Paris Is Always a Good Idea
It's been seven years since Chelsea Martin embarked on her yearlong post-college European adventure. Since then, she's lost her mother to cancer and watched her sister marry twice, while Chelsea's thrown herself into work, becoming one of the most talented fundraisers for the American Cancer Coalition, and with the exception of one annoyingly competent coworker, Jason Knightley, her status as most talented fundraiser is unquestioned.When her introverted mathematician father announces he's getting remarried, Chelsea is forced to acknowledge that her life stopped after her mother died, and that the last time she can remember being happy, in love, or enjoying her life was on her gap year. Inspired to retrace her steps--to find Colin in Ireland, Jean Claude in France, and Marcelino in Italy--Chelsea hopes that one of these three men who stole her heart so many years ago, can help her find it again.From the start of her journey nothing goes as planned, but as Chelsea reconnects with her old self, she also finds love in the very last place she expected.

Paris Is Always a Good Idea Details

TitleParis Is Always a Good Idea
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 21st, 2020
PublisherBerkley Books
ISBN-139780593101353
Rating
GenreRomance, Contemporary, Womens Fiction, Chick Lit, Fiction, Adult

Paris Is Always a Good Idea Review

  • Nilufer Ozmekik
    January 1, 1970
    Beautiful illustrated cover, promising and hopeful plot taking us to the self-discovery and fantastic journey to my favorite three European cities: Italy, Ireland and Paris. (When you wrote the names, my heart started aching. I’m sending my prayers and wellness wishes to everyone live in those cities. I hope the days will come sooner and we may still visit those remarkably spectacular countries and enjoy our lives!) This book is about Chelsea’s taking gap year after suffering hurtful grief of lo Beautiful illustrated cover, promising and hopeful plot taking us to the self-discovery and fantastic journey to my favorite three European cities: Italy, Ireland and Paris. (When you wrote the names, my heart started aching. I’m sending my prayers and wellness wishes to everyone live in those cities. I hope the days will come sooner and we may still visit those remarkably spectacular countries and enjoy our lives!) This book is about Chelsea’s taking gap year after suffering hurtful grief of losing her mother to the battle of big C and having problematic relationship with her over competent coworker a.k.a. superficial asshole Jason Knightley and getting tired to witness her sister’s marriages. She is suffocating, she isn’t happy with her life. She needs a break. She needs to learn how to have a fulfilled life. She needs joy, happiness, fun! But mostly she needs love. (All You Need is Love plays at my head as soon as I wrote those words.) So Chelsea takes her European vacation (not kind of National Lampoon’s European kind: I know it would be fun if this story is about Griswold family’s absurd vacation adventures.) , meets three different guy at three different cities, turning herself into a sailor having different girlfriends at different ports. Marcelino in Italy is my favorite but we also have charming Jean Clause in France and Colin in Ireland (which reminded me of sexy images of Colin Farrell) and at some parts I really thought she was gonna choose three of them and have a fantastic polygamous life. A woman can dream, right?Of course it didn’t happen and you need to read the rest of the story to learn how Chelsea found her HEA! This was entertaining, soft, sweet book. I didn’t have any problem with story-telling and pacing. But only thing I got irritated was the heroine who acted like immature and annoying from the beginning. Especially at romance parts I stopped my reading and screamed with frustration. So she was the only reason that I cut my points and gave three stars to my reading. It was still a great choice, feel-good story with motivational and heartfelt parts. I’d also like to read more works of the author because I mostly enjoyed her story-telling skills and great plot.Special thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for sharing this enjoyable ARC with me in exchange my honest review.
