Review – The Paris Wedding by Charlotte Nash

About the Book:

Ten years ago, Rachael West chose not to move to Sydney with high-school sweetheart Matthew. Instead she stayed on the family wheat farm, caring for her seriously ill mother and letting go of her dreams. Now, Matthew is marrying someone else. And Rachael is invited to the wedding, a lavish affair in Paris, courtesy of the flamboyant family of Matthew’s fiancée – a once-in-a-lifetime celebration at someone else’s expense in Europe’s most romantic city.

She is utterly unprepared for what the week brings. Friendships will be upended, secrets will be revealed – and on the eve of the wedding, Rachael is faced with an impossible dilemma: should she give up on the promise of love, or destroy another woman’s life for a chance at happiness?

Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link:                                                 The Paris Wedding: A Novel

My Review:                      

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

For two years, teenage sweethearts and lovers Rachael West and Matthew Grant spent all their time together, planning their future, and enjoying the intense feelings that come with first love.  Then Rachael’s mother was diagnosed with a debilitating illness, and Rachael became her caregiver while Matthew went off to school.  Though they kept in touch at first, it wasn’t long before Matthew let Rachael know that his plans had changed, and they seemed not to include her.  Over the next decade, Rachael managed the family farm while caring for her mother, whose health declined steadily.  Now at age twenty eight, Rachael’s mother has died, and along with her intense grief, Rachael has to decide what path to take for her future which had been put on hold for so long.  Before she makes any decisions, an invitation arrives in the mail – a wedding invitation – for Matthew and his fiancée, Bonnie.

Bonnie is a prominent socialite from a very wealthy family, and the wedding is going to be an extravagant affair held in Paris.  The invitation includes all costs covered to the wedding.  Rachael never got over her love for Matthew, and the last thing she wants is to watch him marry another.  Yet, as she talks the situation through with her best friend, Sammy, and ponders it, perhaps this is the way to finally put an end to all her foolish dreams of a reconciliation and move on with her life.  She accepts the invitation, with her friend, Sammy, as her guest, and begins to make her plans.  Rachael sadly neglected herself over the last decade, so now she tries to make up for lost time, getting a new haircut, a manicure, and some lovely new dresses, which she, herself, designed.

The first face to face meeting with Matthew after all this time seems to leave them both thunderstruck.  The full schedule of activities leaves them no time for any real conversations, but both are very aware of each other, and can’t seem to keep their eyes off each other.  Ironically, Rachael finds herself liking Bonnie, who is very kind to her, and works tirelessly for charity.  She appears genuine, lovely, and not the clichéd spoiled rich girl.  Rachael also meets Antonio Ferranti, a renowned photojournalist, who is actually the official wedding photographer as a favor to his friend, Bonnie.  Antonio is a handsome and compelling man, and he appears to have an interest in Rachael.  They spend some time together, and Rachael finds him attractive, but she forgets all about him when Matthew finally gets some alone time with her.

Rachael’s intention was to be able to move on, but how can she when all the love she felt for all these years won’t die?  When Matthew tells her of his regrets, and his own feelings for her, what path will she take?  THE PARIS WEDDING is an emotional roller coaster ride which captivated me from beginning to end.  Each time I thought I knew which way things were heading, they took a twist.  All of the main characters are sympathetic, but flawed, as we all are.  This is so much more than a love story – there is family, pain, loss, bad decisions, regrets, second chances, letting go, and new beginnings.  I had to read this amazing book in one sitting to find out how all was resolved.  THE PARIS WEDDING is fascinating, full of complex characters, and is so memorable, that it’s still resonating with me a week after I finished reading it.   ~Rose


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