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Secrets of Paris Series #1

Paris Time Capsule

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New York–based photographer Cat Jordan is ready to begin a new life with her successful, button-down boyfriend. But when she learns that she’s inherited the estate of a complete stranger—a woman named Isabelle de Florian—her life is turned upside down.

Cat arrives in Paris to find that she is now the owner of a perfectly preserved Belle Époque apartment in the ninth arrondissement, and that the Frenchwoman’s family knew nothing about this secret estate. Amid these strange developments, Cat is left with burning questions: Who was Isabelle de Florian? And why did she leave the inheritance to Cat instead of her own family?

As Cat travels France in search of answers, she feels her grasp on her New York life starting to slip. With long-buried secrets coming to light and an attraction to Isabelle de Florian’s grandson growing too intense to ignore, Cat will have to decide what to let go of, and what to claim as her own.

290 pages, Kindle Edition

First published April 1, 2014

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About the author

Ella Carey

29 books636 followers
Ella Carey is the USA Today and Amazon charts bestselling author of Secrets of Paris series, as well as the standalone kindle bestsellers, Secret Shores, The Things We Don’t Say and Beyond the Horizon, set around the brave, unsung Women’s Airforce Pilots of World War Two.

A New York Secret is the first in Ella's new Daughters of New York series and published on March 12th, 2021. Laced with all the glamour of New York, the book is set in an exquisite Uptown restaurant where Lily Rose is training to become head chef in the 1940's. Ella traveled to New York to research the book, which involved going incognito on foodie tours, visiting some of New York's most famous restaurants, and exploring the atmospheric streets of Greenwich Village. The whole experience resulted in her developing a serious addiction to cannoli, a passion for The Strand Bookstore, a love for The Village, along with six new novels set in New York, all to be published in the coming years.

The second book in the series, The Lost Girl of Berlin, released on July 12th, 2021, and is set in the aftermath of the Second World War amongst the ruins of Berlin and then, in fabulous post war New York, and the third book in the series is The Girl from Paris, telling the story of Vianne Mercier, a Parisian fashion designer who travels to New York, and for whom beautiful couture is a fairytale.

Ella was born in Adelaide, Australia, and was educated at the University of Adelaide, completing a music degree in classical piano at the Elder Conservatorium, and an arts degree with a double major in History and English Literature.

Ella lives in Melbourne, Australia with her family. Ella's house is run by one very elderly and adored Italian Greyhound, and one cute puppy called Sassy who thinks she is the boss! And Ella's garden is managed by four chickens, Miss Pertelote, Annie, Harriet and Fox's Dinner.

Ella has recently signed a nine-book deal with Hachette UK imprint Bookouture. Bookouture have published all of Ella’s previous books, which have reached over one million readers in English alone, and are also publishing Ella's New York series for publication in 2021, 2022 and 2023. This sweeping historical series of six books, featuring unforgettable characters, will tell the stories of dazzling hopes and difficult dreams in America, before, during and after the Second World War.

Ella's New York series and her Paris Secrets Series have been sold for translation into many countries into over twenty languages.

When she’s not writing, Ella enjoys studying Italian, walking along the beach, travelling when she can, and spending time with her family and friends. She also loves to chat with her readers, and would be delighted for you to join her lovely group of long time readers on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ellacareyaut..., and on her website at www.ellacarey.com, where you can find more information about the background behind her books, and join her mailing list for regular updates about her upcoming novels.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,040 reviews
Profile Image for Desere.
758 reviews76 followers
May 22, 2014
A few months ago I read a online article about an apartment in Paris that had been abandoned for 70 years. In 1942 the owner had fled Paris fearing Nazi persecution but had continue to make the monthly payments for the apartment. Only after her death in 2010 at the age of 91 her executor sent a team to find out why payments on the apartment had been kept up for 70 years.

When the team arrived and unlocked the apartment door, they found a stunningly preserved Parisian apartment filled with many antiques and artwork, all dating back to as far as 1888. What they also found were love letters written by some of the wealthiness and powerful men in history. I am talking Prime Ministers and famous artists!

As they dug through the various artworks, clothes, jewels and antiques the team were in complete shock as I am sure I would be too, history from so many years ago was perfectly preserved. But why the owner never returned is a mystery that will never be solved.

Except if you are an author with a stunning imagination, brilliant writing skills and a strong believe in happy endings. Then us reading addicts get the chance to step into the abandoned apartment and get taken on a beautiful journey of romance, mystery and history.

Author Ella Carey, incorporated this remarkable real life event into a even more remarkable read. We meet Cat, who suddenly finds herself as the new owner of the abandoned apartment. But upon arrival in Paris the original owner's' grandson suddenly makes an appearance and Cat immediately knows he and his mother are the rightful heir's, why they are refusing to claim what clearly belongs to them, is something she intends to rectify, but to do this she needs to solve the mystery and discover why the apartment was left to her in the first place.

The read was absolutely stunning from start to finish. From the moment the author took me inside the apartment I was hopelessly trapped ! The author described the detail of the contents with such vivid clarity that I could actually picture it all, without even once having to refer back to the web images, as I often find myself having to do when reading a book based on a real life event.

