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Seven Letters from Paris: A Memoir

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Twenty years, seven letters, and one long-lost love of a lifetime At age 40, Samantha Verant's life is falling apart-she's jobless, in debt, and feeling stuck... until she stumbles upon seven old love letters from Jean-Luc, the sexy Frenchman she'd met in Paris when she was 19. With a quick Google search, she finds him, and both are quick to realize that the passion th Twenty years, seven letters, and one long-lost love of a lifetime At age 40, Samantha Verant's life is falling apart-she's jobless, in debt, and feeling stuck... until she stumbles upon seven old love letters from Jean-Luc, the sexy Frenchman she'd met in Paris when she was 19. With a quick Google search, she finds him, and both are quick to realize that the passion they felt 20 years prior hasn't faded with time and distance. Samantha knows that jetting off to France to reconnect with a man that she only knew for one sun-drenched, passion-filled day is crazy-but it's the kind of crazy she's been waiting for her whole life.


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Twenty years, seven letters, and one long-lost love of a lifetime At age 40, Samantha Verant's life is falling apart-she's jobless, in debt, and feeling stuck... until she stumbles upon seven old love letters from Jean-Luc, the sexy Frenchman she'd met in Paris when she was 19. With a quick Google search, she finds him, and both are quick to realize that the passion th Twenty years, seven letters, and one long-lost love of a lifetime At age 40, Samantha Verant's life is falling apart-she's jobless, in debt, and feeling stuck... until she stumbles upon seven old love letters from Jean-Luc, the sexy Frenchman she'd met in Paris when she was 19. With a quick Google search, she finds him, and both are quick to realize that the passion they felt 20 years prior hasn't faded with time and distance. Samantha knows that jetting off to France to reconnect with a man that she only knew for one sun-drenched, passion-filled day is crazy-but it's the kind of crazy she's been waiting for her whole life.

30 review for Seven Letters from Paris: A Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kiki

    Having recently gone through a rough patch in my life that was the emotional equivalent of taking a hot iron to the face, this book's sweet, fluffy silliness was some welcome reprieve. I read it in one sitting, on a plane from Halifax to Glasgow. My somewhat poor experience with it could probably be blamed in part on my excruciating restless leg and nearly thirty hours without a wink of sleep. Well, actually, that's not true. I got about six minutes of shut-eye lying down in the car. It was a tr Having recently gone through a rough patch in my life that was the emotional equivalent of taking a hot iron to the face, this book's sweet, fluffy silliness was some welcome reprieve. I read it in one sitting, on a plane from Halifax to Glasgow. My somewhat poor experience with it could probably be blamed in part on my excruciating restless leg and nearly thirty hours without a wink of sleep. Well, actually, that's not true. I got about six minutes of shut-eye lying down in the car. It was a trustless sleep, though. I felt nervous doing it. That's some serious personal shit that I probably ought to work through. I know you've all seen me talk smack about Paris before, but that's only because I'm a salty bitch with a bad attitude, and it's not my fault I'm that way; I was raised like it. Honestly, I was. Look at the way I react to fictional romance. It leaves me stone cold 95% of the time. All those Jane Austen romances, and like Katniss and Peeta or Elias and Laia, ought to stir my emotions like they did everyone else's. But I'm like a diamond. Hard. Beautiful, exquisite, but hard as shit. So by some strange feat, this book casually fell into my hands as I perused the travel section in Coles during my last week in Canada. I was supposed to be saving money, because I'm currently jobless, but I was sad so I needed to buy things to make myself feel better. It works. And it kept working. This book is one of those that requires absolutely zero thought, so don't go into it looking for anything edgy. Don't go into it looking for soul-searching or life chats. This book is honestly so self-indulgent and if you allow it to be just so, then you'll probably enjoy the shit out of it. Do I wish the writing had been more polished, less cheesy, with a more adept editor? Yes. Of course I do. There were full stops and whole words missing. I know typos happen and it's nobody's fault, it's just human error, but do there need to be multiple gaps in multiple sentences? No. Sam is a pretty likeable human being, and her narration is cute (if extremely corny and saccharine). I love that she sees the chance to change her life and she takes it, and I love that she's sort of haphazard and blundering but a romantic, filled with grandiose ideas and dreams. She takes the notion of happily ever after and makes it a reality. And when you're in the mood for a pick-me-up, that's super nice. The latter half of this book could have been polished; the first half, all adventure and romance and Jean-Luc's letters, was greatly enjoyable, while the latter was bogged down with whole chapters about nothing but the wedding decorations and the paperwork required for Sam's emigration to France. Some people might find it interesting, I guess, but does the wider public really care about how long it took for Sam's birth certificate to come through the mail? I know I didn't. "I got a marriage visa" probably would have sufficed, and would have allowed for a deeper wade into Sam's problems with Chris, her education, her friendships, her financial woes, among other things. I was interested in finding out more about Sam, and about why her life had crashed and burned, rather than how many starfish decoys she hung up in her parents' back yard. Alas, it matters little; it all ended happily, Sam found her love, and now she's happy. That was the purpose of this memoir, and it fulfilled it nicely. Like I said: go into it with no expectations, or at the very least, low ones. You'll kill a sweet few hours.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    At the age of 20, Samantha and her friend are travelling through Europe during a college break. They've spent two weeks in Paris and on their very last night in the city, they meet two young, good-looking Frenchmen. In particular, Samantha has a very strong connection with Jean-Luc, the man she meets. They spend the next 24 unforgettable sleepless hours exploring the city with the men, and despite pleas from the men to change plans and stay longer in Paris, the girls depart for Nice. Samantha ret At the age of 20, Samantha and her friend are travelling through Europe during a college break. They've spent two weeks in Paris and on their very last night in the city, they meet two young, good-looking Frenchmen. In particular, Samantha has a very strong connection with Jean-Luc, the man she meets. They spend the next 24 unforgettable sleepless hours exploring the city with the men, and despite pleas from the men to change plans and stay longer in Paris, the girls depart for Nice. Samantha returns to college in the U.S., and Jean-Luc writes seven heart-felt love letters to her. Samantha is experiencing some personal crises at home, and never writes him back. Fast forward twenty years. Samantha has been laid off from her job, is on the brink of divorce, and is about to turn 40. She finds Jean-Luc's old letters and wonders why she never wrote him back. Through the magic of the internet she finds him, and responds at long last... A fun, romantic, real-life fairy-tale. And, it's Paris so you've got to love that. 3.5 stars rounded up

