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Swept Back in Time to the Belle Epoque - an Editorial Review of "A Tryst in Paris"

A Tryst in Paris book cover

Book Blurb:

When Mirabelle Montgomery visits the Luxembourg Carousel in Paris, a mysterious time shifter sweeps her into the Carousel’s time travel vortex and transports her to 1900 Paris. Her return will be allowed once she completes her mission to restore a man’s fate gone wrong. But whose?

Upon meeting dangerously sexy Jacques Thibaut, Mirabelle believes she has found her man. His life’s purpose as a stellar police detective has been derailed by accusations of his plotting with anarchists to overthrow the French government.

If she proves Jacques to be innocent, his life will be reset to its rightful providence. He will win back his job and those who once believed in him, including the woman he planned to marry.

Mirabelle’s determination to complete her mission kindles passion between them. But their falling in love will jeopardize everything, for his true destiny does not include her. Besides, even if her heart desires, she cannot remain in 1900 Paris . . . can she?

Join Mirabelle Montgomery and her adventures as a time traveler in Paris of the past. A Tryst in Paris is Book One of The Carousel Time Traveler series.

Author Bio:

Anne Armistead author photo

Anne Armistead is the award-winning author of love stories, past and present. She writes romances in multi-genres, including historical, fantasy, and contemporary. When she's not conjuring tales to write, she's reading those written by others. Anne was named the 2020 Georgia Independent Author (historical fiction category) for WITH KISSES FROM CÉCILE. She was a 2024 Georgia Author of the Year nominee (romance category) for A TRYST IN PARIS, which also is a finalist in the 2024 Georgia Romance Writers Maggie's contest (historical category).

Editorial Review:

There’s no telling what tomorrow may bring.”

Aren’t you the philosopher, Sylvie.” Mirabelle accepted the mug of café au lait. She sank into the soft leather club sofa in her godmother’s Paris apartment.

My PhD in Philosophy did convince the Sorbonne to hire me.” Sylvie sat opposite Mirabelle, a demitasse in hand. She’d tucked her legs to the side in the antique French tufted chair. “That’s neither here nor there. I’m merely translating the saying on your coffee cup, dear. Les jours se suivent et ne se ressemblent pas.”

Mira studied the French script her forehead creased in concentration. “Oh, I confess. I’m hopeless in foreign languages.” She rolled her eyes. “I can tell you what tomorrow will bring, though. A long day of antique shopping and lingering doubt over Rob.” She slouched against the sofa’s back. “I barely slept on the flight. I kept second-guessing myself. Maybe Rob was the one for me, and I blew it.”

The book's opening paragraph and phrase capture our attention and pull us right into the narrative. I immediately wanted to keep reading and learn what was happening with these characters. A sense of mystery and wonder permeates the opening scene, establishing the tone for the remainder of the book.

Armistead's A Tryst in Paris transports readers to the bustling streets of Paris in 1900. The novel, which is the first in The Carousel Time Traveler series, introduces readers to the fascinating realm of time travel romance via Mirabelle Montgomery's perspective. Readers familiar with time travel tropes and the butterfly effect will jump right into this one with ease.

The plot hooks the reader in right away with the idea of time travel and an attempt to change a man's destiny. Young Mirabelle Montgomery is on a trip to Paris when she discovers at the Luxembourg Carousel that an inscrutable time shifter has sent her back to 1900. Her goal is to right a wronged destiny, which she realizes when she encounters Jacques Thibaut, a police officer whose life has been wrongfully turned upside down. It’s a very interesting angle for a historical romance.

The display window of the Intemporel Antiquités caught Mira’s attention. She viewed the mannequin with a slow, disbelieving shake of her head. It wore the same outfit she’d seen in a sketch dated 1900 by the famous Parisian haute couture dress designer, Jeanne Paquin. Turquoise, lavender, and rose embroidery accented the crème-colored bodice and skirt. The wide-brimmed hat sported effusive turquoise plumage. Mira mentally clicked through the IMDb listings of multiple films she’d worked on for which Paquin designs were copied for actresses’ wardrobes. If this original existed in such sublime condition, she’d know.

