Review: Holding Out For Paris by Gabrielle Ashton

holding out for parisTitle: Holding Out For Paris

Author: Gabrielle Ashton

Year of publication: Out today! The author kindly gave me a copy to read and review

The heroine: Teacher/writer Elizabeth Hastings

The hero: Gym owner Spencer Tate

The blurb: Picture this – you pack your bags. Move to Paris. Fall in love.

A dream, right? Wrong.

Especially when you find out your Mr. Right is actually married. With kids. Don’t even mention the white picket fence.

Heartbroken in the City of Love, the last person Elizabeth Hastings expects to lend her a shoulder to cry on is her brother’s best friend…

Spencer Tate is opening up his first gym in London when a frantic call from his best friend sends him to Paris to check on Sebastian’s baby sister. If he’s lucky, he can stop in for a minute and be back in London the next day. Easy peasy.

Except the dorky bookworm he remembers is now all grown up, with dangerous curves, lips just made for kissing and eyes he could get lost in…

Spencer. Is. Screwed. 

Standalone or series: This is book one in the Holding Out series, but can be read as a standalone.

The review: This is a fantastic debut from Gabrielle Ashton! Elizabeth Hastings has crushed on Spencer Tate, her brother’s best friend, since she was a teenager. So when he turns up in Paris, where she’s been living, she can’t believe it. She’s just found out her swarthy French lover happens to have a family and she’s nursing a broken heart – but Spencer heals it. She comes to love the time they spend together while he sources a new location for his rapidly growing international gym chain.

But when Lizzie finds out why Spencer is really in Paris, she’s devastated. Feeling betrayed again, she shuts him out… but while she wasn’t looking, Spencer managed to find his way into her heart. When he kisses her, she can’t resist him. However, she makes it clear she just wants to keep it casual, and when he agrees they hang out in Paris while she plays tourist guide, with sex as an added bonus.

When her brother finds out what’s going on, though, matters of the heart become difficult for Lizzie. Not helping is the sudden reappearance of her ex. Torn between two men, can Lizzie wake up and figure out who her heart really belongs to before it’s too late?

Spencer Tate is such a great book boyfriend. He’s gorgeous and thoughtful and caring. I loved Lizzie’s kind heart and her love for Paris. She adores teaching her kids and I love that her nose is always stuck in a book. I did want to smack her in a few places, though, but she did make up for it in the end.

It’s clear that the author knows the city of Paris very well, because her descriptions are so authentic it’s like I’m wandering around Paris again myself. It certainly made me want to hop on the first plane there! I adored reading Spencer and Lizzie’s romance and watching it unfold. It was incredibly romantic and heartwarming. I’m very much looking forward to seeing what’s next.