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The Brightest Star in Paris

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In Diana Biller's The Brightest Star in Paris, love is waiting; you only have to let it in. Amelie St. James, prima ballerina of the Paris Opera Ballet and the people's saint, has spent seven years pretending. In the devastating aftermath of the Siege of Paris, she made a decision to protect her sister: she became the bland, sweet, pious “St. Amie” the ballet needed to rest In Diana Biller's The Brightest Star in Paris, love is waiting; you only have to let it in. Amelie St. James, prima ballerina of the Paris Opera Ballet and the people's saint, has spent seven years pretending. In the devastating aftermath of the Siege of Paris, she made a decision to protect her sister: she became the bland, sweet, pious “St. Amie” the ballet needed to restore its scandalous reputation. But when her first love reappears, and the ghosts of her past come back to haunt her, all her hard-fought safety is threatened. Dr. Benedict Moore has never forgotten the girl who helped him embrace life again after he almost lost his. Now, he's back in Paris after twelve years for a conference. His goals are to recruit promising new scientists, and, maybe, to see Amelie again. When he discovers she's in trouble, he's desperate to help her—after all, he owes her. When she finally agrees to let him help, they disguise their time together with a fake courtship. But reigniting old feelings is dangerous, especially when their lives are an ocean apart. Will they be able to make it out with their hearts intact?


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In Diana Biller's The Brightest Star in Paris, love is waiting; you only have to let it in. Amelie St. James, prima ballerina of the Paris Opera Ballet and the people's saint, has spent seven years pretending. In the devastating aftermath of the Siege of Paris, she made a decision to protect her sister: she became the bland, sweet, pious “St. Amie” the ballet needed to rest In Diana Biller's The Brightest Star in Paris, love is waiting; you only have to let it in. Amelie St. James, prima ballerina of the Paris Opera Ballet and the people's saint, has spent seven years pretending. In the devastating aftermath of the Siege of Paris, she made a decision to protect her sister: she became the bland, sweet, pious “St. Amie” the ballet needed to restore its scandalous reputation. But when her first love reappears, and the ghosts of her past come back to haunt her, all her hard-fought safety is threatened. Dr. Benedict Moore has never forgotten the girl who helped him embrace life again after he almost lost his. Now, he's back in Paris after twelve years for a conference. His goals are to recruit promising new scientists, and, maybe, to see Amelie again. When he discovers she's in trouble, he's desperate to help her—after all, he owes her. When she finally agrees to let him help, they disguise their time together with a fake courtship. But reigniting old feelings is dangerous, especially when their lives are an ocean apart. Will they be able to make it out with their hearts intact?

30 review for The Brightest Star in Paris

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jasmine

    The Brightest Star in Paris is a magical love story. It’s 1878, and Amelie St. James is the prima ballerina at the Paris Opera Ballet. Her adoring fans call her St. Amie because they only see her as the pious and darling ballerina they know and love. However, Amelie wasn’t always this adored. She felt she had to put on this amiable exterior to create a stable life for her and her sister after experiencing hardships. Meanwhile, Dr. Benedict Moore, Amelie’s first love, has returned to Paris from A The Brightest Star in Paris is a magical love story. It’s 1878, and Amelie St. James is the prima ballerina at the Paris Opera Ballet. Her adoring fans call her St. Amie because they only see her as the pious and darling ballerina they know and love. However, Amelie wasn’t always this adored. She felt she had to put on this amiable exterior to create a stable life for her and her sister after experiencing hardships. Meanwhile, Dr. Benedict Moore, Amelie’s first love, has returned to Paris from America and is on a mission to present at a conference and recruit some new colleagues. But it’s all mostly just an excuse to see Amelie again. The two meet under strained circumstances. And this is where murder and ghosts enter and start to thicken the plot. The synopsis mentions ghosts of Amelie’s past, but I didn’t think they meant actual ghosts. Even though I wasn’t expecting them, I thought they added an entertaining element to this story. They were the perfect amount of funny and snarky, but also, their stories were heartbreaking. This novel was a bit darker than I thought it would be. Some of the themes deal with grief, pain, and loss. I think I’ll be in the minority with this one - I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped. The plot dragged on and could use some editing to par it down a smidge. At one point, the ghost element dropped off and was picked up again later in the book. I think other readers will love this; it’s just not for me. There are a lot of other positive reviews, so maybe you’ll want to check those out. Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for the arc in exchange for my honest opinions.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Storiesandcoffee

    I vowed to read more historical romance this year, and I've been failing...terribly. But I'm back on my game thanks to The Brightest Star in Paris. This book was pure joy and delight, and it reignited my desire to read more books just like it. I guess I should start by saying if you're a stickler for reading order, you should know this book is set in the same world as The Widow of Rose House and some characters do overlap. I had no idea these books were connected, so I didn't read The Widow of Ro I vowed to read more historical romance this year, and I've been failing...terribly. But I'm back on my game thanks to The Brightest Star in Paris. This book was pure joy and delight, and it reignited my desire to read more books just like it. I guess I should start by saying if you're a stickler for reading order, you should know this book is set in the same world as The Widow of Rose House and some characters do overlap. I had no idea these books were connected, so I didn't read The Widow of Rose House first. I never felt lost or confused reading The Brightest Star in Paris, but it does spoil TWORH a bit, so if reading order is super important to you, you may get the most enjoyment starting there. The Brightest Star in Paris takes place in 1878, a few years after the Siege of Paris. While the impoverished are still struggling with the aftermath of war, the wealthy and fashionable are back to enjoying an opulent lifestyle filled with fine dining and nights at the ballet. (Much of the book takes places at the Palais Garnier, a beautiful opera house and one of the most popular structures in all of Paris.) Amelie St. James is the prima ballerina of the Paris Opera Ballet, begrudgingly. While she loves to dance, she hates the person she's pretending to be. Once a poor girl from the rough side of town, she now lives in a gorgeous apartment and mingles with the same men who turned her mother into a societal outcast before her untimely death. The only time Amelie can recall being truly happy was 12 years prior, when a handsome American named Ben took her by surprise. So, when Ben returns to Paris and they discover their connection is just as strong as it once was, they must decide if they can make it work this time around or if they should finally part ways for good. There are so many things I loved about this book. The magical Paris setting. The sweet, second chance romance. The timely observation of class struggle. The painful realization that men still abuse their power over 100 years later. But what I loved the most was the deep sense of family and connectedness I felt while spending time with Ben's family, the Moores. Loving and caring, silly and wild, they are one of the most lovely fictional families I've ever met, and it was such a pleasure getting to know them. 4.5🌟 Thank you SMP Romance for the gifted ARC, all opinions are my own.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Get your ticket to a special heartfelt, magical, sad, moving, engaging, inspirational journey at the end of 19th century in lovers’ glamorous city Paris! Amelie and Benedict met 12 years ago when Benedict suffers from invisible emotional scars he’s been experiencing at the war by witnessing the casualties he couldn’t save. Amelia kidnaps the young man who feels trapped in hospital and takes him to the picnic near the lakeside. She’s vivid, cheery, patronizing, hopeful, full of energy. She saved Get your ticket to a special heartfelt, magical, sad, moving, engaging, inspirational journey at the end of 19th century in lovers’ glamorous city Paris! Amelie and Benedict met 12 years ago when Benedict suffers from invisible emotional scars he’s been experiencing at the war by witnessing the casualties he couldn’t save. Amelia kidnaps the young man who feels trapped in hospital and takes him to the picnic near the lakeside. She’s vivid, cheery, patronizing, hopeful, full of energy. She saved him from himself and gave him a full reason to start over. When they parted their ways before Prussian siege, Benedict had no idea what kind of danger was awaiting to Parisians. But he had to go back to the states as Amelia advised him without looking back. Then the Prussian siege around Paris destroyed everything, took innocent lives, left Ben with more guilt feelings. He couldn’t save the girl who saved him! He failed her! Now he returned back to the place everything started after 12 years later. He’s not 19 years old, naive, shy, clumsy boy anymore! And Amelie is not the cheerful, happy girl she left behind. She became one of the casualties of war, embracing her emotional wounds, turning into icon called St. Amie for giving hope to the city which was reborn from the ashes! She takes care of her 11 years old sister after losing her mother to terminal disease. She is not only saints of people who lost everything at the war, she’s also prima ballerina of Paris Opera Ballet , pretending like someone else for years to put a roof over their heads and provide better opportunities for her sister to get proper education. But seeing her love of her life brings out complex feelings she’s harbored for years. She starts seeing ghosts from her past who need her help for their unfinished businesses. She thinks Ben might be the one who can help her who is astonishing doctor planning to open his institute in New York. He’s focused on searching human brains. Maybe he can help her to find the reason why she keeps seeing ghosts. But as they start spending time together, they realize nothing has changed how they feel about each other. But Ben will return to the states eventually and Amelie should stay in the city to take care of her sister. She doesn’t want to be a person who is existence depends on a man’s support. She wants to find who she is and she needs to find a way to get rid of ghosts of her pasts to create a better future for her! But how? The story was so engaging, heartbreaking, inspirational but don’t forget to take your napkins with you during your reading. There is so much angst like tiny glass pieces keep stabbing you and bleeding your heart! I loved the characters’s development, the epic love story, the paranormal connections, a city’s survival story after the siege. It’s intense, heartbreaking journey but I liked the hopeful feelings it left on me at the end! Special thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press/ St. Martin’s Griffin for sharing this amazing digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest thoughts.