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  • Samantha
    January 1, 1970
    3.75 starstw: death of a parent; death of a sibling; cancer; brief mention of self harmThis book had a lot of things I liked and a number of things I didn't, which makes it hard to rate. I'd go from really enjoying a moment, to there being something I don't like in the next sentence. This is a combination of so many different tropes: young woman travels back to Ireland (small town), France (Paris), and Italy (vineyard) to re-discover who she is by trying to reconnect with three men she fell in l 3.75 starstw: death of a parent; death of a sibling; cancer; brief mention of self harmThis book had a lot of things I liked and a number of things I didn't, which makes it hard to rate. I'd go from really enjoying a moment, to there being something I don't like in the next sentence. This is a combination of so many different tropes: young woman travels back to Ireland (small town), France (Paris), and Italy (vineyard) to re-discover who she is by trying to reconnect with three men she fell in love with in those places 7 years ago before her mom died. She also has a rivalry with a ~handsome co-worker~. All of these things are tropes I love! I loved the locations, the will they won't they of meeting up with old flames, the banter between her and her co-worker, etc.With that being said, there's also some tropes in here I didn't enjoy. The main character originally goes on this trip because her dad is remarrying to a woman he recently met, and the narrative makes it seem like the main character is "unreasonable" and has "forgotten how to love" because she doesn't approve of him marrying someone he met 2 weeks ago. Also, the love interest gets in a fist fight (with blood) over a sense of protective-ness for the main character. This theme of protective weaves together with mild-possessiveness (on both of their parts) throughout the story that I felt could have been left out. Some readers may find it to be a cute layer to the rivalry though, as he is constantly trying to thwart her plans. I also, personally, found the rivals-to-lovers pacing to be a little quick based on where these characters started, but I've had those complaints about other hate-to-love in popular contemporary romances that other readers have enjoyed. I did enjoy the themes of travel, re-discovery, and finding someone who is a good fit for who you currently are, I just wish that self-discovery had been a little separated from the romance element. This was a quick read with a lot of tropes I think fans of The Hating Game especially will enjoy. tropes: - travel romance - rivals-to-lovers w/ co-workers
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  • Jenn
    January 1, 1970
    Chelsea is very good at her job, working to solicit big donations for a cancer charity. But when her father surprises her one day, informing her that he's marrying a woman he met two weeks ago, Chelsea is understandably upset. However, when her sister confronts her, Chelsea realizes that since her mother does seven years ago, she's shut herself off and has completely forgotten how to have fun. So, she gives notice at work and heads off for a three stop tour if Europe to revisit the three men she Chelsea is very good at her job, working to solicit big donations for a cancer charity. But when her father surprises her one day, informing her that he's marrying a woman he met two weeks ago, Chelsea is understandably upset. However, when her sister confronts her, Chelsea realizes that since her mother does seven years ago, she's shut herself off and has completely forgotten how to have fun. So, she gives notice at work and heads off for a three stop tour if Europe to revisit the three men she fell in love with seven years ago on a gap year trip that was cut short when her mom's cancer was diagnosed. This book just made me happy. The romance was sweet and the wonderful settings in Ireland, France, and Italy were a wonderful way to travel while being stuck at home.I've read all of McKinlay's cozy mystery books and she's one of my favorites. But I had never read any of her romances. I was SO happy when the publisher sent me this ARC as it was definitely on my list. Now I just have to go back and read the rest of her books!
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  • Krysti
    January 1, 1970
    From it’s heart-melting romance, to the gorgeous travel destinations, to the beautiful emotional journey the main character goes on, PARIS IS ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA is a delight and an absolutely beautiful distraction.Undoubtedly one of my favorite reads of the year, if I could recommend one book to everyone during this stressful time, it would be this one. It’s not only about finding oneself and discovering love along the way. It’s also about honoring the people we’ve loved and lost and moving forw From it’s heart-melting romance, to the gorgeous travel destinations, to the beautiful emotional journey the main character goes on, PARIS IS ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA is a delight and an absolutely beautiful distraction.Undoubtedly one of my favorite reads of the year, if I could recommend one book to everyone during this stressful time, it would be this one. It’s not only about finding oneself and discovering love along the way. It’s also about honoring the people we’ve loved and lost and moving forward with them forever in our hearts. An absolute joy.
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  • Nenia ⚔️ Queen of Villainy ⚔️ Campbell
    January 1, 1970
    Mmmm the idea of a vicarious vacation is so appealing right now
  • Alexa
    January 1, 1970
    Cheesy, but cute love story that felt right out of a romantic comedy (or a Hallmark movie). The travel bits were what really fun for me as a reader!
  • Tonya
    January 1, 1970
    Review coming. Do yourself a favor and preorder it.
