23 September, 2015

#BookReview :: Cocktails at Le Carmen by Isabelle Andover

When job cuts at Chloe Saddler’s London communications firm result in an unexpected transfer to Paris, she finds herself leaving behind her friends, family, and boyfriend Scott to start a new life in the City of Light. Getting to grips with La Vie Parisienne and keeping a long-distance relationship afloat is not made any easier by the culture shock. Committing the odd French faux pas and inadvertently indulging in a few too many flirtations with her very sexy (and very taken) boss, Jean-Luc, is just the start of it. Factor in her bridezilla of a sister’s wedding (the hottest event of the year in the Saddler family’s social calendar), an unexpected session of hot, naked yoga, a slightly psychotic stalker, and one incredible kiss at an infamous Montmartre nightspot, and Chloe can say au revoir to her old, safe London life and bonjour to the romance, splendour, and glamour of Paris.

It seems like Chloe Saddler had it all – a job, a boyfriend, a set of friends and a boyfriend, till she didn’t have them any longer. Amidst mass job cuts, when Chloe gets sent off to Paris on a transfer, she supposed that she should be grateful that she had a job after all and Paris wasn’t bad either.  But moving away from everything that was familiar to her, to a new city and a new life isn’t easy. But a long distance relationship to keep up, the new culture to settle into, an upcoming wedding and a hell-hot new boss maybe just a tad bit too much for her to handle…

So the pros of this book first. I loved the varied and vibrant characters in this book. There are quite a few and each has their distinct voice in the book. Chloe herself was generally loveable until she had moments of such naiveté, that it turned me off at times. But the fact that she could elicit such varied reactions from me made me fall for her anyway. The plot is a light breezy one which will not make you think much and you’d probably know how it would end soon after starting with it. It has enough drama and comical moments to make you smile through the book. There is an ample dose of romance added to the mix. I liked the settings and the way the cultures have been portrayed. There was a contrast in the cultures and being a third party, I quite enjoyed reading about both and seeing the contrast in them. Though I have to say that I have not experienced either French or British culture myself and cannot tell you how authentic they are – they did feel very real to me.

The cons of the book are very few. There were some very clichéd moments that I did not like as much. Top on the list is the name Jean-Luc! I honestly have lost count of the number of times that name has popped up in fictional world (books, movies & tv put together) to portray a French man. You can count this as a personal quirk of mine, but don’t French people have any other names for men? Then there’s the fact that despite the romance being the frontline in the story, I really did not see the chemistry. Sure, there were moments but the ‘x’ factor was missing with both Scott and Jean-Luc.

Overall, this makes for an ideal beach read that helps you relax and take things slowly.

Review Copy received via NetGally

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