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Well-Done Exploration of Familiar Trope
I had read the other two books in this series, and I wasn’t really wild about them. But I always like to give an author two or three shots to impress me. In this case, I am so glad I did. I found this book to be an absolute delight. One of the things that I had enjoyed from the previous book was Zeph, the owner of the horror bookstore. He was an excellent foil for the heroine in that book. In this one, he gets his own story, and I was delighted to see that there was so much more to his character. He has gotten himself into a bit of a bother because his mother believes that he is engaged to the French woman who runs the patisserie across the road from his shop. So, yep, this is a spin on the favorite fake engagement romantic trope. Both the hero and the heroine are having parental problems. Mirabelle has never quite lived up to her father’s expectations, and she is bound and determined to do so even at the expense of her own dreams. She is a kind and generous person who is also being hassled by her landlord; she gives too much money away helping others and doesn’t pay her rent on time. She agrees to be Zeph’s fake fiancee. Of course, Zeph has been nurturing a silent attraction for the French woman. The stage, as you can see, has been set for humor, romance, and drama between warring factions and because of lies and secrets.
The book did have a few problems. There were some issues with grammar, punctuation, and usage. As someone who has actually studied the French language and has a great appreciation for the French culture, I was definitely annoyed at the author’s use of the nonword “zee” to portray Mirabelle’s way of saying “the.” That rankled every time I saw it; it is just so wrong.
By the way, the Walden Pond in the title is NOT the one you are thinking about. All in all, I found the book to be a delightful read.