Who doesn’t enjoy reading about a wedding? Especially one in Paris? Or the romantic city of Paris as you all felt compelled to repeat several times in each story just to make sure we got it. I got it though I did wonder if some French board of tourism had bribed you all to say it so many times in order to sweeten the city’s image.
Ms. Bretton you get us started in “We’ll Always Have Paris” with an older couple, the parents of the bride, who already know each other from long marriage that’s gone sour and are a week from signing the divorce papers. I find plots with couples who already know each other work better for me if a HEA is included in the story because the resolution of the love problem can be handled efficiently and believably in such a short story. But the reason for the estrangement needs to be a good one. I thought the reasons behind what caused them to decide to divorce were rather vague. It seems like all they needed was a good, long talk which then made me wonder why they’d never just sat down and had this discussion before? Maybe if they’d merely been going through the motions in their marriage and it was this opportunity which revitalized it I’d have bought their story better. C+
Ms. Ferrarella you also give us a couple who know each other from before but thankfully the story ends with them deciding to date rather than headed directly for the aisle, do not pass go, do not collect $200. I liked the idea of two people who haven’t seen each other since their teenage years being thrown together and seeing how much they’d changed. The bride’s sister stays pretty consistent throughout the story but the best man didn’t seem to match the description given by his supposed best friend, the groom, nor the book’s blurb. Is he the cad mentioned or the nice guy we see during the story? But at least they talk out what they think is keeping them apart rather than storming off and heading towards a Big Mis. B-
Ms. Myers– this one has the only real angst for any character and it’s the hero and at the end, you seem to, if not wrap it up, sort of dismiss all the pain the hero went through for years and years. Daddy left, took all their money, his mother had to work her fingers off to support them both, daddy breezes in every few years and seems to make an ass of himself (this is the impression I got from what you wrote) then disappears. Then all his fourth wife has to say is we’re take dancing lessons together and he saves all your magazine photos and – presto!- the hero starts to melt. WTF? The heroine is cute but why does she feel it’s any of her business to butt in and offer the hero any advice about his relationship with his father? She’s just met him and doesn’t even really know the hero much less the complexities of his decades old relationship problems with dear papa. I did like the scenes of her taking the hero through her favorite spots in Paris and like the fact that even though we get “I love you’s” very quickly, it seems like this couple will take their time getting to know each other. C+
One thing though. I did wonder about how planned out this wedding was. I mean from the mix up with the number of hotel rooms (and really, wouldn’t someone take the effort to make sure there’s enough space for everyone to have a place to sleep *before* they all got on the plane over from New York?), to the last minute scouting for a bachelor/bachelorette party this wedding sounded thrown together. Really not something I’d want to travel to a different continent to do. And what is this about importing a pastry chef to France? That’s like telling Michaelangelo, “thanks for getting started on those paintings but we’ll finish out the Sistine chapel from here.” And importing a band as well? Why not save a whole hell of a lot of money and just have the wedding in New York? Plus, hate to tell anyone who’s got starry eyed ideas of copying this scenario but according to my source who’s gotten married twice herself in France, they can just hang it up — there are all kinds of requirements in France about getting married and no one — not even French nationals — can just waltz in a week before the ceremony and expect it to be legal. Oh, and you must have the Civil ceremony first or it’s not legal in France and therefore not in the US either. But I will say this for the book, it’s a nice, breezy beach read and I appreciate how well you three coordinated all the facts and characters and tone of the stories.