Moonlight Over Paris by Jennifer Robson is a very light historical romance set during the 1920s. Lady Helena comes close to death from an infection after a terrible bout with scarlet fever. While recovering, she realizes she has spent too much time not living after agreeing to end her engagement five years ago. A pariah since her engagement ended and her fiance married someone else, it's unlikely that she'll ever marry, now that she's in her late 20s. Nearly dying has made her determined to live; but, Helena feels she must leave England to do so.
Helena's Aunt Agnes lives in France. She's happy to accomodate Helena for a year and even suggests that she sign up at a local art school to work on developing her artistic talent. There, Helena makes new friends and is challenged. But, when an American journalist comes into her life and she finds herself slowly falling for him, it seems that she is destined for another heartbreak.
I'll be painfully honest about Moonlight Over Paris: I didn't find it a good read either from the standpoint of historical fiction or romance. It's merely average. Helena is from the upper class and her Aunt Agnes is even wealthier than Helena's family. Most of the book is about interaction with her painter friends, the meals they eat, the dresses she wears. Because of her wealth and because she's an artist, she's occasionally thrown into the path of various people of the time period's wealthy ex-pat artistic crowd.
Like the only other book I've read by Robson, Somewhere in France, the focus is not on the romance so much as the heroine's life. But, I found her daily life rather humdrum. I liked the interaction between Helena and her artist friends. However, there was a lot of telling instead of showing. For example, Helena would go to dinner with a group of people and then talk or think about what a sparkling conversation she'd had with so-and-so. But, the reader wasn't privy to the conversation, itself.
I did like the hero and love interest. But, again, something was missing. They occasionally had dates, maybe kissed a bit, but he kept his distance and I was unable to fully understand or buy into his storyline. Until the end, he really didn't share his concerns with Helena, explain why he was really in Paris, or tell her why he was unwilling to commit. It does, however, have the ending of a typical romance, so romance lovers may be willing to overlook its flaws for the joy of the happy ending.
Recommended to a specific audience - If you're a fan of historical romance and like a decent sense of place, very light writing, and a happy ending, chances are good you'll enjoy Moonlight Over Paris. I wouldn't tell anyone to avoid the book but I also wouldn't heartily recommend it to someone who is looking for more depth. I finished the book because I needed a mental break from Lolita and I don't regret reading it. However, I thought Moonlight Over Paris was weak by comparison with Robson's first release, Somewhere in France.
On to Malarkey:
I didn't receive a single book in the mail, last week, and Moonlight Over Paris was the only book I finished. I'm still reading Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov and Don't Even Think About It by George Marshall and will probably add another fiction read, soon, to continue breaking up the reading of Lolita, which frankly makes my skin crawl.
Last week's posts:
The cats are still separated most of the time and occasionally they've come close to harmony through the slats of their gazebo, when one or the other is inside. We don't think they're quite ready to spend time together, though. It's going to be a slow process. Now and then, we have a setback in which one or the other will growl or hiss. Night is really the worst time because they both want to be in the bedroom with me. Whoever is stuck outside the door will end up scratching at the door, howling and trying to open it. I'm not getting a lot of sleep. Fingers are crossed that they'll be able to hang out together, soon.
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