“A part of Mira liked the sound of a risk-averse future, but ultimately, she’d been incapable of taking that path. She wanted something more, even if she didn’t quite know what that something was. And now, after having blown up her entire life, she was perfectly free to go find it.
The only flaw in the plan was that so far, freedom felt like shit.”
24 Hours in Paris is a whirlwind love affair that harkens back to classic cinematic romantic comedies from the 80s and 90s.
After calling off her engagement, Mira escapes on an all-expense paid business trip to Paris. Despite the delicious food and flowing wine, she can’t forget the ache of leaving her fiancé behind or the fact that she’s just blown up her personal life. And messing up simply isn’t Mira.
She’s used to being in control. Meticulously planning. But now she’s at the mercy of the travel gods, and they are not acting in her favor. Subways are missed. Trains don’t run. Flights are overbooked. And by the time she arrives at the airport to go home, there are no new flights to NYC until the next day. The worst part? She’s now stuck in Paris for twenty-four hours with her arrogant and insufferable co-worker Jake whose constant flirting and annoying optimism is more than she can handle.
But as they spend the next twenty-four hours in Paris, exploring the city in all its beauty, Mira realizes that she and Jake have more in common than they thought, and he may turn out to be the best thing she discovers in the City of Love.
Romi takes her readers on a delightful trip through Paris through her in-control main character Mira and her laid back party boy Jake. Romi has clearly researched The City of Love and her descriptions of neighbourhoods, stores, restaurants and the hills, waterways and stairs of Paris will make you feel like you are wandering through the cobblestones with Jake and Mira, even if you’re curled up on your couch with a big cup of tea. If you’ve been in Paris you’ll recognize some of the places Romi’s characters go. I, however, delighted in the windows to Paris that Mira and Jake stumble on through their crazy adventure together: the tiny bookstore run by a Canadian expat, a middle of the night bar, or a fabulous penthouse apartment. It made me yearn for a fun-filled night with new friends that you can only make when traveling.
Romi packs a lot of adventure into the book. I’ve never read a romance that happens over 24 hours but I really enjoyed it. Jake and Mira at the beginning of the story didn’t seem like the most likely pair: the sales hotshot with an eye for the ladies and the broken-hearted marketing whiz who just wanted some peace and quiet. Even though you know from the outset that you’ll only spend 24 hours with these characters, Romi used her pacing and chapters that let the reader dive into the characters headspace to flesh out their thoughts, feelings and developed a really interesting and convincing relationship. Jake and Mira have terrific banter and deep conversations. They developed an intimacy that unfolded slowly, and developed as they got to know more about each other. Even though this love story happens over 24 hours, it’s not an insta-love. I really liked that Jake and Mira are “Happy for Now.” Will they end up “Happily Ever After”? Maybe. But I felt that their delightful and spark-filled day and night together ended with a very realistic relationship that has the potential to develop into something more.
Mira is a delightful and strong-willed main character who is chafing against the life her parents expect her to build: have a good job and get married. I think, from the outside, she seems to live a safe and quiet life. But, as we discover in the first few pages, she’d decided that she deserves more than what her overbearing Indian parents expect from her: she deserves to live her own life, whatever that may look like. One way that we as readers start to see Mira open up during her crazy 24 hours in Paris, after she misses her flight home, is through her joy for food. Mira loves good food and has mapped out all of the places she wants to eat while in Paris. Her exuberance is not that of a shy and timid woman, rather through showing her unabashed and sensuous enjoyment of her food we see a fascinating woman ready to shine. She is tempered by Jake, who in the first few pages seems to be a bit of a f*ckboy but who turns into a kind and considerate travel partner to Mira when circumstances throw them together. His patience and transparent enjoyment in watching Mira experience her coffee, sandwiches and macarons makes him an ideal travel partner for her.
Mira and Jake end up staying up the entire 24 hours that they have in Paris: through long walks, rainstorms, sweaty dancing and a lot of drinking and eating. I’m pretty sure I don’t have the stamina to do that anymore, but is it ever fun to read about it.
Thank you to W by Wattpad Books for the book in exchange for an honest review.