Volo Press Book Review

Book Review: ‘Paris Is Really For Lovers’ by Scarlet Cassadine

Will you fall in love with ‘Paris is Really for Lovers’ by Scarlet Cassadine? I’ll outline what it was like to read it for me and you can decide for yourself if your money would be well-spent on this piece of fiction labeled as contemporary romance.

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I had about as hard of a time reading this book as I had reading 50 Shades of Grey. Yet, I do it for a few reasons. First, because it does help me feel better about my own writing (and we all know my self-esteem is not the highest). Second, it concretely helps me see what doesn’t work in a piece so that I can avoid those types of pitfalls in my own. Third, if I’ve already paid for it and it’s written by an indie author, I’m going to finish it in support of someone who is doing what they love, regardless of what my opinion about it may be.

Why It Was So Difficult To Finish

Clarity

Imagine you have a close friend who is still learning English, has never been the most coherent storyteller, and is completely shit-faced. If you can visualize that person trying to tell you the story of how she met and married her second husband, you get a feel for what it’s like to try to read and comprehend what goes on in this book.

And, as I request of my own beta readers in their reviews, I won’t just toss that opinion out there and let it sit. I’ll back up what I noticed. Just so that you’ve been warned, “a knock appeared at the door” 🤔 and the use of ‘then’ in place of ‘than’ are rampant throughout this piece.

Here are just a few more examples of sections that shocked me–especially since, in the opening, someone was credited with having edited the book!  😱

The first few lines of the story:

It was all planned. 

Planned on how Tia Ambers was going to be able to have a full mental break from her home-bound duties.

Sadly, it was at this point that I realized reading this book was going to be grueling. And I was not proven wrong. I put ‘full mental break’ in orange because I believe I understand what she meant, but I have most often heard ‘mental break’ being used to describe acute psychosis due to my professional background.

 

A few paragraphs later:

He popped the trunk and unloaded her suitcase and carry-on tote brief case bag.

That’s a lot of different types of bags in a single product. Is it really all of those at the same time, was this a typo, or is this really what that author meant to say?

 

And a few paragraphs after that:

She was 14 when her parents took her [to Paris for the first time]. She remembered how huge the Eiffel Tower was and also the food was different. It was richer in spice and flavor and very decorative. Nothing plan or bland about it. And all the buildings and outskirt drives. 

‘And’ would suffice, as would a simple comma before ‘also.’ ‘The food was richer in spice…’ would flow just fine instead of breaking the idea up into two different sentences. The last part is just dangling out there on its own. There are a lot of lines like that in this book.

 

So, as you can see, there are a lot of clarity issues in the book. What I’ve shown you so far happens in just the front 4% of the book. You’ve got 96% more of this to deal with.

 

The Characters

There didn’t seem to be any character development here. The people listed were more like pawns that did whatever Cassadine wanted them to if it seemed convenient for her at the time.

Tia overwhelmingly allows herself to be moved around by the people surrounding her. She’s a constant damsel-in-distress. She does nothing about the fact that her husband is cheating on her, for example. Another guy, Paul, actually sets up a meeting with a divorce lawyer FOR HER in order to get it done–he even takes her to the meeting himself.

Paul does a lot of work for on Tia’s behalf–even buys the house the Ambers have been living in from Tia’s parents so she can continue living in it without issue–yet he never gets angry or resentful, he never seems exhausted or questioning of the relationship or Tia. He just takes everything in stride and is the perfect gentleman everywhere but in the bedroom.

These issues with character realism were most noticeable after Tia got raped. Once they did have sex again for the first time in a while, Tia had no hesitancy about the act. Then, even when Paul (for who knows what reason) physically restrains her with his hands during sex (as was done to her during the rape), she’s perfectly fine with it, even says she “loved it.”

The vast majority of people I’ve worked with who have experienced rape have trouble having any intimate contact for months, often years. And intimate contact can be something as simple as a touch, holding hands, or kissing. But it seemed to me that, because Cassadine was ready to write the rest of the book, she just pretended that the rape didn’t affect Tia very strongly and kept on with the story.

The Plot

In a nutshell:

Tia goes on a trip to Paris and meets a man, Paul, who works at a competing company and sweeps her off her feet. She decides she wants to leave her cheating husband and be with Paul. She’s raped by a guest staying in the same hotel as her one night and Paul gets her treated for her wounds. Paul lets her heal at his nearby estate and they return to the United States together after Paul offers her a job and her own company when she’s ready. After Tia accepts the job offer, Paul initiates and facilitates Tia’s divorce from her husband. Paul buys Tia’s house from Tia’s parents. Tia finds out she’s pregnant with Paul’s child. Paul proposes. Tia accepts. Tia decides to go on a trip to Mississippi to see an aunt she hasn’t met with in over 10 years. The end. 

That’s the ‘plot,’ but I don’t recognize a story arc. Tia didn’t change as a person, only her circumstances were manipulated by Paul. There was no real tension or mountain to climb. There were little mole hills that Paul launched her over or that magically went away, but nothing that she had to work through on her own.

