Moonlight Over Paris by Jennifer Robson
Publication: William Morrow, January 19, 2016
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Free from publisher
Jaclyn and I have both read Somewhere in France, the first in the series. Jaclyn has read the second one, and this is the first one. We both have enjoyed Robson’s works, although Jaclyn more than I.
Sometimes a book just isn’t right for your state of mind/state of heart, so you don’t enjoy it, and sometimes it’s exactly the right time, and you can’t imagine anything better. Sometimes you pick up a book, don’t have any reason not to like it, but keep finding your gaze wandering to other books in your stack of 20 library books. Then, you pick it up a few weeks, months, or years later, and you can’t tear yourself away from that same book.
I could not put this book down. It’s a standard historical romance between high-class and low-class characters, with rebellion against society’s mores, and disguised identities. Helena, the jilted fiancee of one of the series’ earlier heroes, finally decides to take ownership of her life by joining her aunt in France for a year to take a Parisian art course. While there, she makes her first true friends, and meets a dashing American journalist. (Fascinatingly, his job is described as translating the telgram short-hand of the early 20s to make news articles out of incomplete words and sentences).
To be honest, my favorite element was probably the exploration of art. As Helena receives her first real training in art, the readers are treated to her discoveries, the techniques she learns, and her triumphs. Helena’s personal growth into a confident, independent woman who knows what she wants mostly depends on the things she learns about life and art in her class and in her friendships. As an occasional student of art, I found both of these things – the art, and her growth – to be compelling and utterly relatable.
The romance is very sweet, and the hero dashing, as well as conflicted. He and Helena both dance around secrets and truths about their lives and their pasts. They both just want to be “normal,” even though roots will always tell.
As with many romances, there’s a bit of silliness at the end, as the truths are revealed, feelings are hurt, and decisions are made. But if you’re reading historical romance, you probably don’t mind. In this case, I felt it was well done.
I really enjoyed this sweet and artistic historical fiction, and recommend it for readers of lighthearted romance. Downton Abbey fans will no doubt also find much to enjoy about this novel.
Want to start with the first book in the series? It’s called Somewhere in France. Click the cover image below to read our review. Our review also has other read-alikes that you might enjoy if you enjoyed this one.
In Blindspot, as in Moonlight Over Paris, art plays an important role. Both hero and heroine are talented artists in colonial America. Bonus: Heroine disguised as a man!