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The Paris Affair de Maureen Marshall

de Maureen Marshall - Género: English
libro gratis The Paris Affair

Sinopsis

A queer historical romantic suspense novel about a young engineer working for Gustave Eiffel caught in a web of deceit that could destroy both him and the famous tower.
Fin Tighe is clinging to respectability by his nail-bitten fingers. He may be the illegitimate son of an English earl, but he hasn’t spoken to his father in a decade, and his engineer’s salary is barely enough to support him and his cousin Aurelie. A dancer in the corps de ballet, Aurelie is at constant risk from groping, leering men who assume any dancer is a prostitute in training.  And Fin’s evenings spent in the clandestine gay community may be legal through a loophole in the Napoleonic Code, but they leave him vulnerable.
So, when Fin’s employer, Gustave Eiffel, announces that he needs additional investors to pay for his pet project, a 300-meter tower that will dominate the city’s skyline, Fin jumps at the chance. If he raises enough money, the...


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When I read historical fiction, I want to care about the characters, I want the plot conflicts to be resolved in ways that are unanticipated, and I want what I call black & white historical settings to resolve immersively, into color. The Paris Affair was all of that and more. Maureen Marshall drew from her personal experience and education to create a Paris with more depth than I’d understood, which is significant to me as I’ve been to Paris and felt I’d taken the city’s pulse pretty well.
I wanted her protagonist — Fin — to overcome his challenges, to find his place. The plot twists surprised me time and time again, to the very end when they came together with a speed and order I’d not anticipated. Throughout it, Fin and his friends contend with their powerlessness at the hands of elites, the scorn of their relatives, and their search for family, which really makes it a story about all of us. And there was the bonus — themes that matter as much to us today as they did for ordinary people in the extraordinary time of Eiffel’s Tower.
The Paris Affair was, for me, one of those rare stories that left me extremely satisfied that when I reached the end, it had been well and completely told; and just a little frustrated because I didn’t want it to be over.
(This was an advance reading copy)3 s Maria | Marias Book Recs264 4

this was a very captivating story! I loved the premise and the historical queer romance aspect of an interesting moment in history. I loved the historical moments of the building of Eiffel’s tower intertwined with the romance and suspense of the story. Fin is a lovable character, someone who is looking for his secured place in life financially, romantically, and intellectually. the macabre landscape of 19th century france— elitism, glorified death, & extreme poverty— are written in relatable ways to todays mirrored issues. I loved the characters and their well-rounded intrigue and heart they present throughout the story. I was enthralled right to the very end, through the epilogue. thank you for the arc!!!netgalley3 s Anna Makowska79 3

This book surpassed my expectations. It has everything: a thrilling mystery plot with multiple murders, a sizzling m/m romance (for romance readers: it's fade to black, has hea), a well-researched historical background, a family drama with secrets from the past, and a social commentary on the era that rings true to this day.

It's a single pov, 1st person narrator by our protagonist Fin, who's a down on his luck engineer working for Eiffel. He's deep in debts and there's also a controversy will the tower be even built, so he needs to help secure funding and support for it, lest he loses his job and he and his orphaned ballerina cousin land on the street.

There's an author's note at the end mentioning the Eiffel tower controversy is fairly unknown in the modern day, but the contemporaries didn't perceive it as a work of art but some ugly abomination. I was told that story by my primary school arts teacher and she also claimed there were plans to build multiple towers and connect them with a cable line cart travelling around the city - not sure whether that's legend or truth, but in the end, we just got 1 tower, but indeed it has become a symbol of Paris and France rather than something akin to oversized electricity pylon. There are even multiple other towers inspired by this one, including Tokyo tv tower.

Anyway, Fin gets approached by a very handsome, witty but a bit "this guy knows too much - why?" suspicious gentleman, Gilbert, who ropes him into a grand plan of making a ripple among the Paris elite society and securing sponsors for the tower.

The plan works well - too well. Something's off. And then people go missing and the dead bodies start appearing. Is Gilbert the murderer, or is he protecting Fin from the real murderer? Is he a swindler or a friend? Fin keeps asking himself what are Gilbert's true motivations, while getting entangled in an affair with the man.

The story was intriguing and fast paced, while also introducing a colorful cast of side characters. And as the author admits in the note, the protagonists might be gay white men, but the novel also says a lot about women of that era.

There's Aurelie, Fin's cousin, his only family left he really knows and would protect with his life. Her dream is to be a ballet star, but during that era, ballerinas and other female artists actresses and singers are often treated as thinly concealed courtesans, only waiting for a rich "sponsor" to take care of them. Aurelie doesn't want to be anyone's kept woman or a prostitute, but the society's prejudices and the system designed to keep women down works in her disfavor.