  • Annie (Under the Covers Book Blog)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars
  • Jenn McKinlay
    January 1, 1970
    Hi, Readers!The galleys of Paris is Always a Good Idea are just entering the wild. So thrilling! This book is my first stand alone and, as such, was an incredible journey for me. Primarily, because I had no intention of writing a stand alone. Ever. I'm a series gal. But then, well, life happened.Have you ever tried to drag yourself out from under the crushing weight of grief? That's what I was doing, sitting in my car waiting for my chronically late for school son, the morning after I had flown Hi, Readers!The galleys of Paris is Always a Good Idea are just entering the wild. So thrilling! This book is my first stand alone and, as such, was an incredible journey for me. Primarily, because I had no intention of writing a stand alone. Ever. I'm a series gal. But then, well, life happened.Have you ever tried to drag yourself out from under the crushing weight of grief? That's what I was doing, sitting in my car waiting for my chronically late for school son, the morning after I had flown back from Denver after the funeral of a beloved cousin, when this book downloaded fully-formed into my head. This had never happened to me before. It felt like the universe was giving me a place to channel my pain, and I used my own grief, the bottomless feeling of loss, to examine Chelsea’s struggle to reconcile her father’s desire to move on with his life and his challenge to her to do the same seven years after the death of her beloved mom. As I tried to figure out how I would come to terms with losing someone so young, who had been such a vital part of my life, I delved into the components of grief and how sometimes we get stuck in that place of loss. In many ways, Chelsea's journey was my journey with a lot of beautiful foreign stops (Ireland, Italy, and France) along the way.It is my fondest wish that Chelsea’s story will resonate with you. I think we've all lived through times of loss and grief, endured uncertainty while standing at life’s crossroads, and have looked to our past to inform our future, while navigating this crazy rollercoaster ride called life. Being able to examine these truths through Chelsea, while writing about some of the places I love best was a pure joy for me, and I hope it will be for you, as a reader, as well.Happy Reading,XO Jenn
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  • *The Angry Reader*
    January 1, 1970
    It’s a very very very cute journey-story about an uptight woman finding her joy. There are misses in continuity and common sense. Clearly the author needs to get Chelsea on her adventure and doesn’t spend a ton of energy making it the smoothest thing in the world. And the end is so so so so sweet. Like oh my goodness this almost ruined a perfectly okay book kind of sweet. But that’s me. I think if you don’t look too hard at this one and simply want a feel-good read it isn’t bad at all. It’s a very very very cute journey-story about an uptight woman finding her joy. There are misses in continuity and common sense. Clearly the author needs to get Chelsea on her adventure and doesn’t spend a ton of energy making it the smoothest thing in the world. And the end is so so so so sweet. Like oh my goodness this almost ruined a perfectly okay book kind of sweet. But that’s me. I think if you don’t look too hard at this one and simply want a feel-good read it isn’t bad at all.
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  • mindful.librarian ☀️
    January 1, 1970
    (free review copy) I usually love MicKinlay but the main character in this one just felt incredibly flat to me - I never once felt that I knew her. Liked the travel aspect but had to talk myself into continuing the story. Also not at all an erotic story until on LONG scene toward the end - a strange placement and mix. Just not my story and I’ll stick with all of the other work by this author that I adore.
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  • Caden
    January 1, 1970
    3.5/5 stars rounded up to 4 stars! A huge thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for sending me this E-Arc for an honest review!I really enjoyed reading this book. Where I found the plot a little bit predictable, the characters and the romance made the book fun and enjoyable. I loved traveling around with the main character Chelsea and going along on the trip with her while she discovered how to open up, be happy, and love again.  I thought that the author did a great job of expressing th 3.5/5 stars rounded up to 4 stars! A huge thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for sending me this E-Arc for an honest review!I really enjoyed reading this book. Where I found the plot a little bit predictable, the characters and the romance made the book fun and enjoyable. I loved traveling around with the main character Chelsea and going along on the trip with her while she discovered how to open up, be happy, and love again.  I thought that the author did a great job of expressing the hard emotions that Chelsea's character was dealing with, and making the reader connect with her in a deep way. Also, I LOVED Jason Knightley's character! I think I fell in love with his character from the second chapter, and I loved watching him and Chelsea become friends and then fall in love. I think that this romance was really fun, and it would have been rated a bit higher if the plot had been a bit more unique and less predictable.  I did really enjoy Jenn McKinlay's writing in this book, and again, the characters that she created were all really well thought out and developed. I think this is a really fun and easy summer romance! Thanks for reading! Caden
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  • Dana
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to the publisher for a free netgalley!•❤️- The overall plot was enjoyable. I very much love stories of people redeeming/finding themselves. The tour through Europe gave my traveling heart some nostalgia of my own travels!🤷🏻‍♀️- Though our character had a major loss, for someone who was higher up in a major corporation she was immature. Very “I know you are but what am I” type. And sometimes the writing in the book was off from the characters. Our uptight main character once said “I cut Thank you to the publisher for a free netgalley!•❤️- The overall plot was enjoyable. I very much love stories of people redeeming/finding themselves. The tour through Europe gave my traveling heart some nostalgia of my own travels!🤷🏻‍♀️- Though our character had a major loss, for someone who was higher up in a major corporation she was immature. Very “I know you are but what am I” type. And sometimes the writing in the book was off from the characters. Our uptight main character once said “I cut that schizzle off”. Umm what?•Overall, a cute, fast read that is good for those who like romances on the predictable side or like to travel!
