Title: A Position in Paris
Author: Megan Reddaway
Length: 271 Pages
At a Glance: A Position in Paris is a bit too slow in its pacing and lacks emotional depth and enough action to really warrant a big investment on the reader’s part. It was a nice story, an okay historical romance, but left no real impact to make it memorable.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: Paris, 1919. World War One is over, and wounded hero James Clarynton is struggling to face life without one leg, one eye, and the devilish good looks he had before the conflict. Now he must pay for affection, and it leaves him bitter. He’s filling the time by writing a book—but it’s the young man who comes to type it who really intrigues him.
Edmund Vaughan can’t turn down the chance to be secretary to the wealthy James Clarynton. He’s been out of work since the armistice, and his mother and brother depend on him. But he has secrets to hide, and the last thing he wants is an employer who keeps asking questions.
As they work together, their respect for each other grows, along with something deeper. But tragedy threatens, and shadows from the past confront them at every turn. They must open their hearts and trust each other if they are to break down the barriers that separate them.
Review: A Position in Paris is a new release by Megan Reddaway set in post-World War I Paris. Using a dual diary entry format, the story is seen from both main characters’ perspectives and allows for the reader to learn the innermost thoughts of both men as they meet, work together and very slowly fall in love.
James Clarynton has lost both a leg and an eye to devastating war wounds. Along with that, he struggles with the fact that he may never be the desirable man he once was and while he still has men interested in being with him, he also pays them rather handsomely for that companionship. His latest companion has become rather cloying and James has decided to end it, but without the distraction of a dalliance, James is at a loss as to what to do. He turns to the art that has always brought him joy and decides to write a book about it. Finding a secretary occupies his time until he stumbles on Edmund Vaughn.
Vaughn lives with his sick younger brother and disgraced mother. The family has a dark secret, one that has taken them from an upper class way of living to barely making ends meet. Edmund also harbors feelings he must, at all cost, deny. When he meets James, that becomes harder and harder. Unfortunately, Edmund is very aware that with his checkered family past, he can never be an equal to the wealthy James, and therefore any hidden desires he consigns to his diary must remain just that—shuttered and unfulfilled.
To remark that A Position in Paris is a slow burning romance may be a rather generous observation. In actuality, there is very little action in this story and way too much time spent reading about feelings as opposed to seeing them play out in real time. The diary idea was a clever one, but the author relies on it far too often to move her story along and, as a result, we never really share in the lives of either man; we just read about them in a distant and sterile way. When you add that to the near total lack of physical interaction between James and Edmund you have a story that is so tortuously slow that it becomes stagnant and boring to read.
When our two characters finally do come together, both physically and mentally, it is really lovely to behold. Finally they are not just thinking about making something happen between them but actually causing it to occur. The fact that these moments don’t happen until the last fourth of the novel means that you must wade through a lot of story that is told to you. The author is banking on the idea that this delving into both diaries will invest the reader emotionally, and I must say it was a risky idea. For me, I have to admit there were times when I just got bored. I wanted action, not just a retelling or a dumping of emotional angst by one or the other main characters but actual dialogue that showed the spark they both professed to feel.
In the end, A Position in Paris is a bit too slow in its pacing and lacks emotional depth and enough action to really warrant a big investment on the reader’s part. It was a nice story, an okay historical romance, but left no real impact to make it memorable.
You can buy A Position in Paris here:
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