  3. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    This is a lovely modern fairytale come true about a disillusioned American woman and her French prince. At 39 Samantha Verant made the brave decision to leave her loveless marriage and return, jobless and in debt to live with her parents. Twenty years before, Sam and her best friend Tracey had met two handsome Frenchmen in Paris and spent a memorable twenty four hours with them before leaving to travel on to the South of France and the rest of their European holiday. After returning to her Unive This is a lovely modern fairytale come true about a disillusioned American woman and her French prince. At 39 Samantha Verant made the brave decision to leave her loveless marriage and return, jobless and in debt to live with her parents. Twenty years before, Sam and her best friend Tracey had met two handsome Frenchmen in Paris and spent a memorable twenty four hours with them before leaving to travel on to the South of France and the rest of their European holiday. After returning to her University studies, Sam received a series of seven beautiful, passionate, romantic letters from Jean-Luc expressing his feelings for her and his regret at allowing her to slip away. Scared of commitment and being let down, Sam is unable to find the right words to reply but now 20 years later decides she must apologise for not writing back. What follows is a beautiful romance with a happy ending that any woman (even a happily married middle-aged one like me) would sigh for. Sam tells her story interwoven with Jean-Luc's seven love letters and her reminiscences of her youthful trip to Paris in a gorgeous memoir that she generously shares with her readers. 4.5★ With thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for a copy of this book to review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Deborah

    I need to preface this review with the disclaimer that I'm not romantic. I suspect I once was but am now a washed-up middle-aged cynic. Or something. And although I label myself a tad impulsive and irresponsible. I'm probably possibly not. So - the notion of travelling halfway around the world to reunite with someone you knew for 24hrs twenty years before is something I struggled with. A lot. I can't say it's not realistic - as it actually happened in Samantha Verant’s memoir, ' Seven Letters From I need to preface this review with the disclaimer that I'm not romantic. I suspect I once was but am now a washed-up middle-aged cynic. Or something. And although I label myself a tad impulsive and irresponsible. I'm probably possibly not. So - the notion of travelling halfway around the world to reunite with someone you knew for 24hrs twenty years before is something I struggled with. A lot. I can't say it's not realistic - as it actually happened in Samantha Verant’s memoir, ' Seven Letters From Paris. It's a bit of a cliche I realise - those in unhappy marriages or reaching middle age (ahem) fondly remembering school sweethearts or long-lost loves The internet (damn Facebook!) allows us to reach out and indulge our fantasies of ... what if... Samantha goes further than that. She leaves her husband (moving back in with her well-off mother and stepfather) and writes to Jean Luc who whom she once spent 24 hours. I suspect you can sense my sarcasm. Like I said - it's mostly because the whole thing just felt a bit cheesy. And I know by criticising the lead character I’m criticising the actual author (and a real person) but she came across (in the book anyway) as incredibly self-indulgent, self-obsessed and immature. I suspect she was less glib about her finances in real life but her desperation to declare bankruptcy and move on with her life was a bit distasteful. The character's reaction to Jean Luc's parents' apartment really made her seem like a bit of a princess. “I shrugged off the initial shock. ‘Places don’t matter. People do.’ “ But we were supposed to admire her for getting past her distaste and accepting them nonetheless. WTF?! I'm so used to crime fiction I was waiting for Jean Luc's story not to add up and for her to discover he was a fraud. Or better still, an axe murderer. Of course that could still happen as - happily ever after may be more difficult once the drudgery of full time work and household chores sets in. I requested this book because I was at an event where a Random House editor spoke breathlessly about its beauty. I stepped out of my comfort zone because I wanted the romance, I wanted the fantasy. However, while I don't begrudge Samantha’s happily ever after, if this wasn't a true story I'd be saying it didn't feel particularly feasible.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Bree Hill

