Parisian Dreams


Paris in Love by Eloisa James

Eloisa James’s memoir of a year spent in Paris (with a few jaunts through Italy) beckoned from the library’s NYT Bestsellers display until I could stand it no more and just had to take it home… never mind the giant stack haunting me from the corner of my room, this book had to be read. Though I am not much of a memoir reader, I loved the idea behind this one–a memoir told through a collection of tweets, FB posts, and short essays. Bite-sized vignettes filled with Parisian details and slice-of-life encounters. It was the perfect escape during a stressful week. Amusing, funny, inspiring, and moving scenes result in a narrative that often made me forget I was reading non-fiction. Several laugh out loud moments (like when James mentions that a group of boys who were play-fighting with baguettes were pretending these were giant penises) even earned me funny looks from students as I read during my lunch break 😀 .

I also learned a few things about myself while reading…

Life Lessons I Learned While Reading Paris In Love:

  • I need to learn to make risotto. Especially as the boy has mentioned it more than once while watching MasterChef.
  • Parisian women have the best sense of style. I can only hope to emulate this.
  • I used to adore fancy underwear, when did I start to rely on plain cotton and satin? I need some lace!
  • The “Lemon Barley Chicken Soup” on page 136 must be made soon!
  • The boy and I also have trouble seeing eye-to-eye when it comes to money matters, but maybe we can make this work with time and patience.
  • I must one day see Paris as the French see it ❤

I have also just discovered that Eloisa James will be at the Miami Book Fair International… I must find a way to be there!


Enchanting Pleasures

I have realized that if I am going to be a proper librarian, I need to be familiar with all manner of genres. With that in mind, I delved into the Romance section of my local Borders, had a mild panic attack, and fled. I’m exaggerating, but I honestly had no idea what to do with the hundreds of books (many featuring oiled, manly chests on their covers). As one of the most read popular genres, the selection is wide and I am a Romance virgin. Other than a couple of Nora Roberts and Catherine Cooksons, I haven’t really explored this genre so it took a lot of browsing before I finally made my selection…

Eventually I picked Eloisa James’s Enchanting Pleasures, a Regency romance with a very sedate pink cover… not a muscled chest in sight. The tagline on the cover reads “A Novel of Scandals, Seductions, and Forbidden Delights” and it really was a delightful read.

The plot is silly, pure fluff, but Gabby Jerningham, the heroine of the story, is a fun and spirited character whose antics move the plot along at a fast pace.

But I’m getting ahead of myself…

Shipped off to England to meet her betrothed, Gabby leaves India in the company of young Miss Phoebe and Prince Kasi Rao. A talented storyteller, Gabby keeps the children busy aboard the vessel with tales of India and her dreams for a happy marriage. But all is not well in England. Gabby has been promised to Peter Dewland, who most assuredly does not look forward to marriage with a backward girl from India. While Peter agonizes over his filial responsibilities, his brother Quill struggles to overcome the shattering migraines that have plagued him for years. Neither brother is prepared for the changes that Gabby’s arrival will signal. When Gabby’s charms prove to be too much for Peter’s fashionable sensibilities, it’s up to Quill to handle the matter, and he’s more than happy to oblige.

I have to admit that my expectations were not very high for the novel, Quill’s condition is exacerbated by er… sexual congress… so I was expecting a very fanciful plot with lots of gratuitous sex, but this was not the case. The plot was engaging and interesting, some of the elements were fanciful, but it did not detract from the story. At times, Gabby almost reminds me of Catherine Morland, her imagination gets her into all sorts of sticky situations.