Two Nights in Paris
I discovered author Delaney Diamond last year with Do Over from her Brooks Family series, a delightful romance between a billionaire heiress and a police officer that garnered Desert Isle Keeper status. While Two Nights in Paris doesn’t rise to that level, it’s another enjoyable look at the wealthy fashion empire run by matriarch Sylvie Brooks and her children’s love lives.
Stephan Brooks is a party animal and a playboy. In a few months he’ll inherit his trust fund simply by turning thirty and he’s never needed to work for anything. But his mother Sylvie is fed up with his antics and threatens to cut off his funds if he doesn’t start contributing to the family company. It’s this threat that finds Stephan with a new position in business development at SJ Brands. It’s also where he gets to renew his (until then) limited acquaintance with the lovely Roselle Parker, a fashion director and one of Sylvie’s favorite employees.
Roselle has been tasked with a trip to Paris to meet with a high end department store about partnering with SJ Brands. When a co-worker is unable to go with her, Sylvie asks Stephan to accompany Roselle on the trip. Though Sylvie has warned her son against getting involved with any of her staff, the lights and allure of Paris combined with the attraction between Stephan and Roselle result in an unforgettable time together. When they come home, they continue to see each other in secret. But can what started on a magical trip really last?
Roselle and Stephan come from very different backgrounds. Roselle had to leave home as a teenager after she was sexually assaulted and no one stood up for her. She went to live with her aunt, a woman whose nursing-home care she now pays for, and who is the only person she feels she can trust, other than her mentor Sylvie. Her job means a lot to her, and not just for financial reasons. She’s smart and dedicated and loyal. She’s also not immune to Stephan’s charms, and he can be oh-so-charming.
Stephan – as mentioned already – is a playboy of the first degree. It’s not that he’d mind working for a living, he’s just never had to. But he’s fluent in several languages, and the business development aspect of working for SJ Brands does intrigue him, in particular being able to help the company expand into new South American markets. He comes across as spoiled, arrogant, and entitled. He tries to pursue Roselle though she initially shrugs him off – he’s the boss’s son after all and not on her level. But when they go to Paris, it’s a new beginning. And here, Stephan’s better qualities – kindness and thoughtfulness – come through, and they are the redeeming ones that make him into believable hero material.
My favorite part of the story is the time spent in Paris. Roselle is so excited to be there (her first trip abroad) and besides doing work she enjoys, she has plans to stay some extra days to get in some sightseeing. Because she is working for such a wealthy company, her flight there with Stephan is first class, and the luxurious apartment they stay in comes with a view of the Eiffel Tower. Naturally Stephan knows the best clubs, the best bakers, and the best restaurants, and he treats Roselle to all these things, making what happens to also be her birthday the best one yet. In this environment, away from the restrictions of work, it’s easy for Roselle to let Stephan in and he’s not one to pass up an opportunity to showcase his prowess in the bedroom. Their love scenes are hot and steamy, and when they get back home, it’s easy to continue with this arrangement they both enjoy. But it’s not just sex of course. They talk, they laugh, they listen to each other and everything is going great – until it isn’t. Reality pulls the rug out from under Roselle and things get a little bit bumpy until they find a way to compromise to get their happy ending.
Besides the relationship between Roselle and Stephan, this story gives lots of page time to Stephan’s family. His sister Ella, his brother Reese, and his parents Sylvie and Oscar all have their opinions about Stephan’s behaviour and what he should be doing with his life, and then what should happen with him and Roselle once they know she’s in the picture. They are a close-knit and supportive family, sometimes meddling but always with good intentions. The title of the book, Two Nights in Paris is the heart of the story but the sexy romance between Roselle and Stephan and the dynamics of the Brooks family make this another enjoyable read in the series.