Thursday 16 June 2016

Reviewed: The Little Antique Shop Under the Eiffel Tower by Rebecca Raisin

TITLE: The Little Antique Shop Under the Eiffel Tower
AUTHOR: Rebecca Raisin


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Anouk LaRue used to be a romantic, but since she had her heart well and truly broken her love life has dissolved into nothing more than daydreams of the perfect man. Retreating to her extraordinary Little Antique Shop has always been a way to escape, because who could feel alone in a shop bursting with memories and beautiful objects…

Until Tristan Black bursts into an auction and throws her ordered world into a spin.

Following your heart is a little like getting lost in Paris – sometimes confusing and always exciting! Except learning to trust her instincts is not something Anouk is ready to do when it comes to romance, but the city of love has other ideas…

Oh, how I loved this book! The Little Antique Shop Under the Eiffel Tower is the second book in Rebecca Raisin’s new series, though a perfect standalone, and I absolutely loved every single line on every single page. I probably say this every time I read Rebecca’s latest book but The Little Antique Shop was my favourite book of hers so far. I couldn’t get enough of it.

We met Anouk briefly in the previous book, The Little Bookshop on the Seine. I was completely fascinated by her character then, who appeared so different to Rebecca’s usual type of characters, and really couldn’t wait for her story to unfold. And it was a delight getting to know her here. She was such a fun character, with many different layers (something another character tells her at one point). It was true, and throughout she ranged from guarded to flirtatious to secretive to despairing to determined to hopeful and I could go on and on. Anouk showed so many different sides to her person throughout and was a really bubbly character who I loved following through the pages. She was exactly how I’d imagined her character to be and yet completely different. Rebecca kept up the same image Anouk had possessed when we met her in the first book but completely transformed her character and developed a backstory for Anouk that made me feel for her straight away and connect with her story instantly. I now felt like I could understand her character.

Anouk’s pride and joy is her beloved antique shop. Having had her heart broken in more ways than one from her complete pig of an ex, she’s very protective of her shop and her heart. She cares for and believes in the antiques she possesses and the people she does custom with. If she doesn’t, chances are she won’t even let you in (to her heart or her shop). After a series of recent thefts at other antique stores, Anouk tries all she can to protect hers, so she is careful with who she can trust. But then she meets Tristan Black, and her attraction to the charming American battles strongly against her suspicions of his motives.

First off, I can totally understand Anouk’s love of her antique shop. It sounded incredible, the way Rebecca described it, and I totally wanted to visit and see it for myself – not that Anouk would let me, of course! As with the author’s other books, you really get an amazing feel for the setting of the book. In the Gingerbread Café series, you can smell and taste the divine food from the café. In her bookshop books, that lingering scent of old books hits you as soon as you turn the opening pages. In the Little Antique Shop, it’s so easy to get caught up in the place. I found the descriptions of the antiques so captivating, especially the personal, heartfelt story behind each one of them. The way Anouk talks about them really brought them to life for me. Another thing beautifully described was the France setting. Rebecca’s detail naturally weaves its way into the plot and exquisitely builds up the French atmosphere and culture.

To me, The Little Antique Shop Under the Eiffel Tower felt like it had more character and more about it than Rebecca’s other (gorgeous) books, and it was so much fun to read. I really enjoyed every moment and whilst, as expected, I fell for the romantic setting and the leading male, I didn’t expect to laugh so much at all the antics that took place with Anouk and her friends and family as the book progresses. The air of mystery added something different to this book and I was fully swept up in Anouk’s life as she tried to put the pieces together. The dynamics of this book was really lively and vibrant and so engaging. I really didn’t want to put the book down and because of this, read it in less than a day.

The problem with reading a book so quickly is of course that it has to end far too quickly, and this was one story I didn’t want to have to leave behind! From the stresses and successes of a day at an auction, to the dates with hard-to-resist but equally hard-to-trust dreamy Americans, friendships and frivolities and secrets and mystery, there was nothing not to love about The Little Antique Shop Under the Eiffel Tower and I was fully invested in the story, eager for more. The Little Perfume Shop Off The Champs-Élysées is next to come, and I can’t wait!

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