The fabric appeared to be mousseline de soie, an extremely fine, soft muslin made of silk. A wide turquoise satin band encircled its waist. The skirt’s hem, decorated with diamond-shaped dentelle applique inlay outlined with braided crème cord work, brushed against the ground. The same appliques decorated the high-necked bodice, which had a scalloped turquoise overlay with embroidered floral rose and lavender designs. A broad swath of netting protruded from the hat’s top and encircled the mannequin’s head.

The story continues to pull you in and there is a lot on the line for our main character. We also have romance, historical intrigue, and suspense as you work to find the truth and clear Jacques' name, alongside Mira. Armistead's story is a genuine page-turner as it keeps us wondering what’s going to happen, right up until the very end.

Throughout the entire book, Mira demonstrates her strength, determination, and intelligence as a sympathetic and compelling protagonist. Her initial shock and eventual adjustment to the past are realistically depicted.

The handsome police investigator Jacques Thibaut is also quite well-developed. He is a likeable character because of his flaws and vulnerabilities, and the plot gains emotional depth from his developing bond with Mirabelle. The folks of 1900 Paris and the enigmatic time shifter are two examples of the well-developed supporting cast that enhance the story.

A Tryst in Paris is notable for the way it handles the historical elements and the romance angles. The historical background, romance tale, and time travel element all come together to produce a unique and captivating story. The inventive and whimsical idea of a time shifter utilizing a carousel as a doorway enhances the narrative.

The book has an easy-to-read layout and is well-formatted, which improves the reading experience. There were no typos or grammatical errors that pull you out of the story. Because of the chapters' excellent organization, the plot moves seamlessly from one scene to the next. The people and their relationships are given more depth by the clear and convincing dialogue.

To make sure that the time travel mechanisms are plausible and consistent, Armistead expertly combines the historical and fantasy aspects of the narrative. The reader is fully immersed in the sights, sounds, and social mores of the era because of the seamless transitions between the present and the past and the painstaking research of the historical details.

The narrative arc has a well-defined beginning, middle, and end. The characters and the plot are introduced in the first setup, suspense is built, and the major conflict is developed in the middle, and a satisfactory resolution is offered in the climax. The reader is kept interested the entire time by the well-balanced tempo.

Mira awakened before dawn, dizzy and disoriented from fitful, strange dreams. She checked her phone, but no call had come from her mom. Wide awake with worry, she stretched long under the bed’s lovely canopy and realized she was starved. Sylvie had spoiled her yesterday with a lovely breakfast in bed. No Sylvie this morning, though.

You’re on your own today, kiddo.

After downing the delicious orange juice, Mira munched on a croissant and sipped hot tea while she scrolled through the weather app. The forecast called for another chilly spring day. She donned once again her lone packed outfit of the black turtle neck and jeans.

The book ends in a way that is both tragic and rewarding. Although Mirabelle accomplishes her goal and changes Jacques' destiny, the conclusion is bittersweet. In addition to providing readers with a sense of closure, Armistead establishes the framework for the series' upcoming adventures in the next book.

Anne Armistead's evocative style and vivid descriptions showcase her writing skill. Her vivid prose vividly captures the splendor of the Exposition Universelle, the streets of Paris, and the minute aspects of fashion and society in the early 1900s. The conversation flows well and captures the essence of the individuals, adding to the story's realism.

Fans of historical fiction, romance, and fantasy will find A Tryst in Paris to be an engrossing and masterfully written book. This novel is a remarkable start to The Carousel Time Traveler series because of its gripping plot, rounded characters, and painstaking attention to historical history.


“A Tryst in Paris” by Anne Armistead receives five stars and the “Highly Recommended” award of excellence


HFC Highly Recommended award badge


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