And I was so lost in this stunning world that I could smell the dust and the rot when the doors are opened, I could imagine myself dressing up and sitting down in front of the mirror, dabbing on some perfume and adding some jewels. Yes I realize the author had lots to work with as the images are all over the web, but it takes a very talented author to describe it all to me as reader and not make me want to go look up pictures to form the image in my mind, I am a very visual person and only if you describe something to me in vivid detail will I not go on the hunt.

The mystery surrounding Cat and her inheriting something that clearly belongs to someone else was so intriguing that it captured my attention so badly I wished I could climb inside this book and discover for myself what the what, how and who is, lucky for me the author did it for me, she took me on a intense journey as Cat travels through France to discover the truth and along the way I am very pleased to say, she also finds her own little piece of romance.

Everything about this book was simply magical, the vividly described backdrops, the remarkable characters, the mysteries being unraveled, the romance, everything blended to pure perfection by the author.
I highly recommend this read for anyone and everyone that loves reading. It was a history lesson mixed with a large dose of mystery and a dash of romance, what more could a reader ask for!

Thank you Ella Carey for letting me experience a touch of magic and wonder, and letting my mind drift into the world of the possibilities of just why someone would never return to some of the world's most amazing treasures.

5/5 star review
" The mystery starts with a key, a portrait and some old love letters"

**** The story is the author's own and no possible reason for the owner never returning has ever been found.
Profile Image for Tiffany.
1,151 reviews6 followers
September 23, 2014
Oh, this was terribly written. There was so much potential in this story. An apartment in Paris that was left abandoned for years that was finally opened and the mystery begins. Apparently this is based on a true story, although the true owner was never actually found. The dialogue in this book is just painful to read. It doesn't even make sense at times. I'm very surprised that it ever made publication. Why did I read the whole thing? I thought the author did a great job describing the apartment and the Parisian countryside and at times it was really quite nice. But overall- painful to read. Cannot recommend.
Profile Image for Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews.
1,915 reviews273 followers
March 20, 2017
*4.5 stars https://mrsbbookreviews.wordpress.com
I cannot seem to quench my thirst for any book that features the beautiful city of Paris. When I scored myself a copy of Australian author Ella’s Carey’s novel Paris Time Capsule, I was over the moon. With an exquisite cover and a personally signed message from the author, I felt very spoilt to read this book before I started the opening chapter!

Paris Time Capsule begins with the disturbance of a mysterious apartment in Paris, which has remained untouched since World War II. In the present day, we meet Cat Jordan, a free spirited young lady who lives in New York, making a living from her photography. Cat receives a call out of the blue to advise that she is the sole benefactor of an apartment in central Paris, through a friend of her Grandmother. Unable to deal with the inheritance from New York, Cat must travel to Paris to claim her apartment. When she arrives in Paris, Cat receives the keys to the apartment and on opening it, she receives the shock of her life. The apartment is a testament to history, as it is exactly the same as it was when it was left during the war. Unsure of her connection to the woman who gifted her apartment and why it was left in such a way naturally intrigues Cat. As a result, she sets off on a journey of discovery that takes her away from Paris and into the south of France. The more Cat digs into the life of Isabelle de Florian, the essential link to the apartment, the more she drifts away from her life in New York. A connection with Isabelle’s grandson Loic complicates matters further for Cat. Matters of the heart and ensuring that the secrets held by this miraculous apartment are put to rest, is the central story of Paris Time Capsule.

The main concept that Paris Time Capsule is based on – a mysterious apartment the heart of in Paris that has been locked away for years, easily gained my full attention. I had high hopes of enjoying this book immensely due to the principal subject matter and location. Thankfully, Paris Time Capsule easily met my expectations. There is much to love about this book. The romantic main setting of the book is based in Paris (and a little in New York) and was described by the author in a way that made me feel like I was back in the city I love. Paris in the past, during the sequences involving Isabelle de florian’s story was described in beautiful period detail. I felt completely transported to the second world war in France, all thanks to the handiwork of author Ella Carey.

The characters featured in Paris Time Capsule were a delight. Carey makes it easy for us to enjoy the characters both in the past and present. In the present, I felt that Cat was a fitting main character to lead this book. Although we see her flaws, she transfers to the page as a kind and loyal person, determined to do right by those who come into her path. Cat is matched with a very appealing leading man, Loic and I had high hopes for Cat and Loic as a couple. Carey provides us with a heart rendering romance in the present day storyline that was completely satisfying. In the past narrative, the characters are just as appealing. I became swept up in the exciting life of Isabelle during the war, she was a full bodied character with a whole host of secrets. These secrets were an essential part of the character and the book itself, which worked to draw me further into this mesmerising tale.

Paris Time Capsule is a highly romantic and intriguing piece of fiction. This novel perfectly blends history together with an inspiring true to life tale of a lost apartment in Paris. It is a book that I feel privileged to have crossed my hands and I endorse it to all lovers of France, historical fiction and romance.