There's Victoire, a transwoman working as a singer in a friend's "gay bar" of the era, disowned by her family (except one sister) for not being a man as they expected her to be. The representation was really well done and interesting, and Victoire is a strong character who doesn't self-pity despite the society being prejudiced against trans folks even more than against gay folks. There's a soul crushing scene where due to financial reasons she's considering detransitioning and going back to the closet, and that's also portraying harsh realities queer people often have to face.

There's Stephanie, a bi-racial fiancee and step-cousin of Gilbert. She a very smart and savvy woman but due to misogynistic laws she's under the thumb of her step-father who owns all her deceased mother's money. Gilbert is offering her a lavender marriage so she could have some semblance of financial independence while he's covered against homophobia.

At this point of time, being gay was illegal in England, and while it wasn't illegal in France, it was illegal to show any signs of it in public, and it was socially shunned. All of the queer characters in this novel have to hide their orientation and the "gay bar" is an underground "speakeasy" style establishment that uses various means of concealment to look "legal" and bribery against police raids. A lot of this still rings true in modern day, where in many places queer people don't have the privilege to be "out and proud" in fear of ostracism, bullying, discrimination and violence.

The mystery was well crafted, and in the end all pieces fell into place, but the last 20% plot twist really upped the stakes and made me rush to the end to see how everything will unravel. The ending sends a powerful message but also I felt it was a bit abrupt because everything started happening at once in the last part.

I also d the last moment introduction of Fin's grandma, who has to suddenly step out of her comfort zone of a proper English lady and reconcile with her grandson shunned by the family for so long, but they're all dead now while Fin and the grandma are here and have to look into the future, not into the past.

Fin himself was able, but a bit naive and slow on uptake, partially due to insecurity, partially due to being constantly put in fish out of water situations, but in the end he managed to find his own voice and confidence, and it was satisfying. However, at at least two moments across the book I wanted to shake him and knock some sense into him. Man, you're an engineer, please add things up!

Overall it was an enjoyable, suspenseful read, but also hard at times due to heavy subjects. I appreciate the author's thoughtful exploration of the social inequalities of the era.

TW: homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, sexual assault (off page), slurs, discrimination of lower class / status people, forced child prostitution (non-graphic, backstory), murder, domestic abuse (mentioned in passing, backstory), suicide of a family member (backstory), disowning / familial estrangement, unfair / corrupt justice system.

Thank you Grand Central Publishing / Hachette Book Group and NetGalley for the ARC!historical m-m specials Chelsea218 2

I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

The Paris Affair by Maureen Marshall is a first-person POV historical Queer romantic suspense set around the 1889 World Fair and the building of the Eiffel Tower. Finley is the illegitimate son of an English lord living in France who is employed by Gustave Eiffel. By day, he keeps a respectable appearance to make his fortune independent of his father’s influence and by night, he goes to Parisian Queer spaces to be around his community. When one friend goes missing and another is murdered, Fin’s carefully crafted persona might be in danger.

What I really d was how often there are mentions of the Parisian ballet scene. Fin’s cousin, Aurelie, is a ballerina who wants to devote her time and energy to her art, but because of the way the system is set up, many ballerinas are taken as lovers by men with power and influence in Paris. Those little details help make the setting really come alive and add richness to the characters and their motivations and relationships while also highlighting some of the darker parts of life for ballerinas in the late 1800s.

Another thing I d was Fin’s complicated relationship with his Queerness. While he does embrace it and is an active part of the community, he is incredibly aware of how society treats Queerness. He is very hesitant to trust other men and make them long-term partners along with being concerned that it could get back to his father or Eiffel and ruin him just when he achieved his dreams. I really d that because it centers the less than positive feelings on how the world sees things over the character angsting about their feelings and believing they are less than or something is wrong with them.

My favorite parts were the quieter moments between Fin and Gilbert. Gilbert is everything Fin needs: attentive and understanding, willing to invest in Fin’s interests, and cares about Aurelie. The two have a sweet relationship that feels realistic because Fin is concerned about what could happen if he is exposed but when Gilbert makes him breakfast or listens to him, it opens Fin up further to deeper romantic feelings. Gilbert even encourages Fin to start claiming he is the Earl, taking up his father’s title to reclaim what should have been his.

I would recommend this to readers looking for a historical Queer story with a suspense structure, fans of historical Parisian settings, and those looking for a Queer book that focuses more on society’s view rather than internal hatred.
historical1 LA Burroughs2

the sparkling illuminations of the Eiffel Tower, this book is a beautiful work of art, laced with romance, suspense, and a plot that kept me turning the pages late into the evening!

Beautifully written, the way Marshall describes the lace structure of the tower and the secret laws of harmony that make such a feat of engineering possible is simply enviable!

