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Abandoned by Booklikes

Government drone by day and book lover and geek girl by night!

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Somewhat Boring Romance

The Little Bookshop on the Seine (The Little Paris Collection #1) - Rebecca Raisin

Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.

So this was just a so-so romance read. I usually am all over Christmas romance books, but this one was pretty lackluster. The heroine (Sarah Smith) is a doormat for a good 3/4 of this book. And it didn't help that Raisin threw in a side plot dealing with letters that were left behind that added nothing to the story. I think the main problem is that the book at first reads as if this is a second book in a romance series. We hear very little details about Sarah's romance or her friends in Ashford because the author acts like readers should already know. I think that is what ultimately threw me for a loop while reading this. Since this is book one in this romance series, it's a shame that there was not more backstory added before moving the setting to Paris. 


"The Little Bookshop on the Seine" follows bookstore owner Sarah Smith. Sarah lives in the town of Ashford and loves her bookstore. Business is slow though and now that her roving reporter boyfriend Ridge is dashing about trying to nail news stories, she feels stuck. When her friend Sophie asks about switching lives and jobs for six months due to a romance gone wrong, Sarah initially hesitates, but then jumps at the chance. Six months to be in Paris and to have romantic days and nights with Ridge is too much to resist. Of course nothing goes right, and Sarah wonders if switching her job and life for six months was a bad idea.


As I said above, Sarah is a doormat. I was hoping that Raisin was going to have some magical realism elements due to at the beginning of the book she mentions how books "talk" to Sarah and how Sarah is able to pick up what books suit a potential owner. We don't unfortunately get a lot of details about her romance with Ridge besides him calling her and trying to talk to her about what underwear is she wearing at any given time. I was actually pretty disappointed with this romance, it just didn't seem to be more than them having sex with each other in between times when Ridge was traveling. 

Sarah is also not a great boss. The workers at the bookshop she encounters she is scared to really deal with for a long long time in the book. Money goes missing along with a rare book and Sarah is scared she's going to cost Sophie her business. I just got tired of reading about it again and again. Sarah was overworked and tired through most of this book. It's broken up here and there by her going out in Paris, but not by much. I was pretty disappointed we didn't get more scenes of her exploring Paris and all that it had to offer.

The secondary characters are barely developed I thought. We had a bookshop worker Oceane (I think that was her name) that seemed way too good to be true. And then Sarah had to deal with a nasty one named Beatrice that she is too intimidated by most of the book.

Sarah also it seems barely talks to her friends or her mother back home. We just have her fretting about Ridge for most of the book when people ask her about where her "lover is". I am like Liz Lemon, the word lover bums me out.


The writing I thought needed to be tightened up. A lot. The book started to feel very repetitive. Also the months seemed to go by too fast and all of a sudden it was Christmas. The flow was just up and down. I think adding in that side-plot of the letters that Sarah found and read with a random author she met added nothing to this book.


I already mentioned that this book reads as if it's the second in a romance series, and it does. The author acts as if you should know who everyone is and how Sarah met Ridge, etc. It got aggravating after a while. I felt like I missed a prequel or something. When I went investigating I found that the stand-alone book about Sarah before this was called "The Bookshop on the Corner" and is the first book in that series called "Bookshop." I don't know why Raisin spun off this character from the other series for this new one, but it just doesn't work for me. 

The setting of Paris at times was well done, but this book could have taken place anywhere after a while since most of the book takes place in the bookshop and has Sarah dealing with nasty customers and/or workers in the store. I needed something uplifting to read about. Heck, go explore the countryside, get some wine, something. When I get more of an experience of Paris by watching the Highlander series, the author has gone way off track. 

The ending just kind of plops down and everyone gets a Happily Ever After. 


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