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Paris Is Always a Good Idea by [Jenn McKinlay]

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Paris Is Always a Good Idea Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 988 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


“A playful breezy read that I couldn't put down!”­--Abby JimenezUSA Today bestselling author of The Friend Zone, on Paris Is Always a Good Idea

 “A delightful romance with characters I adored! Jenn McKinlay takes readers along on a fun and charming adventure in Paris Is Always a Good Idea.”--Emily MarchNew York Times bestselling author of Teardrop Lane

 “Eat Pray Love meets Mamma Mia! I devoured this clever novel in one sitting!"--Lori Nelson SpielmanNew York Times bestselling author of The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany, on Paris Is Always a Good Idea

“Delivers a fun, feel-good, stand-alone novel that will delight readers. [They] will savor the feisty, adventurous journey of McKinlay's self-deprecating protagonist as she re-examines her past in order to chart her future. Navigating many complications and bumps in the road, Chelsea finds romance and enlightenment over the course of her travels, and discovers how living life can change people--altering destinies, dreams and priorities for the better.”--Shelf Awareness, on Paris Is Always a Good Idea

“Witty, warm and wonderful…an American Fleabag, told with heart, hope and joie de vivre.”--Lori Wilde, New York Times bestselling author of The Moonglow Sisters, on Paris Is Always a Good Idea

“McKinlay spins a funny yet poignant tale.”--Jen DeLuca, author of Well Met, on Paris Is Always a Good Idea

“A funny and charming romp of self-discovery…. You’ll feel like you’ve been on a European vacation even if you didn’t make it out of your own back yard.”--Kwana JacksonUSA Today bestselling author of Real Men Knit, on Paris Is Always a Good Idea

"Sparkles with wit yet is profoundly humane at its core. You will be rooting for Chelsea through all her travels."--Jenny HolidayUSA Today bestselling author of Mermaid Inn, on Paris Is Always a Good Idea

“Paris Is Always a Good Idea made me smile, cry, swoon, and cheer. It's a beautiful, funny, and relatable story about finding yourself.”--Sarah Smith, author of Faker

“This book ticked so many of my boxes: a perfectly imperfect protagonist on a bittersweet journey of self-discovery, relatable family tensions, vividly portrayed international settings, and an enemies-to-friends-to-lovers subplot that made me smile from ear to ear. A thoroughly satisfying read that tugged at my heart and made me happy-sigh when I reached the end!"--Mia Sosa, USA Today bestselling author of The Worst Best Man

Paris Is Always A Good Idea is the must-have summer read of the year.”--Fresh Fiction

“Readers will have no trouble investing in Chelsea and Jason’s enemies-to-lovers romance. This flawless rom-com is sure to delight.”--Publishers Weekly (starred review), on Paris Is Always a Good Idea

“McKinlay proves she is also a master at romantic women’s fiction with this dazzling novel that delivers everything McKinlay’s fans expect—deliciously acerbic wit, delightfully relatable characters, and deeply funny dialogue—all deftly poured into a plot that also thoughtfully examines what true happiness really means.”--Booklist

Praise for Jenn McKinlay’s romance novels

"Jenn McKinlay writes sexy, funny romances that will leave you begging for more!"--
Jill ShalvisNew York Times bestselling author of Almost Just Friends
"Funny, charming, and heart-stoppingly romantic. Jenn McKinlay is a rising star."--
Jaci BurtonNew York Times bestselling author of The Best Man Plan

“McKinlay once again serves up her signature literary cocktail of sassy humor and sexy romance expertly spiked with a surfeit of small-town charm and holiday cheer.”--
Booklist (starred review)

"Witty dialogue and a charming small town filled with warm, loving characters will keep readers coming back to this tender series."--Publishers Weekly

“As cozy as the hero’s favorite Christmas sweater, with a warm, home-for-the-holidays feel.”--Library Journal

Every Dog Has His Day is] superbly satisfying....A contemporary romance that is practically perfect is every way."--Booklist (starred review) 
Every Dog Has His Day] enchants from the very first page....A sparkling gem of a book that is sure to lift your spirits!"--RT Book Reviews (Top Pick)
"McKinlay delivers heartwarming humor at its finest."--
Lori WildeNew York Times bestselling author of The Moonglow Sisters
"Clever writing, laugh-out-loud humor, and a sizzling romance. This one is a keeper."--
Delores FossenUSA Today bestselling author of A Coldwater Christmas

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

chapter one


I'm getting married."




"We've already picked our colors, pink and gray."


"Um . . . pink and what?"


"Gray. What do you think, Chelsea? I want your honest opinion. Is that too retro?"