    “When I let go of anger, guilt, and fear, I finally let love in. For once, my entire life jumped onto the right track, and it was cruising along, moving full speed ahead.” I loved this..it was so cute and fun but had its heavy moments. A nonfiction fairy tale really along with its bumps in the road. I love most of all what it really stands for: life is too short, let go of whatever baggage or ghosts you have haunting you from the past and never be afraid to just start over.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Marianne

    Seven Letters from Paris is a memoir by an American woman now living in south-western France, Samantha Verant. Moaning to her closest friend Tracey about her life’s latest terrible turns (jobless, deep in debt and her marriage on the rocks), Samantha Platt, almost forty, is reminded about a European holiday twenty years earlier, and a chance encounter with a Frenchman, Jean Luc Verant. She digs out the seven letters he sent her from Paris. And what letters they were: full of romance and promise. Seven Letters from Paris is a memoir by an American woman now living in south-western France, Samantha Verant. Moaning to her closest friend Tracey about her life’s latest terrible turns (jobless, deep in debt and her marriage on the rocks), Samantha Platt, almost forty, is reminded about a European holiday twenty years earlier, and a chance encounter with a Frenchman, Jean Luc Verant. She digs out the seven letters he sent her from Paris. And what letters they were: full of romance and promise. Letters to which she never replied…. With the wonders of the Internet, Facebook and Google, Samantha tracks Jean Luc down, apologises, twenty years late, for her lack of reply, and sends him a link to her seven-part blog describing their Paris encounter. Dare she hope for a civil reply, let alone something more? Obviously, since, in the opening passages, Samantha refers to Jean Luc as her husband, she can. But after an interval of twenty years, there are more than a few obstacles, psychological, logistical and bureaucratic, to be overcome before this true romance can properly develop from its initial spark. This is an enjoyable read: at times moving and often hilarious, with a true happily-ever-after ending.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Luca Marchiori

    I have just finished a wonderful 72 hours in the company of Samantha Vérant and her touching Seven Letters from Paris. Written from the heart, with sometimes startling honesty, Seven Letters tells the story of how Samantha met her husband, and then didn't—for twenty years. Culminating with a pair of fairy-tale weddings in France and California, her experience teaches us the reality of love at first sight, and the imperative to believe it when you see it. Seven Letters from Paris is a beautiful s I have just finished a wonderful 72 hours in the company of Samantha Vérant and her touching Seven Letters from Paris. Written from the heart, with sometimes startling honesty, Seven Letters tells the story of how Samantha met her husband, and then didn't—for twenty years. Culminating with a pair of fairy-tale weddings in France and California, her experience teaches us the reality of love at first sight, and the imperative to believe it when you see it. Seven Letters from Paris is a beautiful study of what we learn about love and our lives in middle age when we are finally crazy enough to act on the instincts we are too 'sensible' to listen to in our twenties. Inspiring and encouraging for all of us, whether we have found the love of our lives or not (yet). Disclosure: Author supplied ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

    In 1989, Samantha Platt, a nineteen year old American arts student, was traveling through Europe with her best friend, Tracey, when, on their second to last day in Paris they met two handsome young Frenchman, Jean-Luc and Patrick. Though their time together was brief, Samantha and Jean-Luc both admitted to feeling a strong connection, and though Samantha chose to continue their planned journey leaving Jean-Luc behind, she did so with no small amount of regret. Twenty odd years later, Samantha has In 1989, Samantha Platt, a nineteen year old American arts student, was traveling through Europe with her best friend, Tracey, when, on their second to last day in Paris they met two handsome young Frenchman, Jean-Luc and Patrick. Though their time together was brief, Samantha and Jean-Luc both admitted to feeling a strong connection, and though Samantha chose to continue their planned journey leaving Jean-Luc behind, she did so with no small amount of regret. Twenty odd years later, Samantha has been made redundant and her marriage is disintegrating when Tracey reminds her of their summer in Paris and the seven letters full of romance and longing she received from Jean-Luc after her return home. Wondering 'what if?', Samantha gathers her courage and decides to contact Jean-Luc, awkward emails soon became more intimate, leading to long phone calls which eventually results in Samantha accepting Jean-Luc's invitation to visit him in Paris. It is a chance Samantha feels she has to take... Seven Letters From Paris is the true tale of an extraordinary second chance love story. Twenty years after their day long romance in Paris, Samantha and Jean-Luc are reunited, and less than 12 months later are husband and wife. Samantha's story may have a fairytale ending, but it is a life and love hard won. She has dealt with an absentee father, a difficult divorce and bankruptcy to then moving to France with only rudimentary language skills, and becoming not only a wife, but also a full time stepmother of two young children. Written in a friendly, almost conversational tone, Seven Letters From Paris is an easy read. Romantics will swoon over the seven letters Jean-Luc sent Samantha in 1989, francophiles will enjoy reading about Samantha's new life in France. As my own love story is entirely prosaic - he was 20 and a co-worker of a friend, I was just 16 and still in high school when we got together, we married when I was 22 and next week we will celebrate 19 years of marriage - I appreciated the romance of Samantha and Jean-Luc's relationship and their almost too-good-to-be-true reunion. My French is very rusty but: Je vous souhaite de nombreuses années de bonheur (I wish you both many years of happiness) *Please note: I choose not to rate memoirs*

