Friday, 10 April 2020

New Release Spotlight & Review: That Night in Paris by Sandy Barker

That Night in Paris by Sandy Barker 
Genre: Contemporary romance (romcom)
Publication Date: 15th April 2020
Publisher: One More Chapter (HarperCollins)
Standalone Novel

Note to self: don’t sleep with your flatmate after a curry and two bottles of wine… especially if he’s secretly in love with you and wants you to meet his mum.
Cat Parsons is on the run. She doesn’t do relationships. After ten years of singlehood even the hint of the ‘L’ word is enough to get Cat packing her bags and booking herself onto a two-week holiday.
A European bus tour feels like a stroke of genius to dodge awkward conversations at home. But little does Cat realise that the first stop will be Paris, the city of love itself.
Joined by new friends, Cat has got two weeks, eight countries and a hell of a lot of wine ahead of her. As they discover hidden treasures and the camaraderie of life on the road, will Cat find a new way of looking at love?

Travel and romance are a perfect combination for me as I settled into this coach tour themed novel visiting popular tourist spots.

Catherine "Cat" Parsons had a drunken one night stand with her flatmate, Alex and now wants to escape. So, Cat books a last-minute tour with Ventureseek to put some space between them. It's two weeks away and she hopes by the time she gets back, there's no awkwardness. Little does she know, this adventure will make her see life and love from a whole new perspective.

The author has written a fun novel highlighting the pros and cons of embarking on a coach tour with strangers. Cat's fellow travellers are an eclectic bunch and like her have a reason to be on such a trip. Their antics on the whistle-stop tour of Europe make than her "bus besties" and while I can relate to some of their mishaps, it becomes tiresome after a while. So, for me, the saving grace is Jean-Luc Caron!

The chance meeting with Frenchman, Jean-Luc is kismet, he's Cat's pen-pal from when they were teenagers after meeting in Australia when he was an exchange student. They've had no contact since they were nineteen years old, but it's clear both still have an affection for one another. He's the knight in shining armour, but I don't believe Cat is the right woman for him.

It's not often I don't "take" to a leading character, but Cat is one I struggled with. As a thirty-five-year-old woman, I found her behaviour and language to be very immature. She's certainly not someone I'd expect to teach high school students. Her reasons for trying to keep a relationship with Jean-Luc casual after taking their tentative relationship to a new level are selfish especially when she realises his feelings still run deep. Thankfully, she sees sense in the end. I also remember such women like Cat do exist in the real world because I do know someone like her.

Some of the tour-stops triggered memories from the times I've visited them; Paris, Antibes, Florence and Rome. I laughed when the group each bought a gelato when looking at the Leaning Tower of Pisa because that's what I did at my then three-year-old's insistence. For those who haven't travelled to any of the places mentioned, the author paints inviting welcomes for your bucket list.

For me, That Night In Paris is a roller-coaster of a novel with highs and lows but overall, it's a fun and flirty read with some hilarity along the way. It's a wonderful distraction and a chance to escape from the real world in these troubled times.

***arc generously received courtesy of One More Chapter via NetGalley***

I’m a writer and traveller with a lengthy bucket list and cheeky sense of humour, and many of my travel adventures have found their way into my books. I’m also an avid reader, a film buff, a wine lover, and a coffee snob, though my writing is mostly fuelled by copious mugs of strong, milky tea (no sugar).