American graduate student Zoe Gallagher doesn’t believe in romance.
She’s in Paris on Valentine’s Day doing research to prove that romance is an illusion and love based on it doesn’t last. When she meets New Yorker Gabe Ross, there to fulfil his mother’s dying wish by placing a lovelock on a bridge crossing the River Seine, even she finds it hard to resist the most romantic city in the world on the most romantic day of the year.
An impulsive challenge to try a psychological experiment feels like more, much more, for both of them.
Zoe tells herself their one wonderful day together proves nothing, only gives more evidence her theory is right. But on her return to London, she discovers she needs Gabe’s help to learn the biggest lesson of all, that love does last.
Especially God’s love…
I was intrigued by the story premise and I enjoyed reading Forget Paris. Zoe is different to the typical romance heroine. Not only is she cynical about romance, she’s doing post graduate psychological research to prove her theory. Zoe is not afraid to share her opinion of romance, and it’s kind of like the author has cast one of the real life female critics of the romance genre as the heroine in her own story.
Zoe meets Gabe in Paris on Valentine’s Day and she asks him to join her in completing her research test. Her theory is they’ll spend the day together and develop romantic feelings due to forced proximity. But, those feelings won’t be real. Instead, they’ll be based on an illusion of romantic love.
Complete strangers when they have a chance meeting on a Parisian bridge, Gabe is fascinated by Zoe and her interesting ideas about romance. His loving parents recently passed and he’s alone in Paris to fulfil his mother’s long held dream. Meeting Zoe is a pleasant distraction from his grief. They spend Valentine’s Day together, working on the assumption they’ll never meet again.
Zoe is a complex and, at times, prickly character who has trust issues. Gabe reappears in her life and she struggles to process her developing feelings for him. I liked Gabe and I thought he was very sweet and patient with Zoe. In one scene her twin sister, Tiff (the heroine in Book 3, A Model Bride), gives Zoe a lecture, and I’m cheering for Tiff, hoping Zoe will finally listen to her twin rather than hiding behind her fears and assuming she knows best.
Zoe and Gabe grow in their love and faith during the story. Zoe’s big spiritual ‘aha moment’ brings the story together, which leads to satisfying and romantic ending. I finished the story believing that Zoe and Gabe’s love was for real and that their relationship would last the distance and survive the challenges of life. I loved the urban setting in Paris and London, and the colourful backdrop it provides for the story.
Forget Paris is Book 4 in Autumn Macarthur’s Love in Store series and can be read as a standalone title. I recommend this book to readers who enjoy fun and contemporary Christian romances with an European flavour.