Monday, April 11, 2022

The Year of Projects - The Fairy Godmother + A Paris Apartment

I do love a good list.  It gives a nice sense of order and focus and I love making lists about the books I want to read.  Last year I focused just on series I was behind on.  The project went great and I caught up on a ton of series but I felt like I was neglecting other books on my shelf and books at my library.  This year I have a few lists going - Series, Library, Clear Off My Shelves, and a random TBR Bingo where I pull books off my Goodreads TBR.  Here are a few of my most recent reads.

Goodreads:  The Fairy Godmother by Mercedes Lackey

Project:  Library List
Blurb:  In the land of the Five Hundred Kingdoms, if you can't carry out your legendary role, life is no fairy tale...

Elena Klovis was supposed to be her kingdom's Cinderella--until fate left her with a completely inappropriate prince! So she set out to make a new life for herself. But breaking with "The Tradition" was no easy matter--until she got a little help from her own fairy godmother. Who promptly offered Elena a most unexpected job...

Now, instead of sleeping in the chimney, she has to deal with arrogant, stuffed-shirt princes who keep trying to rise above their place in the tale. And there's one in particular who needs to be dealt with...

Sometimes a fairy godmother's work is never done...

My Thoughts:  I don't read much fantasy but I do love a good fairytale and I've heard amazing things about this author so I added it to my TBR and was excited when it came up on the random number generator.  I was surprised by how hefty a book it was - 400 pages or so (not sure what I was expecting) and I was a little nervous going in.  But this ended up being such an entertaining read with a really interesting and unique spin on the fairy tale trope.  I liked Elena and all the Tradition mythology as well as how everything wrapped up.  At the end I could not put it down because I just had to see how it all worked out.  I was interested to see this was the first in a series and will probably continue with it when I get a few more series worked off my list.  My Rating: Really Liked It!  

Project:  Clear Off My Shelves
Blurb:  When April Vogt's boss tells her about an apartment in the ninth arrondissement that has been discovered after being shuttered for the past seventy years, the Sotheby's continental furniture specialist does not hear the words “dust” or “rats” or “decrepit.” She hears Paris. She hears escape.

Once in France, April quickly learns the apartment is not merely some rich hoarder's repository. Beneath the cobwebs and stale perfumed air is a goldmine, and not because of the actual gold (or painted ostrich eggs or mounted rhinoceros horns or bronze bathtub). First, there's a portrait by one of the masters of the Belle Epoque, Giovanni Boldini. And then there are letters and journals written by the very woman in the painting, Marthe de Florian. These documents reveal that she was more than a renowned courtesan with enviable decolletage. Suddenly April's quest is no longer about the bureaux plats and Louis-style armchairs that will fetch millions at auction. It's about discovering the story behind this charismatic woman.

It's about discovering two women, actually.

With the help of a salty (and annoyingly sexy) Parisian solicitor and the courtesan's private diaries, April tries to uncover the many secrets buried in the apartment. As she digs into Marthe's life, April can't help but take a deeper look into her own. Having left behind in the States a cheating husband, a family crisis about to erupt, and a career she's been using as the crutch to simply get by, she feels compelled to sort out her own life too. When the things she left bubbling back home begin to boil over, and Parisian delicacies beyond flaky pĆ¢tisseries tempt her better judgment, April knows that both she and Marthe deserve happy finales.

Whether accompanied by croissants or champagne, this delectable debut novel depicts the Paris of the Belle Epoque and the present day with vibrant and stunning allure. Based on historical events, Michelle Gable's A Paris Apartment will entertain and inspire, as readers embrace the struggles and successes of two very unforgettable women.

My Thoughts:  I wanted to love this one.  I love the idea of the sealed apartment filled with treasures just waiting to be discovered.  Unfortunately, the apartment was only window dressing and the story focused on modern day April and late 19th century Marthe de Florian who acquired all the treasures but had nothing to do with the sealing it up.  Marthe was reasonably interesting but I just couldn't care about April's hand wringing over her marriage or her attraction to the frankly awful Parisian solicitor. Gable's writing style was well paced and did keep me reading but once I put the book down I just couldn't make myself pick the book back up.  I just couldn't care about April and most of her actions annoyed me and Marthe was compelling enough to make up for the rest of it.  My Rating: DNF 


  1. A Paris Apartment sounded so good, but what a disappointment for you. I'm sorry it was a DNF.

  2. Oh dear, I have The Paris Apartment on my TBR (for ages as well) and my Kindle. If you didn't like it, I probably also won't. Hmmm... But I'll check!

    I do like the idea of The Fairy Godmother!

    Elza Reads

  3. Oh, I loved the look of A Paris Apartment, but too bad it doesn't seem to live up to it's potential.

  4. Bummer about A Paris Apartment. The premise and cover had me intrigued.

  5. Well now you have me wanting to read The Fairy Godmother. I don't know when but I am partial to a book like that in spite of the large number of pages.

  6. I have always wanted to try Mercedes Lackey's books. The Fairy Godmother sounds like something that I would enjoy. Too bad The Paris Apartment didn't work out for you.

  7. I was very disappointed with Paris Apartment.

  8. I have seen more than a few disappointing reviews for A Paris Apartment. šŸ˜