Very good chick-lit!
I really enjoyed reading Cocktails at Le Carmen - in fact, I finished it in half the time I should've, considering I was - and still am - in the middle of finals week. It's light, funny, cute and easy to read, which was exactly what I needed. It's very similar to the Shopaholic series, obviously since it's about a woman who loves fashion and her dating experiences, but I also thought that the kind if characters and the plot were similar, too. I think it might be a bit of a negative point, because I didn't feel like I was reading a truly original work. However, it's not overly similar, so I was very well able to read without thinking of the similarities.
I liked the diversity in characters that this story has. We get to know Chloe's London friends, Paris friends, parents, sister, boyfriend, coworkers, etc. I feel like this adds a more realistic touch to the story, because a love story isn't usually just about two characters, it's about everyone around them, too. Also, it was clear to me that Chloe cared a lot about them, which made her a lovable character. I had a bit of an issue with some of the characters because I felt like I couldn't understand them well, since one minute I could think they would do something, yet they would do the opposite. It added to the surprise, but it bugged me a lot, because I saw them as unreliable.
I really enjoyed the plot, as well as the settings, because I thought it was interesting and realistic. Instead of living a glamorous life in Paris, Chloe experiments a lot of problems, just as anyone working in another country would. I liked the language contrasts, especially since I speak French myself, and I thought that the explorations that Chloe has in Paris were a great addition to the story, although they were a bit cliché. If you love books set in a foreign country, this is the one for you, because you'll get a lot of French and British culture while reading.
I wasn't exactly pleased with the ending, because I thought it ended quite abruptly and was a bit too "happily ever after". If only it had had more depth, I think it would've been great, but once more, I felt as if the author had only wanted to finally finish writing the novel. I think endings are very important to stories, which is why they should never be rushed.
Overall, I really liked this novel. As I mentionned it earlier, there are some things that I disliked about it, but my reading experience was a very nice one and I think that as far as chick-lot books go, this is a great one. I recommend it!
(Thank you NetGalley for providing me with a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)
Interview with the author here: http://lauromantique.blogspot.ca/2015/08/interview-isabelle-andover.html .