  4. 5 out of 5

    aarya

    2021 Spring Bingo (#SpringIntoLoveBingo🌷): Set in Continental Europe This book is wild. I continuously predicted what would happen next and was always wrong. Also, I’m suing for emotional damages as soon as tears stop streaming down my face (who gave Diana Biller the right to write that last scene in Paris? WHO!?). List of content notes on author’s website: https://www.dianabiller.com/content-w... Disclaimer: I received a free e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 2021 Spring Bingo (#SpringIntoLoveBingo🌷): Set in Continental Europe This book is wild. I continuously predicted what would happen next and was always wrong. Also, I’m suing for emotional damages as soon as tears stop streaming down my face (who gave Diana Biller the right to write that last scene in Paris? WHO!?). List of content notes on author’s website: https://www.dianabiller.com/content-w... Disclaimer: I received a free e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Blackjack

    3.5 The second full novel from Diana Biller was a highly anticipated event for me because I really enjoyed her debut novel from a couple of years ago and it felt like ages for a new release. But while I enjoyed aspects of this second book, it did unfortunately fall short of expectations, and I think overall, even a week after I read it, I'm left mostly with a lingering feeling of melancholy at the story that was told. I hesitate to call this a romance, though there is a happy ending, kind of. I f 3.5 The second full novel from Diana Biller was a highly anticipated event for me because I really enjoyed her debut novel from a couple of years ago and it felt like ages for a new release. But while I enjoyed aspects of this second book, it did unfortunately fall short of expectations, and I think overall, even a week after I read it, I'm left mostly with a lingering feeling of melancholy at the story that was told. I hesitate to call this a romance, though there is a happy ending, kind of. I found that the romance is submerged, and then the moments when it reappears, I felt somewhat startled to remind myself that the main couple are in love. I'm not sure if my response to this one is based more on expectations given the first book in this series, but I suspect there is some of that going on. This second book follows the family saga of the Moores, an eccentric group of brilliant scientists, all of whom have a penchant for falling in love with romantically challenging people. Benedict Moore took a bit of time for me to warm to here, as he is a more retiring figure in a family of flamboyant extroverts. His quiet and steady nature won me over though in the course of the story, and he proved himself many times over to be hero-worthy of a very broken heroine. This book though is about Amelie who is hanging onto life by a thread. She's a prima ballerina in the glamorous Paris opera house at the turn of the century, but unbeknownst to everyone there, her body is failing her. A tragic accident from the past causes her debilitating pain. Biller depicts these moments so vividly that I could perfectly envision the torment Amelie endured in each performance. The book sets up a sequence of events that seal Amelie's fate and cage her in so that she has few options left. Her tragedies are reminiscent of the heroines of early realist novels, such as one might encounter in an Edith Wharton novel. Amelie is a victim of poverty caused by the premature death of her tragic figure of a mother and the doom brought on Parisians during the siege of Paris. Left to fend for herself and her young sister, Amelie turns to her dancing as the only means to survive aside from prostitution, which she also does, to keep herself and her sister afloat. Poverty, threat to her survival, grief of a loved one, and physical pain define her existence for most of the book. Add in a ghoul of a villain, and Amelie is a Tragic Figure of extraordinary proportions. This is though a second chance love story too, and with Benedict's return to Paris, it wouldn't be too amiss to believe that the trope of the white knight is about to be deployed. Benedict's presence in Amelie's life is misleading however because she is not able to let down her guard and be saved by a man, not after the disaster she saw firsthand with her mother's own prostitution and early demise. Any hope that Benedict can save Amelie from her pain is pretty quickly dashed, leaving us mired in more sadness - right up to nearly the final pages. Benedict's return also strangely ushers in an array of ghosts. One ghost haunted his brother's fiance in the first novel, but here, it's a bunch of them. As Amelie walks the streets of Paris, they follow along chatting and even bickering. While paranormal elements worked well for me in the first book, I did struggle with them here, as I don't think their inclusion is essential. They do bring morals that Amelie must sift through and some life lessons to ponder, but still, I wondered if high concepts like these needed ghosts or if ghosts are simply a part of this author's repertoire now? In this book the ghosts felt almost like comic relief at times, even with the tragedies that cause them to linger in purgatory. Despite this book being quite plot driven in terms of events that unfold that lead Amelie to a better place in her life - one where she can believe herself worthy of love - the ending felt rushed to me. Ghostly apparitions are dispelled conveniently, villains are handily dealt with (though not satisfactorily enough), romance is elevated, and an HEA is declared. I'm still left feeling weighted down by all that the heroine endures and the sadness that kept two lovers apart for a decade. I wanted more romantic time with Amelie and Benedict in present day and felt undersold on their future life together. There is one sex scene inserted near the end of the book that felt artificially plunked in to satisfy readers but did not work for me at all. Biller is an adept writer and so this book kept me glued to it throughout, even in spite of my reservations. I do very much want to read her next one. Really hoping it centers on Henry, as he continues to be a pull in every small appearance he makes across both books now.

