An imperfect yet intriguing look at two headstrong and insecure characters battling the challenges that come with falling in love. The story was very emotionally touching as Ms. Nichole includes many details about the heroine acknowledging so many doubts and flaws which make her not only sympathetic, but also capable--because she is somewhat actively engaging her issues.
Mandy is the dominant character in the story. It is through her eyes that you see her daughter, her fiancé Julien, her side of the family, etc. While you occasionally do get a glimpse of what Julien is thinking and feeling, the story is clearly about Mandy and her reactions to her fast-tracked wedding and new family.
At its simplest level, this story is about a young woman having a crisis of conscience, being tempted into a conventional lifestyle with all of the comforts of that fantasy, and the reality of her feelings toward her situation However, it never takes the bold next steps to any sort of enlightenment without dragging Mandy kicking and screaming along the way. It would have been a more interesting read if her dissatisfaction was directly addressed in dialogue more often between Julien and Mandy instead of through a rushed tack-on job at the end. Since the story is mostly told from her point of view, there’s an air of disbelief that Julien and Mandy could have made it as long as they did with her hang-ups and his persistently naive notions of romance. Julien is charismatic and sweet at times, but ultimately comes off as flat and too perfect. Liberally sprinkled throughout the story were graphic sex scenes that were meant to be erotic but came off as unnecessary and clunky. While I do love sex scenes, the time would have been better spent focusing more on developing the plot. I loved the little details throughout the story that added much depth and credibility to the story: the sprinkling of French throughout the dialogue was a nice touch. Some readers may not find the ending emotionally satisfying but, in my humble opinion, it is the best possible ending for this couple that could or should have been written. An "Engagement in Paris" misses the mark in certain places, but that does not ruin the entire experience, which is a spirited and compelling effort.
Previous Book: An Affair Across Times Square
All Mandy Lachlan wanted was her own identity. All she had to do was run away to Paris to find it. Instead, she finds love, a baby, and a marriage proposal.
Julien Chevalier needs a family. Ever since his mother left when he was a kid, he's been searching for the security and consistency that comes with marriage and babies. So when he falls for the young African American professor at the Sorbonne, he knows immediately this is the woman for him.
Julien needs to get married the same way Mandy needs her freedom. When they find themselves at the impasse of matrimony, one of them will have to compromise what they want and need.