Book Review: One Christmas in Paris by Mandy Baggot.

Release date: 5th October 2016.
Publisher: Bookouture.
Twitter: @mandybaggot @bookouture

Welcome to my first book review of 2017! Funnily enough I was reading Mandy Baggot's last Christmas book, 'One Wish In Manhattan', at roughly the same time as I read this one, but back in 2015! It must be a new kind of Christmas tradition for me, without me even realizing! :) 
In 'One Christmas in Paris,' we meet Ava who is travelling to Paris with her friend Debs, under the illusion that her friend needs to work on some new articles for her job. Ava soon finds out she is on some kind of mission to find out if Deb's step dad is cheating on her Mum. Both girls know what it's like to see their parent's go through a divorce once, so even though Ava isn't one for hacking into emails and trailing random women around Paris, she will do anything for Debs and doesn't want her friend going through the same heartbreak again.
On the plus side Ava needed to get away, away from her Mum who keeps offering her modelling jobs that she doesn't want and an ex boyfriend who doesn't know when to quit, even though he cheated on her. Yep Pairs at Christmas time doesn't sound too bad at all and Ava is determined to have fun, find herself and eat as much Camembert as she possibly can. What Ava doesn't expect is to be caught in front of the camera again, this time by a gorgeous Parisian photographer. 
I loved Ava's character in this story. What made me smile most about her was that she was determined to make changes to her life, to better herself and move forward and even when they didn't go exactly the way she had hoped, at least she did something. For instance, in an attempt to change her look and move on from her ex, she decides to get her gorgeous long blonde hair chopped off. Instead of a cute new hairstyle, she ends up with little blonde spikes, that she isn't completely thrilled with, but instead of crying into her pillow and hiding away, she gets on with it and owns her new look. Her determination seems to know no bounds, which I found very cool and inspirational. 
I have to say though, my favourite character in 'One Christmas in Paris,' was Julian, the previously mentioned gorgeous Parisian photographer. Julian is going through a really tough time in his life and is finding it hard to get his passion back for taking photos, that is until he sees Ava and something changes. He's vulnerable, kind and sweet and for some reason reminded me of Italian actor Giulio Berruti, who I have been watching a lot of recently. Even though Julian is French, it still made me smile when I put the two together while reading. :p 
The characters of Debs and Julian's friend Didier also added a lot to the story. The friendships they had with Ava and Julian were enviable. Each person was there for the other no matter what, they knew each other inside out and only wanted the best for one another. I loved that.
Mandy Baggot created a wonderful story full of heartbreak, passion, love and friendship, all with the cozy, idyllic backdrop of Paris at Christmas time. Christmas might be over for another year but if you're looking for a warm, fun, romantic book to kick off your New Year, I would highly recommend 'One Christmas in Paris.' :)
 Happy Reading!

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