Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “City of Lights: The Trials and Triumphs of Ilyse Charpentier” as Want to Read:
City of Lights: The Trials and Triumphs of Ilyse Charpentier
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

City of Lights: The Trials and Triumphs of Ilyse Charpentier

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  33 ratings  ·  13 reviews
What would you risk for the love of a stranger?

Ilyse Charpentier, a beautiful young chanteuse, is the diva of the 1894 Parisian cabaret scene by night and the unwilling obsession of her patron, Count Sergei Rakmanovich, at every other waking moment.

Though it has always been her secret desire, Ilyse's life as "La Petite Coquette" of the Paris stage has turned out to be anyt
Kindle Edition, 154 pages
Published September 29th 2012 by Books In My Belfry, LLC (first published August 1st 2007)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about City of Lights, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about City of Lights

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.58  · 
Rating details
 ·  33 ratings  ·  13 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Jenny Q
Feb 08, 2013 rated it liked it
City of Lights: The Trials and Triumphs of Ilyse Charpentier is a fun little novel that oozes French ambiance from the first page. As an omniscient narrator tells the dramatic tale of how the darling of Paris nightlife seized her chance at true love and happiness from the evil clutches of her overbearing patron, the reader is transported to dark and glittering cabarets, through backstage passages onto gas-lit streets, into cozy carriages that convey young lovers to the Eiffel Tower for romantic ...more
My life long dream is to live in Paris or on the French countryside. As I read this book I felt as if I were there, during the era this book was written, and often times I felt like I was the main character. It is wonderful to be able to feel and associate oneself with the characters of the books. This one was difficult for me to put down. We read it at my book club and most everyone seemed very impressed with the writing. Excellent read. Highly recommended.
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
This 156-page novel harkens back to the Victorian potboiler and 19th century penny dreadful: the characters are a bit predictable and the plot is breakneck, and that's where the pleasure of this book comes from -- you know what you're going to get, and it's fluffy, junky fun.

Set in 1894, the novel follows the angelically beautiful, likely virginal, excessively talented Ilyse Charpentier, star of Paris' cabaret scene. Affectionately nicknamed 'La Petite Coquette', she's been financially supported
Jun 24, 2014 rated it it was ok
This book was predictable. Too predictable. The characters were ok. We get a little insight to their past but I still couldn't fall in love with them. And that's what I expect of out of a great book.
There was a lot of talk and no action until the very end.

What irritated me the most was that she didn't leave. There are always choices and once her brother left she could have gone anywhere. Which brings me to my next question. What kind of sister doesn't follow her younger brother? He was a child.
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jaglvr for

Ilyse Charpentier's world changes forever the day her parents leave on their boat trip that Ilyse and her brother Maurice surprised them with for their 20th anniversary. Her parents' lawyer notifies them that while at sea, the ship has exploded and everyone on board was killed.

So Ilyse and her brother are sent to live with their uncle, Emile. Emile is an evil man, and the two children witness him murdering one of the house staff. Fearing for their lives, t
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Apr 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. "City of Lights" follows Ilyse who is a famous dancer in very late 1800s Paris. Although she is a very successful dancer now, she has a very tragic back story. Her back story was definitely the most interesting part of book for me.

Although the book is mostly character driven, I must mention the setting. I love reading about Paris just about anytime (that city is most definitely on my bucket list of places to visit). However, I especially love reading about Paris in the late 1800s and
Heather C
This was a difficult read for me despite the shorter format – primarily due to issues I had with the characterization. Honestly, I didn’t like, and couldn’t connect with, any of the characters. They were either the paragon of virtue, just plain evil, or a love sick puppy – seemingly the extremes but nothing in the middle. The only characters we really learned the backstory of were Ilyse and her brother, Maurice. I wanted to know more about the villain, Rakmanovich, and the love interest, Ian. I ...more
Jun 11, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-in-2014
I received a copy of City of Lights: The Trials and Triumphs of Ilyse Charpentier by Melika Dannese Lux, from the Goodreads group called Shut Up and Read, in return for an honest review.

