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Monday, April 8, 2013

HF Virtual Book Tour Review: City of Lights: The Trials and Triumphs of Ilyse Charpentier by Melika Dannese Lux

 Title: City of Lights: The Trials and Triumphs of Ilyse Charpentier
Author: Melika Dannese Lux
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Books in my Belfry
Publish Date: September 29, 2012
Source: HF Virtual Book Tours

Why You're Reading This Book:

  • You're a historical fiction fan.
What's the Story?:

From "What would you risk for the love of a stranger?

Ilyse Charpentier, a beautiful young chanteuse, is the diva of the 1894 Parisian cabaret scene by night and the unwilling obsession of her patron, Count Sergei Rakmanovich, at every other waking moment.

Though it has always been her secret desire, Ilyse's life as "La Petite Coquette" of the Paris stage has turned out to be anything but the glamorous existence she had dreamt of as a girl. As a young woman, Ilyse has already suffered tragedy and become estranged from her beloved brother, Maurice, who blames her for allowing the Count to drive them apart.

Unhappy and alone, Ilyse forces herself to banish all thoughts of independence until the night Ian McCarthy waltzes into her life. Immediately taken with the bold, young, British expatriate, Ilyse knows it is time to choose: will she break free and follow her heart or will she remain a slave to her patron’s jealous wrath for the rest of her life?"

My Two Cents:

"City of Lights" follows Ilyse who is a famous dancer in very late 1800s Paris. Although she is a very successful dancer now, she has a very tragic back story. Her back story was definitely the most interesting part of book for me.

Although the book is mostly character driven, I must mention the setting. I love reading about Paris just about anytime (that city is most definitely on my bucket list of places to visit). However, I especially love reading about Paris in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It seems like it would be such a cool, vibrant place to live in. This book definitely gives you a sense of what it must have been like.

Ilyse and her brother, Maurice, grew up in a very loving family. When tragedy strikes and their parents are killed, young Ilyse and Maurice are sent to live with their Uncle Emile, who is the very definition of absolutely terrible. They eventually flee but their tragedy isn't over. You really have to hand it to Ilyse. Even with all of the bad things that have happened in her life, she really is quite resilient. That most definitely endeared her to me.

I didn't care for the love story in the book between Ilyse and Ian. It's definitely a case of major insta-love. I wanted to know more about Ian so then maybe we could find out what it is that draws Ilyse to Ian and vice versa since they fall for each other so quickly.

Bottom line: This book is a good novella!

Tomorrow I will have a guest post and a giveaway for City of Lights!

Follow the Rest of the Tour:

Monday, April 8
Review at A Bookish Affair
Tuesday, April 9
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Guest Post & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair
Wednesday, April 10
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Thursday, April 11
Review & Giveaway at The Maiden’s Court
Friday, April 12
Review at Unabridged Chick
Review & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Interview at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
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  1. I typically try not to read reviews by others of a book I still need to review. I'm struggling to finish this one right now because I don't care about the characters, at all. My review goes up Thursday, stop by if you want to see what I end up thinking of it. Thanks for the review.

    1. I enjoy stories set in Paris. Not sure about the instant love as I completely agree with your review. That is something that usually does not ring true for me.


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