I’m really so delighted today to be joining the blog tour for Christmas Reunion in Paris by Liz Fielding: published by Mills & Boon/Harlequin, it’s now available for download for kindle from Amazon, via iBooks and Google, and for Nook and Kobo. The UK paperback was published on 13th October: check out your local Amazon, or the websites of Harlequin and Mills & Boon Australia, for paperback availability elsewhere. My thanks, as always, to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation and support, and to Mills & Boon for my advance reading copy.
Did you know that this – the first standalone book in a three-book mini series, Christmas at the Harrington Park Hotel – is Liz’s astounding 70th book published by Mills & Boon? Millions of readers – but I’m really quite ashamed that this is the first time I’ve tried her lovely writing. Actually, I’ll be really honest and say that I don’t think I’ve ever read a book published by Mills & Boon before – given the many excellent books they’ve been publishing lately (and undoubtedly have done for some time), it really was time for me to try one. I know I’ve mentioned before that I had the immense pleasure of meeting Liz when the Libertà ladies were kind enough to invite me as their guest at the RNA Awards back in early March: I was delighted when I noticed Rachel was running this tour, as I’ve wanted a reason to read one of her books for quite some time.
Let’s take a closer look…
With the one that got away!
Celebrity chef James Harrington never expected to find himself face-to-face with Chloe, his first love, again… Especially, with her working as a chambermaid at his luxury hotel! Their chemistry’s as strong as ever, but she’s hiding a secret. Can James convince Chloe that their love is worth taking a chance on – again?
And now I know why Liz Fielding’s writing is loved by so many. Just 166 Kindle pages, but this was a story packed with emotion, with wonderfully developed characters, a stunning and well drawn background, and the very finest of storytelling.
James has achieved the pinnacle of success as a chef with the family-owned Harrington Hotel, but his life has always been tinged with sadness since the loss of his first love Chloe. Forced apart by her family, he believed her to be lost to him forever – until a chance meeting at a Paris boutique hotel where she’s working as a chambermaid. She flees, but he tracks her down – and finds that her life has followed a very different trajectory from his own, with real sadness in the intervening years. They catch up on their past in a Paris setting they enjoy rediscovering together – who could fail to be enchanted by that at Christmas? – but their new relationship falters when he fails to realise that he is beginning to organise her life in the same way her father did, and that a different approach is needed.
There’s a considerable heat to the relationship immediately after their meeting – I hadn’t expected that, but I liked it very much. But I also very much enjoyed their more tentative approach to each other that followed – the more gentle courting, rediscovering each other and their former relationship, the tenderness and slow build as they come to terms with being very different people from their former selves. The background to their stories is superbly done too – their shared and separate histories, the issues that forced them apart, the family relationships that have shaped both their lives.
The story’s setting was everything I could possibly wish for, first Paris itself with its particular romantic magic (and all that wonderful food!), then a stay at the Chateau Bernier St-Fleury in the snow with their shared story taking a few more twists and turns and the addition of a few really well drawn supporting characters with their own stories.
I loved every moment of this book – the romance (oh, the romance!), the moments of sadness and conflict, the part played by family, the complex history, the glorious settings – and its ending was simply perfect. I’m so delighted I chose to read this book, discovered the author’s quite wonderful writing, and I’d unreservedly recommend the experience to others.
Although this book is entirely complete in itself and readable as a standalone, it is the first in a three-book mini series. The other two books – Their Royal Baby Gift by Kandy Shepherd and Stolen Kiss with her Billionaire Boss by Susan Meier – follow the stories of James’ family, the lives of his sister and brother against very different settings.
About the author
Best selling author, Liz Fielding worked as a secretary in Africa, the Middle East and the UK before writing full time. Her award winning books are published worldwide in multiple languages and she has more than 15 million books in print.
Katie Fforde wrote, when honouring her with the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Outstanding Achievement Award in 2019 said – “Liz Fielding’s books, with their warmth, humour and emotion, have charmed millions of readers. She is a true star of the romantic fiction genre…”