Friday, April 12, 2013

Blog Tour Review: The City of Lights by Melika Dannese Lux

From the Back Cover:

What would you risk for the love of a stranger?

Ilyse Charpentier, a beautiful young chanteuse, is the diva of the 1894 Parisian cabaret scene by night and the unwilling obsession of her patron, Count Sergei Rakmanovich, at every other waking moment.

Though it has always been her secret desire, Ilyse's life as "La Petite Coquette" of the Paris stage has turned out to be anything but the glamorous existence she had dreamt of as a girl. As a young woman, Ilyse has already suffered tragedy and become estranged from her beloved brother, Maurice, who blames her for allowing the Count to drive them apart. 

Unhappy and alone, Ilyse forces herself to banish all thoughts of independence until the night Ian McCarthy waltzes into her life. Immediately taken with the bold, young, British expatriate, Ilyse knows it is time to choose: will she break free and follow her heart or will she remain a slave to her patron’s jealous wrath for the rest of her life?

My Thoughts:

City of Lights: The Trials and Triumphs of Ilyse Charpentier is a fun little novel that oozes French ambiance from the first page. As an omniscient narrator tells the dramatic tale of how the darling of Paris nightlife seized her chance at true love and happiness from the evil clutches of her overbearing patron, the reader is transported to dark and glittering cabarets, through backstage passages onto gas-lit streets, into cozy carriages that convey young lovers to the Eiffel Tower for romantic dates above the moonlit city, to secret rendezvous, shadowy dealings, and deadly confrontations.

To me, Ilyse's story read like a play or a musical or a fairy tale: over-dramatic and a bit superficial, but glamorous and noble, hearkening back to the old-school sweeping gestures and high drama moments of early Hollywood. Keeping that perspective in mind, I was able to suspend disbelief and appreciate the flamboyant characters and melodramatic moments. There are orphans and lucky breaks and love at first sight, kisses and slaps and misunderstandings, shrieking and sobbing and nefarious mustache-twirling, deadly obsession and selfless sacrifice -- all tucked into 156 pages. Since it's short, there's not a lot of room for character depth and relationship growth, and there's a lot of telling rather than showing. But there's never a dull moment, and it's a fun escape for whiling away a couple of hours.

My Rating:  3 Stars out of 5

Wanna win your own copy
of City of Lights?

I have one paperback up for grabs, and the giveaway is open internationally! Leave a comment with your email address and you're entered!

Ends at 11:59pm Monday, April 22, 2013.
Winner will be selected at random. Thanks, and good luck!

This giveaway is closed and the winner has been selected.
Stay tuned for more great giveaways!

City of Lights is on a blog tour!
Click here to view the tour schedule and visit the other tour hosts!
Click here to visit Melika Dannese lux's website!


  1. Please count me in. Thanks for making it open to all.


  2. Thanks for the giveaway!

    justjanhvi at gmail dot com

  3. This book looks like a good one. Thank you for the chance to win.

    griperang at embarqmail dot com

  4. Flamboyant characters and melodramatic moments - sounds wonderful. Thanks for the giveaway.

  5. oh yes, please enter me for the giveaway!!
    thank you!!

    cyn209 at juno dot com

  6. I love that book cover. I've never been to France but I do want to. I've been to England, Finland and Sweden. Random countries, I know, but my best friend and I went and decided which countries to go to based on where we've been dying to go! France was on the list, but not high enough.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    mestith at gmail dot com

  7. Please enter me. I would like to give this book a try.

    tmrtini at gmail dot com

  8. A wonderful giveaway. Many thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  9. Please enter me. This book sounds unique. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  10. the phrase "oozes French ambiance" simply intrigued me a lot lol *a sucker for French stuff*

    anyway, count me in :3

    freaking_random at yahoo

  11. thanks for the giveaway! sounds great.
    Emma @ Words And Peace
    ehc16e at yahoo dot com


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