When author Eliza Watson asked me to review her novel Kissing My Old Life Au Revoir I read the synopsis and was hooked by the first two words: event planner. After my undergrad I did a diploma in event management and have since planned a few events so I was interested to see what Samantha's life was like. The novel was enjoyable, if a little dramatic at times.
Here's the synopsis:
Event planner Samantha Hunter is prepared for a few challenges when escorting a group of good ole boy beer distributors to Paris, the city of haute cuisine and fine wines. However, she doesn’t foresee being passed up for a promotion because she is too professional and doesn’t knock back beers with her clients.I know I was looking forward to reading this one because of the event planning aspect but I was happy that this didn't take centre stage. Samantha's not really working for the good majority of the book but it is clear from her personality that she's a planner. She's totally an A-type personality, which is great for event planners (and probably why I'm not actually working in events, haha), and is so focused on her work that she hasn't had a life. I don't think there are enough novels about planners and that's a bit of a shame. Yes, there are many wedding planner books but there are other options. I think this is an untapped source because, like weddings, event planning provides lots of built in drama. One of the first things I learned in school was that something always goes wrong! :)
Her focus soon switches from landing the well-deserved promotion to finding her free-spirited sister, who lives in Paris and has disappeared, leaving behind family secrets to be uncovered. A sexy puppeteer helps Samantha search for clues to her sister’s whereabouts and teaches her to embrace her inner child. And a funeral-crashing psychic demonstrates the importance of living life to the fullest. It takes Samantha’s life spiraling out of control for her to finally get a life.
There were a few things in the book that I felt could have been cut out. There was one unnecessary bit of drama around a situation that is not mentioned in the synopsis and I won't mention it either because it's a surprise in the book. (Confused yet?) Let's just say it involves two men and not knowing how they're involved in things. Moving on! There was also this crazy painter that was obsessed with getting paintings back from Libby and Samantha had to deal with him. I have no idea what the point of this was.
I liked that there was some intrigue in this novel. I think that, in part, helped the novel move along and made sure the story didn't stall or get boring. The family secrets that are uncovered were really interesting and it added more depth to the overall story. I'm really happy with how things turned out, family wise especially, for Samantha and Libby. I also liked that I didn't quite know how the story would end. I had some guesses but I really couldn't predict exactly what would happen.
Overall, Kissing My Old Life Au Revoir by Eliza Watson was enjoyable but there was sometimes too much excess to work through that the main story got a little lost. I'd still recommend this one to women's fiction lovers who are looking for a little something different.
Now, time for the info about the giveaway the title of this post references! Eliza has been kind enough to offer an autographed print copy of her book to a US/Canada winner or an ebook gifted from Amazon, B & N or Smashwords if the winner is international. Entry will be super duper easy. Just leave a comment and let me know why you'd want to travel to Paris (or your dream destination if Paris isn't your cup of tea) or what made you want to travel to Paris (if you're one of those lucky people who have visited). Make sure you leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. Since this review is part of a tour, I'll have the contest open until the last day - August 23rd. You'll have until midnight EST to enter. I've had some people have issues with comments before so if you're unable to comment, tweet me @KaleyS23 or send me an email books.etc.blogger AT gmail DOT com. Good luck!
*I received a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.*
Congrats to Steph (from Steph the Bookworm) for winning the contest! Thanks to those you entered :)