What first captured my interest in this book was the description, specifically: “But romance is in the air and a beautiful, sunshine filled trip to France changes everything for Gina and Matthew.” Maybe I blew this short sentence out of proportion in my head, but for it to be mentioned in the blurb, I was expecting a good section of the book to take place in France. (I think the cover also lends credence to my belief.) I think I was overly hung up on this fact while reading the book. It irritated me (maybe irrationally) that they were only in France for one chapter. I was expecting more. I just couldn’t understand why the book was named the “French Affair” (hint: it’s because the antique house where Gina and Sally inherit a booth is called “The French House.” Why, I have no clear idea still.)
Maybe it would be easier to list a few things I was dissatisfied with:
- While being promoted as a “feel good summer romance,” the book takes place primarily in fall/winter. Personally, I felt it would be better to promote this as a good holiday romance around Christmas time.
- Matthew was a cold fish at times, then would do 180 in personality. That being said, I did like him, I think his character could have been flushed out more.
- Gina was too pushy for my tastes. I appreciate where she was coming from in terms of PR for The French House—I even agree—but the way she went about it kind of irritated me.
- Nothing is resolved between Gina and her ex-boyfriend. She sees him in town at another ladies shop (they might be an item) and Gina spends a bit of time worrying about what he is doing in town, and saying that she doesn’t care that he is in town. Someone doth protest too much!
Now that we’ve got the negative out of the way, on to the positive! (It’s always best to end on a good note, don’t you think?)
The story was charming, discounting everything above. I did enjoy seeing Gina and Matthew falling in love when they were both least expecting to fall in love. They had both had bad romances with their previous partners, so they weren’t looking for love. Far from it. But the more they worked together, the more they were attracted to each other. The writing is enjoyable, and does let you escape into this world of antiques and romance.
I think if you go into this book aware of its faults, you will enjoy it. I was too distracted by my issues listed above to fully enjoy this book.
My Rating: 3/5 stars
* I received an arc via Netgalley from Bookouture. Thank you!