Review: Christmas Reunion in Paris

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Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. 

This was a short and sweet romance set in France! 

First off, for such a short book, there was a lot of chemistry between the two main characters. Since this was a second chance romance, the characters already knew each other and had history. I enjoyed learning their backstory and seeing them get back together. 

Also, there was quite a bit of plot which I was happy about. Given the length, I wasn’t expecting too much to happen but I was pleasantly surprised with the storyline. 

The Christmas aspect was pretty minimal. The book takes place during winter/Christmastime but doesn’t have any super Christmasy scenes. So if you’re looking for a Christmas romance, this doesn’t quite hit that mark. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this second chance romance! If you’re looking for something quick to read this winter, then give this book a go! 

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Review: A Noël Killing (Verlaque and Bonnet #8)

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Rating: ★★★★

I received an ARC of this book for free from the author and publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

You may be wondering why I read a Christmas book at the end of February. I actually started this book at the end of December but fell into a huge reading slump. I just got out of the slump and devoured this book in a few days. 

This book is part of a series. I have not read any of the other books in the series but was still able to enjoy this book as a standalone. 

I was a little confused at the beginning of the book because there were a lot of characters and it was hard to keep track of all of them and what they were doing. But once the murder happened, I quickly understood who everyone was. 

I loved how French this book was. It’s very clear that the author lives in France. Reading this made me want to go to France so badly. The town seemed so quaint and the food sounded so heavenly. 

This is a cozy mystery so there’s nothing earth-shattering about the mystery itself. I did want a little bit more at the end, particularly how everyone’s Christmases went.

Lastly, this book is set during Christmastime but it is not overly Christmasy. If you want to read it outside of the holiday season, then go for it! 

Overall, this is a charming cozy mystery set in France. If you can’t take a trip to France, this book may be the next best thing! 

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Review: The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1)

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Rating: ★★★★

I received this book for free from BookSparks as part of their YA Winter Reading Challenge. 

I just want to preface this review by saying that I haven’t read Six of Crows, which everyone has been comparing this book to. Since I haven’t read it, I can’t speak as to how similar this book is to SOC. Personally, I got a tiny bit of an ACOTAR inner circle vibe. 

I have to admit that I was pretty confused at the beginning of this book. There was a lot going on and I didn’t quite understand the forging and the dynamic of the houses. But after about 50 pages I slowly started to get it and from then on I really enjoyed the book.

The best part of this book is the diverse cast of characters. There is so much diversity and the author highlights it so well. She showcases the struggles each of the characters face in a nuanced way. I also loved the interactions between the characters and their friendship and blooming romances. So. Cute. 

My favorite character is of course, Enrique, the bisexual biracial (half Filipino, half Spanish) historian. As a half Filipino myself, I’m always thrilled to see any Filipino representation and I loved that there was even some Tagalog words. There was one line in particular that I loved: “Enrique muttered something in Tagalog that would have made his grandmother smack him with her slipper” (65). I read this line and thought it was such an accurate Filipino response. 

As for the storyline, it is your typical YA book so no surprises there. There wasn’t anything that I haven’t seen before but that’s not a bad thing. I liked that it was historical, as opposed to being a straight up fantasy novel. By adding that historical touch, it allowed the author to comment on the time period and the reality of the “La Belle Epoque” era which I think is super important. 

Overall, I enjoyed this diverse fantasy take on historical France and am looking forward to the next book in the series!

Review: The Lost Carousel of Provence

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Rating: ★★★★

I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher (Berkley Books) in exchange for an honest review. 

This was such a charming and quaint story!

The book started off a bit slow. It took a while for the story to actually take shape and for the historical parts to start making sense (the book has dual storylines, one historical and the other contemporary). But once the main character, Cady, went to France, the story really took off and from there it was magnifique!

I loved the way the author described France, particularly the small village Cady visited and the chateau she stayed at. From the scenery to the food to the carousel, she made it sound so enchanting and beautiful. I wish I was actually there! 

I also loved the little nods to the Bay Area. The author is from the San Francisco Bay Area (like me) and the main character is from Oakland. Anytime Cady would mention something about Oakland, I’d always think to myself, yup that’s so true

As for the characters, I loved them all, especially Fabrice, the owner of the chateau. He was such a mystery and I enjoyed unraveling his past. 

Overall, this is the perfect historical fiction and contemporary read for anyone who wants to spend time in a chateau in the French countryside.