Books

Review: Paris takes center stage in 2 books about loss, life

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Nothing sounds better than “Paris in the spring” when gloomy skies loom over the Midwest in the early weeks of warmer weather, and this spring readers have the opportunity to see Paris from two different romantic points of view through “We’ll Always Have Paris” by Sue Watson (Skyhorse Publishing) and “Paris Ever After” by K.S.R. Burns (Velvet Sky Press).

Both novels are about self-discovery after a great personal loss. “Paris Ever After” features a newlywed, Amy, who runs away to Paris to deal with the death of her best friend. While “We’ll Always Have Paris” follows Rosie, an older woman, who is rediscovering the passions of her youth after the death of her husband.

“Paris Ever After” by K.S.R. Burns is the sequel to “The Paris Effect.” However, the novel does stand well on its own with just enough information about the events in “The Paris Effect” to make the reader comfortable with reading “Paris Ever After” as a stand-alone. Readers wanting more of a background about Amy, her best friend, and her estranged husband may wish to consider picking up “The Paris Effect” before diving into “Paris Ever After.”

“Paris Ever After’s” characters are younger, and the story moves quickly swinging from one crisis to the next. As is often the case with romance stories involving younger characters falling love, everyone seems to have a secret they are hiding from everyone else. As these secrets are revealed, decisions must be made quickly and seemingly without much thought — the impetuosity of youth. There’s not much time to slow down and just enjoy Paris and the romance Amy discovers there, but “Paris Ever After” is an enjoyable quick read, reminiscent of a rom-com flick from the ‘90s.

“We’ll Always Have Paris” moves at a much slower pace in comparison but is still a delightful read. Rosie’s older age and life experiences give her more pause when making decisions after the death of her husband. There’s a lot of introspection, on Rosie’s part, as she is pulled in different directions, trying to please her family and find happiness again after losing her husband. Her inner thoughts and worries will tug at readers’ heartstrings as she connects with an old flame who challenges her to spread her wings and follow her heart after years of trying to please the other people in her life.

The love story is strong in “We’ll Always Have Paris” and is a slow burn. Rosie and Peter’s romance may not end as readers expect. However, the ending is refreshing as Rosie discovers her independence while embracing the past and moving forward to a bright new future.

“We’ll Always Have Paris” and “Paris Ever After” are enchanting quick reads. Both novels fall in the category of romance and each provides an engaging look at love at different stages of life with providing the perfect weekend getaway during the less than perfect weather here in the Midwest.

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