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  • Cori
    January 1, 1970
    I picked this up because I was in need of an escapist read, and anything with Paris in the title tends to be a win for me (lifetime Francophile - I read the title, and said, “yes, it is!”). This 100% met my needs while providing unexpected depths and layers that were an absolute treat for me. I am not much of a romance reader, so I was bracing myself for getting through this part of the story. Honestly, it was my least favorite part. I found it fairly predictable and repetitive. However, I think I picked this up because I was in need of an escapist read, and anything with Paris in the title tends to be a win for me (lifetime Francophile - I read the title, and said, “yes, it is!”). This 100% met my needs while providing unexpected depths and layers that were an absolute treat for me. I am not much of a romance reader, so I was bracing myself for getting through this part of the story. Honestly, it was my least favorite part. I found it fairly predictable and repetitive. However, I think what I find a bit formulaic in these types of stories is what many romance readers enjoy, and it was well done with lots of tension and back and forth of will they or won’t they. I did appreciate that it was mostly PG-13 and the bedroom door was just cracked open a bit here and there. So why did I love this? Two reasons. First, it completely took me on an atmospheric journey through the Irish countryside, Paris, and a Tuscany vineyard and town. I felt like I was right there with Chelsea as she revisited her gap year abroad. Jenn Mackinley has the extraordinary ability to transport you to the places she is describing. She fully engaged my imaginary senses with sights, smells, and sounds that captured each unique and magical place we visited together. In addition to the journey through Europe, we also experienced Chelsea’s extraordinary journey of growth and transformation as she dealt with her demons of grief that have left her frozen in time. As she revisits places and people that once brought her great joy, she discovers ways to hold onto her past memories while opening herself up the possibilities clamoring for her attention in the present. As a cancer survivor, I appreciated how Mackinley explored the impact cancer had on different characters with a sensitive and realistic manner that made it meaningful and not just as a writing device to drive the storyline. Her depth and understanding left me believing she must have been closely impacted by cancer in her life as she explores the feelings and trauma in a raw and heartbreaking manner. With travel, love, and personal growth woven together, there is a little something here for everyone.
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  • Maria
    January 1, 1970
    A well written story about finding yourself after loss and learning to love again
  • Leah (Jane Speare)
    January 1, 1970
    This writing was too wordy and Chelsea made frustratingly stupid decisions a few times, but the book was still a nice escape right now!When Chelsea’s widowed father announces he’s getting re-married and she reacts less than admirably, she panics that she’s forgotten how to laugh and appreciate love, and escapes to Europe to reconnect with old boyfriends. I related a lot to Chelsea: my mom had cancer, my dad remarried someone he barely knew, and I escaped to Europe to “find myself” as a teenager This writing was too wordy and Chelsea made frustratingly stupid decisions a few times, but the book was still a nice escape right now!When Chelsea’s widowed father announces he’s getting re-married and she reacts less than admirably, she panics that she’s forgotten how to laugh and appreciate love, and escapes to Europe to reconnect with old boyfriends. I related a lot to Chelsea: my mom had cancer, my dad remarried someone he barely knew, and I escaped to Europe to “find myself” as a teenager before college. Okay maybe I related a little too much. While traveling to Ireland, France, and Italy she gets herself in some crazy and often awkward situations. But instead of turning sour at each unexpected turn in her journey abroad, she finds the humor and potential growth in each opportunity. In a time where we can’t hop on a plane anywhere, it felt great to explore Europe with Chelsea and watch her relive her crazy teenage adventures and past loves, and find out who she has become since then in the process.
