time, but in a process of survival – she became an enemy of her own people.

1950, New York, now a successful editor of a prestigious publishing house, Charlotte has everything she once, in a dark room of the Parisian bookshop, could ever imagine. Great job, cozy apartment on Park Avenue, and a beautiful and intelligent daughter. No one knows the price she paid for this safe and secure life.

I love dual timeline novels! Especially about WWII. In this book, I enjoyed Charlette’s life during WWII. However, I really disliked the New York part. It felt overly dramatic, I could not understand her behavior and reasons why she hid her past from her daughter. It left me disappointed. Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin’s Griffin publisher for a free and advanced copy of the novel.

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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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