by Diana Biller
Publication Date October 12, 2021
Published by St. Martin's Griffin
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Genres: Fiction / Historical / General, Fiction / Romance / Historical / Victorian
Diana Biller's The Brightest Star in Paris is a thrilling story of first loves and second chances.
She never expected her first love to return, but is he here to stay?
Amelie St. James is a fraud. After the Siege of Paris, she became “St. Amie,” the sweet, virtuous prima ballerina the Paris Opera Ballet needed to restore its scandalous reputation, all to protect the safe life she has struggled to build for her and her sister. But when her first love reappears looking as devastatingly handsome as ever, and the ghosts of her past quite literally come back to haunt her, her hard-fought safety is thrown into chaos.
Dr. Benedict Moore has never forgotten the girl who helped him embrace life after he almost lost his. Now, years later, he’s back in Paris. His goals are to recruit promising new scientists, and maybe to see Amelie again. When he discovers she’s in trouble, he’s desperate to help her—and hold her in his arms.
When she finally agrees to let him help, they disguise their time together with a fake courtship. Soon, with the help of an ill-advised but steamy kiss, old feelings reignite. Except, their lives are an ocean apart. Will they be able to make it out with their hearts intact?
"I foresee years of excellent storytelling from Diana Biller; the certainty of that excites me." - Smart Bitches, Trashy Books
I really enjoyed The Brightest Star in Paris by Diana Biller. It’s not a heavy historical fiction novel, but it’s light and has a nice heartwarming story. Yes, it does go into some of the horrible conditions of that time in Paris, but the sad details of life are sprinkled in throughout the story so it doesn’t all bombard you at one time. The story also has a sweet paranormal twist that lightened up the story but wasn’t unbelievable.
Amelie St. James is a sweet, virtuous prima ballerina in the Paris Opera Ballet and is called the Saint by the Paris press because of her impeccable high standards of personal behavior. Amelie has only two years left to continue the charade of being the perfect ballerina both on and off the stage until she can safely retire and her younger sister can finish her schooling.
Dr. Benedict Moore is an American doctor who is visiting Paris for a convention to study brain issues. He wants to recruit scientists for his new Brain Institute he’s starting up in Washington D. C. and to possibly meet up with his first crush, Amelie.
When they meet up in the Paris Opera Ballet house, the attraction is still there, but there is still the impossibility of a relationship because he lives and works in America, and her life is in Paris as a ballerina and she must finish raising her younger sister.
I thought The Brightest Star in Paris was very well written with all the historical facts that I love in historical fiction books, plus a light paranormal twist with the ghosts visiting Amelie and a nice sweet, but intense romance. I was pulled into the mystery right away as I wondered how these two would ever get together and overcome the obstacles, and I wondered about the ghosts and why they were haunting Amelie. I enjoyed the authors’ description of Paris both in 1878 and in the earlier timeline of 1866 when Amelie and Ben first met.
I highly recommend this book to lovers of historical fiction who do not mind a light paranormal story. I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.