‘A heartfelt, funny and romantic caper – a mashup masterpiece!’ – Sandy Barker, author of ‘That Night in Paris’.
Bertrand is King of the Pigeons…
Unofficially. From his perch atop a gargoyle on Notre Dame cathedral, he surveys his kingdom. He sees Sylvie Cloutier, art lover and ex-antiques dealer, making dinner for her bullying husband Henri, trapped in their loveless marriage like a bird in a gilded cage. He sees security guard, hopeless romantic and bookworm Philippe Moreau cycling through the streets of Paris in his crumpled uniform, late (again) for his night shift at the museum.
When Sylvie begs her husband to let her go to work, he gets her a job as an evening cleaner at the Louvre. He thinks such a menial position will dispel any ideas about independence she might have, but his plan backfires when she falls in love with kind, gentle Philippe. They decide to run away together, but there’s a major problem: neither of them has any money.
One stormy night in the Louvre, the answer to their prayers falls into their lap… But is it really the solution, or just another, even bigger problem?
What follows is a romantic, wistful but madcap adventure through (and under) the city of lights, involving a stolen painting, an art heist in reverse, and Eric Cantona. Will love find a way?
Purchase Link – mybook.to/Louvre
What I Loved
Falling in Louvre is a refreshingly unique voice in the romantic comedy genre. The story begins with a more contemporary tale that is very troubling and sets up for the second half of the story. It’s the second half that is laugh-out-loud funny at times and really reflects Sylvie’s feelings of freedom. I love the juxtaposition of the two different aspects of the tale. It ensures the reader knows how serious the issues are but then finds a way to humorously detail Sylvie’s escape from a horrifying situation. I’ve never read a story quite like this, and I found it to be a uniquely deep story in a genre that’s known for its light and fluffy tales.
The addition of Bertrand, King of the Pigeons, is just genius. He was sitting on his perch on Norte Dame and watched the story unfold.
Bertrand adds a bit of whimsy that is needed, especially in the first half, to break up the darker aspects.
I love that Leitch wanted to bring special notice to Notre Dame, whose fire was just such an unfortunate event. Leitch visited the cathedral while it was still open, and even though not a spiritual person, she said even she felt moved. I can second that. I, too, visited the cathedral just five years ago and was awestruck.
Usually, I am not a fan of extramarital affairs, but the way the story unfolds, I quickly put that aside and root for Sylvie and Philippe. The pair is bungling, endearing, and perfectly matched in their imperfect ways. And the second half of the book, as they sought to change things, just had me laughing out loud unabashedly.
The characters are so well-developed and intricately layered with complexities. As I’ve said, Sylvie and Philippe are just endearing and sympathetic. I can’t say I liked them, but I did empathize with each of them and all that they had been through. Henri, on the other hand – wow – I don’t think I could have disliked a character more. There is nothing redeemable about him. If this had been one of Leitch’s cozy mystery stories, he would have been the character that was murdered.
Reminds Me Of
It is a totally unique voice in the genre, as far as I’m aware.
To Read or Not to Read
If you are looking for a fresh new type of romantic comedy, Falling in Louvre is a book you just must pick up today!
Fiona Leitch is a writer with a chequered past. She’s written for football and motoring magazines, DJ’ed at illegal raves and is a stalwart of the low budget TV commercial, even appearing as the Australasian face of a cleaning product called ‘Sod Off’. After living in London and Cornwall she’s finally settled in sunny New Zealand, where she enjoys scaring her cats by trying out dialogue on them. She spends her days dreaming of retiring to a crumbling Venetian palazzo, walking on the windswept beaches of West Auckland, and writing funny, flawed but awesome female characters. Her debut novel, ‘Dead in Venice’, was published by Audible as one of their Crime Grant scheme finalists, and her bestselling cosy mystery series, The Nosey Parker Mysteries, is published by One More Chapter/HarperCollins.
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