Kristin Harmel writes wonderful chick lit and has fun with her titles. Her first book’s title was somewhat innocuous (The Blonde Theory), her second was titled How to Sleep with a Movie Star (reviewed here), and now her soon to be released third book is The Art of French Kissing. The latter two titles are ones that make I blush as I tell someone what I’m reading, but nothing will stop me from reading them – Kristin quickly pulls you into the world and the characters she has created.
We meet Emma, the narrator of The Art of French Kissing, just before her life falls apart – she loses her PR job and her fiancé within 24 hours. When her friend Poppy invites her to come work with her in France, doing PR for a soon-to-be-released musician, Emma can’t say no. Soon she is pushed into a whirlwind dating spree by her Poppy to learn the wonders of kissing Frenchmen, in an attempt to get over Brett. She is also pulled quickly into the “emergencies” that seem to surround her quirky new client, Guillaume. Kristin has created characters with wonderful depth – they all have their plusses and minuses; there are no stereotypes. The characters in The Art of French Kissing feel real, and the adversity they are dealing with also rings true – while there are surprises, nothing feels staged.
I spent some time in Paris in high school (and my first kiss was with a French boy), and it was wonderful to explore it with Emma as she sees the sights, and lives in a little apartment with a view of the Eiffel tower. In the author’s notes, Kristin explains that she had spent a summer in the apartment she has given to Emma and her friend Poppy, she also gives us her picks for where to go and where to eat when visiting Paris. After reading this book, I want to go back now! While I can’t catch a flight tomorrow, I have wonderful mental images to visit thanks to The Art of French Kissing. As Emma explores Paris with various handsome young men, Kristin describes the sights and tastes of Paris so vividly, I could almost taste the baguette.
No chick lit book would be right without a romance, as well as some kind of problem within the romance. But, which romance will it be? A romance with the hot musician Guillaume? or with the hot reporter Gabriel? or back at home with her ex-fiancé Brett? Emma is tempted by all three, and all three have roadblocks and issues. The twists and turns in The Art of French Kissing keep your nose in the book, and while I guessed a couple surprises, there were several more that I wasn’t expecting! It’s rare to find a novel with unexpected surprises, so that made this book all the more wonderful. Kristin’s writing completely engrossed me, and I devoured the book. Not only did I love The Art of French Kissing as I was reading it, it’s brought back my own memories of France and given me wonderful mental images that keep popping into my brain and make me smile.
I highly recommend all of Kristin’s books, and suggest pre-ordering The Art of French Kissing now so you’ll have a chance to read it as soon as it comes out. This is a wonderful example of great chick lit!
This book was received from the publisher for review