*With thanks to the author Ella Carey for a copy of this book which I won via a giveaway.
Profile Image for Tricia Rogers.
667 reviews9 followers
September 13, 2014
I had such high hopes for this story! Based on the true story of the abandoned Paris apartment found after 70 years of being closed up, it sounded interesting. Instead it was a poorly written attempt at interesting fiction. As an editor, I cringed at the errors in typing, grammar and overuse of the main character's name instead of inserting a few pronouns from time to time. I wanted to know the "big secret" so I kept reading only to be disappointed and totally aggravated with such unimaginative fluff.
Profile Image for Terrie  Robinson.
398 reviews589 followers
November 28, 2020
"Paris Time Capsule" by Ella Carey was a different kind of Historical Fiction read for me!

This book was "loosely" based on Marthe de Florian, a French demimondaine and socialite during the Belle Époque period in Paris (1880-1914) and her opulent apartment. The apartment was said to be inherited by Marthe de Florian's granddaughter, referred to as Madame de Florian who suddenly left Paris in 1940 on the eve of the Nazi invasion. She never returned to the apartment but continued to pay the rent until her death at the age of 90 in 2010. This is when the apartment was opened by her estate for the first time in 70 years.

The author, Ella Carey, was intrigued by the 'apartment' story. Why would anyone abandon an apartment but continue to pay the rent for over 70 years? This was the question her book would answer! Isabelle de Florian is the character created by this author and loosely based on the real person, the mysterious Madam de Florian, and she haunts this entire novel!

I liked the story behind this book. I've never heard about this apartment. Never. Ever. Where the heck was I when this apartment was opened for the first time in 70 years? Jeez! After reading the book I googled and was mesmerized by the pictures of the riches found within each room and left untouched for so long. How can this happen?

What I didn't like so much is the labeling of this book as Historical Fiction when so little is devoted to the historic timeline other than the appearance of the apartment fairly early in the book and letters concerning the past. It is mostly Romantic Fiction and I'm okay with that but it is different from what I was led to expect in the description of the book.

This book was a quick read and held my interest through to the end. I thought the authors answer to the question of 'why' was creative and entertaining! But, I was still craving more of a Historical Fiction timeline! Darn!
Profile Image for Dale Harcombe.
Author 14 books298 followers
December 5, 2016
Cat Jordan receives a package that sends her life into a whirl. She has inherited an estate from a complete stranger. Anxious to sort the matter out, she leaves Christian, her lover and flies immediately to Paris. What she finds is an apartment that has been left intact with furniture and furnishings but vacant since 1940. Sounds like an interesting premise for a story, doesn’t it? Even more interesting when the reader learns this is based on a real event and a real abandoned apartment. As a result I was so interested to read this novel.
While the premise and the plot was good I struggled with the writing style. To me it felt clunky with sentences and paragraphs that didn’t flow well and some of the dialogue was awkward. I also struggled with the characters and felt they lacked depth. I found it hard to relate to Cat who allows people, her lover and his friends in particular, to ride roughshod over her opinions and desires. Christian is one of the privileged rich and I had trouble seeing what she ever saw in him.
Cat discovers someone else who could have been left the inheritance that came to her and she seeks to understand why it had not been left to Isabelle’s de Florian’s relatives. I was intrigued enough to want to know who Isabelle de Florian was and why she has neglected her own family. That was the motivation to keep reading. In the end though, I found the story and the characters implausible and the writing style jarring. The descriptions of French Countryside and the elegant apartment were well conveyed but overall I was left disappointed in this book. Others may like it better than I did, but I just felt it could have been so much richer and more engrossing.
Profile Image for A. L..
140 reviews3 followers
November 8, 2014
I wanted so much to like this book. The premise, an abandoned apartment in Paris filled with treasures, sounds delightful. And it's based on a true story! Unfortunately, this book did not deliver. It seriously needed an editor to ask if certain things were really necessary and to point out inconsistencies. Just one example, in the beginning, the main character receives a mysterious package from Paris. She can't wait to open it but before she can, she has to do several other things. All throughout the evening, she can't stop thinking about the box, to the point where she gets out of bed in the middle of the night to open it and satisfy her curiosity. But first, she's going to make a cup of hot chocolate from scratch and then wash the dishes before she finally opens it. When she gets to Paris, there's a rival for the apartment...except he doesn't want the apartment either and far too many pages are spent with the two characters insisting the apartment belongs to the other. It felt like the author was in school, trying to meet a certain number of page requirements. I don't usually give negative reviews because I'm sure the author worked hard on their story (it feels like criticizing someone's child) but I wish I had seen a review like this before I spent money on this book.
Profile Image for Georgina Penney.
Author 7 books82 followers
April 22, 2014
4.5 out of five. Wow. Just wow. This was an absolutely gorgeous read and from a debut author no less.

I saw a profile of Ella Carey on Nas Dean's blog, Romance Book Paradise,a couple of weeks ago and after reading the premise for The Paris Time Capsule and loving the cover I decided to give it a go. I remembered reading a newspaper article about the apartment a couple of months back and loved that someone had taken it and used it for inspiration.

