Thursday, July 2, 2015

Book Review: Cocktails at Le Carmen

By Becky Gulc

‘When job cuts at Chloe Saddler's London communications firm result in an unexpected transfer to Paris, she finds herself leaving behind her friends, family, and boyfriend Scott to start a new life in the City of Light. Getting to grips with La Vie Parisienne and keeping a long-distance relationship afloat is not made any easier by the culture shock. Committing the odd French faux pas and inadvertently indulging in a few too many flirtations with her very sexy (and very taken) boss, Jean-Luc, is just the start of it. Factor in her bridezilla of a sister's wedding (the hottest event of the year in the Saddler family's social calendar), an unexpected session of hot, naked yoga, a slightly psychotic stalker, and one incredible kiss at an infamous Montmartre nightspot, and Chloe can say au revoir to her old, safe London life and bonjour to the romance, splendour, and glamour of Paris’ (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)

Cocktails at Le Carmen is a book I thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish. I suppose the older I get the fewer books I seem to read where the lead characters are in their twenties like Chloe is, yet again there is a slight fear I will no longer find this relatable, but yet again I just found it completely refreshing, and yes it probably did transport me back to those early days I started to read ‘Chick Lit.’

Chloe is a great character. She’s a good friend, a loyal girlfriend, quirky and very pragmatic. When it’s a case of losing her job completely or going to work in Paris for a year she’s there, even if it does pull at her heart strings to leave behind her boyfriend; but they’re solid, and it’s only a year isn’t it? I just loved the setting in Paris, as Chloe learned to speak French. This isn’t a completely alien setting for her and I think that makes you as the reader a little more relaxed with the setting too, although there are some funny moments she seems to fit in pretty quickly to Parisian life.

I enjoyed the scenes in Paris more so than the scenes with Chloe’s family in the UK, particularly the ones surrounding her (not very likable) sister’s wedding preparations; sometimes these felt a bit shoehorned in for me, I wanted to get back to hearing about other things, like her nights out with Rosie and her flirtations with Jean-Luc. Some things towards the end of the novel seemed to just happen with little foundation, even if I liked this progression anyway. There is also a great character in the novel (the slightly psychotic stalker) where I thought there was more room for development, some scenes made me feel this was going to go further than it did and so I felt a little disappointed by some of her scenes towards the end of the novel.

I thoroughly enjoyed Isabelle’s style of writing, it just flowed and had the funny moments and self-deprecating humour I enjoy. This was a great light read that pleasantly surprised me and I’d love to catch up with Chloe and her friends again.

Thanks to Simon and Fig for the book in exchange for an honest review.


Janine said...

I really want to read this book

Letty B said...

Good review. I love stories that take place in Paris!! A great escape. Hope to get to this book soon!

Denise Covey said...

I read anything set in Paris and this sounds fun. Honest review. Thanks!