Friday, March 26, 2010

Book Review: Summer in Paris by Michele Ashman Bell

Before I say anything about Michele or this book, I need to toss my disclaimer in here. Michele and I are both being published by Valor Publishing Group and I received a copy of her book to do this review. That in no way affects my opinion of this book. I've been in enough critique groups over the years, that I know how to be honest, even when it's for people I know.

Now that we have that out of the way, let me tell you something else. I love Michele. She is one of the kindest, most friendly and encouraging authors I know, and in fact, was the FIRST author I ever met, so I've loved her AND her stories for a very long time.

The first time we met was at a Covenant Murder Mystery Dinner about seven or eight years ago and I had yet to finish a book. She pulled me out of my shell, and by the end of the evening I was giving free massages to the authors (I was a licensed massage therapist). No, I didn't have my massage table with me! Sheesh, what are you thinking, people?! It was just a shoulder rub . . . until I got to a certain author *cough*robisonwells*cough* at which point his wife asked me what I was doing and the back rubs stopped. It was innocent, really, but suddenly I realized how it looked, and I was about as embarrassed as I've ever been.

At that same meeting, sweet, kind, Michele, without having ever seen any of my writing, told me I could finish and be a great writer. I needed to hear that. I'd had some experiences that had shot all my confidence and I needed somebody to believe in me and the person who built me up again was this lovely woman.

Now, again, just because I admire the heck out of Michele, does not mean I am going to be partial in my comments on her book. Nor is the fact that she witnessed one of my most embarrassing moments going to force me into saying things I don't mean just to prevent her from telling the world about the Robison Wells non-event. Though, since I just shared it with all of you, I guess it's out there for the world now, isn't it. lol

So, in all fairness, here is what I thought of the book.

First: I love the cover. It has absolutely nothing to do with her writing, but there's just something about it that resonates with me, so way to go Cash Case, artist extraordinaire!

Second: I didn't expect to like this book. I'm not a big romance or teen angst kind of fan, and this book struck me as both. I prejudged it. Shame on me.

Third: This book freakin' ROCKED!!! I loved Kenzie's character and plight. I love the situations she gets herself into. And I love the genuine heartache she feels at her loss of everything that was important to her. Most of all, I LOVED the ending. It resolved beautifully and completely for me.

I've had other favorites of Michele's. Modest Proposal. Without a Flaw. But, Summer in Paris has become my favorite of all her books. Way to go, Michele!

Book Blurb:
Kenzie Williams feels like she has it all; wealth, friends, popularity and talent. But when her father tells her that he has declared bankruptcy, her whole world in New York City turns upside down. Her parents' solution while they sort through their financial and marital problems is to send Kenzie to live with her relatives in Paris . . . Idaho!

Feeling like she's been sentenced to three months in Hickville Prison, Kenzie arrives in Idaho feeling like a square peg, with name brand clothes, in a round, horribly podunk, hole.

Leaving everything she loves behind, Kenzie is forced to get up at the crack of dawn, do chores, and hang out with her cousin's loser friends. She feels like she's about to die until she meets Adam White, the town outcast, whose been accused of killing his best friend and is being blamed for some trouble that's been happening around town.

Not only is Adam the best-looking guy she's ever seen, but he's also the most fascinating guy she's ever met and Kenzie is determined to get to know him and find out his secret. But, the longer she stays in Paris, the more she realizes, Adam isn't the only one keeping secrets.

Purchasing Info:

Price: $14.95 $13.46
Publisher: Valor Publishing Group, LLC (March 16, 2010)
Genre: YA Coming of Age/Romance
Binding: Trade Paperback
Pages: 210
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-1-935546-17-7
Product Dimensions: 6 x 9 inches



giddymomof6 said...

Okay... so I CAN'T wait to read this book! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! As to the embarrassing moment--ahem--*giggles uncontrollably (sp?)* Let's just say I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds herself in trouble from time to time! LOL! Though you do crack me up!


Mama Zen said...

This sounds really good!

Michele Ashman Bell said...

I could fill this whole comment box with words of thanks for your review, but I will just be gracious and say . . . AHHHHH! Thank you for a rockin' review!
And, I thought what happened at the Murder Mystery Dinners stayed at the Murder Mystery Dinners (blonde, black and red wigs included).
Karen, if I had gave you even a smidgeon of help in becoming the amazing author you are, I am grateful. It is a pleasure to know you and I look forward to the greatness that is ahead for you!

L.T. Elliot said...

Ooh. That makes me that much more excited to read this. I've liked Michelle's books for a long time so I was already eager to read this but I'm glad to hear it was better than you expected. =]