Ms. Carey has certainly done the story justice. I won't go into plot because any other review here on Goodreads will take you through that but what I will tell you is that Ella Carey made me feel like I was standing in Paris, in that apartment.

She's got a talent for interweaving setting and characterization that is simply captivating. I was hooked. It's rare I find a book that I don't want to finish because I was enjoying it so much but this is one of them. If this was her debut, I can't wait to read the next one.
Profile Image for Sarah.
706 reviews130 followers
December 2, 2020
This was an enjoyable and quick read straddling the historical quest/mystery and romance genres, and based on an intriguing, if improbable, true story.
When New Yorker Catherine ("Cat") Jordan receives a mysterious and beautifully-wrapped parcel from Paris, she has no idea that she holds the key to a completely different future life for herself, if she has the courage to accept it.
Cat’s been bequeathed an apartment in Paris’s 19th Arrondissement, her mysterious benefactress a French woman named Isabelle de Florian, who it transpires was a close friend of Cat's long-deceased grandmother, Virginia. When she visits the apartment with Isabelle's grandson, Loic, a charming and handsome Frenchman, what they find is astounding - the apartment in Rue Blanche is like a time capsule - a dusty but beautiful apartment, fully-furnished in the style of the Belle Epoque and apparently untouched since the Nazi occupation of Paris in 1940. The incredible thing is that this aspect of Ella Carey's plot is closely based on a true occurrence.
Despite her NY fiancé’s objections, Cat decides not to quickly sell the apartment and its contents, but to stay in France a little longer, in order to meet Isabelle’s daughter in Provence. Together, and with a growing attraction for each other, Cat and Loic set out to solve the mystery of his grandmother Isabelle, and the reason why she wanted Cat to own the apartment after her death. The search takes them to various picturesque locations in the south of France, following Isabelle's route during the German occupation in WW2.
For Cat, their search for answers becomes also something of a voyage of self-discovery, as she reconsiders her own priorities, hopes and dreams, and whether she’s really satisfied in her relationship with her pushy and rather self-centred fiancé.
Paris Time Capsule is based on a really intriguing premise and features lovely descriptions of Parisian interiors and French scenery, while also fulfilling all the necessary elements of a romance novel. Recommended for those who enjoy star-crossed love stories set in stunning locations.
My thanks to the author, publisher of this new edition, Bookouture, and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this title.
Profile Image for Maria.
Author 2 books30 followers
May 8, 2014
This is the debut novel from the Francophile Ella Carey. And what an experience reading this has been. Beautifully crafted, it’s as tempting as a profiterole, as delicious as a freshly baked croissant, as satisfying as a cup of French ‘café’ and as heady as a glass of French red wine. Am I a Francophile? The answer is yes. My French is a bit rusty I know, but I adore the whole French experience and love to visit ‘la belle France’ when the opportunity arises, even if it’s only through the pages of a book……

When the lovably boho photographer Cat Jordan, who is in a serious relationship with a Wall Street financier, receives the key to a French apartment in the post and realizes that a certain Isabelle de Florian has bequeathed her an apartment, totally ignoring her own heirs, Cat is drawn into a web of intrigue which will send her on a journey from Paris to Provence, turning back the pages of history. The journey takes her to wartime France and even further, back to those legendary Parisian days when the ladies of the ‘demi monde’ ruled Paris. The beautiful courtesan, Marthe de Florian, looms large in the story, even if she’s only a shadow from the past. The film ‘Camille’ starring Greta Garbo, springs to mind, along with the glamour of another age. As Cat unravels the mysteries of Marthe’s Paris apartment, her own world (not to mention her Wall Street financier) is calling her back. But does she really want to return? Cat will not only discover the truth about her grandmother, but she will also discover the truth about herself.

For readers of romance and mystery, THE PARIS TIME CAPSULE is highly recommended. Considering that it practically brings you on a trip to France and back, it’s worth every cent you’ll spend on its purchase. I count myself very lucky to have received my copy in exchange for this review.
Profile Image for The Lit Bitch.
1,248 reviews390 followers
September 24, 2015
This story was whimsical and fun. I loved the idea of a mysterious apartment in romantic Paris full of treasures and history. I absolutely loved the premise of this story! But the storu itself was a little rough and cliche in places. For instance, the bohemian girl and traditional rich guy romance was so cliche….they clearly did not belong together and I flat out couldn’t stand Christian from the start. They were clearly so wrong for each other. Loic on the other hand was dashing and mysterious which I liked…..and their romance was much also cliche but yet fit better. The only thing that bothered me was Loic’s propensity for using Cat’s name excessively in the dialogue.

That for me was the biggest issue of the novel….some of the dialogue was a little rough and needed some polishing. I found some of the dialogue tedious and basically just thick with unnecessary things like the over use of Cat’s name by Loic as an example. It just didn’t flow well for me.

I also struggled with Cat’s sense of denial about her relationship with Christian. Over all it was evident that she was fighting a losing battle and allowing him to just take over her life…..she was so passive about it all that I just found her self talk and rational frustrating.

