Category Archives: grab a passport because you will want to go to France


derailed    Derailed
by Anne Wentworth and Nicole Ciachella
Published by NPC Books
306 pages
Genre: chick lit, romance
Thanks to NetGalley for the preview
4 / 5

Some books are like ether; they pull you under, into their story, where you find yourself surrounded by something you don’t want to leave. Such is the case with this book.

When Louisa’s boss denies her the promotion she deserves, she quits. Such spur-of-the-moment thinking is not of her ilk. She is a scientist, and she is nothing if not logical and orderly. But she’s just so mad. So hurt.

Fortunately, she is about to head to France for her best friend’s wedding. Louisa decides to take advantage of the break in her career action and stick around for a week, or two, or however many she decides she needs. At the wedding, she meets Yves, a gorgeous Frenchman and fellow scientist who lives in London. When Louisa suddenly declares that she would like to visit Normandy in an attempt to better understand her WWII vet grandfather, Yves volunteers to take her.

Theirs is not a romance … at first. But two gorgeous people traveling around France naturally will lead to some heartstrings getting pulled. Neither particularly wants an affair, if for no other reason than both are so practical. Louisa allows herself the fantasy of a vacation fling, promising herself that her heart won’t get broken.

But we see, long before she does, that it might. And so might Yves’.

This is more than a romance, though. Wentworth and Ciachella teach us some history, too, as well as take us on a gastronomical tour of France. You will want some good French wine and decadent French food while you read this book, so consider yourself warned.

I enjoyed the way this story was told. Yes, there were times when the historical element interrupted Yves’ and Louisa’s tale a little too long. But it’s just so lovingly written. You can tell that the writers respect and revere the region and their characters, but not in a way that feels precious or histrionic. Louisa is flawed. She angers and frustrates us with her narrow vision for her life. Yves is a little mysterious, but he’s supposed to be. He reveals bits of himself to Louisa, and he is the one far more willing to take a chance on their relationship than she is. Louisa, however, is so paralyzed that you fear she will never allow herself to be happy.

There are some sexy times, but I wouldn’t say these two rock the headboard. It’s far sweeter, far more gentle. Even so, Yves is … well … he’s YVES. And I think I fell in thrall with him, just a wee bit.

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