I stared at my middle-aged widowed father. We were standing in a bridal store in central Boston on the corner of Boylston and Berkeley Streets, and he was talking to me about wedding colors. His wedding colors.


"I'm sorry-I need a sec," I said. I held up my hand and blinked hard while trying to figure out just what the hell was happening.


I had raced here from my apartment in Cambridge after receiving a text from my dad, asking me to meet him at this address because it was an emergency. I was prepared for heart surgery, not wedding colors!


Suddenly, I couldn't breathe. I wrestled the constricting wool scarf from around my neck, yanked the beanie off my head, and stuffed them in my pockets. I scrubbed my scalp with my fingers in an attempt to make the blood flow to my brain. It didn't help. Come on, Martin, I coached myself. Pull it together. I unzipped my puffy winter jacket to let some air in, then I focused on my father.


"What did you say?" I asked.


"Pink and gray, too retro?" Glen Martin, a.k.a. Dad, asked. He pushed his wire-frame glasses up on his nose and looked at me as if he was asking a perfectly reasonable question.


"No, before that." I waved my hand in a circular motion to indicate he needed to back it all the way up.


"I'm getting married!" His voice went up when he said it, and I decided my normally staid fifty-five-year-old dad was somehow currently possessed by a twenty-something bridezilla.


"You okay, Dad?" I asked. Not for nothing, because the last time I checked, he hadn't even been dating anyone, never mind thinking about marriage. "Have you recently slipped on some ice and whacked your head? I ask because you don't seem to be yourself."


"Sorry," he said. He reached out and wrapped me in an impulsive hug, another indicator that he was not his usual buttoned-down mathematician self. "I'm just . . . I'm just so happy. What do you think about being a flower girl?"


"Um . . . I'm almost thirty." I tried not to look as bewildered as I felt. What was happening here?


"Yes, but we already have a full wedding party, and you and your sister would be really cute in matching dresses, maybe something sparkly."


"Matching dresses? Sparkly?" I repeated. I struggled to make sense of his words. I couldn't. It was clear. My father had lost his ever-lovin' mind. I should probably call my sister.


I studied his face, trying to determine just how crazy he was. The same hazel eyes I saw in my own mirror every morning held mine, but where my eyes frequently looked flat with a matte finish, his positively glowed. He really looked happy.


"You're serious," I gasped. I glanced around the bridal store, which was stuffed to the rafters with big fluffy white dresses. None of this made any sense, and yet here I was. "You're not pranking me?"


"Nope." He grinned again. "Congratulate me, peanut. I'm getting married."


I felt as if my chest were collapsing into itself. Never, not once, in the past seven years had I ever considered the possibility that my father would remarry.


"To who?" I asked. It couldn't be . . . nah. That would be insane.


"Really, Chels?" Dad straightened up. The smile slid from his face, and he cocked his head to the side-his go-to disappointed-parent look.


I had not been on the receiving end of this look very often in life. Not like my younger sister, Annabelle, who seemed to thrive on "the look." Usually, it made me fall right in line but not today.


"Sheri? You're marrying Sheri?" I tried to keep my voice neutral. Major failure, as I stepped backward, tripped on the trailing end of my scarf, and gracelessly sprawled onto one of the cream-colored velvet chairs that were scattered around the ultrafeminine store. I thought it was a good thing I was sitting, because if he answered in the affirmative, I might faint.


"Yes, I asked her to marry me, and to my delight she accepted," he said. Another happy, silly grin spread across his lips as if he just couldn't help it.


"But . . . but . . . she won you in a bachelor auction two weeks ago!" I cried. I closed my mouth before I said more, like pointing out that this was hasty in the extreme.


The store seamstress, who was assisting a bride up on the dais in front of a huge trifold mirror, turned to look at us. Her dark hair was scraped up into a knot on top of her head, and her face was contoured to perfection. She made me feel like a frump in my Sunday no-makeup face. Which, in my defense, was not my fault, because when I'd left the house to meet Dad, I'd had no idea the address he'd sent was for Brianna's Bridal. I'd been expecting an urgent care; in fact, I wasn't sure yet that we didn't need one.


Glen Martin, Harvard mathematician and all-around nerd dad, had been coerced into participating in a silver-fox bachelor auction for prominent Bostonians by my sister, Annabelle, to help raise funds for Boston Children's Hospital. I had gone, of course, to support my sister and my dad, and it had mostly been a total snooze fest.


The highlight of the event was when two socialites got into a bidding war over a surgeon, and the loser slapped the winner across the face with her cardboard paddle. Good thing the guy was a cosmetic surgeon, because there was most definitely some repair work needed on that paper cut.