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  • Tamara
    January 1, 1970
    Review to come.Quick thoughts:Sweet and cute. A bit predictable at times, but that's ok.
  • Madison Dube
    January 1, 1970
    First off, let me say that I loved this book. This was more than a romance. It was about finding yourself, accepting yourself, re-finding your happiness, travelling, and grief. I adored the dynamic between Jason and Chelsea - they were so fun to watch as their relationship grew and changed. I have so much respect for Chelsea for taking that leave of absence from work and travelling to the places that made her so happy in the past and finding herself (it kinda inspires me to go on my own quest/tr First off, let me say that I loved this book. This was more than a romance. It was about finding yourself, accepting yourself, re-finding your happiness, travelling, and grief. I adored the dynamic between Jason and Chelsea - they were so fun to watch as their relationship grew and changed. I have so much respect for Chelsea for taking that leave of absence from work and travelling to the places that made her so happy in the past and finding herself (it kinda inspires me to go on my own quest/travel adventure). Thank you so much Netgalley and Berkley Publishing Group for sending me a copy of this book.
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  • Tiffany
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 ⭐ rounded up
  • Jenny
    January 1, 1970
    I have to admit I didn't care for the main character at first but she slowly grew on me. She was just immature at first for being a 29 year old career woman. This book has quite a few one line zingers that will make you snort, hence like I shelved it as a rom com. While a certain aspect of this story line was a bit predictable I did enjoy the book overall. Perfect for armchair traveling since she visits Ireland, France and Italy all in this book.I received an Advance Review Copy of this book. Al I have to admit I didn't care for the main character at first but she slowly grew on me. She was just immature at first for being a 29 year old career woman. This book has quite a few one line zingers that will make you snort, hence like I shelved it as a rom com. While a certain aspect of this story line was a bit predictable I did enjoy the book overall. Perfect for armchair traveling since she visits Ireland, France and Italy all in this book.I received an Advance Review Copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
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  • Anna
    January 1, 1970
    The main character was so annoying and immature for a 29 year old woman, but man the travel aspect really made it for me. I too think Paris (and Ireland and Italy) is always a good idea.
  • Renee
    January 1, 1970
    I received an Advance Readers' Copy of this book from Goodreads after entering a free book giveaway. I only started reading Jenn McKinlay recently -- her Library Lovers's Mysteries are both well written and set along the Connecticut shoreline -- but decided to throw my hat in the ring to see how she writes in other genres. I am so glad that I did.This book was unusual, to me at least, from the start. When Chelsea Martin agreed to meet her father in downtown Boston after receiving an urgent text I received an Advance Readers' Copy of this book from Goodreads after entering a free book giveaway. I only started reading Jenn McKinlay recently -- her Library Lovers's Mysteries are both well written and set along the Connecticut shoreline -- but decided to throw my hat in the ring to see how she writes in other genres. I am so glad that I did.This book was unusual, to me at least, from the start. When Chelsea Martin agreed to meet her father in downtown Boston after receiving an urgent text from him, the last thing she expected was him to tell her that he was getting remarried in 3 months. She was almost more surprised to find out that her sister was just as excited as he was -- even though, just like Chelsea, she'd lost her mother to cancer 7 years before.But after having a heart-to-heart with her sister, Chelsea begins to wonder which one of them was really having the inappropriate reaction to the news. She realizes that the last time she remembers being happy was on a post-college year abroad -- at least up until she got the call telling her to come home right away because her mother was dying. Spurred on my her sister, Chelsea decides to revisit three of her most memorable stops to try to find her laughter again. And there our journey begins.It's hard to write a romance without engaging at least some of the sexist tropes we're all used to. You will see some of them in this book but, for the most part, they're there for Chelsea to ridicule or at least poke fun at herself. I liked that. And I liked that Chelsea's trip wasn't an attempt to run away from her grief, even though she was trying to find herself pre-loss. Having lived through some trauma and loss myself, it made her far more appealing than most romance heroines. In fact, I wish more writers wouldembrace this kind of complex character so that folks like me can enjoy reading a romance without feeling like the book was clearly written for someone else.And during this pandemic? It's perfect.