  6. 4 out of 5

    b.andherbooks

    I cannot stop thinking about this book. What a knockout. So very hauntingly sad, yet somehow managed to lift my heart back up into my chest? An epic slowburn by the way, which I typically only allow Kate Clayborn to do to me, but welcome Diana Biller to the team. Amelie St. James, prima ballerina, with her focus on being a "saint" to maintain an image to allow her to keep her and her sister in their home. Discussions of gentrification and the aftereffects of social upheaval in Paris. Young sweet I cannot stop thinking about this book. What a knockout. So very hauntingly sad, yet somehow managed to lift my heart back up into my chest? An epic slowburn by the way, which I typically only allow Kate Clayborn to do to me, but welcome Diana Biller to the team. Amelie St. James, prima ballerina, with her focus on being a "saint" to maintain an image to allow her to keep her and her sister in their home. Discussions of gentrification and the aftereffects of social upheaval in Paris. Young sweethearts who stole one kiss before ripping their hearts out of their chest. Competence porn from both Amelia and Dr. Benedict Moore. My goodness. This is incoherent but basically I feel like the discussion of grief, loss, and sadness combined with the romance was so exquisitely portrayed. I need to do a reread soon. CW - pain, medical stuff, injuries, depression, war PTSD, drinking, discussion of drugs, threat of sexual violence, ghosts, murder, dead bodies

  7. 4 out of 5

    Literary Redhead

    What a wonderful story with Paris, the ballet, ghosts, and lovers reunited! I practically inhaled this hist fic marvel, so enticed was I by the relationship between Amelie, prima ballerina of the Paris Opera Ballet, and Benedict, a physician and once her first love. The author’s descriptions are both glorious and heartbreaking, with Paris still recovering from the Franco-Prussian War. Her richly drawn characters are so fully real that you feel you’ve lived beside them through the Siege of Paris What a wonderful story with Paris, the ballet, ghosts, and lovers reunited! I practically inhaled this hist fic marvel, so enticed was I by the relationship between Amelie, prima ballerina of the Paris Opera Ballet, and Benedict, a physician and once her first love. The author’s descriptions are both glorious and heartbreaking, with Paris still recovering from the Franco-Prussian War. Her richly drawn characters are so fully real that you feel you’ve lived beside them through the Siege of Paris with Amelie and the American Civil War with Benedict. The magical realism element involving ghosts from the past adds another compelling layer to the beautifully woven story. In sum: I loved this book and will be reading anything Diana Biller writes from now on! 5 of 5 Stars Pub Date 12 Oct 2021 #TheBrightestStarInParis #NetGalley Thanks to the author, St. Martin's Press, and NetGalley for the review copy. Opinions are mine.

  8. 5 out of 5

    nick (the infinite limits of love)

    Absolutely magical. Diana Biller is an incredible writer and Benedict and Amelie's story was heart-achingly romantic and beautiful. Though the romance is central to this book, Amelie and her arc is the heart and soul of it. As always, the Moores continue to delight and I will never tire of this wholesome and chaotic family. Full RTC. CW can be found on Diana Biller's website. Absolutely magical. Diana Biller is an incredible writer and Benedict and Amelie's story was heart-achingly romantic and beautiful. Though the romance is central to this book, Amelie and her arc is the heart and soul of it. As always, the Moores continue to delight and I will never tire of this wholesome and chaotic family. Full RTC. CW can be found on Diana Biller's website.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Caz

    I've given this a B at AAR. The Brightest Star in Paris is the follow up to Diana Biller’s 2019 début, The Widow of Rose House; I haven’t got around to reading that one, but I gather that the books are linked by virtue of the fact that the hero of Brightest Star – Doctor Benedict Moore – is the brother of Sam from Rose House, and Alva, its heroine, is a good friend of this book’s heroine, Amelie.  Despite those connections however, the stories in each book are separate and I had no trouble readin I've given this a B at AAR. The Brightest Star in Paris is the follow up to Diana Biller’s 2019 début, The Widow of Rose House; I haven’t got around to reading that one, but I gather that the books are linked by virtue of the fact that the hero of Brightest Star – Doctor Benedict Moore – is the brother of Sam from Rose House, and Alva, its heroine, is a good friend of this book’s heroine, Amelie.  Despite those connections however, the stories in each book are separate and I had no trouble reading this one as a standalone.  It’s rather lovely – beautifully written with a melancholy tinge, dealing with themes of grief and loss at the same time as it details the second-chance romance between Amelie and Benedict – but there are a few things that didn’t quite work for me that mean I can’t give it a higher grade. The bulk of the story takes place in 1878, although there are a few flashback chapters that date back to twelve years earlier, when Benedict and Amelie first met.  This was after Benedict returned from serving as a medic in the American Civil War, so haunted by his experiences that his family is deeply concerned for his health and spirits.  Meeting Amelie, a bright, enchanting young woman who overflows with positive energy and completely captivates him, helps him find a renewed sense of purpose and start on his road to recovery;  the pair fall in love, but (for reasons not made clear until much later in the book) Amelie sends him away and he leaves to return to America with his family. Just a few years later,  Amelie and the people of Paris face terrible hardships resulting from the Franco Prussian War, The Siege of Paris and the bloody fall of the Paris Commune in 1870-1; these events effect profound changes on her life, as she is forced to do whatever is necessary in order to survive and take care of her much younger sister, Honorine. Now, though, she’s the darling of Paris.  Prima ballerina – étoile – at the Paris Opéra, Amelie is ‘St. Amie’, widely known and loved for her perfection, both on stage and off, a paragon of virtue in a world in which dancers were generally regarded as one step up from prostitutes.  Her pristine image hasn’t come without a price, however; as she’s worked her body hard to attain peak physical condition so she’s also worked hard to create a very specific image, one she now has to maintain at all costs. You can read the rest of this review at All About Romance .