But my father had not been anywhere near that popular with the ladies. No one wanted a mathematician. No one. After several minutes of excruciating silence, following the MC trying to sell the lonely gals on my dad's attempts to solve the Riemann hypothesis, I had been about to bid on him myself, when Sheri, a petite brunette, had raised her paddle with an initial offer. The smile of gratitude Dad had sent Sheri had been blinding, and the next thing we knew, a flurry of numbered paddles popped up in the air, but Sheri stuck in there and landed the win for $435.50.


"Two weeks is all it took," Dad said. He shrugged and held out his hands like a blackjack dealer showing he had no hidden cards, chips, or cash.


I stared at him with a look that I'm sure was equal parts shock and horror.


"I know it's a surprise, Chels, but when-" he began, but I interrupted him.


"Dad, I don't think a bachelor auction is the basis for a stable, long-lasting relationship."


"You have to admit it makes a great story," he said.


"Um . . . no." I tried to sound reasonable, as if this were a math problem about fitting sixty watermelons into a small car. I spread my hands wide and asked, "What do you even know about Sheri? What's her favorite color?"


"Pink, duh." He looked at me with a know-it-all expression more commonly seen on a teenager than a grown-ass man. Hmm.


"All right, who are you, and what have you done with my father?" I wanted to check him for a fever; maybe he had the flu and he was hallucinating.


"I'm still me, Chels," he said. He gazed at me gently. "I'm just a happy me, for a change."


Was that it? Was that what was so different about him? He was happy? How could he be happy with a woman he hardly knew? Maybe . . . oh dear. My dad hadn't circulated much after my mom's death. Maybe he was finally getting a little something-something, and he had it confused with love. Oh god, how was I supposed to talk about this with him?


I closed my eyes. I took a deep breath. Parents did this all the time. Surely I could manage it. Heck, it would be great practice if I ever popped out a kid. I opened my eyes. Three women were standing in the far corner in the ugliest chartreuse dresses I had ever seen. Clearly, they were the attendants of a bride who hated them. And that might be me in sparkly pink or gray if I didn't put a stop to this madness.

--This text refers to the paperback edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07ZN4F558
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Berkley (July 21, 2020)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ July 21, 2020
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 3288 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 346 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 988 ratings

About the author

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Jenn is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher's Weekly bestselling author of several mystery and romance series. She is also the winner of the RT Reviewer's Choice Award for romantic comedy and the Fresh Fiction award for best cozy mystery. A TEDx speaker, she is always happy to talk books, writing, reading, and the creative process to anyone who cares to listen. She lives in sunny Arizona in a house that is overrun with kids, pets, and her husband's guitars.

Visit her website at:

Or follow her:

Facebook: JennMcKinlayAuthor

Instagram: @mckinlayjenn

Twitter: @JennMcKinlay

Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
988 global ratings

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Top reviews from other countries

4.0 out of 5 stars a good book to get lost in
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 15, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun-filled, romantic and hilarious novel.
Reviewed in India on August 31, 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars A fun-filled, romantic and hilarious novel.
Reviewed in India on August 31, 2020
TBH, I felt a sudden gush of love and happiness through me while reading this adorable rom-com.
This story is about Chelsea Martin. She is working for the American Cancer Coalition. When her father announces his second marriage, it is difficult for Chelsea to fathom the same, It’s been seven years since her mother passed due to cancer and she has been tirelessly working and is excellent at her job but she has closed herself and since then has had no real relationship. Something that her sister Annabelle whose been married twice and father who is a mathematician have told her. Prior to her mother’s death, she had been on a post- college adventure to Europe and had fallen in love with three very different guys. One was from Ireland, the other from France, and finally the last from Italy. Determined on finding herself back again, Chelsea decides to revisit Europe and find the guys she loved. What she never expected was her colleague and rival Jason Knightley crashing her trip!

What happens next is hilarious, adorable, cute, romantic and definitely made me cry. (The happy ones)

I loved Chelsea, she’s so much relatable, raw and genuine. As much as I loved Chelsea, I also loved Jason, he’s charming, witty and every girl’s dream.

I can’t wait to dive into more of Jenn McKinlay novels.

I rate it: 5/5
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Sue Seguin
4.0 out of 5 stars Good fun
Reviewed in Canada on September 16, 2020
Hilary Duerr
4.0 out of 5 stars Jenn McKinnlay never disappoints
Reviewed in Germany on April 19, 2021
Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice light read
Reviewed in India on March 6, 2021
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