There were aspects of this novel that I really liked such as the premise, but the dialogue needed some polishing, and I think that Cat could have been stronger and grown more substantially throughout the story. Overall there were fun things about this book that I really really liked and with some editing and refining it would be such a good story. For some reason I just got hung up on the dialogue which made me sad because I think the story would have flowed better with better dialogue.

See my full review here
Profile Image for eyes.2c.
2,437 reviews50 followers
October 5, 2020
The past comes calling!

Strangely compelling story of a young woman who inherits an apartment in Paris.
Cat Jordan travels from New York to Paris, clutching an old brass key as per a letter telling her of an inheritance from an unknown woman, Isabelle de Florian. It is only when the apartment is opened in 2015, having been closed since 1940, that an even more complex puzzle starts to unfold. There are many dead ends as Cat tries to come to grips with the path that has led to her.
Let my bias reign. The story half won me at Paris and totally clinched it for me with the references to vintage fashion. Top that off with the charming Frenchman and the brash fiancé, well what can I say? Bliss!
Based on a true occurrence, Carey has written a well crafted story that brims with hope, hidden secrets and mystery.
Engaged to a merchant banker, vintage clothes collector and photographer Cat couldn't be further from her fiancé's self centered, all white minimalist, deal brokering ideas. A man who never hears her.
Meanwhile there's the vintner grandson of Isabelle, a man who's followed his dream, is encouraging and an absolute dish. What is the connection between Isabelle and Cat's grandmothers.
(What with Vespas, a wonderful Parisian apartment, vintage clothes and a secret to uncover, I started looking over my shoulder for Aimee Leduc to come into play.)
Really, the main story is Cat's determination to solve the puzzle she's been handed and to return the apartment to as she sees it, the rightful owners.
A heart warming romantic mystery, set in the romance capital of the world, with an historical bent and enough intrigue to make it more than an enjoyable read.

A Bookouture ARC via NetGalley
69 reviews12 followers
April 18, 2014
How could Catherine Jordan have ever believed that a plainly wrapped package with a pretty bow from Paris would turn her world upside down and inside out? It wasn't just a simply wrapped present from someone in that city, but an immersion into a mysterious world of suspense, intrigue and complications that now filled her former calm and stable life.

Plodding along in her calm and serene life, Catherine “Cat” Jordan is content as a photographer for a studio and pleased in her stable relationship with her boyfriend,Christian Carter. When the package arrives and she needs to go to Paris to straighten it out, she never realizes all the changes that would take place. The key she received in the package belongs to an apartment caught in a time warp, filled with priceless possessions, and a decades old mystery. With the arrival of Loic Archer, the grandson of the previous owner, on the scene, the mystery deepens. She wants to do the right thing and give it to him and his family, but they refuse without knowing why Isabelle de Florian, their grandmother, wanted it this way. So a deal is struck between them. She will investigate the mystery and if she can prove it is theirs, they will take it. But she can't forget Christian, who wants to hurry their engagement along swiftly. No one seems to care what she wants. Only she has the same question, what does she want?

With every answer came another question. Why did Isabelle leave a Parisian apartment filled with antiques, love letters and an original Boldini painting to her? Why was everything not left to her own family instead? Was she so accommodating now with Christian that she would allow others to plan her engagement party and wedding regardless of her desires? How could she continue to ignore the feelings that she felt for Loic? And what about the questions she asked herself? Was she trying to mold herself into Christian's world? Had she forgotten her dream of owning a photography studio? All valid questions that needed answers that only she could find. Maybe with the answers she could satisfy herself, Christian, Loic and Slyvie, Isabelle's daughter.

A fabulous book. The intricate weaving of a superbly written plot with well developed characters around a true historical event. With the descriptions of scenery, residencies, and other intimate details, such as, the dust storm upon first opening the apartment after so many years, the rows of grape vines trailing across the hillside and perusing old texts in an ancient nunnery, I felt as if I was there trying to help solve the mystery. The intertwining of several stories about love, life and the pursuit of happiness provided an excellent backdrop to the main plot. Ella Carey weaved an incredible, marvelous story. This was the first book I have read of hers, but it will not be the last.

Highly recommend to all romance readers who enjoy a story filled with history, mystery, love and romance.

I was given a copy by the author for an honest review.

