Welcome! Today, I’m kicking off my summer blog series, all about some of my Fave Summer Reads! Summertime is prime reading time for me, and I am here for it. Throughout the month of July, I’ll be sharing three reads which I consider to be absolutely perfect for the season.
For my first Summer Reads post, I’m featuring the book, Paris Is Always A Good Idea, by New York Times Bestselling Author, Jenn McKinlay. This book, to me, straddles a line between RomCom and Women’s Fiction, and it works, really well. Witty dialogue, personal struggles to overcome, a wonderful cast…it’s all there.
A little bit of background about this story: This book features Chelsea, who has suffered the loss of her mom to cancer, and can’t seem to recall when the last time she felt happy was. Her job focuses on cancer research, which is as noble as it gets, however, the emptiness she feels with the loss of her mom is overwhelming.
It’s not until her sister helps her realize that the last time she seemed happy was when she was on a visit to Europe years earlier, that Chelsea makes a plan to retrace the steps of that trip, and in the process, reconnect with the three men who made her feel alive. But, what if her happiness is too far gone?
This book is a summer fave of mine, largely because of the “escapist” quality to it. I discovered this book during a period of time when travel was not an option, and as a writerly person, I turned to books for escape. In addition to that, the locales mentioned in this book (France, Italy, Ireland) are places I dream about often. I have been fortunate to travel to France and Italy during a time when I was close to Chelsea in age, and I can remember the feeling of seeing parts of the world I hadn’t before. There is a sense of romance about it all, and I appreciated this book for the re-visit, if only in my mind.
Jenn McKinlay does a wonderful job with the humor in this book, as well. As an agent, I feel that I need to connect with the voice delivery and humor in books that are pitched to me. It’s really important for me to feel like a part of the story, and that’s where this one really shines.
Additionally, the plot line of the love interest in Paris Is Always A Good Idea, Jason Knightley, is equally as strong as Chelsea’s. He and Chelsea have a tumultuous work relationship, and Chelsea is all too glad to be rid of him as she heads off to Europe to find her happiness. But Jason has his own reasons for being the way he is, and author Jenn McKinlay makes the reader empathize with every single one.
The question remains: Can you ever really go back again? I don’t know the answer to that, but going through the experience through Chelsea’s eyes was charming and beautifully flawed, and I adored every single minute of the trip. I hope you’ll grab your Reader’s Passport, and check this book out. It’s a gem!
Knowing how much I love this story, I was prompted to reach out to Jenn McKinlay in the hopes that she might be interested in answering a few questions for this blog series. Imagine how tickled I was when she agreed to chat with me over Zoom! Below, you’ll find my interview with her, where we discuss her background, her characters, the travel that inspired this book, among lots of other things. I am so grateful to Jenn for the time she spent with me! She is just as bubbly as the banter between the characters in her books. I hope you enjoy our discussion!
And now for my interview with author Jenn McKinlay!
Readers, after I concluded this interview on Zoom, I reached out to Jenn with one final question: Is there one takeaway you would like your readers to grab after reading your books. Her response was beautiful, and encapsulates my own feelings about Paris Is Always A Good Idea:
“If there is a takeaway for my readers, I hope it’s that they see themselves in the characters and know that on this journey we call life, they’re never alone. I see you, I like you, and I believe in you.” ~Jenn McKinlay
I do hope you’ll check out Jenn McKinlay’s book! It’s romantic, breezy, escapist and fun. And if you read it, please let me know!
You can purchase Paris Is Always A Good Idea here.
Connect with Jenn McKinlay!
OK, readers…let’s connect! Have you read any of Jenn McKinlay’s books? Do you have a favorite Summer read? Let us know in the comments!
Next week, I’ll be featuring another New York Times bestselling author, Abby Jimenez…Hope you’ll join me for that one!