I did not like this book at all. I think the premise is good, but I think the book would have been so much better had it been longer than 150 some odd pages. There was no character development at all, so you didn't really get to know any of the characters. And the insta-love between Ilysa and Ian was just so tota
S.L. Figuhr
Jun 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author for her generosity.

City of Lights is set in Paris during the 1840s. The novel is reminiscent of a drama from the Golden Era of Hollywood. The plot line is predictable, with stock characters. As others have mentioned, there is a lot of telling, with very little showing.

I was hoping for more, based on the blurb, and was unfortunately disappointed.
Tamara Anderson
Mar 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very Bitter-sweet book, I was sad when I got to the ending of the book was to short. I found myself sitting at the edge of my seat waiting to see what would happen to the Characters and hoping for the best for each of them.
May 11, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Phantom of the Opera fans
Recommended to Rose by: Mary Simonsen
This book is written by a 22 year old who has an incredible knowledge of Paris in the 1890s when the Eiffel Tower was only a few years old. It is a fast-paced read which reminded me of Phantom of the Opera.
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wow. What a really enjoyable read. These are characters that you can really latch on to and it's what makes it even more compelling to read. I would highly recommend this!!
Steven Peterson
Dec 25, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-friends-books
This is an inaugural novel by a promising young author. The characters are drawn nicely, although some fleshing out would be useful. But, all in all, a good start to a writing career. . . .
rated it it was amazing
Jan 25, 2008
Loretta Swanson
rated it it was amazing
Jul 03, 2014
rated it really liked it
Jun 30, 2008
rated it it was amazing
Jan 20, 2009
Cristina Morientes
rated it liked it
Oct 28, 2012
Danielle Durie
rated it it was ok
Nov 09, 2013
Annalese Herrington
rated it liked it
Nov 09, 2014
rated it it was amazing
Sep 03, 2016
rated it liked it
Nov 25, 2012
rated it really liked it
Oct 18, 2012
Dreng Huang
rated it liked it
Jun 20, 2013
rated it liked it
Feb 10, 2013
Lucienne Loman
rated it really liked it
Mar 03, 2015
rated it liked it
Sep 17, 2018
Dokoohyar Ahmadipour
rated it it was amazing
Jul 20, 2013
Erin Al-Mehairi
rated it really liked it
Apr 04, 2013
rated it did not like it
Jun 29, 2013
« previous 1 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • In the Shadow of the Sun King (Darkness to Light, #1)
  • His Very Own Girl
  • Incandescent
  • It Stings So Sweet
  • A Thousand Veils
  • Rouge (Cheveux Roux, #1)
  • The Old Jest
  • Shanghai Love
  • A White Wind Blew
  • The End of Innocence (Sophia's War #1)
  • Extraordinary Renditions
  • Finding Emilie
  • Honor Among Thieves (The Honorables, #1)
  • Blue Sacrifice (Blue Davison, #1)
  • Contact (Halfkinds: Survival and Superiority, #1)
  • Poplorica: A Popular History of the Fads, Mavericks, Inventions, and Lore That Shaped Modern America
  • What Lies Behind
  • Who Made You a Princess? (All About Us, #4)
See similar books…
Melika Dannese Hick has been an author since the age of fourteen and writes dream-sagas that incorporate a variety of different genres, including  historical fiction, suspense, thrillers with a supernatural twist, and epic/dark fantasy. She is also a classically trained soprano/violinist/pianist, who holds a BA in Management from Saint Leo University and an MBA in Marketing from Regis University. ...more
“I used to ask myself, ‘Sergei, would you rather spend your money on drink or women?’ and thanks to the club, I spend it on both and am called a patron of the arts.” 3 likes
“I know the consequences, Manon,” Ilyse conceded. “I know the fate you endured might one day be my own. But I refuse to be a prisoner for the rest of my life.” 3 likes
More quotes…