Paris by Heart by Nora James

There’s snow and weather everywhere, and the winter fever is setting in. Travel to Paris in July with Nora James’ and

Paris by Heart

A wonderful introduction to Paris for those who’ve never dreamed of packing up and just going: Paris by Heart is really just that, chock full of emotion and description that helps to bring the city to light.  Nora James knows the city well, and hasn’t lost the ‘ooh moments’ that are plastered to the faces of visitors to the city for the first time.

Elise has scrimped, saved and dreamed of a cooking course in Paris to help her achieve her dream of a café of her very own.  It isn’t until her marriage dissolves and the division of property settlement she grabs for her dream and heads to Paris for a six week course.

Arriving to meet her new landlady, Elise appears at Les Café des Amoureux, only to be met by a rather bristly man, unimpressed with her refusal to use her French.  I loved this interplay: like many visitors to a foreign country, Elise’s embarrassment about her language skills and Paul’s belief that she is unwilling, not unable, to speak in French sets their initial interaction off on the left foot.

From here these two pick and poke, their initial impressions of one another completely inform their interaction / avoidance of one another. It isn’t until Julie, owner of the café and Paul’s boss and friend pushes the two of them together. A touch of strong-armed matchmaking, Julie knows Paul’s history with his ex-wife and his issues with women. These two have miles to go to overcome their initial misguided impressions, and further still to trust again.

And then there is Paris herself, as Elise explores alone and with her cooking class friend Dominique from the winding streets in Montmartre to the Île de la Cité, the unique feel and remove that houses Notre Dame. Paris is new around every corner, displaying or hiding her secrets to the climax of the Eiffel Tower to see a view from above.

But there is Paul and Elise, and the attraction that doesn’t fade, even as they are struggling with their trust issues: slowly but surely they learn to speak and ask questions, give in to the attraction and take chances to possibly make a happily ever after.  Quick reading, engaging and the perfect escape from the mid-winter blues, this is a wonderful romance.

Paris by Heart by Nora James

Title: Paris by Heart
Author: Nora James
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published by: Escape Publishing
Published on: 8 December, 2014
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 189
Rated: four-stars
Heat: One FlameOne Flame

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She came to Paris to forget about men, but the city of love has different plans for her...

Elise Reid wasted years on a bad relationship, dreaming when she could have been doing. Now she’s making up for lost time — taking all of her savings and heading straight for Paris and the Cordon d’Or cooking school, the first step in her café dreams.

No dream is without its roadblocks, and Elise’s come in the form of a dark, delicious, decidedly rude Frenchman who works in the café below her studio apartment. Forced to tutor Paul in exchange for reduced rent, Elise finds herself laughing, teasing and sharing her dreams.

But there’s more to this story than mixing together two people and adding a dash of spice. Elise has been hurt before, and Paul has problems of his own. There are 14 000 kilometres between Australia and Paris, but that may be nothing compared to the emotional distance two people have to cross...losing their baggage along the way.

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

About Nora James

Nora was born in Stalybridge, Cheshire, England, the eldest of four children. She moved a great deal as a child, including from England to Australia, Italy and France.

From a modest family, she started part-time work at fourteen years of age in a French bakery where she did her best to ignore her favourite cake – the fraisier, a delicious strawberry confection. Despite her long days she devoured Jane Eyre and Madame Bovary at night.

She met the love of her life and now husband Dominique in high school in Paris and never looked back. She and Dominique married young and decided to leave France in search of a better life. They migrated to Australia with two cardboard suitcases and enthusiasm by the bucket load for the land of opportunity they found. They settled in Western Australia and took turns studying at university, where Nora obtained a law degree.

Although she never stopped writing in her spare time, she worked as a lawyer for well over a decade before daring to dream again of writing as a full-time career. She had a short story and a few poems published in 2002-2003, but it wasn’t until 2013 that her first novel, Dark Oil, was published by Escape Publishing.

Nora is a member of a critique group run by acclaimed author Anna Jacobs and writes every day, mostly while her young daughter is at school. She also writes screenplays and has been a finalist in several prestigious international screenwriting contests, including the Austin Film Festival and Scriptapalooza.

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