How about, today, we take a trip back to 2005. When Kelly Clarkson had the #1 song, when Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith ruled the box office, and when Siri Mitchell debuted with Kissing Adrien. (I make it sound like 2005 was so long ago, don’t I?
Why am I bouncing back four years? Yesterday, I went to one of my many bookshelves looking for something when my eyes found Kissing Adrien. I have read the book once or twice a year since it was released. I never get tired of it. Yes, I know how it ends. In fact, I can probably tell you every step it takes to get to the end, but boy, it gets me and shakes me every single time.
The heroine, Claire Le Noyer, takes a leave of absence from her nice, stable job and her nice, predictable boyfriend to fly to Paris after the death of a cousin she’s never heard of. And she lands smack in the presence of her very nice, very unpredictable childhood friend-she-used-to-wish-was-her-boyfriend, Adrien. I love the line chosen for the back cover of the book: “The French are always up for romance, so when the crowd saw Adrien striding through the Paris airport toward me, I’m sure they were hoping for a good kiss… I was too.” And, uh, by the end of the book, Jodie was too!
Siri Mitchell has a gift for description that defies, well, description. Paris is a character in this book, folks. Thanks to the narrative you can see it, you can most definitely taste it, and you can feel the enchantment in the air of the “City of Love.” It may sound cliche’, but to read Kissing Adrien is to buy a plane ticket to the Paris that the locals know and love. I could see it all to well. And boy, could I taste it all too well. Thanks a lot, Siri Mitchell. Your book made me gain five pounds just reading it. And then it made me want to move to Paris. Food represented a lot of things in this book and seemed to flow with the changes in Claire.
Claire has a dark raspberry chocolate and filet mignon heart, but she’s living in a dry toast life. (Great. Now even my metaphors are in food.) The problem is, she’s convinced herself she likes dry toast more than dark raspberry chocolate. She has even condensed her relationship with God down to bread and water. What will it take to bring the real Claire out of hiding?
Oh, yes. Meet Adrien, who is all dark raspberry chocolate and filet mignon. He challenges her ideas about faith and life and living. And Claire’s heart begins to remember. Under Adrien’s tutelage, she begins to awaken to her old passions: art and food and history… and Adrien himself. As she and Adrien dance the dance in their relationship, the tension between them had me sitting straight up to read it. (I started to say something cliche’ like, “It would have taken a steak knife to cut the tension between them,” but really, did we need any more food metaphors from me today?) I couldn’t wait to see what happened, and the payoff? Oh my word. Siri Mitchell wrapped her story around me and had me totally invested in what happened between these two. I will say something cliche’ here: She played me like a violin. And I loved it.
Whenever my romance writer soul is feeling a little dry, I pick up Kissing Adrien and let Siri Mitchell remind me what it’s all about and how to do it perfectly. This is one of my very, very favorite books for a reason. If you’ve got a yen for a good romance, find a copy of this book, curl up in a chair with a good cup of coffee, and be prepared to stay until you turn the last page. You won’t want to get up before that.