Well, this is a first… I’ve done mini reviews on graphic novels and e-novellas before but given that there are only 3 days left of April, and Paris Month is drawing to a close with so many books I still need to finish & review, I thought I would do a smattering of mini ones.
Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard
In the first few words of this memoir, Elizabeth declares that she slept with her French husband halfway through their first date. Thus begins a book full of stories on their courtship and how she falls in love with both the man she marries and the fine art of French cuisine. Filled with recipes throughout the book, she shares her own recipe for a Parisian love of many things.
The thing that set this book apart from many other Paris memoirs is that Bard includes recipes – both “actual” ones and personal ones (like Gwendal’s pasta, with whatever is around). I’m definitely excited to try some of these meals as many of them don’t look too intimidating for a non-cook.
Blood Royal by Eric Jager
The unpopular brother of King Charles is brutally murdered on a quiet, dark street in Paris. With many suspects and motives, 15th century Paris is plunged into a time where fear and conspiracies are aplenty. Chief law-enforcement officer Tignonville recounts the case via firsthand reports.
Based on the true crime of Louis of Orleans’ assassination, this was a well laid out tale of suspicion and conspiracy. Much of it is pieced together from witnesses and reports which both works in its favour and against. It was fascinating to see the crime unfold through different eyes and point of views, but the way it was written felt a bit repetitive and disjointed at times. The tension and anxiety of the moment of murder is very evident, but it felt very repetitive to keep mentioning who was who, and where they were in relation to the event every time it flipped back and forth among them. Regardless, it’s a fascinating detective crime story from 1407.
Hotelles: A Novel by Emma Mars
Due to mounting medical bills from her mother’s illness, Annabelle becomes an escort in Paris to help make ends meet. Through chance encounters she meets a distinguished man in the community and is engaged to marry him. She vows to do one last assignment before her wedding until she realizes that her final client is her future husband’s brother. Hotelles is the first in a trilogy.
While the premise and cover would give the impression that this is the next Fifty Shades of Grey, it’s not quite as constantly racy as that. At over 600 pages, the majority of it is actually to do with Annabelle’s thoughts and feelings on love and romance. There are intimate moments, but if that is what you are looking solely for, this will probably not live up to your expectations.