Sometimes finding romance in London means going to Edinburgh and Paris first.
American Tiffany Gallagher flies to London, joining her family for Christmas. Brother Nick, a television actor, is happily in love with Cara Talbott, whom he met at the Pettett & Mayfield Department Store on Oxford Street (Believe in Me). Twin sister Zoe, the “serious” sibling, is studying psychology and working for a university in London. Tiffany, the “lightweight” one known for her ability to shop, is determined to be taken just as seriously as the rest of the family. She’s been showing her fashion designs to the big houses and designers in Paris and London.
Except no one seems interested. About the only thing she’s able to achieve is to go to fulfill a dream to attend the Edinburgh Hogmanay, the big New Year’s Eve celebration. But to do it, she has to accept the invitation from Colin Maclean, the cynical photographer helping Nick and Cara. “Mac,” as he’s called, invites her to stay with his parents at a large parsonage in Edinburgh. Mac’s family is delighted, believing Tiffany is his new love interest.
Mac has his own set of issues, including recovering from a serious leg wound while being an embedded photographer with a British military unit in Iraq. All he wants is to be pass his physical to be allowed to return to the unit. He’s not interested in anything, or anyone, else.
You can see where this is headed, but the fun is watching it unfold..
A Model Bride by British author Autumn Macarthur is Tiffany’s and Mac’s story, a sweet romance about wo unlikely people developing an interest in each other, even when they’re determined not to.
Sister Zoe Gallagher has her set of problems. She’s doing research in Paris, determined to prove that romance is based on hormones and never lasts. She even has a study to prove it, and she’s in the process of validating it by interviewing people on the Pontes des Artes, a place where lovers place locks to symbolize their eternal love. The bridge is busy; it’s Valentine’s Day and lot of couples are out.
It’s on the bridge that she meets a man by himself, Gabe Ross, a fellow American who’s there to carry out a wish from his recently deceased parents. Zoe asks him for an interview, and he agrees, even though he doesn’t fit the type of people she’s studying. Then her purse is stolen, he accompanies her to the police station, and both begin to sense an attraction. But it’s not going anywhere, because she has to return to London, and he’ll be returning to America.
Gabe is returning to America, but it’s by way of an extended stay in London. He’s been engaged to undertake a project at a local university but finds himself asked to fill in for six weeks for a professor who suffers a heart attack. And, yes, it’s the same university and the same department where Zoe works. The ailing professor is, in fact, her boss.
Macarthur’s Forget Paris is the story of Zoe and Gabe, an anti-romantic and a romantic gradually and not so gradually falling in love, regardless of what the psychological studies say. The nuts and bolts of psychology and romance get some hefty explanation in the story, but Macarthur manages to keep the love story on track and engaging.
Macarthur has written numerous books in the Christian inspirational romance genre and inspirational non-fiction. Her novels include The Macleans series, the Together for Christmas, series, the Billionaire Protectors series, the Sweetapple Falls series, the London Loves series, the Come to the Lake series, and the Huckleberry Lake series. She lives in London.
Top photograph by Emmanuel Appiah via Unsplash. Used with permission.