I’m predicting at least for the month of April, most of my reviews will be in this genre. All For You is the first book of the Paris Nights series by Laura Florand!
I am reading a few books consecutively at the same time…but I find romance to be the more relaxing read for me at the moment! So without further ado lets dive into this review shall we?
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published Date: May 5th 2015
Publisher: Laura Florand
Some crushes aren’t meant to be
When her older brother’s best friend left to join the Foreign Legion, eighteen-year-old Célie moved on to make a life for herself as a Paris chocolatier. Now, five years later, the last thing she needs is another man to mess up her happiness.
Let alone the same man.
But five years in the Foreign Legion is a long time for a man to grow up, and a long time to be away from the woman he loves.
Especially when he did it all for her.
Half strangers, more than friends, and maybe, if Joss Castel has his way, a second chance…This is going to be a difficult review for me to write, I absolutely love Laura Florand’s work but this time the story did not work for me. The book would have worked much better if it were shorter, as a novella.
Let me start with what did work for me! The writing! As always, Laura’s writing is absolutely descriptive to the point you can’t help but see the Eiffel Tower from your own window. There were many beautiful scenes and many exchanges which I wish I could highlight here, but there are just way too many, but let me share a few gems below…
“Parc de Belleville […] built on a hill in the old immigrants’ quater of Paris where a little patch of a vineyard could still be found and children played in waterfalls built into the slope, and a view of Paris spread out below it…”
There is also…
“Diamonds were insistent and demanding, even burdensome, like an investment against some return. This…this was pure sweet. That sweetness of a quiet thought. I was going about my day, and I saw this, and it made me happy to bring it to you.“
There is also how Joss describes Célie, which was absolutely beautiful”
“You’re like the Eiffel Tower. You don’t even notice all the rain and the cold and the gray skies, you just sparkle away and refuse to let them put you out.”
The imagery she is able to put on page is absolutely beautiful!
There is also the childhood crushes! I have a soft spot for these types of story lines – of falling in love with someone you’ve always known and continue to find more to learn about them even through adulthood is one of my favorite romance tropes. Célie and Joss definitely produces the sort of sweetness you want to believe in, where true love will last through years and perseverance, despite separation and distance.
“You don’t have to be perfect for me […] I’ve always loved you just the way you were.”
I also like how Célie loves Joss no matter what happens, that she has always loved him for who he was, and that she didn’t need a perfect man for he was always perfect to her. Just that made me smile and warm all over.
“I know how crappy it is to be a princess in a tower. Now I want someone who will include me. I’m not very good at waiting up in my tower for the prince to get back. I want to be part of the life I live. And of the life you live, too.”
The message the story delivers is a really good one, about how a couple should grow and learn to communicate with one another in order for a relationship to work, instead of just making one sided assumptions about what the other needs. There is also the importance of working together towards their goals, as a couple. These are really good message towards building a healthy relationship.
What didn’t work for me was the repetitiveness: The couple just kept going around in circles; there was Joss who keeps repeating how every decision he’s made were due to Célie, in order to be worthy of her, repeating how tough the Foreign Legion was and how he manned up for her, and then there was Célie, who kept justifying her success as a chocolatier, and the repetitiveness of her abandonment issues with Joss.I really could have done with less of that.
Overall, it felt like nothing happens in the book, I didn’t think it really needed over 300 pages to finally get to the point, since most of it was the couple mulling about their issues and nothing of importance really happens. The story was sweet and romantic, and there were scenes which were definitely swoon-worthy, but as I mentioned above, it would have worked better as a novella. Sadly, this was not one of my favorite reads, I felt that her other series are much stronger and this turned out to be a less exciting spin off. Which is kinda disappointing since I know this series features female chefs – women in a male dominated arena, I guess I was looking for more oomph!
Would I recommend this? I’m on the fence about this one. While I wouldn’t want others to miss out on the beautiful writing, I somehow don’t think the repetition in the story would appeal to some. So I have to say, if you’re looking for a fluffy read, with a good healthy relationship message, this is it; whereas if you require action with ups and downs in the story this wouldn’t be the book for you.
Have you read the book? If you have, what did you think about it? Did you have the same issues I did about the book? Otherwise what did you love about it? If you’ve not, would this be something you’d pick up? Would love to know what you thought, looking forward to hearing from you!