  9. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Verant

    Thank you so much for reading/buying/supporting my book. Bisous!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ange H

    This should have been titled, "Seven Letters from Paris: A Fairy Tale." I guess I am not very romantic, but if this is based on a true story, it is being retold through VERY rose colored glasses. Sam is the most beautiful and beguiling California girl God ever created. She meets Jean-Luc, the most handsome and perfect and romantic Frenchman, while traveling in France. They spend 24 hours together, after which Jean-Luc was besotted with this princess for life. She returns home and he pines for he This should have been titled, "Seven Letters from Paris: A Fairy Tale." I guess I am not very romantic, but if this is based on a true story, it is being retold through VERY rose colored glasses. Sam is the most beautiful and beguiling California girl God ever created. She meets Jean-Luc, the most handsome and perfect and romantic Frenchman, while traveling in France. They spend 24 hours together, after which Jean-Luc was besotted with this princess for life. She returns home and he pines for her. Never have seven such romantic letters been written! But Sam never answers a single one, although she kept them all. (I have to confess, I didn't find the letters romantic - they were so over the top they came off as creepy and stalker-y to me. I wouldn't have responded either.) Twenty years later, Sam's first marriage crumbles. She is approaching middle age; she is facing bankruptcy. She has no job or money or prospects and is living with her parents. She decides to contact Jean-Luc and he is of course DELIGHTED to have his princess back in his life and solve all her problems for her. He whisks her around France, taking her to beautiful, romantic castles; eating wonderful food; drinking wine, assuring her every moment how beautiful and perfect and special she is. He introduces her to his friends, family, and young children, all of whom of course immediately LOVE her because she is so beautiful and perfect and special. Sam and Jean-Luc have mind-blowing sex, because they have PASSION, without which Jean-Luc keeps assuring her, life is not worth living and which will never die between the two of them. They never fight or even have disagreements. I realize this review is cynical but honestly I have never met people like this. I guess if they exist and they are happy, more power to them. I sincerely hope that Jean-Luc and Sam were everything they seemed to be, and Sam never found human remains when digging in the perfect garden behind their perfect townhouse; or that during one of their never-ending romantic getaways in the south of France Jean-Luc never pushed her off a cliff to collect the insurance money.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jan Moran

    Reading Seven Letters from Paris is like traveling to France with a good friend -- the journey revolves around laughter and angst, food and wine, new and cherished connections. Throughout this memoir, I commiserated, I laughed, I cheered our brave heroine on. Samantha Verant is a women who had the courage to take a chance in life; she took the proverbial lemons and made French-pressed lemonade. Her witty writing is in a similar vein as Peter Mayle, in A Year in Provence (Mayle also endorsed the b Reading Seven Letters from Paris is like traveling to France with a good friend -- the journey revolves around laughter and angst, food and wine, new and cherished connections. Throughout this memoir, I commiserated, I laughed, I cheered our brave heroine on. Samantha Verant is a women who had the courage to take a chance in life; she took the proverbial lemons and made French-pressed lemonade. Her witty writing is in a similar vein as Peter Mayle, in A Year in Provence (Mayle also endorsed the book, too). Seven Letters from Paris is a delightful look at a woman who rebooted her heart and created the life she deserved. In addition, this charming tale is certain to inspire legions of letter writers bent on romance. Five stars for this courageous writer; I'm certainly hoping for more from Samantha Verant as she continues her life adventures.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    VERDICT: Seven Letters From Paris is a lively and very inspiring memoir witnessing to the fact that sometimes, life has better things in store for you than the best of fiction could make you dream of. French food and culture will also help! Perfect for all lovers of France and readers who need to be reminded that the sun always shines behind the clouds, how dark they may be. my full review is here: http://wordsandpeace.com/2014/10/13/b... VERDICT: Seven Letters From Paris is a lively and very inspiring memoir witnessing to the fact that sometimes, life has better things in store for you than the best of fiction could make you dream of. French food and culture will also help! Perfect for all lovers of France and readers who need to be reminded that the sun always shines behind the clouds, how dark they may be. my full review is here: http://wordsandpeace.com/2014/10/13/b...

