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.
11 thoughts on ““Maggie Finds Her Muse” by Dee Ernst”
Great review! I really enjoyed this book, but I agree that some of the conflict felt forced and was just there because it’s a needed trope. I did really like the tourism and food elements!
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And thank you too because it was after reading your review that I decided to try it again. I’m glad I did. 🙂
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There sure is, natural and devised,
A hidden troglodyte library at pohara nearby (quiet damp)
All sorts of weirdo’s living in hole’s in the cliff’s,
Keeping an eye out for a stray organic walnut washed up from lala land!
Labyrinth rocks a wonder of nature, because cattle or sheep couldn’t eat it and to labyrinthy to build on became a refuge dump. Just like the rest of clean green aoteroa new Zealand until tourism made it to embarrassing to our image.
There’s a recycling transfer station and reuse shop.
People use the wilderness /roadsides. If you have land you can Bury, burn, or fill up something worthless like a wetland or forest!
Two quotes from nz
The first is from the chairman of the local government “no ecologists on my land “
His friends and family have most of the other jobs in power.
The second quote from a model farmer ” we have such high rainfall that cattle have no effect on the environment”.
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I probably would have given up if the first chapter wasn’t likeable! And the lack of communication thing is a pet peeve too… I think I’ll probably avoid this one :p
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Totally understand because that’s what I was doing until I read a review of it that made me willing to give it another try.
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I wouldn’t consider myself an expert on ladies romance,
I think very pert more descriptive.
Or an authority,, don’t like me an authority.
The definitive go to place doesn’t sound so bad,,, for I have read a ladies romance, from cover to cover.
The one I read is called “the sailor from Gibraltar”
And contains all that needs to knowen of these female romances!!
OK let’s see
The story opens with a couple on holiday in Italy, she out seeking art, he stays in a bar and seeks refreshment (for it is hot)
He hears a story of a beautiful woman on a luxury ship seeking a lost love.
He gets the offer to go scubering with a GUY with a muscular chest (my suspensions at this stage were starting to say, oi!) but then the planet really becomes woman as the dude nears the sea, and there she is, on her luxury ship all beauty and curve!
Do you know what our dude fantasies!!!
“how he’d like to polish the brass railings” !!! !!!
I thought, dude, DUDE!!!
This should be the unhappy consequence of the thing’s you could be desiring!
“like a post it note somewhere sacrosanct like on the fridge door ”
(for I was ready for some walking the plank)
He never dose polish the brass I note.
As for the “sailor from Gibraltar” (an annoying term offen repeated)
1. He was in a rowboat
2. He wasn’t a sailor
3. He isn’t from Gibraltar
He was :
On the run after killing nelson nelson the ball bearing King who’s driver ran him over.
As nelson nelson counts out the thousand franc notes asking tsfg “1, 2, 3 thousands for your urts ‘
When the driver gets to chatto nelson nelson he looks back and there’s the boss,, dead! , tsfg gone!!
She hears this story and remembers seeing some rolls Royce grey paint in a scar on his head as she” Helps” him recover from his arduous “row”
She is the barmaid on the ship at the time ,
The owner has an old wife.
The sfg is a gambler and splits,
One of the ex crew breaks down in his lorry (truck)
A mechanic with a scar on his head states ” if it’s the ball bearings I know a thing or two about ball bearings”
Which makes the ex crew man suspicious this could be he! Tsfg
(personally I would suspect brain injury and politely smile and move away!)
Anyway there it is, the diffinitive. they’d (romances) differ slightly,
But there will be the delusion of brass polishing.
It’s the first I’ve heard of that book. Did you see the movie? When I looked it up, results for the movie popped up.
I didn’t know there was a movie.
I found that book at a place called labyrinth rocks while travelling. It’s a good neighbourhood for used books.
I thought maybe it was travel,
Guess it is.
I would possibly watch the movie.
A woman from a commune called the orange grove gave my choice of read and myself some scrutiny, justified I realised after actually reading the book. 🤭
That sounds like a cool place, Labyrinth Rocks. Is there a a labyrinth there or did the neighborhood just randomly choose a cool name?