At the moment, I’d settle for a perfect Portobello Christmas since there’s no chance of going to Paris! Well, except in the pages of this book. Paris is a wonderful place to visit at any time of the year. All the well known attractions as described in Mandy Baggot’s A Perfect Paris Christmas seem even more magical in the cold and snow, with Christmas lights twinkling.
I’m taking this opportunity to share my arty reflection photo of the Eiffel Tower in a Renault rear windscreen. It’s nothing at all to do with Christmas but it’s one of my favourite photos I’ve ever taken!
Keeley and Ethan are two people touched by tragedy and unknown to them until very late in the book, they are connected by that tragedy. When Keeley has the opportunity to visit Paris and stay in a top hotel just before Christmas she jumps at the chance. Having experienced great loss in her life and knowing how fragile life can be, she feels that this is the time to take chances and not spend her life wondering ‘what if?’. Keeley and Ethan seem to keep bumping into each other at various places around Paris and feel that draw, a spark between them. One of the first times they meet was a particularly amusing incident involving a penguin called Pepe!
The growing attraction and relationship between Keeley and Ethan was so touching to read about particularly since we, as the readers, know how their lives have been affected by sad events. I loved the virtual visit to Paris (we can dream!) and Keeley’s friend Rach’s exuberance grew on me and provided quite a few a laughs. There are few other characters too who have smaller roles but play such an important in the story such as street girl Jeanne and her dog Bobo and Keeley’s friend Erica. Both these characters tell us so much about what kind of people Keeley and Ethan are and provide some rather poignant scenes. Mandy Baggot creates a great balance between sadness, humour, love and hope.
A Perfect Paris Christmas shows two people having the courage to move on after tragedy and make the most of new opportunities. It’s also all about being touched by the particular magic of Paris and of Christmas and being open to love, even if it presents itself unexpectedly. Grab yourself a glass of mulled wine or hot chocolate and settle down beside your Christmas tree for a festive treat and experience A Perfect Paris Christmas.
Now read an extract from the novel
‘You’ve changed your hair. Man, it looks terrible.’
Keeley watched twenty-two-year-old Erica devouring Celebration chocolates by the handful. It seemed she had already removed all the wrappers to make the scoffing easier. Some of them were now covered in fluff from the hospice blanket wrapped over her shrinking frame. Erica didn’t seem to care. And, frankly, why should she? It wasn’t the polyester that was going to kill her. It was the Stage IV cancer.
‘Thank you,’ Keeley answered with a smile.
‘I know my hair looks shit too, by the way. But I’m dying. I’m allowed to look shit. What’s your excuse?’
‘Rach dyed it last night with some substandard product we’ve since found out is illegal in the Ukraine. Apparently I’m lucky I haven’t been blinded by the fumes or made sterile by the chemicals contained in it. I guess time will tell on that last one.’
Erica’s face exploded into a whole feast of expressions. Her deep, dark brown eyes crinkled up, her cheeks briefly turning from hollowed out to fattened and her mouth opened wide, chocolate pieces spraying all over the bed covers. ‘Shit, man, you’ve made me waste all that chocolate!’
Keeley grabbed the box of tissues on Erica’s bedside unit and began to mop up the damage. ‘I’ll get you another blanket.’
‘Don’t bother,’ Erica insisted. ‘It’s only chocolate and I can lick the crumbs up when they starve me later.’ She lowered her voice. ‘That’s what they do when they want to get rid of you here. If you’re not dead within a couple of weeks, they do anything they can to get you out of here and back into a care home, including bringing down the quality of the nosh.’
‘Oh, well, I’m not sure that’s true.’
Keeley was just a volunteer here. After the accident, she had wanted to do something to give back. In the weeks after her operation, when she had stopped feeling like she had been pummelled wrestling style by The Rock, as soon as she had learned to walk again without wanting to vomit, she had started volunteering at the hospital. And it had somehow turned out to be as much for her as it was for the patients. It was surprising how much you could get out of a few games of Monopoly, Sudoku and the latest real-life stories from That’s Life! when you had nothing better to do than mope and miss your sister.
My thanks to Vicky at Aria Fiction for having me along on the tour. A Perfect Paris Christmas is available now in all formats. Buying links are below.
Google Play: https://bit.ly/3gOPHvv
From the back of the book
Keeley Andrews knows more than anyone that you only live once. So when she receives an invitation to spend two weeks in Paris, all expenses paid, she jumps at the chance.
Ethan Bouchard has had the worst eighteen months of his life. He’s ready to give up on everything, including his hotel chain. So when he meets Keeley, it simply isn’t the right time.
As Keeley and Ethan continue to bump into each other on the romantic Parisian streets, they can’t help but wonder whether this is fate telling them to let go of the past and leap into the future…
Head to Paris this Christmas and fall in love under the lights of the Eiffel Tower with best-selling author, Mandy Baggot.
About the author
Mandy Baggot is an international bestselling and award-winning romance writer. The winner of the Innovation in Romantic Fiction award at the UK’s Festival of Romance, her romantic comedy novel, One Wish in Manhattan, was also shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association Romantic Comedy Novel of the Year award in 2016. Mandy’s books have so far been translated into German, Italian, Czech and Hungarian. Mandy loves the Greek island of Corfu, white wine, country music and handbags. Also a singer, she has taken part in ITV1’s Who Dares Sings and The X-Factor. Mandy is a member of the Society of Authors and lives near Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK with her husband and two daughters.
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