  10. 4 out of 5

    book bruin

    I fell in love with the Moore family after reading The Widow of Rose House and was so excited to see that Benedict would be getting his own book. I couldn’t resist this childhood friends to lovers, second chance romance. The Brightest Star in Paris was an interesting mix of historical fiction with a paranormal twist. Diana Biller is a talented writer and she wove an intricate tale of lost love, survival, and second chances. Ben and Amelie’s story unfolds thanks to a mix of present day and flashba I fell in love with the Moore family after reading The Widow of Rose House and was so excited to see that Benedict would be getting his own book. I couldn’t resist this childhood friends to lovers, second chance romance. The Brightest Star in Paris was an interesting mix of historical fiction with a paranormal twist. Diana Biller is a talented writer and she wove an intricate tale of lost love, survival, and second chances. Ben and Amelie’s story unfolds thanks to a mix of present day and flashback chapters. I felt the story lost momentum around the middle, however, which made the book feel too long and the ending rushed. I grew frustrated with Amelie and all of the back and forth. After so much will they/won’t they tension and build up, the lone intimate scene felt awkward and out of character. The paranormal plot line was intriguing, but also quite confusing. The twist and reveal at the end was interesting, but I felt the ghost aspect overshadowed the romance too much. Diana Biller makes readers work for Benedict and Amelie’s happy ending and I’m not sure I was fully satisfied with how things ultimately played out. I did like seeing the Moore family again though, and I’m hoping for a book featuring Maggie and Henry in the future. CW: death of parent (syphilis related, mentions and flashback scene), grief, food and shelter insecurity, poverty, murder, mentions of morphine use and overdose, discussion of death and post traumatic stress related to war, physical injury resulting in loss of job, prostitution, and severe illness. The author also has a list of content warnings here that I encourage readers to view as well. *I voluntarily read an advance review copy of this book*

  11. 5 out of 5

    Joanna Loves Reading

    The unique setting and interesting plot were two things I enjoyed about Diana Biller’s debut novel, and that holds true with this second in series story. This time the middle Moore sibling, Ben, is in Paris for a medical conference, where he reunites with Amie, the current Prima Ballerina. They had met and shared a fleeting summer love 12 years before. Ben re-enters Amie’s life at a time when she really needs a friend she can trust. She has the care of her younger sister and needs her ballerina c The unique setting and interesting plot were two things I enjoyed about Diana Biller’s debut novel, and that holds true with this second in series story. This time the middle Moore sibling, Ben, is in Paris for a medical conference, where he reunites with Amie, the current Prima Ballerina. They had met and shared a fleeting summer love 12 years before. Ben re-enters Amie’s life at a time when she really needs a friend she can trust. She has the care of her younger sister and needs her ballerina career to last a couple more years, but a lingering and worsening hip injury is making that goal less and less likely. On top of that, she has begun to see ghosts. Ghosts were part of the first novel as well, so a series theme, apparently. Ben, having been exposed in the previous story, is understanding and takes no convincing on the ghost story. Amie is known as St. Amie throughout Paris due to her pristine image. How she became known as St. was interesting, I thought, and dealt with tumultuous times in Paris in the 1860s/70s. It was not an easy time for her, but she is a resilient heroine and came out on top. Ben was a medic in the US Civil War, and met Amie for the first time after the war when he was depressed. His interest in medicine is with studying the brain particular, to help war survivors overcome/understand their mental ailments. Both were good, interesting characters, that I enjoyed reading about. The part that didn’t fully work for me is the romance. There was clear caring and a strong friendship, but it seemed to be lacking some spark/passion. It was fun getting to see the inventor, eccentric Moore family again. Overall, this was a good read that I would recommend. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a chance to read and review this book. Views are my own.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ellie

    Absolutely brilliant!!! Wow, I loved this romance so, so much. I was late reading Diana Biller's debut historical romance, The Widow of Rose House, and I thoroughly enjoyed. I was so excited for the next book in the series and was not disappointed. It it unlike anything I have ever read or expected it to be and it's stunning. This is a historical romance set in 1870/80s Paris, a time period and place that are noш a very common romance setting and one that I am not very familiar with. The historica Absolutely brilliant!!! Wow, I loved this romance so, so much. I was late reading Diana Biller's debut historical romance, The Widow of Rose House, and I thoroughly enjoyed. I was so excited for the next book in the series and was not disappointed. It it unlike anything I have ever read or expected it to be and it's stunning. This is a historical romance set in 1870/80s Paris, a time period and place that are noш a very common romance setting and one that I am not very familiar with. The historical details were strongly present in this book, creating an engaging background without taking the focus away from the main story/romance. It's very much a grief book, the war trauma, the survival trauma, the loss are palpable on every page. It made tough reading at times but it was mostly balanced out by the geeky, fun Moore family and the intense romance. I loved the heroine, she is amazing. I want to cuddle her and shake her and take care of her and let her figure out her dreams and follow them. This is what the hero tried to do throughout the book though naturally he messed up a time or two. And she is not perfect either. She has her own demons to fight. And I liked how they both felt, two messed up people dealing with life in the best way they could. I appreciate the glimpse we get of the ballet world of the time behind the fame and glamour. It's beautiful and terrifying, we see supportive and caring fans but also predatory men who abuse the vulnerability of young girls and a world that enables them to do it. And on top of this realism, we get ghosts. The heroine is haunted not by one but by three of them. I often struggle to reconcile the realism in a story with its paranormal elements but I had no issues with it here. Somehow the ghosts' presence made sense to me, I felt that they fit into the story seamlessly. There are flashbacks that also worked naturally. And teenage sisters who were not annoying but brought pure joy on page. And there was positive message re sex work that I didn't expect but that also made sense in the story for me. Put out like that it may appear there are too many things happening but in reality they were well balanced and the author managed to create a rich, life-like world where a touching romance develops. In short, I absolutely loved that book and can't recommend it high enough! CWs: loss, grief, war trauma, murder, abuse, slow, painful death of a loved one (in flashback), dance injuries

  13. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Ohhhh do I love the way Diana Biller writes ghost stories and love stories and just people in general. Her characters are so, SO good, so warm and true and richly developed and I love them so much (especially including every one of the various ghosts who visit Amelie, the heroine of this novel). This is a book about grief and about recovering from trauma and learning how to find hope again - so even though I'd preordered it (in two different formats, because I've loved everything she writes THAT Ohhhh do I love the way Diana Biller writes ghost stories and love stories and just people in general. Her characters are so, SO good, so warm and true and richly developed and I love them so much (especially including every one of the various ghosts who visit Amelie, the heroine of this novel). This is a book about grief and about recovering from trauma and learning how to find hope again - so even though I'd preordered it (in two different formats, because I've loved everything she writes THAT much!), I hesitated about getting started. I thought maybe I should wait until I was no longer dealing with a physical recovery of my own. But I did read the opening just to see what it was like...and that was it. I was sucked in completely! I stayed up far too late to devour it all tonight, and I don't regret it one bit. Amelie and Benedict have both been through so much in their past, but watching both of them, in different ways, start to unclench and find joy again was AMAZING. I adore the entire Moore family so much (and look forward with great interest to Maggie's book whenever it arrives), and Amelie's little sister is wonderful, too. This book is just so warm and rich and overflowing with compassion, and there's so much lovely humor and lightness of touch in the midst of the harder issues. I love this bit between Amelie and Benedict, early on after they've met again for the first time in twelve years: "Your offer. Of...help." "I will always help you," he said plainly. This did not seem to please her. "I want to negotiate." "Alright," he said. "I'll give you anything you want." "Ben. Benedict, I mean." "You can keep calling me Ben." "Benedict. That's not how a negotiation works." "No?" She frowned at him. He smiled back. He couldn't help it - he was slowly realizing she'd come to see him and a slow tide of joy was rolling through his body. "I can't accept your help for nothing," she said. "I need to give you something in return." "I like sandwiches," he said. She huffed at him. It was a familiar huff. It meant he wasn't doing what she thought he ought to, that he wasn't seeing reason - he was being pig-headed. He'd loved that sound.He still loved it. <3 <3 The issues that Amelie and Ben have both been through (his time as a doctor in the US civil war; her traumatic experiences in Paris during the Franco-Prussian war and the Bloody Week afterwards) are real and hard and complex - but the romance between them is just lovely. And I adored the ghosts! Basically, just: this book is wonderful. Read it! (I have no idea why, btw, the rather bland cover copy and the cover image make absolutely no mention of the many ghosts involved in this book. Ghosts - both literal and metaphorical - are the main propellors of the whole plot! They're hardly irrelevant! But - in other words, please ignore the cover copy and understand that it's a fabulous ghost story AND a fabulous romance, full of really wonderful characters. Some of them also occur in a different book, The Widow of Rose House, which I also loved, but you can happily read them in either order. And the novella prequel about the Moore parents is lovely too!) I will buy everything Diana Biller wants to write, in multiple formats, forever. :)

