by Gloria J. Goldsmith
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
I was DONE! I ditched graduation, dumped my repressed college boyfriend, and dropped my sexual insecurities for a wild ride with Destiny. Unpredictable Fate beckoned with a European adventure!
In a chance encounter, I met Jean Louis. From the instant we met, the dashing young Frenchman soothed my bruised heart, rejuvenated my spirit, and convinced me that leaving my old life was no mistake. Together, we set out to explore southern France.
Jean Louis was torn from my life almost as quickly as he had entered it, yet leaving the haunting memory of his caress permeating my every thought. Driven by love and passion, I journeyed to find my lover, even if it meant scouring all the hidden corners of France.
Would I ever reunite with the man I believe to be my one true soulmate? Would I ever hear him say he feels the same for me as I do him? What twist of Fate will it take for me to find him?
Dan found a path leading up the side of a rocky hill called Mount Puget. After a hundred feet or so, the way branched off into three choices. There were various colored lines painted on the rocks beside the trail. We chose to follow the red route. At first, it was a fairly steep climb, then it leveled out, and we spotted a hole in the rock. Naturally, we had to investigate. The mountain was of dolomite, a soft rock that often has caves. Climbing higher, we found several more caves that morning.
We switched path colors and went for yellow because that was what we last found. It was a forty-five-degree rock climb. I yelled to Dan, who was twenty feet ahead of me.
“Dan, I think we missed the red marks. All I see is yellow.”
“I know. We must have missed it farther back. Let’s see if we can get to the top.”
The January wind was so strong we were scaling upward on our hands and knees. My foot slipped; I had had enough. That was as far as I was going. I turned around and sat down on the mountainside.
Concentrating on going up, I gave no thought to what was behind me. I was so surprised; all I could do was gasp at the sight. Finally, I yelled, “Dan! Dan! Turn around and look!” I heard him have the same surprise as me at the incredible view. He scrabbled down by me, and we sat admiring the beauty below us.
All of Marseille was at our feet. We could see no farther than the tall ridge on the far eastern side of the city, but between the distant crest and Mount Puget, a giant valley floor spilled out into a broad Mediterranean harbor.
The roofs of thousands of houses glinted in the bright winter sunshine. The blue colors of the sea ranged from a pale teal to a very dark blue. We feasted our eyes on the beauty of the coastline. Then came the delightful sight—an adventure for the eyes—all sizes of sailboats streaming out of the heart of the old Port of Marseille. The regatta left the harbor with their colorful sails billowing in the wind. They sailed around Les Iles and Chateau d’If—made famous by Alexander Dumas’ setting for The Count of Monte Cristo.
Soon the cold winds made us look for some kind of shelter or windbreak.
“Nora, look. I thought it was a drop-off, but it’s just a couple feet down to a seat of rock.” We scrambled into the seat and enjoyed the panoramic views while eating our cheese, fresh-baked bread, and sharing the wine.
I really wanted to love this book but unfortunately, I could only like it. Let me explain before you tar and feather me. Nora is a great character and I connected with her on so many levels. This book takes place in the ’70s (I think) before cell phones, social media, etc. In fact, be prepared for some drug use (pot smoking) but it does explain some of the other things in the book that I remember from my childhood. The setting for the book is perfect. You really feel like you are in France, England, Italy, and Michigan. Ms. Goldsmith has a way of being very descriptive in her story.
Nora is wonderful. I really liked her and how she shed all of her insecurities and decided to just live. Considering all the crap that she had to deal with in concern with Jean Louis’s family. They were just awful, awful people. But she stood up to them and fought for Jean Louis when no one else would. What I didn’t like about her was her relationships with men after she met Jean Louis. It felt disjointed to me and not true to him, but I did understand why she did what she did.
Jean Louis is almost too perfect but he is flawed to a fault. We don’t get a lot about him except what Nora tells us and I feel like there is more to him than what she sees. He loves her but I felt like he was a secondary character in the last part of the book. Plus, the ending was a bit jarring to me and I would have loved an epilogue to explain it all.
Overall, it’s a good book, just not great. I recommend it to those who are children of the late ’60s and ’70s for the more simplistic times and how taking a year off in Europe was all the rage after college. I look forward to reading Ms. Goldsmith’s historical novel next year.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
As a Special Education teacher, I became fascinated by the English language. I still marvel at how it changes and expands over time. My most pleasurable teaching moments were showing children how a wondrous story can take their imaginations to other times, places, even other worlds. When the pandemic began, I started my first foray into publishing⸺ a nonfiction book, The Sensible Parent’s Little Homeschooler Handbook.
My secret pleasure-writing has always been focused on romance. French Kiss is a Contemporary Romance based on a fictionalized version of experiences during eighteen months of living and working abroad before the formation of the European Union.
Next year, my first Historical Regency Romance That Wylde Woman will be published. It has allowed me to indulge my curiosity and enthusiasm for history by incorporating in the storyline a historical geologic event which affected weather and farming and even how England’s war with Napoleon impacted clothing styles.
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
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