All the heart, dancing, costumes, and heartache of Moulin Rouge was brought to life with two worthy heroes who stand to lose everything... and, oh, the gamble could bring them so much more than success! I was simply swooning for Fin and Gilbert!

Mysterious Gilbert oozes wealth and glamor... a perfect Belle Epoque love interest with secrets underneath his stunning facade of perfection. Intelligent, ambitious Fin wants so much to be a part of Gilbert's world and is just the sort of fellow to reluctantly fall under Gilbert's spell. But Fin doesn't trust easily...his past is filled with heartache and loss that makes it so hard for him to believe in Gilbert...

Marshall does an impeccable job of weaving the exciting history behind Eiffel's tower into the story, balancing the intrigue of the past with a fictional, suspenseful twist! How fun to look back on this icon of Paris and realize that not everyone wanted it built.

Fin's belief in Eiffel's vision plays out in all of us because we also know how wonderful the tower will be! But how to fund it? Handsome, influential Gilbert is the perfect man to introduce Fin to the people who have the deep pockets to get Fin everything he's dreamed of. But at what price?

If you enjoy the historical romances of KJ Charles and Cat Sebastian, Marshall steps up to the plate with a novel worth reading over and again! This is a must read!

2 s CoCoBug980 14

Here we are, in 1880's Paris - Fin is an engineer working on the preliminary plans for the Eiffel Tower, living with his cousin Aurelie (a ballet dancer for the Corps) in a rundown flat. Fin is gay, and Aurelie, being a ballet dancer, is looked down upon by society. Fin meets Gilbert on the fly, a man who promises him the moon to get the Eiffel Tower funded and Fin a promotion, but at what cost?

I really d this story, from learning about LGBTQ Paris to the building of the Eiffel Tower. The writing is solid and the story moves along well. There are a couple plot points I am confused on (SPOILER ALERT ...

how exactly did Fin get Gilbert off the hook and for Aurelie not to get charged? What did I miss?) and I had a hard time getting a feel for Aurelie's personality. Gilbert really read to me as Oscar from a Gilded Age - a nice enough fellow, but always seems to be on the sly for some reason or another.

I wish that the author had a section at the end of the book more about the history of the Eiffel Tower and what she pulled from reality for her book. I did go look some things up, but it wasn't the same as hearing what the author pulled from history, who, and why. In a lot of historical fiction books that happens. Though I did find her interview after the discussion questions lovely and it gave us a sense of who she is and why she chose to write the characters as she did.

Thank you to NetGalley for ARC!adult-fiction1 Sara K506

Mixed feelings on this one - and maybe not the most popular opinion. I loved the historical aspect of this - the location in Paris. The story's connection to Gustave Eiffel. I found the perspective of being LBGTQ+ in Paris in the late 1800's was fascinating and awe inspiring. The characters were well developed and easy to connect with. That being said, I found that the book moved slowly until about 75% of the way through. Not much happened when I hit the halfway mark - I felt myself waiting most of the book for more. More engaging, more drama, just more. I think that if I went into this book expecting a more historical story, than mystery and drama, I would not have been waiting for more. If you are interested in Paris in the 1800's and information about Gustav Eiffel during the building of the EIffel Tower, definitely pick this up.

Thank you netgalley for my advanced reader copy Meredith173 1 follower

Described as a queer historical mystery romance (and there's a prominent trans character in addition), this was a lot all in one book, but overall it was an entertaining read. It's also different- set primarily in late 19th century France, which was fun to explore, and our main character is part of the construction of the Eiffel Tower. And there's also the world of the ballet- which in France at that time, was NOT a highly regarded art form, with female dancers treated as if they were prostitutes. The villains were very villainous- content warnings for some pretty graphic violence.

Kelly - readinginthe419 516 38

This was the perfect story to kick off Pride Month! It features a gay MMC and was written by a queer author. The historical mystery surrounds the building of the Eiffel Tower and I was intrigued by how many Parisians were dead set against building the structure. Money must be raised and Fin Tighe, an engineer for Mr. Eiffel, is talked into acting the role of heir to his estranged British father by smooth talking Gilbert. Deception abounds, bodies pile up, and love is in the air.

Many thanks to Hachette Books for my gifted copy! Laura1 review1 follower

Great book! Lots of suspense and history, all rolled into one book! It had me curious enough to Google things that were in the book, which is always a tell tale litmus test for me that it’s interesting!! I loved the plot, the characters (Well, some of them I hated.), the writing and diction. It’s on my “read again” list.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 3 s Doreen2,786 79

5/30/2024 Really strong first two thirds w great trans rep, then it sorta collapses into telling instead of showing. Plus, evoking a "cool story, still murder" response just doesn't work in a book that doesn't center on antiheroes. Anyway, full review tk at CriminalElement.com.mcn Barb1,325

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