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ari

    *I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.* *4.5 Stars!* 𝗤𝗨𝗜𝗖𝗞 𝗧𝗛𝗢𝗨𝗚𝗛𝗧𝗦 ❧ I picked up The Widow of Rose House last month after Nick threatened to disown me if I didn't read it and I enjoyed every minute of it! So when I saw that Ben was also getting his own story, and that it was a second-chance romance (my kink!), I knew I needed to get my grabby little hands on it soon! ❧ In all honesty, historical romance is not the subgenre I gravitate to when *I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.* *4.5 Stars!* 𝗤𝗨𝗜𝗖𝗞 𝗧𝗛𝗢𝗨𝗚𝗛𝗧𝗦 ❧ I picked up The Widow of Rose House last month after Nick threatened to disown me if I didn't read it and I enjoyed every minute of it! So when I saw that Ben was also getting his own story, and that it was a second-chance romance (my kink!), I knew I needed to get my grabby little hands on it soon! ❧ In all honesty, historical romance is not the subgenre I gravitate to when looking for a new romance read, but I think the spooky twist incorporated into these stories is what had me hook. If you don't like ghosts then this book may not be for you as our heroine is a spiritual medium and has the ability to see ghosts. I definitely enjoyed our ghostly side characters and I loved getting to see some of them find peace eventually move on. Also, there are ghostly shenanigans! ❧ Amelie St. James' story is one that is both of struggle and strength. She lost her mother at such a young age and she had to find a way to support herself and her younger sister in a time where Paris was being torn apart. She becomes a famous prima ballerina and even that has a costly price as she has to make important decisions regarding her health and her career. What I love most about Amelie is her determination and when she sets her mind to something, she saw it through. ❧ Someone please tell me where I can find a husband like the Moore men because I HAVE A GREAT NEED! The Moore men are SIMPS and I love how they boldly show affection to the women they love and they are willing to do whatever they need to to make sure that they are safe and happy. Even after all the years that have passed, Benedict was still getting flustered around Amelie and it was adorable! ❧ This second-chance romance is a little on the slower side because there is a great deal going on in both Amelie and Ben's life and they have to overcome these obstacles before they can be together. But when they did finally get together, I rejoiced! Their romance is so tender and deep and you can see how much love these two have for one another. ❧ PETITION FOR HENRY AND MAGGIE TO GET THEIR OWN BOOK! ❧ Also, can the Moore family please adopt me?! I adore this family so much, definitely one of my favorite fictional family to date. ❧ If you enjoy historical romances with a ghostly twist then you need to pick up Diana Biller's books ASAP! You won't regret it! CW: Click here to view

  15. 5 out of 5

    ♥Rachel♥

    There were things I enjoyed about this one, like the Moore's. Benedict's family are so lovingly chaotic and fun. I adored Benedict. I liked Amelie, but being in her head was a little difficult for me. She didn't want to let Benedict in, didn't want any help, and they were in love, had been in love for years. Nothing important, IMO, was in the way, but still Amelie stop resisting until the very end. I liked the whole ghost aspect, but I felt it just dropped out of existence here and there. Also, I There were things I enjoyed about this one, like the Moore's. Benedict's family are so lovingly chaotic and fun. I adored Benedict. I liked Amelie, but being in her head was a little difficult for me. She didn't want to let Benedict in, didn't want any help, and they were in love, had been in love for years. Nothing important, IMO, was in the way, but still Amelie stop resisting until the very end. I liked the whole ghost aspect, but I felt it just dropped out of existence here and there. Also, I felt like we should've been able to witness Amelie's plan of action (view spoiler)[ against Lavel in a scene after what he put her through. (hide spoiler)] I do still want to pick up the novella centered around John and Winnifred's romance (the Moore's mother and father), and I hope to get a story for Henry and Maggie in the future.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne Adamek

    4.5 stars

  17. 5 out of 5

    Louise

    I really enjoyed the author’s first book, The Widow of Rose House, so I was excited to read this one. I was even more delighted when I realized that some of the characters in that first book appear in this one, although this definitely can be read as a standalone. Take historical fiction, add in a second-chance romance and some paranormal activity and you’ve got the basics of The Brightest Star in Paris. I wanted to know what happened next but I also didn’t really want it to end! The story takes I really enjoyed the author’s first book, The Widow of Rose House, so I was excited to read this one. I was even more delighted when I realized that some of the characters in that first book appear in this one, although this definitely can be read as a standalone. Take historical fiction, add in a second-chance romance and some paranormal activity and you’ve got the basics of The Brightest Star in Paris. I wanted to know what happened next but I also didn’t really want it to end! The story takes place in Paris in the 1870s, with some flashbacks to the 1860s, and features a prima ballerina with the Paris Opera Ballet, Amelie, known to her “adoring public” as Ste. Amie. That’s how proper and good her public persona is. She hides her real self and her history, in order to make sure she keeps her place in the ballet company and in the public eye - because she must support her much younger sister while nursing a hip injury that she’s sure she won’t be able to hide for much longer. She is dancing through pain somehow. She has started to see ghosts, very particular ghosts. Then Benedict Moore, an American doctor who she fell in love with (and he, her) 12 years earlier, re-enters her life. The romance doesn’t blossom easily, due to both of their past experiences. He was damaged by the American Civil War and she by the Franco-Prussian War, which included the months-long Siege of Paris of 1870-1871, and the short-lived Paris Commune, which came after the siege. I learned a lot about this part of French history and about the transformation of Paris’s streets during this time period, while reading this book. I so wanted Amelie to just say YES to Benedict and to leave Paris with him and her sister Honorine, but that would not have put her ghosts to rest (to use a turn of phrase literally) and it would not have let her realize how to live as herself, instead of pretending to be ’Ste. Amie’ for other Parisians. She was such a strong character, living in times that really limited her potential. The Moore family individually and as a whole, always makes me smile. CW: death of a parent, wartime memories and PTSD, references to drug use and prostitution Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Griffin for the opportunity to read an advance readers copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Wendy W.

