Paris is Always a Good Idea refreshing, entertaining Contemporary romance with travel, dislike to love, and falling for co-worker trope, great plot and there was much more than just romance.
Paris is Always a Good Idea by Jenn McKinlay
Publication Date : July 21st 2020
Publisher : Berkley Books
Genre : Romance / Contemporary / Adult
Pages : 334
Disclaimer : I received e-copy of this book from the PRH International via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
This post contains affiliate links.
It’s been seven years since Chelsea Martin embarked on her yearlong post-college European adventure. Since then, she’s lost her mother to cancer and watched her sister marry twice, while Chelsea’s thrown herself into work, becoming one of the most talented fundraisers for the American Cancer Coalition, and with the exception of one annoyingly competent coworker, Jason Knightley, her status as most talented fundraiser is unquestioned.
When her introverted mathematician father announces he’s getting remarried, Chelsea is forced to acknowledge that her life stopped after her mother died, and that the last time she can remember being happy, in love, or enjoying her life was on her gap year. Inspired to retrace her steps–to find Colin in Ireland, Jean Claude in France, and Marcelino in Italy–Chelsea hopes that one of these three men who stole her heart so many years ago, can help her find it again.
From the start of her journey nothing goes as planned, but as Chelsea reconnects with her old self, she also finds love in the very last place she expected.
Paris is Always a Good Idea was heart-warming and fun romance that revolved around Chelsea retracing her steps to Ireland, Paris and Italy hoping she would find happiness and love by searching men she fell in love seven years ago. The story was about loss, grief, friendship, love, hope, expectations vs reality, self-discovery, accepting yourself, and finding happiness.
Writing was vivid and entertaining with travel theme and dislike to love, and falling for co-worker trope. It was written in first person narrative from Chelsea’s perspective.
Plot was great and there was much more than just romance. It started with Chelsea’s bad reaction to news of her father remarrying seven years after her mother’s death to woman he met only two weeks ago claiming he fell in love but she couldn’t believe how he could fall in love in just two weeks and felt like betraying her mother and her memory. It chagrined her more when her younger sister supported their father’s decision. Disagreements, exchange of bitter words and truth forced her to see the change in her after her mother’s death.
In her grief and loss, she lost her old self, buried herself in work, barricaded family and any social life. Last time she was truly happy and her older self was when she was on year off after college to abroad where she fell in love thrice with- Colin in Ireland, Jean Claude in France, and Marcelino in Italy. To find that older self, love and happiness she decided to retrace her step to these places and search of men she fell in love hoping meeting them and being with them would remind her what it was like to be lively, reckless, smiling and laughing and being in love.
It was interesting to see how she would find her men, what her experience with them would be, exploring places she spent most amazing time of her life, would she get what she was looking for or was she searching it at wrong places and in wrong men.
First half of the book was all about characters introduction, plot building and Chelsea’s trip to Ireland and Paris. It was fun and hilarious. I have to say Chelsea’s idea was interesting but I didn’t think she was going to get what she was looking for in this way. But I was curious nevertheless. And it wasn’t just that, there was her office rival, Jason, making it more dramatic and entertaining.
Chelsea was fund raiser for American Cancer Coalition. She was smart, beautiful, workaholic, uptight, organised, and single minded. I didn’t like the way she reacted to her father’s news of marriage and how she was behaving towards Sheri, soon going to be her step-mom. She was childish and immature about whole her father remarrying thing. I could see, she never dealt with her grief and that affected her life. But as story progressed, I saw her true self slowly unrevealing, enjoying her time during her quest, and most shocking actually being nice and friendly with Jason. I was starting to like her in Ireland but, in Paris I had mixed feeling for her as I get her need to give Italy a chance but I don’t agree with her line of thought and denial, and then in Italy I understood her more than I thought I could. Her reaction to her father being in love, why she was so fixated on finding love in men she was in love in past, and what she actually felt deep inside made sense.
Jason was amazing throughout the book. He was fun, witty, confident, charming and smart. He was sure of everything and his easy careless manner irritated Chelsea. I liked him for caring for Chelsea and crossing the bridge of rivalry. He was more observant than Chelsea thought and he understood her even when he didn’t know full story of her quest. He was the voice of reason. There was more to his careless demeanour which was revealed in last 30% of the book and like Chelsea that earned him more space in my heart.
Second half was all about romance and much more than just romance. I wasn’t expecting this part to be serious with mental health element after entertaining and hilarious first half. There were light moments but story of loss and grief touched my heart and made it sentimental. I loved the way expectations and realities were conveyed through Chelsea’s quest. Grief and loss of losing loved one to cancer and how that made characters who they were.
Romance was lovely to read with falling in love with co-worker and dislike-to-love arc. I enjoyed banter between Chelsea and Jason. They were so different from each other. I liked the way author showed their personality as idea guy and guardian woman and how they slowly found a way to come around their differences and formed bridge of friendship. They both made amazing team. Their moment in Paris, on the top of Eiffel tower and in Italy sharing their grief was best scene.
Most of twist and turns were predictable but I enjoyed them. Climax was interesting. I couldn’t wait to see how Chelsea was going to realise who she actually love and how she was going to tell the other it’s not going to work. End was a bit stretched. That last part from Jason wasn’t exactly necessary, it was overly dramatic but I enjoyed it? Definitely! I enjoyed epilogue.
Why 4 stars–
I enjoyed the plot and romance but I didn’t like Chelsea’s fixation on finding men of her past and thinking they only can make her fall in love again. Never she thought they might have changed or they might have other person in their life. It felt like 29 yrs. old had turned into 19 and she behaved like that! Even when at the end it was explained why she couldn’t accept who she has become, I still can’t believe how so easily she accepted it after so many years of denial and thwarting that idea throughout her trip.
Overall, Paris is Always a Good Idea was refreshing, entertaining, uplifting and enjoyable romance.
You will enjoy this if you like,
falling in love with co-worker/rival
Dislike to love trope
journey to self-discovery
more than just romance
lovely and hilarious moments
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