This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I was eager to read this book when I learned that it involved time travel and that it was set in 1950’s Paris. I’ve read another book by the author set in modern day Paris and loved it. This one jumped right into matters without much of an introduction to circumstances in the present before sweeping the main character off her feet and sending her back into the past where things were confusing and exciting. Because it was told first person, I got to experience all that confusion and excitement with the heroine, Claudia.
Claudia lives in 2012 San Diego. She is pregnant with one man’s child while in love with another, Eduardo an actor, whom she still has to share this interesting fact. Before she can do much more than discover a magazine showing her a picture of Eduardo with his fiancé on the cover, she is mysteriously whisked away to the past.
Claudia wakes up in the body of a dancer, Ruby, who is the star in a Paris nightclub act. She is the number one suspect in a murder investigation. As Claudia tries to adjust to what is happening, life goes on full speed. A mysterious woman whom she remembers meeting in her present just before she time-traveled meets up with her again and explains that there is an event in her past life that she has been sent back to change and it will affect many lives including her own in the future. Claudia-Ruby stumbles along experiencing deja vu moments of Ruby’s life like she’s lived it already which helped her piece together things as she encounters them. It gets really complicated when she recognizes people whom she will know in her future and meets Antoine, the man of her dreams who is so much like her Eduardo in the present. While Claudia-Ruby seeks to clear herself of the murder, untangle the mess of Ruby’s life and come to terms with what has happened to her, someone works to make sure all the clues for the police lead back to Ruby so that past and future will be in jeopardy.
The plot on this one left me dizzy at first trying to wrap my brain around what happened since it jumped into the time travel/reincarnation stuff so quick. I barely got a chance to meet Claudia before the layer of Ruby’s life was added to it. Normally, I find being immersed in what the character is experiencing the most fun and I did here too to a certain extent, but I do wish that I had time to know Claudia and her circumstances a bit better so I could connect with her more before the fun began. I liked meeting the other characters around Claudia-Ruby, but it is like they drift in and out as smaller bit parts until nearer the end with Antoine when he got a little more page time. Not that I thought this was awful, but it just wasn’t as strong as other aspects.
As to the strong points, the background of 1950s Paris was a big hit. The descriptions just made me wish to travel to Paris for real and at times I could actually see it all so clearly. The murder mystery connected with the plot was pretty exciting too. I think I changed my mind three times and was only half right by revelation time.
The romance between Claudia-Ruby and Antoine sparked quickly, but I didn’t mind because she recognized Antoine was her present-day Eduardo in all but looks. I loved how tender, giving and protective he was. He had a generous soul that didn’t care about her past and saw the good in her when no one else except her friend Titine did. The romance was sweet, but it was also passionate leaving me biting my lip when Claudia felt the push and pull between the present and this past which was her new present.
So in the end, I was intrigued by my first past life time travel romance along with a desire to read more from this author and her books featuring Paris. Those who like spicy time travel romance or romance set in Paris should definitely give this one a try.