    Four Stars and a half ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭒ I really enjoyed The Brightest Star in Paris by Diana Biller. It’s not a heavy historical fiction novel, but it’s light and has a nice heartwarming story. Yes, it does go into some of the horrible conditions of that time in Paris, but the sad details of life are sprinkled in throughout the story so it doesn’t all bombard you at one time. The story also has a sweet paranormal twist that lightened up the story but wasn’t unbelievable. Amelie St. James is a sweet, virtuou Four Stars and a half ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭒ I really enjoyed The Brightest Star in Paris by Diana Biller. It’s not a heavy historical fiction novel, but it’s light and has a nice heartwarming story. Yes, it does go into some of the horrible conditions of that time in Paris, but the sad details of life are sprinkled in throughout the story so it doesn’t all bombard you at one time. The story also has a sweet paranormal twist that lightened up the story but wasn’t unbelievable. Amelie St. James is a sweet, virtuous prima ballerina in the Paris Opera Ballet and is called the Saint by the Paris press because of her impeccable high standards of personal behavior. Amelie has only two years left to continue the charade of being the perfect ballerina both on and off the stage until she can safely retire and her younger sister can finish her schooling. I thought The Brightest Star in Paris was very well written with all the historical facts Dr. Benedict Moore is an American doctor who is visiting Paris for a convention to study brain issues. He wants to recruit scientists for his new Brain Institute he’s starting up in Washington D. C. and to possibly meet up with his first crush, Amelie. When they meet up in the Paris Opera Ballet house, the attraction is still there, but there is still the impossibility of a relationship because he lives and works in America, and her life is in Paris as a ballerina and she must finish raising her younger sister. that I love in historical fiction books, plus a light paranormal twist with the ghosts visiting Amelie and a nice sweet, but intense romance. I was pulled into the mystery right away as I wondered how these two would ever get together and overcome the obstacles, and I wondered about the ghosts and why they were haunting Amelie. I enjoyed the authors’ description of Paris both in 1878 and in the earlier timeline of 1866 when Amelie and Ben first met. I highly recommend this book to lovers of historical fiction who do not mind a light paranormal story. I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  19. 4 out of 5

    romancelibrary

    I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The Brightest Star in Paris is a second chance romance between Paris's prima ballerina Amelie St. James and Dr. Benedict Moore. They first met 12 years ago in Paris, back when Benedict was going through a dark time in his life. After spending the summer together, Benedict and Amelie said goodbye and Benedict returned to the States. Now, 12 years later, Amelie and Benedict cross paths again in Paris. It's perfect timing because I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The Brightest Star in Paris is a second chance romance between Paris's prima ballerina Amelie St. James and Dr. Benedict Moore. They first met 12 years ago in Paris, back when Benedict was going through a dark time in his life. After spending the summer together, Benedict and Amelie said goodbye and Benedict returned to the States. Now, 12 years later, Amelie and Benedict cross paths again in Paris. It's perfect timing because Amelie is being haunted by the ghosts of her past. Literally. Because Amelie is such a famous person in Paris, she and Benedict fake a courtship for the press so they can work together behind the scenes to figure out a way to banish the ghosts. This was an...unexpectedly heavy book. I found Amelie very relatable, if a bit frustrating. Amelie is stuck in a rut. She's built a reputation for herself as a Saint. She needs to uphold that reputation through her dancing and her everyday life because that's the only way she can financially support herself and her baby sister. She's become an automaton, very much like most of us today are automatons in our workplace. Amelie is stuck for financial reasons. She no longer feels the joy of dancing and she can't get out. On top of being stuck in a rut, Amelie is still grieving for her mother. She hasn't properly processed her grief because Amelie immediately became her baby sister's guardian after their mother passed away. And keep in mind the historical context: Amelie's mother's death was slow and painful during the Siege of Paris, when people did not have access to food, water, or medication. These chapters were rough to read, especially since Amelie herself was so young. She was thrust into the role of guardianship and motherhood at such a young age, so she was unable to properly grieve her mother's death. Instead, she buried her grief deep down so she could take care of her sister. There's a lot to unpack when it comes to Amelie and I've barely scratched the surface. Amelie has a traumatic past, but so does Benedict. During the flashback chapters, we meet a very different Benedict who assisted in the war and escaped death's clutches, only to fall into depression. The flashback chapters are integral because they provide a solid background and foundation for Benedict and Amelie's romance. The Brightest Star in Paris is a romance, but I would argue that this book is first and foremost Amelie's story. It's Amelie's growth that is the heart of this book. And Amelie cannot be with Benedict until she pushes herself out of her rut and learns that life can be so much bigger than what she is used to. That being said, I eventually got frustrated with Amelie because she repeated history with Benedict and did not even give him the benefit of a two-sided conversation to properly discuss their situation. By the time I got to the final act, I was sick and tired of Amelie hurting Benedict this way. It was constantly emphasized that Amelie can save herself. But the fact of the matter is that everyone needs help once in a while, and this includes Amelie. The fact that she cannot admit she needs help is not healthy. And I wish Benedict had brought this up in the conversation. Instead, Benedict just...let her go. I get that Amelie needed space to figure out herself and her situation. But there's no reason why she should have pushed Benedict away for that. As for the ghostly subplot, it was an interesting one and the author used this subplot as a tool to advance Amelie's character growth and development. I thought this was exceedingly well-done, especially with the inclusion of Amelie's mother's art. As such, the moment of epiphany and the moment of expression and finally letting everything out felt extremely cathartic for Amelie and myself as the reader. Perfectly done. I just wish Amelie hadn't hurt Benedict before all of this happened. For those who have read The Widow of Rose House, you are obviously familiar with Benedict. Just a heads up: this book is not as steamy as The Widow of Rose House. But I think the steam level was in sync with Amelie and Benedict's story. Could I have used more steam? Hell yes, especially since their romance was such a slow burn. But I also feel like if the steam level was higher, it would have felt...out of place? Overall, this was a very well-written and atmospheric historical romance and the inclusion of ghosts makes it perfect for the October season. Just keep in mind that it is a heavy story, so prepare yourself for that. P.S. I would like to be adopted by the Moores. Also, pretty sure Maggie and Henry are next... CW: Death of a parent, PTSD, mention of wars and the consequences of wars on the poor. The author also has a list of content warnings on her website.