5/5 stars A package, a key and a mystery could change your entire life.
Profile Image for Helen.
2,232 reviews12 followers
June 7, 2014
This is a book that you should not miss reading based on a true story about an apartment left untouched for over 70 years since the German invasion of Paris during the 2nd world war. MS Carey has written a magical story about what happens when American Catherine Jordan is left this apartment in the owners will, Cat is in a releationship with an upper class Guy Christian but when Cat goes to Paris to sort this all out and the grandson of the owner Isabelle de Florian Loic Archer arrives on the scene and together they open the door of the apartment to discover riches that have been left untouched and a very moving journey begins. This is such a great story as Cat tries to unravel the mystery of why the apartment was left to her and not Isabelle's family with the help of Loic although they know that Cat's grandmother was Isabelle's best friend there is still a lot to unravel.
This is so well written I read it in one sitting and just couldn't put it down I loved the adventure and the journey to finding out why and how this all came about and getting to know Cat and Loic so well the scenery of France is just so good and the characters are rich and full don't miss this one.
Profile Image for Andrea.
771 reviews30 followers
March 12, 2019
Knowing that the basic premise of this story - the discovery of an abandoned Paris apartment - was based on a kernel of truth, I've been interested to read this book for some time. So when I was in the mood for something light and unchallenging, I picked it up and was not disappointed. That is, it was what I expected it to be - no more and no less. An entertaining read that manages to be historical fiction while rooted solidly in the present (no dual narrative here). What I didn't like very much was the way all the other characters spoke over the top of Cat all the time, particularly in the first half. But what I really loved was Ella Carey's descriptions of Paris and the south of France, the details of the apartment and most of all, the way she described the clothing and textiles.

I'll probably read the next in the series at some point.
Profile Image for Barbara (The Bibliophage).
1,086 reviews149 followers
January 13, 2019
This just wasn't the book for me. I despised all three main characters, especially the controlling men. I wished for more Paris and less cheesy romance. But the novel's concept comes from a real life situation and I spent a long time Googling all kinds of articles and pictures about it.

Full review on my book blog, TheBibliophage.com.
Profile Image for Carol.
727 reviews39 followers
November 22, 2020
This was a good read a little slow in some places but other wise came together at the end.
Profile Image for Siv30.
2,340 reviews121 followers
January 23, 2018
קטע הזוי ביותר: התחלתי לקרוא את הספר ואיכשהו העלילה נראתה לי מוכרת מסקירה של Netta. בתמימותי חשבתי שהיא קראה את הספר הזה מתורגם אבל לא, הספר הזה לא תורגם.

אז המשכתי וחיפשתי ומצאתי את הספר
The Velvet Hours - Alyson Richman
שתורגם בשם "שעות הקטיפה" מאת אליסון ריצ'מן. ומסגרת העלילה אכן דומה: גילוי אוצרות שהיו בדירה פריזאית, שהיתה סגורה 70 שנה מאז מלחמת העולם השניה.

מסתבר שהספר שאני קוראת פורסם במהלך 2015 ובמהלך 2016 פורסם סיפרה של ריצ'מן.

בתוך שנה פורסמו 2 ספרים שמקימים לתחייה את הדירה העלומה ואוצרותיה. אכן זכינו לתחיית המתים.

לא קראתי את "שעות הקטיפה" אבל Netta לא התרשמה.

בשנת 2010 נתגלתה בפריז דירה שהיתה סגורה במשך 70 שנים. הדירה היתה שייכת למאדאם דה פלוריאן, קורטזינה ידועה שגם צויירה ע"י ג'יובני בולדיני. מאחר והדירה היתה סגורה במשך תקופה ארוכה, היא שימרה את מאפייני התקופה של הבל אפוק (תקופה שהחלה בסוף המאה ה- 19 והסתיימה עם מלחמת העולם ה- 1) והציתה את דמיון הקהל בגלל האוצרות שהיו בה ובגלל הסיפור המתמיה שעמד מאחוריה: בשנת 1942 נמלטה הבעלים של הדירה לדרום צרפת מפחד הנאצים. היא לא שבה לדירה עד יום פטירתה בגיל 91. אף אחד לא יודע מדוע מעולם לא חזרה לדירה ומדוע המשיכה להחזיק אותה. כאמור, בדירה נמצא פורטרט של מאדאם דה פלוריאן והאותנטיות שלו אומתה גם ע"י מכתב אהבה שהותיר לה הצייר וגם בגלל קטע יומן שכתבה אישתו של הצייר. הפורטרט היפיפה נמכר ב- 2.1 מליון יורו מה שמעיד על חשיבותו לאספנים.

סביב הסיפור הזה רקמה המחברת סיפור דמיוני על יורשת אמריקאית המקבלת בהפתעה בירושה את הדירה. היא מגיעה לפריז ושם פוגש בנכד של לכאורה בעלת הדירה, לואיק, ושניהם מנסים למצוא קצה חוט שיוביל אותם לפתרון התעלומה: מדוע מאדאם דה פלוריאן לא שבה לפריז כל השנים הללו ומדוע הורישה את הדירה ליורשת האמריקאית העלומה.

הסיפור עצמו חביב ולמעט חורים מסויימים בעלילה, הסופרת מצליחה לתפור סיפור מעניין סביב הדירה והמפגש בין היורשת האמריקאית לנכד לכאורה. הפריעו לי מספר דברים בעלילה במיוחד בסיפור המסגרת של קאט העומדת להינשא לכריסטיאן העשיר. פחות הפריעו לי החורים בעלילה מסביב לבריחה של מאדאם דה פלוריאן ולאי חזרתה לפריז.