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  • Cassandra
    January 1, 1970
    Paris Is Always a Good Idea was a wonderful story about a woman who has spent almost a decade mourning and losing herself in grief, finding her way back to herself again. Chelsea threw herself into her work after losing her mom seven years ago and after her world has been shaken up a bit, she decides to go find the girl she left behind.Chelsea was almost unbearable when this book started. So much so I didn't actually want to continue reading it if she didn't start to change her tune. But almost Paris Is Always a Good Idea was a wonderful story about a woman who has spent almost a decade mourning and losing herself in grief, finding her way back to herself again. Chelsea threw herself into her work after losing her mom seven years ago and after her world has been shaken up a bit, she decides to go find the girl she left behind.Chelsea was almost unbearable when this book started. So much so I didn't actually want to continue reading it if she didn't start to change her tune. But almost as soon as you're annoyed by her, she starts on her journey of self-discovery and healing. Also, can I just say how difficult it is to read about people travelling right now when we're all trapped wherever we are because of this virus? Jenn McKinlay writes an adventure that I'd love to just book a trip for immediately. I only wish it described what she was seeing more. Italy stole my heart though and of course, it's where we see everything come together.Honestly, I wish I could give this five stars but I do think it was missing a little something here and there to fill out the story to the best it could've been. I did really love it though and I definitely would revisit this author's work.Thank you Netgalley and Berkley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!!
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  • Kristin
    January 1, 1970
    Sometimes you just need to read a book to remind you that what we think we want is not what we want at all, and that sometimes what we want is exactly what we don't need. Chelsea lost her mom to cancer 7 years previously and is surprised with the news that her dad is remarrying a woman who won him at an auction only two weeks before. Chelsea is not happy about the marriage, and her family keeps saying that she has changed and not moved forward since her mother's death. This makes her decide to r Sometimes you just need to read a book to remind you that what we think we want is not what we want at all, and that sometimes what we want is exactly what we don't need. Chelsea lost her mom to cancer 7 years previously and is surprised with the news that her dad is remarrying a woman who won him at an auction only two weeks before. Chelsea is not happy about the marriage, and her family keeps saying that she has changed and not moved forward since her mother's death. This makes her decide to redo her before-college trip through Europe in hopes of meeting up with each of three men she fell in love with on the trip. But as the trip progresses, she learns the men aren't the same as they were--and neither is she. This book was cute, funny, and made me emotional, and I loved every minute of it! Thank you Penguin Random House for the advanced copy.
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  • Audrey
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsA thoroughly enjoyable read about a woman who seeks to find the happy girl she used to be. What seems to be a second chances, is not only enemies to lovers but also about grief and how to shift grief to start living again. It was great to travel (and eat) vicariously with these characters.The one issue I had with is how Chelsea's dad met his future wife. They met when he was being auctioned off for charity and the woman bid on him. This was just distasteful to me, since it makes light o 3.5 starsA thoroughly enjoyable read about a woman who seeks to find the happy girl she used to be. What seems to be a second chances, is not only enemies to lovers but also about grief and how to shift grief to start living again. It was great to travel (and eat) vicariously with these characters.The one issue I had with is how Chelsea's dad met his future wife. They met when he was being auctioned off for charity and the woman bid on him. This was just distasteful to me, since it makes light of when the enslaved were auctioned and bidding wars ensued. The author could have this couple meet in a different way, even with a charity.I received an arc from the publisher but all opinions are my own.
