We've all been in this situation, right? Everything is ideal: the right guy, with a private jet he's put at our disposal, some time together in Paris (even if it is while chaperoning a bunch of too-smart-for-their-own-good high school kids), and the knowledge that this guy is THE ONE for you. So what's the problem? You. That's the problem.
Chaperoning Paris, a new contemporary romance by Victoria Pinder, tackles one of the most common, but least discussed, obstacles to true love. The inner obstacles. The "I'm not good-enough-for-you" obstacles. The "I know you will never forgive me when you find out what I did" obstacles.
Chaperoning Paris is a great roller coaster ride where almost all the conflict is inside the main character's head. Of course, the past is never quite as we remember it, and even if we remember it correctly, we never have all the facts. The unraveling of What Really Happened makes the latter third of Chaperoning Paris read almost like a suspense novel. Unfortunately a lot of that juicy action happens in flashback or is revealed by investigators. There is a trio of villains that separate between the lovers, and spoil the lover's happiness. But we only meet one of them "on page" and then only for a moment. The plotting was intricate but I did wish more of it had been played out.
What brings the lovers to Paris is an American group of High Schoolers that have been invited to participate in an international competition because they speak French so well. These are the most charming group of kids you could ever hope to meet, with just the right mix of sweetness, mischief, pranking and trouble. My only regret is that we didn't spend more time with them.
This book has one of the most satisfying openings I've ever read. The hero has been fired by the school after he gets a cancer diagnosis. A year later, his cancer in remission, he goes back and buys the school, then personally walks in and fires the guy who fired him. I know that's a total fantasy—but I loved it!
Disclaimer: My review is based on an ARC copy supplied by the author. The ARC had a lot of typos, but a quick check of the opening of the published version looks much better.