עכשיו מעניין אותי לקרוא את "שעות הקטיפה" שעוסק בדיוק באותו הסיפור אבל כנראה מזווית אחרת.
Profile Image for Laurie • The Baking Bookworm.
1,404 reviews369 followers
September 29, 2015
My Review: I was eager to review this book as soon as I found out it was a mystery involving an American woman inheriting a Parisian apartment which hadn't been opened since WWII. Such an awesome premise! Add in the fact that it is loosely based on a real Parisian apartment that was finally opened in 2010 after 70 years and you've just upped the 'I gotta read this' factor substantially.

I'd call this book a romance with a light historical fiction back drop and a mystery. There's a lot going on in this wee book. Romance is typically not my favourite genre but the historical fiction aspect piqued my interest. So it won't come as a big surprise that my favourite part of the book were the descriptions of Paris, the apartment and its contents. I could have spent a lot more time reading about the vivid descriptions of Paris and the items in the apartment. Unfortunately one cannot live on descriptions of jambon baguettes and 1940's dresses alone (at least I don't think so). Early on in the book it became apparent that there was less historical fiction/mystery and a lot more time focusing on the romantic aspect.

The romance was cute if predictable which many readers may enjoy. Cat, for the most part, is a good main character - flaws and all. She had two different personalities - strong woman in France with Loic and the weak, unopinionated girlfriend to a cliched New York City socialite who patronized her constantly. The weaker Cat was hard for me to read and for a smart woman she came off fairly obtuse about her love life. But I enjoyed seeing her go through some self-development towards the end of the book.

I was pleased to see the mystery become the focus of the book towards the end when the mystery twist was divulged. The fact that I didn't guess the big reveal was great! I also enjoyed how Carey took a small tidbit of history that many readers may not know about and brings it to the forefront and wraps her story around it.

If I had to give a couple of negatives about Paris Time Capsule it would be that at times the dialogue was weak and there was too much time spent on situations which were, in my opinion, unimportant to the overall plot. For example, a lot of time was spent with the back and forth dialogue between Cat and Sylive of 'but you MUST take the inheritance' followed by 'no, YOU must have it, I insist'. Even with the reasons given it was still hard to understand why both sides were so adamant not to have the inheritance. I'm sure a simpler way (perhaps getting Sylvie to claim it to reduce the high tax and then splitting it afterwards) would have been a much easier way to deal with the issue. I would have preferred for more time to be spent on engaging the reader in the historical mystery aspect which is why I picked up the book in the first place.

Overall I found Paris Time Capsule to be a quick, entertaining, light read. People who enjoy a quick read with a light historical fiction mystery and a strong romantic focus should enjoy this book.

My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to TLC Book Tours and Ella Carey for providing me with a complimentary paperback copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Ana.
496 reviews83 followers
June 15, 2018
Este livro atraiu-me logo quer pela capa quer pela sinopse muito prometedora.
Mas acabou por não estar à altura do que prometia.
A história de um apartamento em Paris, intocado por mais de 70 anos podia ter tido um desenvolvimento fabuloso mas a autora acabou por se centrar mais na figura da personagem principal e no desenvolvimento da sua história pessoal, mesmo assim sem grande sucesso, na minha opinião.
A Cat pareceu-me uma personagem muito branda, pouco assertiva e sobretudo pouco senhora da sua vida, já que todos decidiam por ela e ela simplesmente deixava-se andar... Muito pouco conviencente enquanto personagem líder.
Já para não falar do namorado Christian e da assistente Elise que eram verdadeiramente insuportáveis!

Em resumo, um livro que se lê bem, rápido, mas muito fraco em termos de romance.
Profile Image for Xana.
622 reviews37 followers
June 25, 2020
É um livro que se lê bem, se bem que a personagem principal irritou-me solenemente boa parte do tempo, pela inacção.
Podia ter sido melhor explorado o tema, mas não custou a ler!!
November 7, 2020
Não comprei este livro e provavelmente não o compraria. Veio como oferta da Bertrand na compra Nunca resistir a um duque by Madeline Hunter e não saberia o que estava a perder.
História envolve-nos progressivamente e mal dei por isso, estava a devorar o livro.
Queremos sempre saber mais, Ella cativa-nos de tal forma, que temos de saber toda a sua história e o resultado não é de todo o esperado.
Não sei se o segundo desenvolve mais a situação entre Cat e Loic, espero que sim, mas já o comprei e vamos lá descobrir que mais segredos tem o apartamento em Paris...
1,061 reviews80 followers
March 20, 2021
Lovely!!! This book is the first of three but you can read them as a stand alone book and in any order you want to. But, I started with the first one and it was very good. It was interesting and describes France just as you’d imagine. Well, that’s all any of us can do I the moment is travel in our minds!!! It was my second book by Ella Carey and I will be reading her others in time.
Profile Image for Ne.
501 reviews48 followers
May 1, 2018

