My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Kate Mercier lost both of her parents in a car crash and, wracked with grief, goes to live with her grandparents in Paris. There, she meets Vincent – the most handsome and enigmatic boy she has ever seen.
But Vincent hides a secret – something that could break Kate and Vincent’s fledgling relationship apart. Can Kate take a chance and risk her heart again when she knows what Vincent is and the destiny he can’t deny?
This is just the sort of book I go for (clearly, as I chose it in the bookshop), but I think I need a flag that shoots up in my mind whenever I see a prologue. A selection of authors seem to see the prologue device as a way to say to the reader: something good is coming; you just need to wait several chapters for it. It happened to me with Fallen and this book followed the same path.
Several times, at the beginning, I almost gave up on the book. It takes a while to go anywhere. When it does start to go somewhere and get interesting, it’s only for a moment, and then we’re back to walking-pace again – following Kate around cafes while she wallows in grief for perhaps longer than I might expect a book to concentrate on it.
Finally, about half-way through, something starts to happen, and then the author keeps up the pace. If I’d started here, I might have given the book extra points.
I found it an enjoyable story, although it took me a while to warm to Vincent. His first lines were not particularly endearing, although he seemed to have an explanation for that later, which made me give him a second chance. Kate is understandably vulnerable, and not particularly strong, although this strength builds through the story, until, at the end, she earns her stripes.
There were certain sections that lacked logic (why, if no one wanted her to go wandering through the house, did the housekeeper decide not to bring the tea? And no one ever questions this! I thought the least Kate could do in her defence was bring up that little fact), but the author does weave plot strands into the narrative nicely. There’s no villain appearing all of a sudden three chapters away from the end, without so much as a mention before.
The romance is very sweet, but not overdone, and the supporting characters are all given decent reading-time, allowing the reader to get to know them. Both Jules and Ambrose stood out as two of my favourites.
In summary, decent story, good characterisation, nicely plotted (when it got going), and a romance that interweaves the theme of the story – dealing with loss and learning to love again in spite of the risk to your heart.
But it could still do with losing several thousand words.