Review: A Second Chance at Paris


One week in Paris. One chance with her childhood crush. And one lie that could ruin it all.

Before she was Dr. Celeste London, Astrophysicist, she was Mary Celeste Haverford: dork, loser, the geek formerly known as Hairy Mary. But she’d left all that behind—and left Ion Blackwell behind, nothing but an unrequited crush and the memory of a high school field trip, a night in Paris, and the words Celeste had never had the courage to say. She’d never expected to see him again…until a surprise encounter on a Parisian riverboat tour brings him back into her life, and gives her the opportunity to start over as someone new. Someone Ion doesn’t recognize, transformed from a social outcast into a polished, professional woman that Ion doesn’t realize is the girl he’s been longing for since childhood, the ideal he’s dreamed of his entire life.

Suddenly this vivacious (if charmingly awkward) “new” woman is teaching him that real love is better than any dream—but Celeste is hiding more than her identity. Hiding something that makes it hard to trust her increasingly erratic behavior, and her frequent secretive phone calls. When the truth comes out, the deception could shatter them both…unless they can give each other a second chance, and take a risk on love.

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With a smile, Celeste leaned on the rail. She’d been a silly girl, heart on her sleeve, but she kind of missed that. Falling in love was never the same—never as light, as sweet, as guileless, the emotion not as raw or real when it became about work schedules and who paid for dinner and whether it was too soon to have sex. Mundane things took the romance out of it, when at sixteen it had been about wishing for that one perfect, breathless, magical kiss with that special someone who didn’t even know she was alive.
Now she just had a half-dozen ex-special someones who said she was an amazing friend, but a lousy girlfriend.
Her eyes stung. She should be standing here with…someone. People did that; they fell in love and took romantic trips to Paris, and cuddled on dreamy moonlit boat tours. But even then she’d have been worrying over her presentation for tomorrow, wondering if Ophelia gave their father his meds, pondering wind speed for Kelvin-Helmholtz instability in Jupiter’s Red Spot, picking out constellations…and never quite here with the imaginary boyfriend.
She really wasn’t cut out for relationships.
She lifted her gaze to the sky and picked out Venus. It hurt, when she smiled. “Guess I wasted a wish,” she whispered. “Do I get a do-over?”
The soft scuff of a sole against the deck warned when someone approached. She straightened, rubbed her eyes, and pulled her hoodie tighter around herself. Last thing she wanted was to ruin some happy couple’s romantic Parisian night when they stumbled on a single woman on the verge of a nostalgic crying jag. They’d probably think she was pulling a Rose, about to fling herself dramatically over the rail of the mini-Titanic.
The footsteps stopped at her side, barely a foot away. She caught a sense of height, masculine body heat, a quietly commanding presence. A low voice rolled over her, husky baritone like whiskey and silk.
Belle nuit, n’est-ce pas?” he asked, softly accented inflections agonizingly familiar. Celeste looked up, her heart tumbling to the very bottom of her chest and constricting painfully tight.
Fathomless blue eyes looked over the water, set in an elegantly sculpted face: ten years older, more weathered, tanned complexion darkened by the shadow of stubble—but so distinctive she’d know him anywhere. She clutched the railing with fingers almost numb to the cool metal, blood draining to leave them rubbery. She knew him. She knew him, but there was no way it could be him. It was impossible. It was incredible. It was absolutely unbelievable, and she had to be hallucinating.

It was Ion Blackwell.


Title: A Second Chance at Paris
Author: Cole McCade
Published: 1-18-15, indie
Genre: Contemporary Romance
      5 Hearts

AHHH! This book!  So sweet. So Sexy. So much fun!  Ion Blackwell and Celeste London tear up Paris in a weeks’ time and tear up their hearts in the process. First off, Ion.  If you are looking for a new Book Boyfriend, you will need to take Ion home with you.  In fact, you’ll probably be in love with all the Blackwell’s (read about sister Zero in her novella at the end of the book.)  Ion…dark hair, blue eyes, dreamy voice and the love of Celeste’s life from the time she was a teen.  He unsettles her and the tension is palpable.  The pacing and dialog in this book keep the reader’s attention and of course make for very swoon worthy moments.  Again, mmmm, Ion Blackwell……

I found myself highlighting passages because they were so beautifully written, I wanted to be able to go back and re-read them quickly.  The similes were absolutely picturesque.  I could SEE the moment and FEEL the characters.  I wanted to read more just to have the pictures painted in my head.  To me, a sign of a well written book.

“As he brought her high once more, sweet, bright rhythm carrying her to that gasping pinnacle, she trembled fragile and iridescent and beautiful as a dragonfly’s wing, shining in the light of his sun”

The heroine is Mary Celeste London Haverford. Pretty sure the author taps into an inner geek girl on a regular basis.  I’m not sure where he hides her, but in this book, he nails the female Astrophysicist persona so well.  I loved Celeste’s running inner dialog with herself.  LOVED all those geeky references: Star Wars, Firefly, and Wizard of Oz.  Loved that her heart is so big and overwhelmed, even when she is trying to do the right thing.  (Truth..I may have considered throwing my kindle at her a few times just because she was so stubborn about her relationship with Ion).  

Back to Ion…sooo worth the read just to meet him.  Last quote to make you go..ahhhh…..

Ion: “All that matters is that I miss my starry-eyed daydreamer.  I’ve been looking up at the same sky every night---and I’ll be waiting Forever if I have to.  You know where……I’ll say everything I wanted to say all those years ago.”

You are going to want to check out the author, Cole McCade.  I promise, you will enjoy the read.  Be sure to keep reading after the story for Ion’s baby sister Zero and Evan’s meet.  Very much looking forward to more great things from this author.  Watch for Bayou’s End #2 releasing..... hopefully soon!!

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About the Author

Cole McCade is a New Orleans-born Southern boy without the Southern accent, currently residing somewhere in the metropolitan wilds of the American Midwest. He spends his days as a suit-and-tie corporate consultant, and his nights writing romance novels in between fending off Tybalt, his geriatric cat. And while he spends more time than is healthy hiding in his writing cave instead of hanging around social media, you can generally find him in these usual haunts:

Twitter: @ColeMcCade

Website & Blog:
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