The Viscount of Maisons-Laffitte by Jennie Goutet
Hi guys! I won’t be online for most of this week (we’re going camping!), so there will be no posts Tuesday or Wednesday, and probably not Thursday either. We’ll see about Friday. Maybe an excerpt of The Lady of the Vineyard (which, by the way, I’ll be publishing September 10th of this year!), but we’ll see.
The Viscount of Maisons-Laffitte by Jennie Goutet
Is there such a thing as Prince Charming?
Chastity didn’t take a teaching job in France to find hers, but a woman can dream, n’est ce pas?
If the father of one of her students—the Viscount Charles Jean Anne Monorie de Brase—is the best local example of princes, Charming or Otherwise, Chastity is ready to put aside any thought of falling in love again.
As much as she would prefer him to keep his distance, it seems there is no avoiding each other. With the ongoing pressure of a repentant ex-boyfriend, a nefarious drug dealer, and an art heist that spans the decades, Chastity and the viscount are thrown together by circumstances she would soon rather forget.
As the intimacy between Charles and Chastity deepens, they must decide if their love is enough to bridge the gap between their disparate worlds, and if happily ever after can exist outside of fairy tales.
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Absolutely charming! Couldn’t put it down. A beautifully written romance with nice subplots of an art thief, a drug dealer, and a father reuniting with his son. It flowed naturally and gave me a nice weekend read. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Chastity is a single, American mom working in France as a high school teacher. Charles is a rich viscount with a teenage son who he barely knows.
When Chastity and Charles first meet, there’s a Pride-and-Prejudice-reminiscent thing going on between them. She’s the pert, overbearing schoolteacher; he’s the snobbish, gets-everything-he-wants-whenever-he-wants-it viscount. How could these two ever get together? Yet none-to-ideal circumstances throw them in each other’s paths again and again.
I liked Chastity a lot. Her motivations all made sense to me – I even emphasized with her at several points – and it was nice how her decisions usually didn’t drive me crazy (as in “NOOOOOO DON’T DO THAT!!!” … all us readers know the feeling!).
I liked Charles a lot, too … maybe even more than I liked Chastity! I also liked Chastity’s son, Thomas, although I found him a bit too mature … maybe a wee bit unbelievable?
Although I admit Alice is pretty mature for eight … The minor characters were great, too … I liked how some of the other teachers were so supporting of Chastity! Especially Maude.
As I’ve said before, the plot was wonderful! I sooooo did not see that twist at the end! I don’t know if that makes me an idiot (once it was revealed, I was like “*facepalm* Yesss, I knew that!!!”), but I didn’t see it coming! The subplots were also great, adding nicely to the main story.
The writing was mature in style (not as-in a ‘an adult wrote this so it must be mature’ … even adults can write immaturely … writing oftentimes doesn’t reflect on the person’s age at all!). Nice balance of description vs. action vs. dialogue. Maybe a little more description would have been nice (MORE FRANCE PLEASE!!!), but perhaps it would have drowned the story. Hmm. I don’t know.
The setting … well, it was France. I would have liked a little more on the setting. I got the idea that I was somewhere other than America, but other than that I didn’t get a good idea of where we were. Of course, I knew that the novel was set in France, but … a little bit of ‘world-building’ would have been nice.
Overall, a wonderful novel that I enjoyed for start to finish! Worth the read for lovers of romance, contemporary fiction, France, and … books in general. 😀
2.5/5, parental guidance suggested for preteens. Some drug use (next-to-no details, not glorified at all), a child (Thomas) was born out of wedlock (no details), some violence (no blood and gore, might creep out extremely, extremely sensitive people a little … though if it does, I reserve the right to call you a wuss). Overall, clean for high school teens.
4/5 stars. Adorable romance!
About the Author
Jennie Goutet is the author of romance novel, The Viscount of Maisons-Laffitte, as well as the award-winning memoir, Stars Upside Down, and the children’s book Happy People Everywhere. She is a contributing author to Sunshine After the Storm, and That’s Paris – an Anthology of Love, Life and Sarcasm in Paris. She was a BlogHer Voice of the Year pick three times, and her writing has appeared on Huffington Post, Queen Latifah’s website, Mamalode, BonBonBreak, and BlogHer.
You can find her on her author website, jenniegoutet.com, or her blog, aladyinfrance.com, where she writes occasionally about faith, food, and life in Paris with her husband and three children.
I love your review, Kellyn! Thank you! 🙂 My husband also thinks Thomas is too mature, and compared to our 7-year old son, he is. But I reminded him of 2 of our nephews, who are both very cerebral and mature – and who say the most audacious things! And then he was like, okay, I guess it can work. It was too late to change, though, since he read the book after it was published. Great critique on building the setting more comprehensively. I think because I live here, familiarity breeds … if not contempt, perhaps complaisance. But I’m working hard on setting for my next book, which is set in Regency London.
I so appreciate your taking the time to read and post such a thorough review. Have fun camping!
You’re welcome; I had a lot of fun reading it! And … yeah, some kids are pretty mature. I guess it depends on personality … maybe the circumstances they were raised in a lot. Like I was younger than my older sister by fourteen years … so I always felt like I had to be really grown up! And I know what you mean about familiarity breeding complaisance. I’m not the best at writing about things I know about for some reason. I guess I forget to go the extra mile! 😀
Ooh, this is fun! I love that it is set in France, and it sounds really interesting and intense! Drug dealers and art thieves mixed up with adorable romances…I like it.
Also, you should definitely post an excerpt of Lady of the Vineyard! That would be much fun–oh, and have fun camping!
I intend to! Any ideas on what scene I should post?
Well, I believe you have already posted one and I am a bit late…hehe.
Yeah, I did, unfortunately. But if you have an idea for a character to do for Beautiful People … I haven’t come up with one yet and I don’t know when I’ll do the post, so … you can inspire me there. 😉
Hmm…I don’t even remember what the Beautiful People questions are about. I shall have to look them up and decide which character I’d like to learn more about. And do you want a character from Lady of the Vineyard?
Either that or TDS. Doesn’t really make a different. And … I want to answer the questions from the months I missed, too, so …
Huh. *looks up the questions* If you want someone from LV (*shortens the acronym further*) then I would say Troy because I don’t actually know all that much about him & his backstory and would love to learn more. I don’t know who to do for TDS though…
I might do Troy … he’s fun. 😀
You should! He is fun.
Yes, you should post an excerpt! I can’t wait to see how its changed! I will definitely be buying it on September 10th!
I don’t think it’s changed all that much. *sheepish bad editor’s grin* 😉
well, i loved it then anyways!
😀 Any ideas on what scene I should post? I still haven’t decided.
Hmm… I liked the one where Judy is sitting on the bench in the vineyard and Troy is telling her how she met Adele (now I’m thinkin about the show How I Met Your Mother
Hmm … maybe I’ll do that one. 🙂
Hmmm …. not much of a romance person, but sounds like a wonderful book! Great job on your review!
I hope that you have fun on your camping trip! (But if you’re already back … then I hope that you HAD fun!) I REALLY ENJOY, no, LOVE camping!!
Thanks, and … it was fun, but exhausting. XD