I was in the midst of a romance reading phase when I requested this from NetGalley. However, when I started reading it, I was so annoyed by the protagonist after a few pages that I gave up on the book planning not to return to it.
But I did. I gave it another chance and after working past the first chapter, the story became interesting to me and even enjoyable. I managed to finish it and quite liked it too.
(Although I received a copy of this book from NetGalley, it does not influence the thoughts I share about my reading experience below.)
A sparkling romantic comedy starring a bestselling author who goes to Paris to overcome writer’s block and rediscovers family, independence, and love along the way.
All Maggie Bliss needs to do is write. Forty-eight years old and newly single (again!), she ventures to Paris in a last-ditch effort to finish her manuscript. With a marvelous apartment at her fingertips and an elegant housekeeper to meet her every need, a finished book—and her dream of finally taking her career over the top—is surely within her grasp. After all, how could she find anything except inspiration in Paris, with its sophistication, food, and romance in the air?
But the clock is running out, and between her charming ex-husband arriving in France for vacation and a handsome Frenchman appearing one morning in her bathtub, Maggie’s previously undisturbed peace goes by the wayside. Charming and heartfelt, Dee Ernst’s Maggie Finds Her Muse is a delightful and feel-good novel about finding love, confidence, and inspiration in all the best places. (Goodreads)
This one grew on me and slowly pulled me in. Maggie Finds Her Muse is a contemporary romance novel about a 48-year-old author who recently broke off a relationship with a selfish boyfriend and is having difficulty completing the last book in her bestselling romance series.
To help her regain inspiration, Maggie’s agent invites her to Paris with him and his husband hoping the change of location and Parisian culture will spark inspiration in Maggie helping her to complete the book by her deadline. Despite some difficulty settling into Paris, Maggie soon finds her bearings there with the help of a Frenchman and spends time with her daughter and ex-husband while in the city. She even finds the inspiration she’d been looking for and love, too.
It was a lighthearted read that took off for me once Maggie gets to Paris. For me, the early chapters, especially the first one where she’s fighting with her asshole of a boyfriend, were a slog to get through, and I think it’s because the story starts off with an argument between Maggie and her boyfriend. That immediately turned me off. But, once she got to Paris, I was hooked.
I think the Paris chapters got me because that’s when we really start to get some humor in the story and the romantic comedy aspect of it takes off. My favorite part, of course, was when she unknowingly walks in on Max taking a bath and then starts checking him out, lol. The Paris chapters also interested me because it sold me on the city. Paris isn’t one of the top cities I’d like to visit, but Maggie’s love of it seriously bit me with a travel bug, which if it wasn’t for corona would have made me book a flight to go visit the city too.
I enjoyed seeing how Maggie’s relationship with Max develops and even liked seeing her interact with her daughter Nicole, who lives in Paris, and her ex-husband, who was visiting the city. But I was so taken with the descriptions of the city and the touristy things Maggie was doing that I didn’t care much for the romance bits or the relationships (lol). But I do like how she tries to give Nicole space to grow and be independent and tries to be understanding about Nicole having Asperger’s without being overbearing.
One thing I didn’t like, though, was how the conflict between Maggie and Max was introduced. Really, all that lying wasn’t necessary and it’s obvious Max would have been fine with things if Maggie was honest. Things could have been easily resolved with a quick, honest chat. It always annoys me when this happens in stories.
Overall: ★★☆☆☆ ½
It was an okay read. It was lighthearted, fun, and even funny in some spots. And it made me want to go visit Paris.