Title: The Little Bookshop on the Seine
Author: Rebecca Raisin
Genre: Romance, Holiday
Published On: January 7, 2020
Synopsis: It’s The Holiday on the Champs-Élysées in a great big love letter to Paris, charming old bookstores and happily-ever-afters!
When bookshop owner Sarah Smith is offered the opportunity for a job exchange with her Parisian friend Sophie, saying yes is a no-brainer—after all, what kind of romantic would turn down six months in Paris? Sarah is sure she’s in for the experience of a lifetime—days spent surrounded by literature in a gorgeous bookshop, and the chance to watch the snow fall on the Eiffel Tower. Plus, now she can meet up with her journalist boyfriend, Ridge, when his job takes him around the globe.
But her expectations cool faster than her café au lait soon after she lands in the City of Light—she’s a fish out of water in Paris. The customers are rude, her new coworkers suspicious and her relationship with Ridge has been reduced to a long-distance game of phone tag, leaving Sarah to wonder if he’ll ever put her first over his busy career. As Christmas approaches, Sarah is determined to get the shop—and her life—back in order…and make her dreams of a Parisian happily-ever-after come true.
The Little Bookshop on the Seine is a sweet story about friendship, pushing beyond comfort zones, and making dreams come true. I had every intention of reading this one over the Christmas holidays, but I wasn’t able to get to it. I also began this book unaware that the characters–Sarah Smith, the owner of a bookshop in a small town in Connecticut, and her beau, Ridge Warner–were introduced in another book by Rebecca Raisin, The Bookshop on the Corner, a book that covered their meeting and romance. I liked Sarah from the beginning. What book lover wouldn’t? She loves her bookshop, her books, her friends, and Ridge. Maybe in that order. But I couldn’t help feeling that I was missing so much about her story having not read the first book. For instance, I didn’t really like Ridge. He seemed schmaltzy and too good to be true, but this story really isn’t about romance and it took me a few chapters to figure that out.
Once Sarah switches bookshops with her Parisian friend, the story takes off. The reader gets to experience Paris for the first time through Sarah’s eyes, and it is just how it should be, beautiful and overwhelming. I enjoyed that things didn’t go smoothly for Sarah and she struggled with the Parisian bookshop, Once Upon a Time, which was very different from her small, quiet bookshop in America. I appreciated that she had to grow, rely on herself, and trust her instincts. Romance is actually not the focus of this book, which was at first confusing, but then refreshing.
While I did enjoy Sarah and her story, there were side characters that were flat and inconsistent. It felt a bit like the book had been rushed and still needed a good editing. But it did make me want to visit Paris immediately. And pick up The Bookshop on the Corner to see if my opinion of Ridge would change. I would recommend this quick read if you’re looking for something light on romance and heavy on the Parisian atmosphere, which makes it a perfect read for the holidays, too.
Thank you to the publisher, Harlequin, for providing me an advance copy through Netgalley.
Rating: (3.3 / 5)
Have you read The Little Bookshop on the Seine? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!