Harlequin Blog Tours- ARC Review-The Little Bookshop in the Siene Review, and Author Q&A (Rebecca Raisin)

Title: The Little Bookshop on the Seine

Author: Rebecca Raisin

Publisher: HQN

Pages: 416

Rating: 5/5

The Little Bookshop in the Seine was a magical romance tale for all true book lovers. When I saw this title being offered for the Harlequin Blog Tour, I just knew I needed to get my hands on it. We meet Sarah, who resides in a small town in Ashford. She owns a small cozy bookshop, living a comfy but predictable life. The only thing that is troubling her is the financial situation she’s in. With the rent going up, she doesn’t know how she’s going to manage the bookshop. Until one day Sarah’s friend Sofie from France calls her. Sarah and Sophie have been keeping in contact after they met through Sarah’s book blog. The best thing is Sofie owns a bookshop as well, and they spend their time gabbling about each other’s lives as bookshop owners. After a embarrassing break-up Sofie proposes to Sarah that she take over her shop in Paris….One Upon a Time. Of course, Sarah is hesitant at first. It’s a huge transition from her fairly quiet and comfortable life in Ashford.
It means leaving behind her gal pals, her parents, her bookshop, and most importantly her love Ridge. Granted Ridge himself has a rather busy life. What with all the traveling he does for his job trying to become a great reporter. All his constant assignments make him miss those special moments with Sarah. And so Sarah sets off to her temporary life in Paris and she quickly realizes how different it is there. It’s always busy, there’s ton of paperwork to be done everyday, the constant disrespect of the staff, and the place falling apart is enough to wanna make Sarah cry. Let’s not forget that they also have stolen her luggage on the first day she arrived.
Sarah runs into an interesting character in Once Upon a Time that makes her question her future in Paris and her relationship. Sarah knows that Ridge as a reporter has to be on assignment when they call. But the calls are coming less frequently, they’re constantly playing phone tag…she doesn’t know if it’s worth pursuing the relationship anymore. The Little Bookshop on the Seines a great book and definitely has that Paris feel to it. Enjoy it as a hopeless romantic, or holiday book.

Thank You to Harlequin Press and Netgalley for providing me with a copy of the book in an exchange for a honest review. It was great participating in the Harlequin Blog Tours.

Author Spotlight!

Q&A with Rebecca Raisin

Q: Have you ever been to Paris?  If so, what are some of your favorite Parisian things?

A: I’ve been lucky enough to go Paris four times and do a bit of exploring for the books. It’s my favourite city in the world and if I could up and move I’d do it! I love the bookshops of Paris, particularly the secondhand shops that are dusty and musty and disorderly. You never know what you’ll find and that makes it magical. If you’re in Paris find the Abbey Bookshop, it’s full to bursting with English books and it’s a treasure trove if you have time to hunt! I also love French food – who doesn’t?! My favourite place to eat is the Christian Constant bistros. He has one for every budget and they’re all glorious. If you splurge once, I highly recommend it’s there. 

The Ritz is also a must-see, from Bar Hemingway to Salon Proust, it’s an experience like no other walking in the footsteps of those literary greats. Buly 1803 is the most beautiful perfume shop in all the world, it’s like stepping back in time. My favourite is the rose oil… ooh la la. And holding a special place in my heart is Point Zero Paris, the exact centre of the city and a place where magic happens – you’ll have to read the book to find out more…

Q: What authors were/are a huge influence on you as you began writing?  Or Now?

A: I have always loved Maeve Binchy and Joanne Harris and the style in which they write. I love Maeve’s ability to write everyday relatable characters, and I love Joanne’s sense of whimsy. I love writing foodie books set in exotic locations and I think I probably fell in love with France through Joanne’s books, they managed to transport me fully and I must’ve reread them a hundred times by now. 

Q: What’s some of your favorite novels? What are you currently reading and what’s on your TBR (to be read) list?

A: I loved Me Before You. I cried ugly, ugly tears at that. I must be a sucker for punishment because my all time favourite is The Fault in Our Stars. And also Rohinton Mistry’s A Fine Balance. Three books that you need to read in the privacy of your own home with some cucumber slices to apply after for puffy eyes! I’m currently reading the Seven Sisters series by Lucinda Riley, so a nice change of pace from sobbing my heart out. I love how different each sister is and how you still find common ground with them. 

Q: What inspired you to write your The Little Bookshop on the Siene?

A: My love of Paris and its bookshops! And truthfully, I wangled the family there so I could do some ‘research’ which included eating my body weight in macarons and walking until I couldn’t feel my feet anymore and feeling that I was a little bit French on the inside if only the locals could see that! 

Q: What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

A: I hope you do something reckless, something that scares you, jump out of that comfort zone and do that thing you’ve always dreamed of! What’s stopping you – fear, money, work, life? You can make it happen if only you take the plunge! Open yourself to new experiences and people and don’t take the taxi, walk until your feet are numb and find those lost laneways and hidden alleys and see what you find! 

Q: What drew you into this particular genre?

A: I love love, but Little Bookshop is also about another kind of love, the love of a place, or a feeling…writing this genre leaves it open to interpretation and anything goes as long you tie it all up at the end in a satisfying way! 

Q: If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

A: I’d sit down with bookworm Sarah and ask her what she really thought of Luiz… I am still conflicted about that thread and what I could have done but didn’t!

Q: What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

A: They’ve all been good in different ways but I’d say Facebook is my favourite. I have a great group of people who follow me there and really interact. It’s a nice place to stop and chat and they’re all really lovely. Instagram is good too. I love how creative book bloggers are with their photos, they’re very inspiring to me. 

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

A: I’ve said this before and it’s really this simple. Write every day. I think it was Stephen King who said writing is like a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it gets and it’s true! Carve out a time and stick to it. 

Q: What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

A: I’m currently editing Aria’s Travelling Bookshop, which is about a Van Lifer who sells her wares as she explores France! (Are you detecting a pattern here!?) It’s the follow up to Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop, which was released last March. Both books are about a different way of living, about having less but gaining more as you go. I’ve loved writing Rosie and Aria!