Catherine, a Parisian lawyer who had previously relocated to New York for work, has moved back to France to work at Christian Dior. As the intellectual property director, she is excited to be working at such a prestigious company but her dreams of a new glamorous job are thwarted when she finds herself caught up in a seedy world of counterfeiting. Catherine, with the help of her assistant Rikash, must try to stop the crime ring while trying to stay alive, stay out of trouble and stay happily in love.
I really enjoyed Laflèche’s first book, J’Adore New York, and was so excited to find out about the sequel. Set against the backdrop of the glam world along the Champs-Élysées, Catherine finds herself in another work-related predicament with her flashy assistant in tow. I had forgotten how irritating the character of Rikash was in the first book until he showed up in this one and all the memories came flooding back. To me, he felt way too over-the-top as being flamboyantly gay and came across like such a caricature. Perhaps he was there as a bit of comic relief but he was more aggravating than entertaining.
The fashion side of the story I did really enjoy. She includes some great messaging within the story, with comments on the idea of being skinny in this industry. I liked that there were quotes from prominent people in the fashion world included, however I thought there was too much of it. There were too many moments that introduced the quotes in the same way. For example, many times it would say “Sophia Loren/Coco Chanel/etc. once said……” which got noticeably repetitive. They’re great sayings but perhaps if it was inserted into the narrative a bit more fluidly.
Counterfeiting is such a huge problem, especially with major prestigious brands like Dior and it was interesting to follow how far a crime ring’s reach can be with something like that. I also really appreciated that all the French wasn’t necessarily translated each time. Often times, with the use of French or any other language, the author may feel compelled to find some way to translate every single thing that’s being said. Laflèche does a great job at explaining the parts that are pertinent to the narrative, while not dumbing it down for readers either.
J’Adore Paris is a fun novel that reads like a tour through the glamorous, and not-so-glamourous, sides of Paris & the fashion industry.