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  • Adah
    January 1, 1970
    I was conflicted about how I felt while reading this book. It was very predictable and the beginning felt completely unrealistic.Chelsea, the main character, is very closed off and a bit of a workaholic. Ever since her mother died she has seemed to stop living her own life, and when her father wants to get remarried she gets upset. This is understandable, however I struggled with the inconsistencies in her character. After one quick conversation with her sister she has decided she agrees she has I was conflicted about how I felt while reading this book. It was very predictable and the beginning felt completely unrealistic.Chelsea, the main character, is very closed off and a bit of a workaholic. Ever since her mother died she has seemed to stop living her own life, and when her father wants to get remarried she gets upset. This is understandable, however I struggled with the inconsistencies in her character. After one quick conversation with her sister she has decided she agrees she hasn’t lived or laughed or loved in 7 years and the last place she did was galavanting through Europe after college graduation so it is perfectly realistic that this stubborn, closed off, strong woman would give everything at work up to travel the world again in some reliving of her past to visit old flames... it just doesn’t fit her character. She didn’t fight it, she wasn’t stubborn enough, her character needed more to get from the beginning of the book to her being in Ireland. It just didn’t fit for me.After I got over that I loved the book. It was beautiful reading about Ireland and making new friends while opening up. There is of course the rival back home at work who she hates but randomly FaceTimes every night of her trip that totally makes sense? But it is sweet especially when he shows up in the city of love, Paris for a work meeting with Chelsea and a potential donor. As they travel and woo a client, they begin to open up about their losses and woo eachother. It’s romantic, it’s sweet, and it’s wonderful traveling the world from my couch!I think this romance has a few plot holes and inconsistencies but was sweet and so enjoyable to read! I loved how Chelsea realizes she can’t become who she was before loss and she can’t shove her emotions down. She is beautiful as she is, stronger for what she has lost and she shouldn’t try to change that. It reminds me of that picture of a bowl with cracks and they fill the cracks with gold to make the imperfections the focus of beauty in the bowl. That’s what loss and trauma do to people and yes it is ugly and difficult and horrible, but it shapes who you are as a person and makes you stronger.My six word review: Full of lessons and European men
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  • Kate Grand {A Grand Romance}
    January 1, 1970
    This big-hearted romance takes you around the world and right back homeWRITING STYLE: 4/5PLOT: 4/5WORLD-BUILDING: 5/5CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT: 5/5ROMANCE: 3.5/5 (slow burn)HEAT: 3.5/5 Publish date: July 21, 2020In Jenn McKinlay’s romantic comedy, “Paris Is Always A Good Idea”, heroine Chelsea Martin is a bit uptight, which her handsome work rival, Jason Knightley will gladly tell you. She’s been a bit uptight since she returned home from her gap year abruptly because her mother was suddenly diagnos This big-hearted romance takes you around the world and right back homeWRITING STYLE: 4/5PLOT: 4/5WORLD-BUILDING: 5/5CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT: 5/5ROMANCE: 3.5/5 (slow burn)HEAT: 3.5/5 Publish date: July 21, 2020In Jenn McKinlay’s romantic comedy, “Paris Is Always A Good Idea”, heroine Chelsea Martin is a bit uptight, which her handsome work rival, Jason Knightley will gladly tell you. She’s been a bit uptight since she returned home from her gap year abruptly because her mother was suddenly diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. During the crazy summer of her gap year she had a succession of whirlwind romances on a sheep farm in Ireland, in the city of light: Paris, France and on a vineyard in Tuscany. After her mother sadly passed away Chelsea remains stuck: stuck in her job at the American Cancer Coalition, stuck in her grief, stuck in every aspect of her life down to what she wears and how she does her hair. Seven years later her father shocks her with the news that he is getting remarried after just two weeks of dating. Chelsea does not take this news well. In an attempt to find her “joy”, Chelsea takes a leave of absence from her job and decides to try to track down her old boyfriends to see if she can regain what she’s lost, a bit of the “old Chelsea” before her Mom died. What happens next is not exactly what Chelsea is expecting but it’s pretty funny. Things don’t go at all as she hoped and this turns into an Enemies-to-Friends-to-Lovers romance instead of a Second Chance romance. “Paris is Always A Good Idea” is a lovely travelogue in this time of sheltering in place and the romance is woven through the book fairly deftly if not a little according to trope. I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to fans of The Hating Game and Under the Tuscan Sun. A perfect antidote to Summer Blues. Description: “A thirty-year-old woman retraces her gap year through Ireland, France, and Italy to find love—and herself—in this hilarious and heartfelt novel.It’s been seven years since Chelsea Martin embarked on her yearlong post-college European adventure. Since then, she’s lost her mother to cancer and watched her sister marry twice, while Chelsea’s thrown herself into work, becoming one of the most talented fundraisers for the American Cancer Coalition, and with the exception of one annoyingly competent coworker, Jason Knightley, her status as most successful moneymaker is unquestioned.When her introverted mathematician father announces he’s getting remarried, Chelsea is forced to acknowledge that her life stopped after her mother died and that the last time she can remember being happy, in love, or enjoying her life was on her year abroad. Inspired to retrace her steps—to find Colin in Ireland, Jean Claude in France, and Marcelino in Italy—Chelsea hopes that one of these three men who stole her heart so many years ago can help her find it again.From the start of her journey nothing goes as planned, but as Chelsea reconnects with her old self, she also finds love in the very last place she expected.”Many thanks to Edelweiss, Berkley and Jenn McKinlay for an ARC in exchange for an honest book review of “Paris Is Always A Good Idea”. My thoughts and opinions are 100% my own and independent of receiving an advance copy.
