A lighthearted and satisfying romance in the world of French perfume.

READ REVIEW

FIND YOU IN PARIS

From the The Darcy Brothers series , Vol. 1

A billionaire lures a grocery clerk into a false marriage for mysterious reasons.  

In the opening of this romance, readers meet both Count Sebastian Darcy du Grand-Thouars de Saint-Maurice (“a stinking-rich aristocrat”) and the woman who loves to hate him, Diane Petit. Darcy is the proprietor of Parfums d’Arcy, the first name in French fragrance and the cause, Diane is certain, of her father’s ruin. Charles Petit had a small line of artisanal perfumes—excellent scents he developed himself—but Darcy drove him out of business. Seeking vengeance and denied an appointment at the young billionaire’s Paris office, Diane tracks him down to a reception and throws a cream cake in his face. He finds her “foxy” and starts scheming. He hires a private investigator to follow her, photograph her covertly, and learn more about what makes her tick. After surprising her at the supermarket where she works as a cashier, Darcy makes his pitch. “I’m prepared,” he explains, “to pay fifty thousand euros for a maximum of six months in a pretend relationship.” Why the sham marriage, the cash offer, the choice of Diane as co-conspirator? She’s shocked at first, but, after mulling it over mulled wine, she decides to use the proposal to her advantage: she’ll either part with him in six months (with money for her ailing father), or she’ll use the time to snoop through his personal things for damaging secrets. “I’m still a convinced socialist,” Diane reassures her audience, but the reader is not persuaded. Diane is awed by the wealth she encounters (the stately Château d’Arcy in Burgundy and the ancient Grotte d’Arcy nearby) and made jealous by the beautiful women in Darcy’s orbit. She finds herself attracted to him, and he to her. While Nichols (Playing with Fire, 2017, etc.) keeps the blithe tale moving swiftly, as the chapters alternate between Diane’s and Darcy’s points of view, the reader is occasionally at a momentary loss, wondering who is speaking. But the author infuses the appealing love story with diverting descriptions. Darcy’s charisma, Diane tells readers, “yes, dammit, charisma—envelops me in a soft, yummy-smelling cocoon and lifts me up.” A crime plot toward the end might have been more effective had it been foreshadowed, but this is a short novel written in the spirit of pure pleasure, and it delivers just that.

A lighthearted and satisfying romance in the world of French perfume.    

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-1-5346-8436-2

Page Count: 273

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: May 27, 2017

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A standard but satisfying twin-swap tale with a sweet love story at its center.

THE DUPLICATE BRIDE

In Baird’s romance novel, a young woman agrees to impersonate her twin sister but finds herself falling for her sibling’s fiance in the process.

Jackie Webb begs her identical-twin sister, Hope, to fly from North Carolina to Maine and pretend to be her. Jackie is scheduled to visit her fiance Brent Albright’s family, mere days before their wedding. She’s a wedding planner herself, unexpectedly forced to work during the scheduled visit—and she fears that if she doesn’t show up in New England as planned, her strained relations with Brent’s family will grow worse. Hope agrees to go the Maine, just to help with wedding preparations, and she has every intention of truthfully identifying herself. But when Brent’s mother immediately mistakes her for Jackie, things quickly spiral out of control. After Brent’s grandmother greets her with disdain, Hope decides to continue the ruse to win over the family. Then she learns that Jackie’s upcoming marriage to Brent, who knows nothing of the trickery, is more of a business deal than a romance. She resolves to save her sister’s future by creating a true bond with him. But unlike Jackie, she’s relaxed and fun-loving, and Brent finds himself delighted to be falling in love with her. As Jackie’s delay grows longer, Hope finds herself falling under Brent’s spell, as well. This wholesome and romantic tale by Baird, the author of An Unforgettable Christmas (2019) and many other romances, is engaging throughout as she tells it from Hope’s and Brent’s perspectives. Although most readers are likely to guess many key plot developments before the end of the first chapter, they’ll still find it great fun to watch the events unfold. The author presents a diverse cast of characters who are as entertaining as they are endearing, as well as many evocative descriptions of the beautiful Maine countryside. Although this novel is a light read, it alludes to deeper issues of confidence, loss, independence, and trust that give it some unexpected heft.

A standard but satisfying twin-swap tale with a sweet love story at its center.

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68281-522-9

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Entangled: Amara

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2020

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A classic plot plus Lauren's trademark snark and steam add up to a winning rom-com full of heart and holiday cheer.

IN A HOLIDAZE

A Christmas wish leads to a Christmas nightmare when one woman gets stuck reliving the holiday season, Groundhog Day style.

Things aren’t going as planned for Maelyn Jones. At the age of 26, she’s living with her mom and stepdad, she’s stuck in a dead-end job, and, perhaps most important, she just had an eggnog-filled holiday hookup with Theo Hollis, her family friend and the brother of her unrequited lifelong crush, Andrew Hollis. Maelyn’s spent years waiting for Andrew to notice her as more than a friend, but now she knows she’s screwed things up for good by kissing his brother. The only thing that’s going perfectly in her life is the lovely Park City cabin where her family, Theo and Andrew’s family, and her parents’ other college friends get together every Christmas. But then, on the last day of their vacation, Theo and Andrew’s parents announce that they’re selling the cabin. On the drive to the airport, Maelyn miserably wishes that she could find out what would make her happy…and suddenly, she’s back on the plane to the cabin, pre-Christmas, about to live the whole week over again. With another (and another and another) chance to make things right, will she be able to finally tell Andrew how she feels and discover real happiness? Lauren—the author team behind The Honey-Don’t List (2020) and countless other romantic comedies—is as reliable as ever with this cheery holiday outing. Down-on-her-luck Maelyn is a likable protagonist, and it’s easy to relate to her desire to fix her life (even if most readers don’t have the benefit of time travel). Her conversations with Andrew are adorably banter-filled, and her relationship with her parents’ friend Benny, an aging, wacky stoner, is sweetly charming.

A classic plot plus Lauren's trademark snark and steam add up to a winning rom-com full of heart and holiday cheer.

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-982123-94-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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