All Maggie Bliss needs to do is write. Forty-eight years old and newly single (again!), she ventures to Paris in a last-ditch effort to finish her manuscript. With a marvelous apartment at her fingertips and an elegant housekeeper to meet her every need, a finished book—and her dream of finally taking her career over the top—is surely within her grasp. After all, how could she find anything except inspiration in Paris, with its sophistication, food, and romance in the air?
But the clock is running out, and between her charming ex-husband arriving in France for vacation and a handsome Frenchman appearing one morning in her bathtub, Maggie’s previously undisturbed peace goes by the wayside. Charming and heartfelt, Dee Ernst’s Maggie Finds Her Muse is a delightful and feel-good novel about finding love, confidence, and inspiration in all the best places.
Source: NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press Rating: 3/5 stars
For the first time in her career, Maggie Bliss has a serious case of writer’s block. The words simply won’t come, and she is on a deadline that is closing in at lightning speed. If she doesn’t finish her book, the dreams she has long worked for simply won’t happen. If Maggie doesn’t do something soon it’s all going to come crashing down.
First, Maggie gets rid of her worthless and completely unsupportive boyfriend. With little emotion and a load of determination, Maggie tells the lump to pack his bags and get stepping! Though he simply can’t understand how Maggie can possibly let a catch like him go, she does and has zero regrets about her decision.
Second, Maggie accepts an absolutely stunning offer from her dear friend to fly to Paris, live in his apartment and find her muse among the sites, sights, and people of the French capital. With nothing tying her to her current location, Maggie packs her bags, crosses the big pond, and settles in easily to her new environment. The settling takes no time as the neighborhood is gorgeous, the apartment is sumptuous, and the company is delightful.
Finally, Maggie must find her muse. As it happens, that is as easily said as done. When Maggie stumbles upon a very hungover Max in the apartment’s bathtub, she sees something special in the handsome stranger. As it turns out, Max is the son of the live-in housekeeper and cook and often spends his down time with his mother. In the days he spends in Paris, Max delights Maggie to no end. He is intelligent, quite knowledgeable about Paris and the surrounding areas, and always willing to join Maggie on her adventures. In short order, Maggie realizes when Max is around the words seem to flow more easily and her book is coming along at a brilliant pace. If she can just keep Max around for a bit longer Maggie will be able to realize all her dreams.
The Bottom Line: There are parts of this book I really enjoyed: I liked the setting and especially the tours through the famous sites and museums, I really liked the descriptions of all the gorgeous meals eaten, and I adored Max. Outside of those three things, I found everything else in this book to be rather cliché and predictable. It all had to fall apart before Max and Maggie could enjoy their HEA and the big fall apart was just a little to standard romance novel for me. With that said, this was a fine little distraction for a night or two and though I wouldn’t tell you to move this to the top of your TBR, I would also not tell you to skip this one.