The Little Bookshop on the Seine by Rebecca Raisin is the first book in The Little Paris Collection. Sarah Smith owns The Bookshop on the Corner in Ashford. Her friend, Sophie, owns Once Upon a Time in Paris on the bank of the Seine, contacts Sarah in distress. Her boyfriend has dumped her for the owner of the fromagerie next door and Sophie needs to get away. She suggests they trade places for six months. Sarah is a homebody and introvert who would normally never consider leaving her beloved bookshop. However, she has felt like she is stuck in a rut and agrees to trade places. Sarah has an idealized image of Paris in her mind which quickly vanishes after incurring crowds, long days, rude customers and belligerent employees. Sophie’s bookshop is nothing like Sarah’s quiet and cozy bookstore. Sarah finds the store overwhelming and encounters one problem after another. Another downside is she rarely gets to see or talk to her boyfriend and freelance reporter, Ridge Warner. Can Sarah find a way to turn the situation at the shop around? The Little Bookshop on the Seine is a lighthearted romantic comedy. I could relate to the quiet and timid Sarah who considers the books in the shop her children. She has a special connection with the books and manages to find the right book for each customer. From reading so many books, Sarah has a special view of Paris. Unfortunately, Sarah’s rose colored glasses soon fall away. Paris is a bustling city which Sarah is not used to after sleepy Ashford. Sarah needs to find her inner strength if she to survive her stay in Paris managing Sophie’s bookstore. I enjoyed the transformation of Sarah and the employees. We see what secrets can do to a person and how revealing the truth can be good for the individual as well as those her. Sarah’s happiness at decorating the bookshop for the holidays is contagious. The author’s descriptions brought the city of light alive for me. I thought she really captured the city and its atmosphere. The Bookshop on the Corner is a prequel to The Little Bookshop on the Seine. It tells the story of how Sarah and Ridge met. I suggest you read it first because it provides needed background information. I thought The Little Bookshop on the Seine was an uplifting story. If you like to read feel-good holiday story, then you will be delighted with The Little Bookshop on the Seine.
Sarah owns a little bookshop that is struggling – but she’s happy to spend her days reading and chatting with her friends from the café across the street, dreaming of her ‘not seen frequently enough’ boyfriend Ridge and her worries about keeping her shop viable. She’s a bookworm in all the best senses of the word – loves her books like people, makes friends with them, would rather read in than go out, and has her favorites that cause her a physical ache when she can’t lay her hands on them. But, things aren’t all good, especially not when she hears from her friend Sophie in Paris. She and Sophie have bonded over reading and the love of books, feeling that the written word is one to be cherished and honored – no matter what others may think. But Sophie’s relationship has dissolved in spectacular fashion, with her man moving on to another woman in the shop next door, and announcing their relationship to the world. Sophie needs out – but can’t leave her shop without a manager – and Sarah has always talked about the romance of Paris and her desire to visit. Simple solution – pack up and trade spaces – leaving Sarah in charge of Sophie’s store in Paris – with all of the associated glamor and tourist opportunities, while Sophie comes to her little town and works in Sarah’s shop. Arriving in Paris, totally befuddled and unused to the hustle and bustle of the city, not to mention her first real trip away from home, Sarah is stunned to find a less than welcoming atmosphere in the shop, with crowds, lines and a very ‘unique’ organization of employees, part timers, hangers on and more than a bit of “French” brusqueness. The staff don’t listen to her apologetic suggestions of what needs to change, they openly challenge or ignore her, and where she hoped for time to be a tourist and wander the city are shelved for spreadsheets, balancing the books and reporting on the operations of the shop to Sophie on a regular basis. It’s going to take some doing for Sarah to find her feet and make the adjustments needed, all while sales are flagging and money is missing from the till. It doesn’t help that Ridge, who was supposed to be there keeps putting off his visits all while his phone goes ignored, or worse, answered by some woman. From the struggles both with organization and against the “French Way” of doing things, to battles with staff and worries about sales, it will take some serious determination on Sarah’s part, along with some growth, to make a real go of her time in Paris, and when she finally finds that balance between “boss’ and “operations’ with the actual people and the chaos the ‘workers’ create with doing what she came to do, without apologizing, and a famous named author being a regular in a small upstairs room who has a sympathetic ear and a solid sense of humor – the story moves forward without dwelling too much on the struggles of small indie stores and the challenges of changing countries on almost a whim with a readable tale with a heroine that is easy to enjoy, as she muddles through trying to keep her head up and moving forward. This was a fun story that provided an escape to Paris, with it’s unique draw, and the connection to a character that will be a favorite for many booklovers out there. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Tis the season for cheesy Christmas romances but hey I love Hallmark movies so this should be easy. Well it's a little painful with all of the side stories and with the h herself being well let's just say easy to walk over. There's plenty going on and this could have been an amazing read especially with the changes and growth in the h as she went from woe is me to I got this and took control. Either way there's just too much distracting and taking away from what could have been good and then not enough of the glue to make it work at least for me. The wonderful thing about books is that we all see something different and while this didn't work for me doesn't mean it wont work for you.