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

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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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On the day her fiance came out and left her at the altar, Faith escaped to the West Coast, where she’s had a thriving...

THE BEST MAN

When Faith Holland was abandoned at the altar three years ago, she left her hometown for San Francisco to regroup; coming home to Manningsport, she’ll have to confront her past and Levi Cooper, the disturbingly handsome chief of police she blames for ruining her life.

On the day her fiance came out and left her at the altar, Faith escaped to the West Coast, where she’s had a thriving professional life and a comical romantic life. Summoned home for a few months to work the harvest at her family’s winery and help with some crisis management, Faith realizes that some things in her small town will never change—for the good or the bad—but she knows the time has come to establish a new reality with her ex, her family and maybe even Levi Cooper, the best man who forced Jeremy to be honest with her and himself on their wedding day. It’s so much easier to blame and despise him; if she lets down her guard, she might have to deal with their short but profound shared past and her own guilt and secrets from a long-ago tragedy that has haunted her for most of her life. Higgins’ newest heart-tugging romantic comedy juggles a spectrum of emotionally powerful elements, including the death of a mother, the abandonment of a father and a sigh-worthy high school romance gone awry. With her typical engaging voice, compelling storytelling and amusing dialogue, Higgins keeps the audience flipping through pages as quickly as possible, but it is her spot-on ability to make her characters at once funny, authentic and vulnerable—vulnerable to the point of breaking, so they can heal, stronger and better and more able to love—that is her true genius and guarantees most romance fans will both laugh out loud and get teary, sometimes at the same time. Another sweet, touching must-read for Higgins fans and anyone who enjoys a perfect combination of humor and romance.

Pub Date: Feb. 26, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-373-77792-1

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Harlequin

Review Posted Online: Dec. 24, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2013

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Anyone who believes in true love or is simply willing to accept it as the premise of a winding tale will find this debut an...

ONE DAY IN DECEMBER

True love flares between two people, but they find that circumstances always impede it.

On a winter day in London, Laurie spots Jack from her bus home and he sparks a feeling in her so deep that she spends the next year searching for him. Her roommate and best friend, Sarah, is the perfect wing-woman but ultimately—and unknowingly—ends the search by finding Jack and falling for him herself. Laurie’s hasty decision not to tell Sarah is the second painful missed opportunity (after not getting off the bus), but Sarah’s happiness is so important to Laurie that she dedicates ample energy into retraining her heart not to love Jack. Laurie is misguided, but her effort and loyalty spring from a true heart, and she considers her project mostly successful. Perhaps she would have total success, but the fact of the matter is that Jack feels the same deep connection to Laurie. His reasons for not acting on them are less admirable: He likes Sarah and she’s the total package; why would he give that up just because every time he and Laurie have enough time together (and just enough alcohol) they nearly fall into each other’s arms? Laurie finally begins to move on, creating a mostly satisfying life for herself, whereas Jack’s inability to be genuine tortures him and turns him into an ever bigger jerk. Patriarchy—it hurts men, too! There’s no question where the book is going, but the pacing is just right, the tone warm, and the characters sympathetic, even when making dumb decisions.

Anyone who believes in true love or is simply willing to accept it as the premise of a winding tale will find this debut an emotional, satisfying read.

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-525-57468-2

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: July 31, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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