  13. 4 out of 5

    AudreyLovesParis

    What's not to love? Girl meets Frenchman on the last evening of her first time in Paris when she is 19 and he is 26. They are smitten with each other, but she has to leave the next day. The chemistry is there, but she doesn't see him again for twenty years, after digging out seven very fabulously romantic love letters he wrote to her to which she never responded. The rest, as they say, is history. A great read on a snowy day. “Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.” What's not to love? Girl meets Frenchman on the last evening of her first time in Paris when she is 19 and he is 26. They are smitten with each other, but she has to leave the next day. The chemistry is there, but she doesn't see him again for twenty years, after digging out seven very fabulously romantic love letters he wrote to her to which she never responded. The rest, as they say, is history. A great read on a snowy day. “Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.” ― Mason Cooley

  14. 5 out of 5

    Patty

    ”My God, what an idiot I’d been. Punctuated with passion, Jean-Luc’s letters still heated my soul twenty years later. So why hadn’t I written him back in 1989? In March, I finished reading Paris Was Ours (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...). In my review I mentioned that I really liked reading about Paris and that is why this book caught my attention. I was looking through the library catalog for a different book and this one came up also. So I checked it out. How bad could a book be about ”My God, what an idiot I’d been. Punctuated with passion, Jean-Luc’s letters still heated my soul twenty years later. So why hadn’t I written him back in 1989? In March, I finished reading Paris Was Ours (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...). In my review I mentioned that I really liked reading about Paris and that is why this book caught my attention. I was looking through the library catalog for a different book and this one came up also. So I checked it out. How bad could a book be about Paris? How bad could a book be that is essentially a true life fairy tale? The basic answer is not bad at all. I had a good time vicariously living Verant’s life. If someone asked me if they should read this book, I would say yes, if you like romantic stories. Verant’s rediscovery of the love of her life was wonderful. Her life seems to still be a fairy tale. I am happy for her. My only caveat is that Verant had made a total mess of her life before she found Jean-Luc again. I know I should not judge a person that I don’t know. I know life is messy and I know many things happen to us that we can’t control. I just struggled with Verant’s chaos. I don’t know why it bothers me so much. I am not a “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” kind of person. Verant had serious problems, lost her job, had a divorce and ended up declaring bankruptcy. All of this is terrible, I should not blame the victim. Whatever my problem is and it is my problem, this detracted from the fairy tale that Verdant was telling. And so, this book was fine and I am glad I read it. I just didn’t love it. I guess I wanted to love it because of my unrequited love affair with Paris.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Melinda

    Reading my blog you are fully aware of my preference to tragic, painful love stories. I know, terrible. You might call me a cynic when it comes to love, but deep down inside there is hope, hope in happily ever after, happenstance, love at first sight…all the saccharine wants we all dream of in matters of the heart. Vérant successfully turned this cynic into her biggest fan. Seven Letters From Paris is a beautiful love story. The best part of this story, it’s a love story involving not just one lo Reading my blog you are fully aware of my preference to tragic, painful love stories. I know, terrible. You might call me a cynic when it comes to love, but deep down inside there is hope, hope in happily ever after, happenstance, love at first sight…all the saccharine wants we all dream of in matters of the heart. Vérant successfully turned this cynic into her biggest fan. Seven Letters From Paris is a beautiful love story. The best part of this story, it’s a love story involving not just one love story but two. The first part is Samantha realizing what prevented her from allowing herself ‘to love’ and ‘be loved,’ Reading of her trials and tribulations, her courage and her ‘aha’ moment when she discovered the root cause of her fear of love was touching. Witnessing her growth, her avoidance set aside, her hesitancy and concerns – no doubt we could relate to her, at least I could. Her ability to finally let go and love completely, take the risk as well as release her fear, relinquish her heart made the reunion with Jean-Luc even more tender. The second best part, of course, was connecting with Jean-Luc after twenty years. A whole lot of life in between, having timing on your side, and the biggie her realization and personal growth shows serendipity had other plans. Their love story is inspiring and from what Vérant generously shared, these two belong together with all certitude. Touching was their slow and easy progression to reignite a flame never really extinguished. The most cynical of people couldn’t help but be swept away and cave to this beautiful story of two people separated but never really apart, at least not in their heart and soul. A fluke at its best in the romance between Samantha and Jean-Luc, lovely tale of two deserving people. I wish you two all the happiness in the world forever. You are to be envied and emulated.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Hague