Another oddity was that Paul’s ex-wife came to a business event Tia had organized for the company. Paul disappears with his ex somewhere, but Tia loses track of them. She goes to the bathroom and hears them having sex in one of the stalls. She sees Paul step out of the stall after his ex, wash his lips, and leave the bathroom. AFTER THAT is when Tia decides to tell Paul that she’s pregnant, then Paul proposes, then she accepts. Again, it’s like the bathroom incident didn’t take place. Or, maybe Tia doesn’t care, but that would seem odd because she just divorced somebody who cheated on her.

😵

 

Overall Rating: 1 / 5 stars

⭐ __ __ __ __

I can’t in good conscience recommend spending money to read this book. There are so many issues that need to be addressed before I would even deem it a complete work of fiction. But, that’s just my opinion.

If you still want to read it, click the cover image below.

 

 

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save money paper volo press

You Lose $21 Every Time You Buy Paper

It may seem obvious to some, but I’ve recently run into fellow authors who believed they were really getting a deal by paying $5.00 for a ream of paper or maybe $40 for a 5,000-sheet case. I can’t see how 1.1 cents per sheet or $4 for a ream is a deal (then again, I have to be resourceful with my budget.).

Below is a basic rundown of a recent search I did online that gives you some cheaper options. The last case I bought lasted me multiple years due to digital sharing, critiquing, and delivery being standard for most of my publishing and editing needs. Don’t waste money on something you might not even use that often. Bulk up and store it, like I did!
For 5,000 sheets of white copy/multi-purpose, 92-bright, 20-lb paper: 

Amazon.com: $51 = $0.0102 per sheet / $5.10 per ream

Office Depot (Sale): $33 = $0.0066 per sheet / $3.30 per ream

Office Depot (Standard): $49 = $0.0098 per sheet / $4.90 per ream

Costco: $37 = $0.0074 per sheet / $3.70 per ream

Sam’s Club: $30 = $0.0060 per sheet / $3.00 per ream

For this search, Sam’s crushes the competition with a mere six tenths of a penny per sheet, compared to Amazon’s 1+ penny per sheet (almost twice as much!).

Even comparing total bills, you would save $21 by purchasing paper at Sam’s, versus online with Amazon (sadly, $30 of that $51 was JUST SHIPPING!).

Wholesale Membership

For those of you who don’t have a membership to a place like Costco or Sam’s (use this link and get $20 for joining), please consider signing up. For between $40 and $50 per year, you can rack up some fantastic savings, even if you never purchase bulk food there.

For example, when my bank account’s looking a little faint, I love to go to Sam’s to grab lunch (or dinner…or a snack…you get the picture).

Why? Because I can get a slice of pizza larger than my hand and an extra large drink of my choice for less than $2.50. Most places will charge you that much just for the drink. So, conservatively, you’re looking at at least $5 for the same lunch anywhere else.

If I eat lunch like this at Sam’s just twice a week, I’ll save $20 a month or $240 per year. This is how a $50 membership exponentially pays off! And this isn’t counting other home essentials I buy for my family, including paper towels, shampoo and conditioner, toilet paper, laundry detergent, or dish soap.

The discounts are similar for other non-perishables like pens, dishes, desks, books, bulk notebooks and writing pads, dry erase markers, and more.

If you found this post helpful, how would you have felt if you had gotten this information 6 months ago when I first sent it out to my writing newsletter subscribers? Sign up now and get these kinds of tips, tricks, and knowledge sent straight to your inbox twice each month! 

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Reserve ‘The Genician’ Now

You can now reserve your early copy of The Genician (Sci-fi, novel) by T. L. Curtis. Executive reservations get a whopping 60% discount off the retail price that will be set on release day, so don’t miss out. Order it now don’t worry about it later. https://volo-press.myshopify.com/products/the-genician

 

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The Loss of My Critique Group

I haven’t had to experience this yet, and I hope that day is far, far away! :C

The Loss of My Critique Group was originally published on Volo Press

The Loss of My Critique Group was originally published on Volo Press

The Loss of My Critique Group was originally published on Volo Press

The Loss of My Critique Group was originally published on Volo Press

The Loss of My Critique Group was originally published on Volo Press

The Loss of My Critique Group was originally published on Volo Press

The Loss of My Critique Group was originally published on Volo Press

The Loss of My Critique Group

I haven’t had to experience this yet, and I hope that day is far, far away! :C

The Loss of My Critique Group was originally published on Volo Press

The Loss of My Critique Group was originally published on Volo Press

The Loss of My Critique Group was originally published on Volo Press

The Loss of My Critique Group was originally published on Volo Press

The Loss of My Critique Group was originally published on Volo Press

The Loss of My Critique Group was originally published on Volo Press

The Loss of My Critique Group

I haven’t had to experience this yet, and I hope that day is far, far away! :C

The Loss of My Critique Group was originally published on Volo Press

The Loss of My Critique Group was originally published on Volo Press

The Loss of My Critique Group was originally published on Volo Press

The Loss of My Critique Group was originally published on Volo Press

The Loss of My Critique Group was originally published on Volo Press