  20. 4 out of 5

    GigiReads

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I loved The Widow of Rose House and I was super excited to get a book about another member of the adorable Moore family. Benedict, the brilliant doctor and Sam’s brother in Widow, returns to France for a conference. There he runs into the girl who had dragged him back from his grief twelve years before. The girl is now a prima ballerina for the Paris Opera Ballet. Amelie St. James has spent the last seven years pretending that she’s not being haunted by the past. Now she is being haunted by a li I loved The Widow of Rose House and I was super excited to get a book about another member of the adorable Moore family. Benedict, the brilliant doctor and Sam’s brother in Widow, returns to France for a conference. There he runs into the girl who had dragged him back from his grief twelve years before. The girl is now a prima ballerina for the Paris Opera Ballet. Amelie St. James has spent the last seven years pretending that she’s not being haunted by the past. Now she is being haunted by a literal ghost right when the man she never stopped loving reappears in her life. But Amelie’s entire life is built upon her saintly image, her future and that of her little sister depends on it. She needs help figuring out how to stop the hauntings. She recruits Ben since his brother Sam is an expert. She agrees to fake a relationship with him to keep the gossips from destroying her hard-won reputation.  This was a gorgeously written book. But, in my opinion, it is not a romance. Yes it has a happy ending and yes there is one small love scene but the main characters spend most of their time apart. This book is brilliant as historical fiction or women’s fiction with strong romantic elements. I enjoyed the history. I knew nothing about the Prussian war and The Commune before reading this. I liked getting a backstage pass into the world of 19th-century ballet and I can’t help but love a historical set somewhere other than the UK. This book explores many difficult subjects including the careful balancing act even successful women were forced to perform. Complete disaster was always just one misstep away. But this story is Amelie’s and her journey through grief, the romance is very much secondary. Ben, so likable in the first book, is a peripheral character for the most part in his book. He could be plucked out of the book and it would not change the main story in any way. I found that his character was very bland and sadly underdeveloped, he was there as an accessory and I, unfortunately, didn’t get invested in him or the relationship.  A second chance trope is really difficult for me to begin with because I feel like I miss the best part of romance: watching two people falling in love. Here the falling in love happens off the page. We get some flashbacks to Amelie and Ben’s beginnings but they don’t flesh their relationship out. So when the I love you came about halfway into the story I was yawning. Needless to say that the little bit of romance there was fell completely flat for me. Like Widow this book also has paranormal elements. In this case, there are several ghosts and I wasn’t sure that they added much to the central story except serving as the vehicle that brings Amelie and Ben into close proximity. In the end, we get some reasoning for the haunting but it was so far into the story that it failed to make an impression. The ghosts are very prominent in the story at first but disappear somewhere past the halfway mark and then come back at the last half. There’s also a villain who is a constant threat and utterly evil. But that plot thread is pretty much dropped and I don’t remember if this plot point was even resolved at the end. This was a very heavy book to read, almost relentlessly dark until the irrepressible Moore’s show up (best part of the book), and being in Amelie’s head almost the entire book was very difficult for me. It’s also really hard for me to rate because like I said it works beautifully as women’s or historical fiction. So I will rate it separately. As a historical romance, it’s a two-star read. As a women’s fic it’s a four-star book. So I’m going to land in the middle and rate it a three-star read. I recommend this book if you enjoy history, super slow burns, friends to lovers, paranormal elements, and the heroine’s journey being the central part of the story. If you’re looking for a beautiful romance with a swoony hero read the first book. Thanks to the publisher for the review copy. All opinions are my own. Check the author’s website for the many TW’s. 

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    This did not hit for me the way the author's first book did. I found the setting fascinating--I apparently know way less about 19th century French history than I knew--but the heroine's refusal to accept happiness was frustrating for me. I got it, she had a really hard life, but that did not alleviate the frustration. This did not hit for me the way the author's first book did. I found the setting fascinating--I apparently know way less about 19th century French history than I knew--but the heroine's refusal to accept happiness was frustrating for me. I got it, she had a really hard life, but that did not alleviate the frustration.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Barb in Maryland

    Lovely historical romance set in 1878 Paris. This book has a wonderful, angsty romance between prima ballerina Amelie St James, beloved star of the Paris Opera Ballet, and Dr. Benedict Moore, a physician from the US. This couple has a Past, which we are shown in flashbacks, in which a young Amelie helps a shell-shocked Benedict on the road to coping with his experiences in the US Civil War. Now, 12 years later, Benedict has returned to Paris for many reasons--one of which is to find Amelie. Of cour Lovely historical romance set in 1878 Paris. This book has a wonderful, angsty romance between prima ballerina Amelie St James, beloved star of the Paris Opera Ballet, and Dr. Benedict Moore, a physician from the US. This couple has a Past, which we are shown in flashbacks, in which a young Amelie helps a shell-shocked Benedict on the road to coping with his experiences in the US Civil War. Now, 12 years later, Benedict has returned to Paris for many reasons--one of which is to find Amelie. Of course they meet again. Naturally, there are major Complications: her young sister, her mother's old lover, her bad hip, her ghost companions; his obligations in NY, his family; his need to rescue her, her desire to rescue herself. Can these two love birds find a way to be together or are they doomed to part, as they did when they were young? I am a sucker for a well-written, emotionally believable, challenge-laden romance. Ms. Biller delivers a good one here. I went through several tissues before Amelie and Benedict reached their hard-won HEA. I gave a happy sigh at the end. Re: the ghosts--they are not malevolent or scary. This is not a gothic like her first book (The Widow of Rose House). Characters from the first book do appear in this one, but it is not necessary to have read WoRH first in order to enjoy this one.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Cait

    4.5 stars, but I really really enjoyed it, so I'm rounding up. This was so emotional and evocative and engaging, I wanted to live in the world so much longer. Love all the Moore family scenes, loved seeing Amelie's Paris, loved the second chance romance, and the resolution of it. 4.5 stars, but I really really enjoyed it, so I'm rounding up. This was so emotional and evocative and engaging, I wanted to live in the world so much longer. Love all the Moore family scenes, loved seeing Amelie's Paris, loved the second chance romance, and the resolution of it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mackenzie Mahon

    Set in Paris in the late 1800s, “The Brightest Star in Paris” stars Amelie St. James, the prima ballerina of the Paris Opera House. The golden child of Paris, Amelie is known as “St. Amelie,” the pious dancer beloved by all. It’s a title that she wears responsibly, if not altogether willingly, so that she can support her younger sister. It’s also a title that becomes increasingly hard to bear as she deals with an injured hip that continues to make it difficult to dance, and the return of the man Set in Paris in the late 1800s, “The Brightest Star in Paris” stars Amelie St. James, the prima ballerina of the Paris Opera House. The golden child of Paris, Amelie is known as “St. Amelie,” the pious dancer beloved by all. It’s a title that she wears responsibly, if not altogether willingly, so that she can support her younger sister. It’s also a title that becomes increasingly hard to bear as she deals with an injured hip that continues to make it difficult to dance, and the return of the man she loved twelve years prior, one Ben Moore. I selected this book thinking it would be a delightful tale of second chances at love, with pieces of art and ballet thrown in, and it was these things. It also dealt significantly with the trauma both Ben and Amelie deal with having lived through war, which was done fairly well overall. If author Dianna Biller had left this story at that, I would have been quite pleased. However, I didn’t realize that the description’s statement that “the ghosts of her past have come back to haunt her” was one meant literally. I didn’t expect this historical romance to include paranormal ghost elements. Perhaps if I had been better prepared from the description for that element, I would have enjoyed it more. As is, I was so surprised that I struggled to incorporate those elements into the story. My favorite passages were those exploring Amelie and Ben’s relationship, where the ghosts seemed to not exist. I received a digital ARC of this book through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rachel | What’s Rachel Reading

