The Mysterious Bakery On Rue De Paris by Evie Gaughan

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Hellllllo readers, and welcome to another review from yours truly. I cannot believe how many books I’m churning through. It reminds me of a scene in the film ‘About Time.’ If you haven’t seen it (you should) the film follows a family line where all the males can enter a dark space and they can return to an earlier point in time. I adore the line where Bill Nighy’s character tells his son and when asked what he does with said ‘gift,’ he states he’s read everything at least twice. I wish I had the power but unfortunately I’m just going to have to keep whipping through; book by book. Today’s is a buttery tale that made me feel super sweet; a beautiful tale and one I really enjoyed.

This is the magical tale of Edith Lane, who sets off to find her fortune in the beautiful city of Paris. Fortune, however, is a fickle thing and Edith ends up working in a vintage bakery in the positively antique town of Compiègne. Escaping heartache and singledom in Ireland, Edith discovers that the bakery on Rue De Paris is not exactly what it seems and that some ghosts from the past are harder to escape than others. A heart-warming story that is sure to appeal to all of the senses, The Mysterious Bakery On Rue De Paris is a mouth-watering journey of love, liberty and la vie en rose.


First things first; mystery, bakery, Paris; how could you not want to pick up this darling novel and dip in and out of this story. Those three things instantly got me itching to read and the cover is sublime. As the blurb suggests the book follows Edith who, throwing caution to the wind, decides to apply for a bakery in Paris. On arrival things aren’t quite how they seem; she’s in Compiègne rather than Paris, her boss Madame Moreau is a little unfriendly and there is a little mystery surrounding the bakery. Why is unable to go down to see where the sumptuous products are created? Throw in the mysterious photographer Hugo and it’s getting a little worrying. Will this move to Paris be the move she’s always wanted? Or would she have been better staying in Dublin. All will be revealed.

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I really adored this book; I thought it was well constructed with a real understanding of how to build a plot-line. The characters are strong and loveable even the slightly stroppy Madame Moreau; each is built with a different set of characteristics which help the story to take form and shape. In terms of our main female protagonist she starts a little waiflike but as her French improves and she settles in her gutsy nature really starts to shine. I also adored Nicole who befriends Edith, her drive and tenacity mixed with her sweet nature was wonderful to read. Hugo is a dashing fellow and I thought his romantic touches were darling.


I must admit the magical/mystery touch did take me a little while to warm to although no spoilers here as to what happens in the end. For me it felt a little inauthentic but the enchanting writing of the books as a whole it did fit in and I thought it was well integrated. I also felt that we found out the mystery too quickly and it could have been pulled apart more as to build the tension. As such an important part of the story it needed a bit more time. The writing style was honestly delightful; the descriptions of France, the idyllic little village and the delicious pastries the writing moved with pace and style; I really did feel transported inside the fictional world.

Overall this is a gorgeous book of love, wit, determination and pastry and from page one I knew that I would want to come back to this writer. It really is a cracking read with attention to detail and a real understanding of how to construct characters. If the mystery has been lingered on a little more I think I would have enjoyed the build-up more but a delightful read.






The Beauty Thief: Rachael Ritchey

Good evening readers, currently settled on the sofa with my cosy jersey top and my sweats, legs crossed and the no makeup ‘au natural’ look. This is my favourite way to blog comfy and restful. This morning I opened up my email inbox and found a barrage of requests and they were still coming; ten, eleven, twelve. My phone was beeping and flashing oddly. It turns out that my request to be published on the book blogger list came true yesterday and according to the emails made top billing. My inbox has been going crazy and it is wonderful so expect lots and lots more reviews over the coming weeks. But today one that has been waiting a little while; without further delay today’s review is of the wonderful ‘The Beauty Thief’ by Rachael Ritchey.


 In the Twelve Realms there lives a man who covets life. He lurks in the shadows, intent upon stealing that which sustains his perpetual existence: true beauty. Princess Caityn’s loveliness reaches from what the eye sees to the very marrow of her soul. The thief’s covetous heart desires the life her beauty possesses and will stop at nothing to take it all. So a little look at the bare backbones of the book; the narrative ultimately follows Princess Caityn a princess who understandably wants to marry the man of her choice however she ultimately gets paired with Prince Theiander. As the two warm and interact more closely with each other it seems they are destined to be together however as their wedding day nears The Beauty Thief is ultimately determined to steal Caityn’s beauty and ruin everything that she has ever dreamed of.

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 I must admit from the very first page I felt a sense of warmth rise from the pages of this book, it has a real sense of wit and humour created mainly through the beautiful understanding and creation of Caityns character. She’s blunt, honest, witty and a genuinely true character. This is brilliantly contrasted with the turnaround of Caityn’s character after the change; she has an empty soul and the author devises this wonderfully, it feels bare and naked and you can’t help but feel for the main character. The book hangs on this and therefore it is incredibly important that this distinction comes across with skill and understanding. I think what was additionally really well done was that Caityn doesn’t take on the weak or feeble female character profile but instead she still feels real and you can see the true Caityn despite her changing. I really think that Ritchey made this come forward and take centre stage and that takes real ability and dexterity. In terms of writing the book is told in third person past tense and does come from a number of different character perspectives and although the majority of the story comes from Caityn and Theiander there are a number of minor secondary characters who push through and take their place especially a number of the villains.


What was additionally really carefully built up was the idea of the fictional world and the twelve realms with each known for a different landscape, family or export. It really helps to sink the world into a slot of reality and makes it feel genuine. It’s difficult sometimes with fantasy to get the balance between the two, magical and wonderful but additionally genuine and authentic. The language and the use of bows and arrow against swords and shields really helps to enforce the fantastical genre feel without it feeling to forced and to obvious; it’s a real skill and one that should really be emphasised in this review. The colourful land and the exciting characters kept me enthralled throughout. The dialogue is snappy and witty with colourful exciting language full of quips and comedic anecdotes. In contrast The Beauty Thief is dark and nebulous it’s definitely a thought through concept.

So would I recommend this? Yes, yes, yes. If you love YA fantasy fiction you need to pop this on your TBR straight away. If, like me, you’re not quite as much of a true fan of the genre I think this is a great breakthrough fantasy fiction read. It really made me sit up and think and the beauty thief concept, although I haven’t delved into it too much in the review because I want you to explore it for yourself, I think is really original and in the YA fantasy fiction world that isn’t all to easy to find. I honestly can’t wait to see what this author writes next!