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Toujours L’Amour: The 10 Best Love Stories Set in Paris

What is it about Paris that makes it so darn romantic? Is it the thought of stealing a kiss under the Eiffel Tower at night? Enjoying a picnic in the springtime beauty of the Luxembourg Gardens? Sharing a delicieux éclair with your petit chou at some charming little patisserie? Holding hands while enjoying a sunset cruise on the Seine? Wearing matching berets with the aforementioned chou? (I’m kidding about the berets—really, the only person who can pull that look off is Edith Piaf. )

There is definitely some magical je ne sais quoi about the City of Light that makes it the ultimate in romantic settings, as evident in the following ten novels, linked to their Booklist reviews when available. 


Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins

Just when Anna Oliphant thinks she’s all set for the best senior year ever, her father sends her off to boarding school in Paris. Anna quickly finds that going to school in the City of Light does have some distinct advantages, especially after she meets fellow classmate Etienne St. Clair. Perkins brilliantly channels Paris as a romantic backdrop for her YA debut that captures all the hope and heartbreak of teenage love.


The Chocolate Thief, by Laura Florand

American Cade Corey is determined to get French chocolatier Sylvain Marquis to come up with a line of chocolates for her family’s company, but his rejection of Cade’s offer forces her to devise another way of getting what she wants from him. Florand’s delectable love story is a wonderful paean to both the chic charms of Paris and the decadent delights of good chocolate.


Fromage a Trois: Paris, Love, Cheese, by Victoria Brownlee

Ditching her marriage-phobic boyfriend, Ella heads to Paris to make a new life for herself—one that not only has two men vying for her romantic affections, but one in which Ella agrees to eat a different kind of cheese every day. Brownlee was inspired by her own experiences as a food blogger and journalist when she came up with the plot for her debut novel, which celebrates the culinary and cultural treasures of Paris.


The Lady Traveler’s Guide to Scoundrels & Other Gentlemen, by Victoria Alexander

As far as India Prendergast is concerned, the only thing more annoying than having to scour Paris for her wayward cousin Lady Heloise Snuggs is being accompanied by the vexing (yet sexy) Derek Saunders. Paris at the turn of the 20th century is the inspired setting for the first in Alexander’s marvelously witty Lady Traveler’s Society series.


The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris, by Jenny Colgan

An industrial accident unexpectedly provides British chocolate factory supervisor Anna Trent with the chance to work at the famous Le Chapeau Chocolat, but Anna never expected that her time spent in Paris would teach her more than she ever could have realized about chocolate—and romance. Love, laughter, and plenty of luscious descriptions of chocolate are the delicious main ingredients in Colgan’s sweet story.


Moonlight Over Paris, by Jennifer Robson

After a brush with death and a broken heart puts her  priorities in order, Lady Helena Montagu-Douglas-Parr reinvents herself as Ellie Parr and heads for France to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an artist and discovers another chance at romance. Robson’s emotionally engaging novel brilliantly evokes the joie de vivre of Paris in the 1920s and features cameos from historical figures.


The Paris Wedding, by Charlotte Nash

Rachel West knows it’s crazy to attend the wedding of the only man she ever loved, but somehow friends and family convince to accept an all-expenses-paid trip to Paris. Once Rachel arrives in the City of Light, will she fall under its spell and open her heart to a new romance with a sexy photojournalist, or will old memories of love lost be too strong to overcome? This American debut by best-selling Australian author Nash  captures the city’s luminous charms, who has created a realistically flawed protagonist who will ring all too true with romance readers.


P.S. from Paris, by Marc Levy

Mia, a famous British actress trying to escape her past by working as a waitress in Paris, and Paul, an American novelist hoping the city will inspire his next book, are perfectly happy co-existing in the friend zone, but fate seems to have other plans for their future. French author Levy delivers a fun and flirty tribute to Paris and the magic of romance.


The Secret Ways of Perfume, by Christina Caboni

Feeling betrayed and uncertain of her future, Elena Rossini, who has inherited her family’s gift for discerning a perfume’s composition just by smelling it, travels to Paris, where she becomes caught up in the search for the formula of a famous scent. A best-seller in Italy, this evocative, poignant novel conjures the magic of Paris and the way in which scent is tied into our deepest memories.


Secrets of a Wallflower, by Amanda McCabe

After successfully landing a job writing about fashion for a weekly women’s magazine, Diana Martin sets off for Paris to cover the Exposition Universelle, only to find herself distracted from her new writing career by the presence of quietly sexy English foreign service officer Sir William Blakely. McCabe deftly incorporates a plethora of fascinating historical details about the Paris Exposition, for which the Eiffel Tower was created, into the plot of her latest sweetly charming romance.



About the Author:

The Romance Writers of America 2002 Librarian of the Year, Charles has been reviewing romances for Booklist since 1999 and is the author of Romance Today: An A to Z Guide to Contemporary American Romance. After working for the Scottsdale Public Library System for 30 years, Charles retired and went to work for Scottsdale's independent bookstore the Poisoned Pen, where he still gets to push books but has to deal with far fewer computer questions.

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