    Paris, ballet, historical romance, second-chance love, and mix in some ghosts...I was hooked. The Brightest Star in Paris follows Amelie, prima ballerina of the Paris Opera House and her lost love, Benedict. The descriptions of the Paris setting was absolutely well done by the author. The plot was very interesting and added a different appeal to this historical fiction. The relationship and character development between both Amelie and Benedict was well done, especially with their trauma from th Paris, ballet, historical romance, second-chance love, and mix in some ghosts...I was hooked. The Brightest Star in Paris follows Amelie, prima ballerina of the Paris Opera House and her lost love, Benedict. The descriptions of the Paris setting was absolutely well done by the author. The plot was very interesting and added a different appeal to this historical fiction. The relationship and character development between both Amelie and Benedict was well done, especially with their trauma from the war. I did find it was more historical fiction than romance. The Brightest Star in Paris is a wonderful, emotional, historical fiction with some paranormal aspects. Perfect for fans of historical romance and fiction. Thanks to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for the advance copy to review in exchange for my honest opinion,

  26. 5 out of 5

    Cassidy

    First, if you haven’t read The Widow of Rose House, go read it. I think you can enjoy this book without having read it, but it’s amazing so read it first. The Brightest Star in Paris is the second book about a Moore family member. There is a novella, The Christmas Spark, about the parents that I recommend as well. I just love the Moore family. Whenever they are on the page I just become giddy. These Moore men might just be my kryptonite. The hero, Ben, is no exception. Maybe it is the INTJ of me First, if you haven’t read The Widow of Rose House, go read it. I think you can enjoy this book without having read it, but it’s amazing so read it first. The Brightest Star in Paris is the second book about a Moore family member. There is a novella, The Christmas Spark, about the parents that I recommend as well. I just love the Moore family. Whenever they are on the page I just become giddy. These Moore men might just be my kryptonite. The hero, Ben, is no exception. Maybe it is the INTJ of me that is so attracted to them. The heroine was the ballet star of Paris. I loved the complexity of her. Her little sister was a scene stiller. There are some books that just remind you why reading is the best. The Brightest Star in Paris is one of them. PS this is a scaredy-cat approved book. I voluntarily read an early copy.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amélie Boucher

    Paris, ballet, and the main character and I share a first name? COUNT ME IN!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rachel McMillan

    A gripping treatise on grief and memory, The Brightest Star in Paris explores haunting in two different ways: first in the literal ghosts ( so integral to Biller's developed book world ) and the haunting of memory and how it supplants itself on our dreams and desires and choices. "I'm not an artist, Ben." Amelie said. My mother was. I know the difference. I am a tool for artists. A broken one." Dr. Benedict Moore is no stranger to the tragedies experienced in his army day but neither is Amelie an A gripping treatise on grief and memory, The Brightest Star in Paris explores haunting in two different ways: first in the literal ghosts ( so integral to Biller's developed book world ) and the haunting of memory and how it supplants itself on our dreams and desires and choices. "I'm not an artist, Ben." Amelie said. My mother was. I know the difference. I am a tool for artists. A broken one." Dr. Benedict Moore is no stranger to the tragedies experienced in his army day but neither is Amelie and while fate intercepted their paths 12 years before the events of this book, it wraps them even more tightly now through echoes of grief and anger. Indeed, The Brightest Star in Paris rocks with emotion as two people clearly meant for each other have to battle their own defences to pursue the love they deserve. And into this intersection, we have Biller's pursuit of passion ---which is authentic and on its own terms. " An entire world was held un his gaze. Understanding, and love and desire. The kind of desire that lit an echoing flame in her own body and sent it racing through her veins." Biller's passion for ballet and for the architecture of Paris slowly unfurls into a canvas as beautiful as her rendered love story. Biller captures the art of dance and how Amelie acts out her understanding of her world and its limitations through her refined language-- deft as a brush. " I have seen you dance," Benedict said. ' You think people love you because you're a blank canvas. But I think they love you because the little bit of you that creeps around the edges." I love that Benedict and Amelie are so fragile and so fallible and yet we are never more than quietly frustrated in their various pursuits back to each other: because their foundations are so strong. "He'd had a ring in his pocket, that day, bought at a little jumble shop that had surely been demolished. A simple silver band. He still had it, in a little box back in America... Really he needed to stop trying to marry her. That was always where it went wrong." Indeed, I was most smitten not only by Ben and Amelie's love story but also Biller's love for Paris which here is so lovingly drawn it acts a reflection of the central heart of the story. Sacre-Couer, perhaps, is given the most of the author's descriptive heart. With just enough European panache to fulfill romantic hearts and enough ghosties to lure those wanting more offerings for their Hallowe'en challenges, The Brightest Star In Paris whets the appetite of us who fell hard for Biller's easy romantic and punctuatingly humourous style in Widow of Rose House but again underscores the light and playful and sensual tying of two personalities with the ghosts of grief, loss and circumstance. It is in this balance and juxtaposition that Biller shines and I cannot wait to see where she takes us next. With thanks to the publisher for an early copy. "When you read a book and you loved it, it transformed in your mind. It became a think you possessed that couldn't be taken away. For the last two days, she hadn't thought about anything else. She'd told herself she would think when she finished the book. Now she had." For those hankering to see the Moore family again after The Widow of Rose House and A Christmas Spark, you will be happily reunited.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Liber_Lady

    CW: ghosts . . This is a second chance romance between Ben Moore (a Doctor) and Amelie (a ballet dancer). I loved their past, I loved the connection they shared. And I absolutely loved the Moore family. . The plot of this book is discovering why the ghosts of dead women are appearing and talking to our heroine. It's them figuring out how to stop that. Also, it's about Amelia's journey to happiness. . While I absolutely loved the writing, I found the romance a bit lacking. There were lots of moments whe CW: ghosts . . This is a second chance romance between Ben Moore (a Doctor) and Amelie (a ballet dancer). I loved their past, I loved the connection they shared. And I absolutely loved the Moore family. . The plot of this book is discovering why the ghosts of dead women are appearing and talking to our heroine. It's them figuring out how to stop that. Also, it's about Amelia's journey to happiness. . While I absolutely loved the writing, I found the romance a bit lacking. There were lots of moments where they were together, there was a lot of intimacy and longing between the two, but it was a very very slow burn and the romance felt secondary to the mystery. . And the mystery left me a little underwhelmed as well as happy (if that makes sense). Overall, not as awesome as The Widow of Rose House, it's definitely worth reading it for the wonderful Moore family. .

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    I was pretty certain this was going to be a mediocre follow-up to Rose House (which I LOVED) - historical romance about BALLET? Eh, whatever. But I picked it up anyways since I love Diana Biller’s writing. HOLY SMOKES I LOVED THIS BOOK. Different from Rose House, certainly, but man - she can make me care about a character. This was absolutely genre-bending (historical fic! Romance! Ghosts! Family drama!) and I just adored being back in the company of the Moores. Diana Biller has solidified herse I was pretty certain this was going to be a mediocre follow-up to Rose House (which I LOVED) - historical romance about BALLET? Eh, whatever. But I picked it up anyways since I love Diana Biller’s writing. HOLY SMOKES I LOVED THIS BOOK. Different from Rose House, certainly, but man - she can make me care about a character. This was absolutely genre-bending (historical fic! Romance! Ghosts! Family drama!) and I just adored being back in the company of the Moores. Diana Biller has solidified herself as a favorite, auto-buy author for me!

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