The Brightest Star in Paris- Review
The Brightest Star in Paris
By Diana Biller
Genre: Historical Romance
Publication Date: October 12,2021
Publisher: St. Martin Griffin
Source: Received an ARC in exchange for an honest review
Rating: 4 Stars
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
Reading The Brightest Star in Paris got my travel bug itching to go. The descriptions of Amelie’s Paris, moving from the medieval city to its modern self is gorgeous. Plus the last time I was in Paris, I stayed right by the Palais Garnier, which plays a major role in this story. I’m a sucker for a good reunited lovers book and this was it. I’m not usually a fan of flashback scenes but the ones in this book are short and add so much to the story.
Amelie and Benedict shared a summer together twelve years before and she helped him overcome the horrors of the American Civil War. When they meet again, Amelie is the star ballerina at the Palais Garnier and suddenly being haunted by ghosts. Benedict has experience with ghosts from his brother and sister-in-law in The Widow of Rose House. These ghosts aren’t malevolent, however, and they are people from Amelie’s life. Amelie is such a complex character. Amelie has a saint like reputation which used to make the unsavory rich patrons of the opera acceptable. She is scarred by the fate of her mother, and lived for the events of the Franco-Prussian War in Paris and the subsequent Commune. These are unique events and a time period that we don’t often see in romance novels. I think makes this story even more appealing. Plus there’s a fun cast of additional characters, from the interesting ghosts to Amelie’s adorable sister and Benedict’s family.
Honestly, the only reason this book isn’t five stars is that the actually romance scenes were few and I wanted more of that. Amelie has a tendency to push Benedict away and with their history and a limited timeline as a ballerina, I didn’t full get her reasoning behind that. This book was certainly less spooky than the previous book but I think the interesting setting and story more than makes up for that. Diana Biller’s writing is engaging and addicting to read!