Romantic Rice (Stone Heart, etc.) continues to explore every angle of family love in her fourth novel-this time in Paris where l'amour takes some unexpected turns. Lydie McBride and her husband Michael are Americans spending a year in Paris so that Michael, an architect on a cultural exchange program, can design an information center for the Louvre. Lydie is working as a free-lance photographer's stylist and, at the same time, working out some personal problems. Not long before the McBrides came to Paris, Lydie's father shot his lover and then killed himself. Now, Lydie feels detached from life-from Michael and from Paris. Michael, finally fed up with his wife's aloofness, finds himself drawn to Anne Dumas, a petite Frenchwoman who works at the Louvre. When Michael eventually moves out of their apartment, a stunned Lydie buries herself in a new work project: arranging a fancy-dress ball to display the fabulous d`Origny jewelry; and a personal project: trying to help the d`Orignys' housekeeper, a young Filipino woman, emigrate to America. The ball turns out to be a success, the emigration process less so, but, along the way, Lydie is drawn back into life-and the course of true love finally runs smooth again. Rice has a flair for creating bright, compelling characters. We're drawn to them, but there's something lightweight about them too. The McBrides never quibble-or even worry-about money. They never experience a language barrier in Paris. Their glamorous jobs bring them acclaim and recognition. All of this may add to their luster, but, sooner or later, we want something more solid beneath the shine. Fluffy, but good-puffed Rice, Parisian-style.