Thank you to Lauren Blakely and her team for the advance reader copy of The Muse. This surprise release from Lauren releases on March 19th.
I was immediately drawn in by the concept of this story. Lauren has never mixed in such mystical and magical elements. I was so excited to be whisked away to Paris and to the Musee d’Orsay, a place I absolutely loved.
I am a member of Lauren Blakely’s review team, but I stand by my reviews remaining honest and true.
Check out the Goodreads synopsis…
“Midnight in Paris meets Night at the Museum! A gorgeous standalone forbidden romance with magical elements! Fall in love with The Muse, a sweeping romance set in a modern day Paris that’s full of magic, art, mysteries, and passion from #1 NYT Bestseller Lauren Blakely!
The first time a woman stepped out of a painting, I thought I was seeing things.
The second time, I thought I was going mad.
The night she emerged from a Renoir, I felt something else entirely — a deep stirring of desire, and the wish to get to know the brilliant beauty who’s been trapped inside a painted garden for years.
She can only come out at night in the Musée d’Orsay, where I work. There, after hours, we wander through galleries, with the Van Goghs, the Monets, and the Toulouse Lautrecs the only witnesses to our midnight kisses and, soon, our trysts.
She opens her heart to me, and I learn her story.
But she keeps secrets too, ones I hope to unravel. Why she was trapped. Why Renoir is hunting her. And why artwork in famous museums across the world is starting to disintegrate.
Why I, too, seem to be the only person who can repair the masterpieces.
As I fall deeper for the woman who’s trapped in a museum, I’m caught up in another side of Paris after dark, one inhabited by forgers, ghosts of famous artists and, impossibly, by Muses.
But someone is after the woman I’m falling in love with, and it’s up to me to save her…even if it means losing everything I’ve found with her.”
Check out my more detailed thoughts below…
- Characters: The main character and sole point of view of this story is Julien. He happens to be part French and part British but has settled with his sister in Paris after summering in France with their father. Julien is an intern at the Musee d’Orsay, as his sister heads the gallery. The key to the story is that he often works at night when the gallery is quiet and nobody else is around. It helps him to focus. One of those nights he sees a young girl dancing around in a skirt of tulle. She appears to have been pulled straight out of a Degas painting. This is what sets off our story.
- Setting: The story is set in Paris, a place close to my heart. I was lucky enough to spend weeks there a few summers ago and it captured my heart. Even if you have never been, you’ll know how magical it can be. And it is a beautiful city to fall in love in and to take in art in, two things Julien demonstrates beautifully. The main setting really is the museum and if you are not aware of the Musee d’Orsay I encourage you to look it up to understand what the halls the characters walk down actually look like. It is such a unique museum built inside of an old train station, probably one of my most favourite museums in the world.
- Pacing: My one minor complaint about the story came to the pacing. I felt it was really slow to get into the story. It took way too long to really meet the love interest. Once they met I got much more invested in the story, but this does drag a lot more than some of Lauren’s other books.
- Romance: The romance does really shine in this story. Once Clio had entered the story, it really took off. Julien and Clio clicked right away and went on such wonderful dates. They went from sharing pastries to stealing kisses. This was not as steamy as some of Lauren’s latest releases, rather it was pure sweet forbidden romance.
The Muse receives four out of five stars.
You can pick up the story below…
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Thank you again to Lauren and her team for the review opportunity. Thank you for reading and supporting my blog!