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  • Paige Hadley
    January 1, 1970
    McKinlay stays true to her storytelling gift in providing her readers with plenty of humor and lots of wit, while also exemplifying the journey many of us take when trying to overcome the self-doubt and confusion that often comes alongside true grief. Her characters are always relatable and ones that you wish you could be friends with. She has the amazing ability to create true romantic chemistry, making you entirely invested into their stories. McKinlay’s ability to draw you into the characters McKinlay stays true to her storytelling gift in providing her readers with plenty of humor and lots of wit, while also exemplifying the journey many of us take when trying to overcome the self-doubt and confusion that often comes alongside true grief. Her characters are always relatable and ones that you wish you could be friends with. She has the amazing ability to create true romantic chemistry, making you entirely invested into their stories. McKinlay’s ability to draw you into the characters’ thoughts and lives are unparalleled and keep you wanting more and more long after the story ends! I have loved every novel by Jenn McKinlay and Paris is Always a Good Idea definitely did not disappoint!!
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  • Kylie
    January 1, 1970
    I was provided a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.This book was so enjoyable. I love books about travel and this totally hit the spot.At the beginning of the book, Chelsea is totally mortified that her father wants to remarry after knowing his fiancee for 2 weeks. I totally agreed, hasn't he seen Frozen? Chelsea's reaction to that was the perfect way to kind of introduce how the book is going to play out. It showed how the grief over her mother's death had kept h I was provided a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.This book was so enjoyable. I love books about travel and this totally hit the spot.At the beginning of the book, Chelsea is totally mortified that her father wants to remarry after knowing his fiancee for 2 weeks. I totally agreed, hasn't he seen Frozen? Chelsea's reaction to that was the perfect way to kind of introduce how the book is going to play out. It showed how the grief over her mother's death had kept her in a kind of bubble for 7 years.I loved the idea of her revisiting the places she went in her gap year, but I kind of wish that she didn't have an ex in all the places she planned on visiting. It kind of made her journey seem more like she was kind of trying to learn how to have a boyfriend again instead of loving herself. She didn't find love in all the places she went in her original gap year, and it would have been nice to visit at least one place in the current time where she didn't have a guy she was hoping to reconnect with.That being said, I did enjoy her mishap filled adventures with all 3 of them. They were all very different and I found myself laughing and wanting to punch something, a whole range of emotions. Out of the 3, I think Colin was my favorite, but I won't say why. The attempts at romance weren't the only good parts of this book. The in betweens were almost more enjoyable to me because I loved reading about the different places Chelsea managed to go. The wedding in Ireland, going out with Zoe in Paris, touring the vineyards in Italy. It was nice to have a good mix of boys and fun.I knew who she was going to end up with from the very beginning, but that didn't take away anything from the story. It was such a nice slow burn and it wasn't easy. I really liked how everything played out with them.With travel being all but banned right now, it was so nice to escape into this book and imagine myself in these European countries I hope to one day visit myself, or go back to (Paris).
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  • Christie Conlee
    January 1, 1970
    My heart! What a way to break into the world of women's fiction for Jenn McKinlay! 'Paris is Always a Good Idea' is hands down my favorite read of 2020 as McKinlay brought in all the feels, laughter, and magic we've come to experience with her novels. This story is touching, laugh out loud hilarious, and full of unforgettable characters you'll be hard pressed to let go of. I HIGHLY recommend you pick up 'Paris Is Always a Good Idea', because in this case, it definitely is! ENJOY!
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