    I've known about this book for some time but reading the pre-publication version was something else. Sam's done a great job telling the story of how she met her husband, or should I say, she met him in Paris, then left to go back to the US. He wrote seven truly romantic letters to her after she went back, the stuff you dream of receiving, but she ignored him for twenty years, until she finally came to her senses and sent him an apology. To his credit, he wrote back and they picked up where they' I've known about this book for some time but reading the pre-publication version was something else. Sam's done a great job telling the story of how she met her husband, or should I say, she met him in Paris, then left to go back to the US. He wrote seven truly romantic letters to her after she went back, the stuff you dream of receiving, but she ignored him for twenty years, until she finally came to her senses and sent him an apology. To his credit, he wrote back and they picked up where they'd left off. He needs a medal for perseverance, I reckon! I was telling my (French) chéri about Sam's husband Jean-Luc. My Frenchman is not very romantic so when I was telling him about everything that Jean-Luc had done for Sam, he said he needed a good talking to as he had just raised the bar for every Frenchman who wanted to get intimate with an American girl... After reading that book they'd be expecting castles, romantic letters and all sorts of effort. He perked up though when I told him that JL had previously been married to a young Russian. From being a bit of a traitor, JL suddenly became a Person of Interest. It's always been my Frenchman's pie in the sky fantasy to have a young Russian hanging off his arm. Luckily for him he doesn't need to think about trying to seduce either young Americans or young Russians any more (and have his fantasy crash to earth if JL's ex is typical...)! So full marks for romance. Sam and Jean-Luc's story is so charming it warms the cockles. She writes from the heart and you're drawn into the ups and downs of her adventures as she tries to make sense of her life and love.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    I almost never read fiction by people I know. With that being said, I almost do not know Samantha Verant, the author of Seven Letters From Paris. We met via Internet a few years ago. She is beautiful {I have seen pictures}, well spoken and has a delightful sense of humor. The ARC of Seven Letters arrived in the mail. I was not expecting it. I sat down and started reading, finishing the book within 48 hours. It was that wonderful, captivating and honest. I could not put it down. Samantha gives an I almost never read fiction by people I know. With that being said, I almost do not know Samantha Verant, the author of Seven Letters From Paris. We met via Internet a few years ago. She is beautiful {I have seen pictures}, well spoken and has a delightful sense of humor. The ARC of Seven Letters arrived in the mail. I was not expecting it. I sat down and started reading, finishing the book within 48 hours. It was that wonderful, captivating and honest. I could not put it down. Samantha gives an honest rendition of her struggles and how love found her. Life IS interesting and funny. We are reminded of this with each page. Seven Letters is delightful, sad, romantic and ecstatic. I refuse to spoil it for anyone who will be reading it upon its release in Oct, but I can share one thing with you. I will be giving this as Christmas gifts to all of my girl friends this coming holiday. Look out Amazon, a huge order is coming your way! I would give Seven Letters From Paris 6 stars if I could.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Juliette Sobanet

    This is such a beautifully written, honest story about overcoming the immense loss that is divorce and moving on to find true love. Samantha’s willingness to open her heart to someone she’d met so long ago and then share their incredible story in her memoir has certainly given me hope and has warmed my heart. Samantha’s love story with Jean-Luc really is a fairy-tale come true, but not without its own challenges of course! The financial stress after divorce, the paperwork insanity of getting mar This is such a beautifully written, honest story about overcoming the immense loss that is divorce and moving on to find true love. Samantha’s willingness to open her heart to someone she’d met so long ago and then share their incredible story in her memoir has certainly given me hope and has warmed my heart. Samantha’s love story with Jean-Luc really is a fairy-tale come true, but not without its own challenges of course! The financial stress after divorce, the paperwork insanity of getting married in France, becoming an instant mother, and learning the ever-beautiful, ever-challenging French language are all obstacles Samantha faces in her story. But she does so with passion, grace, and love in her heart and in her prose. Bravo for sharing your beautiful story, Samantha, and for giving divorced women everywhere (including me!) the hope that true love is not only out there, but it is better than we could’ve ever dreamed it to be.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance

    We want the happy ending, don’t we? Sam did. She was at the end of her marriage, had slipped past forty with no children, and found her career had tanked. While she was sorting through her things, she ran across seven old letters. Sam opened them and she remembered the romance of her life, a man she met in Paris when she was young, a man who had sent her seven letters, seven letters she had never answered. She decided to answer them now, twenty years later. A fairy tale of a book.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Denise Covey

    This is a modern love story, beautifully told. In the telling Samantha is honest, funny, real, which captured me and held me rapt from beginning to end. Samantha takes you on an exhilarating ride as she and Jean~Luc find a way to make their love story happen. The beautiful settings in both the US and France enhance the love story. A warm, positive, delightful real life romantic memoir. Thanks Samantha for telling your story.

