Title: The Brightest Star in Paris
Author: Diana Biller
Rating: 5 out of 5
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?
I ended up loving this read! I didn’t realize this was linked to The Widow of Rose House until about halfway through the novel, but that made me enjoy it even more. I loved the characters the most, although the ballet descriptions were wonderful, too.
Amelia is such a nuanced character, and I loved her voice and personality. I can’t imagine having to live with the façade she put up for the world in her efforts to keep herself and her sister safe. And Ben is lovable, and kind and I liked him a lot. His family is wonderful, and they made the whole book so much fun.
Diana Biller lives in Los Angeles. The Brightest Star in Paris is her newest novel.
(Galley courtesy of St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.)