eARC Review – The Brightest Star in Paris by Diana Biller

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Title: The Brightest Star in Paris

Author: Diana Biller

Publisher: St Martin’s Press

Publication date: October 12th, 2021

400 pages

4/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

In Diana Biller’s The Brightest Star in Paris, love is waiting; you only have to let it in.

Amelie St. James, prima ballerina of the Paris Opera Ballet and the people’s saint, has spent seven years pretending. In the devastating aftermath of the Siege of Paris, she made a decision to protect her sister: she became the bland, sweet, pious “St. Amie” the ballet needed to restore its scandalous reputation. But when her first love reappears, and the ghosts of her past come back to haunt her, all her hard-fought safety is threatened.

Dr. Benedict Moore has never forgotten the girl who helped him embrace life again after he almost lost his. Now, he’s back in Paris after twelve years for a conference. His goals are to recruit promising new scientists, and, maybe, to see Amelie again. When he discovers she’s in trouble, he’s desperate to help her—after all, he owes her.

When she finally agrees to let him help, they disguise their time together with a fake courtship. But reigniting old feelings is dangerous, especially when their lives are an ocean apart. Will they be able to make it out with their hearts intact?

Review

The Brightest Star In Paris is a historical romance set in Paris {obvi} a decade after the Franco Prussian War. Our MC is a prima ballerina forced into a pious caricature of a proper lady in order to be the city’s hope for the future. Amelie just wants to make enough money to secure her & her sister’s future after being orphaned. But when Amelie starts seeing ghosts and her long lost love returns, who knows what will happen.

Highlights include : second chance love, a ghost story, and dual timeline stories. The dual timeline made sense and definitely added to the overall story. I LOVED the ghost aspect of the story, the idea of mediums and spirits in this time period (and how it is just generally accepted in the book) was fascinating – along with the actual ghosts depicted in the story. It was perfect for an October release. There is also two POV’s in this romance, which we love to see.

I really loved being immersed in this book & reading Amelie’s story. It was so atmospheric & easy to read – it just sucked me in and didn’t let go. I appreciated the journey Amelie went on for character growth and how much effort she put into changing her life by the end. There were a lot of themes in this book, tackling prostitution, drug use, death, murder, sexual harassment, and more. There are heavier moments, so beware of that.

Thank you to St Martins Press and Netgalley for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.

Happy reading, folks!

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