  21. 4 out of 5

    September Dee

    A great memoir of love lost and then found again. We can't but cheer for Samantha and her dashing French prince. It's the kind of romance we all dream of. What a wonderful way to pay homage to one's relationship. Told with insight, humour and from the heart. A feel good love story that leaves one uplifted. Proof that good things come to those who wait.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    This book was a quick, easy read, but left me really unsettled. Let's just imagine for a moment that your daughter, sister or close friend went through the following events in the span of a few months: - Was laid off from their job and then had a prolonged period of unemployment - Experienced a traumatic divorce - Had to move back in with their parents because they couldn't support themselves - Lost a beloved pet - Had to declare bankruptcy - Had a cancer scare Let's also imagine that this friend/ sist This book was a quick, easy read, but left me really unsettled. Let's just imagine for a moment that your daughter, sister or close friend went through the following events in the span of a few months: - Was laid off from their job and then had a prolonged period of unemployment - Experienced a traumatic divorce - Had to move back in with their parents because they couldn't support themselves - Lost a beloved pet - Had to declare bankruptcy - Had a cancer scare Let's also imagine that this friend/ sister/ daughter, who is experiencing an alarming amount of personal crises concurrently, decides to search out a guy she spent 24 hours with in Paris twenty years ago, engage in a long-distance whirlwind relationship with said guy, despite the fact that they are both still married to others, and then get engaged to him after just a few months. What would you say to this loved one? a. "You are going through an incredibly difficult time. I'm so glad you've met someone special, but I think maybe you should take this slow, focus on taking care of yourself, and get back on your feet. Take the time to really get to know him before you move to France, marry him, and become a stepmother to his children." b. "Wow, this must be true love. You should definitely marry him immediately, even though he has a terrible track record with women and you've only spent a couple weeks with him cumulatively in your entire life. It doesn't matter that you're unemployed and bankrupt." Obviously, the author is a real person and she really married the man in question and they seem to be doing just fine. That's great. Maybe the whole point of this story is that things worked out when the odds were 98% in favor of it being an utter disaster. However, I cannot understand why the people in her life did not once grab her by the shoulders, look her straight in the eye and say, "What the hell are you doing?" If this happened, it's not mentioned in the book. For me, this wasn't much of a love story, but more akin to watching a car crash in slow motion. You just desperately want these two to stop for one moment and think about what they're doing, especially since there are children involved, and those children have already had a revolving door of women in their lives. It's not a spoiler that everyone in this tale lives happily ever after. Thank goodness. But I found the journey to that happy ending more alarming than romantic.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jacqueline

    This memoir is a beautiful love story, with heartbreak and happy ever after, that reads more like a fairytale romance than the real life it is. When life doesn’t go to plan, what girl doesn’t dream of having her own real life ‘Pretty Woman’ fairytale moment? At the end of an unhappy marriage that has left her deep in debt, Samantha finds seven love letters tucked away in the bottom of a storage box. These love letters are 20 years old and despite her never having replied at the time, offer her a This memoir is a beautiful love story, with heartbreak and happy ever after, that reads more like a fairytale romance than the real life it is. When life doesn’t go to plan, what girl doesn’t dream of having her own real life ‘Pretty Woman’ fairytale moment? At the end of an unhappy marriage that has left her deep in debt, Samantha finds seven love letters tucked away in the bottom of a storage box. These love letters are 20 years old and despite her never having replied at the time, offer her a glimmer of hope and future happiness. The fact that they were written by a very sexy sounding Frenchman, who as well as being a rocket scientist wasn’t afraid of opening his heart to her, is just a bonus. This memoir lets us read the letters and follows Samantha and Jean-Luc as they make contact, become very good friends and eventually meet up with a view to working out if they can have a shared future together. They both showed great courage. For Samantha to walk away from an unhappy marriage was like stepping off a cliff into the unknown, and although her new future promised to have Jean-Luc at her side it must still have felt like another cliff! The distance from her home in California to his in Toulouse, his children who had already lost their Mother, the language difficulties and the paperwork, were just some of the obstacles to be faced together. Although their journey was not without heartache and huge risk I can’t help but feel pleased for Samantha that she re-found her prince and now lives in wedded bliss with him in France. I got to the end and I couldn’t help grinning at the loveliness of it and really feel it should be made into a film. Even Disney couldn’t have written a love story this romantic. But don’t worry; it’s not too gushy, sweet and sickly.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    This is a memoir written by 40 year old Samantha as she finds herself in a loveless marriage, with no job or money and a pile of debts. Samantha finds seven love letters from a holiday romance in France some 20 years earlier and decides to track down her Frenchman Jean-Luc. Just like a fairytale Samantha the American Princess and Jean-Luc the French frog find each other again and fall in love and with each page turned you are taken on their whirlwind romance together. Of course this is a real lif This is a memoir written by 40 year old Samantha as she finds herself in a loveless marriage, with no job or money and a pile of debts. Samantha finds seven love letters from a holiday romance in France some 20 years earlier and decides to track down her Frenchman Jean-Luc. Just like a fairytale Samantha the American Princess and Jean-Luc the French frog find each other again and fall in love and with each page turned you are taken on their whirlwind romance together. Of course this is a real life memoir so there are bumps in the road, it's realistic and relateable and that's what made this such a great read. This was such a beautiful story full of hope and promise. I really liked their travels through France and back to America, so much history, culture, food and wine, I felt like I was on the adventure them them, albeit a third wheel at times! I recommend this book to romantics and anyone who is not happy in their relationships, I hope it shows you the light to see that life is too short to be unhappy when you could be living a happy and fulfilling life if only you take a chance.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kristin Espinasse

