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This Christmas in Paris by Sophie Claire : a review

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts about This Christmas in Paris by Sophie Claire.

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Book cover for This Christmas in Paris by Sophie Claire.  A vector of a snowy street and a couple walking down the middle of the road

This Christmas in Paris by Sophie Claire

  • Category : Contemporary Romance
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Hodder Paperbacks (12 Oct. 2023)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 496 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1529349982
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1529349986
  • Hodder & Stoughton | Amazon | Waterstones | Goodreads

This Christmas in Paris Summary

What could be more magical than Christmas in Paris?

When Carys is offered the chance to run a little French café, she leaps at the chance to discover an exciting city where she can dream big.

Meanwhile, struggling journalist Mat is living in the City of Love – but he’s never found romance himself.

Then, a chance encounter changes everything, and it feels like the start of something wonderful. But Carys and Mat are both keeping secrets . . .

Can they open their hearts to one another – and maybe even find love, just in time for Christmas?

This Christmas in Paris Review

Finding herself displaced in her life, Carys needs a change from the small village where she lives and a change of career from her 10 years as a primary school teacher.  When she sees the advert to manage The Red Cat Café in Paris, it seems the universe is giving her a prod to get on with it.

Mat is working in a job that is soul destroying, he’s always failing to impress his father but is tenacious in his hopes.  I did like him at first, after all, who wouldn’t like someone who is thoughtful and kind, putting others needs above his own?  Ah, but there’s a flip side to that isn’t there!

I loved The Red Cat Café, the staff and community.  Carys brings energy and fresh ideas and although the staff push back, she’s determined to make a go of it for the absent owners.  The café’s patrons we get to meet are quirky and interesting.  And the staff have backstories that brought my emotions into play.  So much so that at the end on Christmas Eve I cried.  Perfect 🙂

The settings are brilliant.  I enjoyed learning a little about how journalism works and loved the window into café management.

Two things that surprised me with this story …

  1. I don’t think I’ve ever had such swings of emotions in relation to a male lead character.  I felt so conflicted!  I think readers will either love Mat or hate him.  Me?  He’s multi-layered for sure.  His lack of self-belief led him down a dark path where he knew it was wrong but he had a lot to prove. I’m not sure I can forgive him though …
  2. After the story – I found myself missing Paris and all the characters (yes, even Mat!).  For quite a while afterwards I found my thoughts going back to the story and wondering how their lives moved forward.

For me, This Christmas in Paris had echoes of Emily in Paris which I love!  Although the basic storyline is similar (new life in Paris with work challenges and winning over colleagues, romance etc) , the situations, opportunities and characters (across the spectrum of ages) are unique.

This story is so much more than a romance.  If you’re looking for a heart-warming read, this one is for you.

Related Books

Christmas themed romance books

About the Author

Sophie Claire, born to a French mother and Scottish father, grew up in Manchester where she still lives with her husband and two sons. She writes stories centred around sunny Provence, where she spent her summers as a child.

Sophie is the author of six gorgeously escapist seasonal romances, including The Christmas HolidayAn Escape to Provence and her latest novel, This Christmas in Paris.

You can find out more at www.sophieclaire.co.uk or connect with Sophie via Twitter @sclairewriter

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