    Samantha is the friend anyone with a French rail pass would love to travel with: she’s carefree and fun--yet she’s determinated to stick to the itinerary. Too bad the stop in Paris wasn’t scheduled for longer—to include more time with the gorgeous Frenchman she met in the bistro! You’ll tear up reading this inspiring love story set in Paris and the South of France. And you’ll giggle and cheer as the Franco-American lovers reunite in time to conquer French bureaucracy--and even bankruptcy—in order Samantha is the friend anyone with a French rail pass would love to travel with: she’s carefree and fun--yet she’s determinated to stick to the itinerary. Too bad the stop in Paris wasn’t scheduled for longer—to include more time with the gorgeous Frenchman she met in the bistro! You’ll tear up reading this inspiring love story set in Paris and the South of France. And you’ll giggle and cheer as the Franco-American lovers reunite in time to conquer French bureaucracy--and even bankruptcy—in order to tie the knot. Seven Letters from Paris is sweet, touching and real—as well as chock-full of information on how one American navigated international regulations in order to sail off into the horizon with her Frenchman.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Hall

    **This is a preview review** Verant's memoir gives us hope. Her true story of finding her long lost love after 20 years gives cynics like me a warm feeling (yes, apparently it is possible!) If this had been a novel, I would have been skeptical, yet Verant's true story isn't all slush and mush; it's very real, enough for all of us to be able to see a little of ourselves in each situation she finds herself in. Far from a self-help book, I would recommend this to anyone who feels they need to know th **This is a preview review** Verant's memoir gives us hope. Her true story of finding her long lost love after 20 years gives cynics like me a warm feeling (yes, apparently it is possible!) If this had been a novel, I would have been skeptical, yet Verant's true story isn't all slush and mush; it's very real, enough for all of us to be able to see a little of ourselves in each situation she finds herself in. Far from a self-help book, I would recommend this to anyone who feels they need to know that someone else has 'been there' (divorce, bankruptcy, basically taken themselves back to the beginning) and that there is someone out there that came through it, who had the strength to start again, and this time got it right.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Penny McGill

    This was a diverting and honest read which was written by someone who doesn't write for a living. It wasn't a change your life book but not all books need to be that kind of book, some books just need to be 'good'. Good in the way that books remind you about other people's lives and the choices that they make. That their choices aren't necessarily the same choices you might make and that life isn't the same for everyone. Something to think about. I'd pass this one on to any library patron who was This was a diverting and honest read which was written by someone who doesn't write for a living. It wasn't a change your life book but not all books need to be that kind of book, some books just need to be 'good'. Good in the way that books remind you about other people's lives and the choices that they make. That their choices aren't necessarily the same choices you might make and that life isn't the same for everyone. Something to think about. I'd pass this one on to any library patron who was in the mood for something to take them out of their everyday routine and start thinking a little bit. Not to think revolutionary thoughts or even clean-out-the-spare-room thoughts, just a good read about someone else's life. A good read.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Candace Walsh

    I stayed up all night reading this book. It was such a pleasure to accompany Vérant on this journey from divorce, to shacking up with her parents, to daring to dream about the one who got away--and what a one! This book is not only entertaining and heartwarming. It's also a big vote for being brave, slightly crazy, and completely authentic, taking big risks that when they pay off, can turn a person's life around and rescue it from being a dream deferred. Even--especially--in midlife. Three cheer I stayed up all night reading this book. It was such a pleasure to accompany Vérant on this journey from divorce, to shacking up with her parents, to daring to dream about the one who got away--and what a one! This book is not only entertaining and heartwarming. It's also a big vote for being brave, slightly crazy, and completely authentic, taking big risks that when they pay off, can turn a person's life around and rescue it from being a dream deferred. Even--especially--in midlife. Three cheers for Seven Letters!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Vicki Lesage

    I liked how this wasn't your traditional love story. You'd think with an American girl meeting and falling in love with a Frenchman that it'd be a walking cliche, but then she dumps him and doesn't reconnect until 20 years later. I quickly became absorbed in her story--why did she dump him, how had it all started, and how would it end up? I enjoyed reading about her path to happiness, and of course a handsome French guy and the inherent romance of France never hurts!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    A lovely quick read for a fall day or fun on the beach. I'm always a sucker for a happy ending. Samantha's story is heartfelt and touching. In many ways I was left with a feeling to go live my fullest life ever. Thank you Samantha for having the courage to share your story!

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