Uma Cápsula do Tempo em Paris chegou cá em inícios de Março com óptimas recomendações de quem já o tinha lido. Com isto, gerou-se toda uma expectativa positiva e por isso quando o comecei a ler e me deparei com uma escrita algo "verde" (isto é, pouco madura, sem grande fluidez ou naturalidade) fiquei bastante desiludida. Eu não sou escritora, mas sou leitora de livros suficientes para comparar escritas diferentes, formas de conduzir acções ou diálogos diferentes, e a maneira de Elle Carey (ou de quem traduziu) não foi compatível com os meus gostos infelizmente.
Achei tudo demasiado forçado, a relação de Cat com Loic, além de ser óbvia não teve qualquer faísca ou empatia, já para não falar da relação de Cat com o seu namorado Christian e restante família e amigos! Esta última relação só mostrou o quando a personagem tem uma personalidade fraca e frágil, demasiado boazinha até para dizer não ao namorado. Para além de Cat dizer que sente saudades, as acções provam outra coisa. Além disso, a autora tem a mania de colocar os telefonemas entre eles ao mesmo tempo que alguma coisa importante acontecia, o que me irritou solenemente.
Este romance é para alguém que goste de vintage, moda e decoração, visto que está cheio de descrições do género e a própria personagem principal é fortemente adepta. Logo aí, as descrições da sua roupa e depois do apartamento em Paris acabaram por ser enfadonhas, não só pela temática como pela exaustão de todos os pormenores.
Cat mantém-se sempre presa a Paris, o que para mim foi um ponto positivo já que visitei a cidade há pouco tempo e adorei, por isso qualquer pormenor referente à cidade para mim foi um ponto bastante animado no meio de tudo o resto.
A família de Loic, principalmente Sylvie, pareceu-me também algo exagerada. Penso que de quem eu gostei mesmo, para além de Loic, foi de Isabelle, que apesar de falecida está bastante presente, tanto em memórias como em poucas cartas.
Gostei da ideia do apartamento intocado durante tantos anos e do valor do quadro e da sua descoberta. Gostei da temática das vinhas. Mas não gostei da mistura de línguas no livro, com tradução logo a seguir. Já sabemos que isto é um livro traduzido, por isso apesar de perceber a ideia, o facto de usar francês pelo meio e depois a tradução faz com que torne os diálogos repetitivos, até porque usam muitas palavras monossilábicas que nos faz querer dizer "anda lá com isso, já percebemos!". Repetitivos também são os momentos de "para quem fica o apartamento", não havendo evolução de nenhuma das partes.
Vi agora que este é o primeiro livro de uma saga de três, mas apenas este é baseado em factos verídicos. Hum, não seria melhor publicar apenas este? E os restantes à parte?
Li até ao final, porque me comprometi com a editora, mas a minha opinião mantém-se: a autora precisa de mais experiência no que toca a colocar no papel as suas ideias e a sua história.
Profile Image for Andrea.
143 reviews30 followers
June 26, 2014
After finishing this book a few days ago I still find myself somewhat disappointed by it. I studied French in high school and have even visited Paris once. I was super excited when I heard about this book. I was hoping to be able to experience the magic of the city again. That was not really the case. I guess I was looking for more on the mystery of the apartment than on the main character herself. Maybe I'm just too picky.

A few things I didn't like:
This novel felt more like a romcom to me. You know the one where the two main characters fall in love only to be driven apart and then brought back together again. It's been done tooooo many times. Cat just drops everything in her life to go to a foreign city where she meets this handsome stranger and after knowing him for 3 days takes off to travel the country with him. The whole situation felt a bit forced to me. I think this is partly due to the fact that we know nothing about Loic until after Cat leaves Paris with him on a whim.

Cat always talks about her parents marriage. Yet I felt as though I knew very little about her family and how they shaped the person that she became. A few more details here would have helped.

Cat's overbearing and somewhat controlling fiancé. I get that his character had to be this way to play up the part of the other male lead. But, he could have been toned down a bit.

Overall, I like the subject of the novel- it definitely left me wanting to know more about the actual apartment that was abandoned for 70+ years in Paris. As for this rendition of the story...I guess I wanted more details in places and a few less in others. It just didn't seem to balance out for me.
Profile Image for Carolyn.
279 reviews
March 5, 2017
I really enjoyed reading Paris Time Capsule by Ella Carey.

A stunning novel about a long-forgotten apartment in Paris ~ based on a true story.

The main character, Cat is a photographer and she is about to begin a new life with her boyfriend at home in New York when her whole life is turned upside down on the discovery that she suddenly has inherited a Belle Epoque apartment in Paris.

This leads Cat on a tour of advanced research in France as to why and how she's been left this long forgotten Paris apartment filled with dust of times and days gone by, antiques, mirrors and paintings framed in gold.

Cat enjoys her journey finding out about the heirlooms in the apartment and who they actually belong to and the secrets hiding behind each piece of exquisite artwork and their value but most of all it's the finding out of the family secrets it all belongs to which will intrigue you the most.

This is a great story. It will take you back in time, envelop you in history and take you to a beautiful Parisian epoque and era.

I hope you enjoy reading Paris Time Capsule as much as I did!

Profile Image for Melinda.
1,020 reviews
August 5, 2016
Hmmmm this is awfully familiar to Michelle Gable's A Paris Apartment which is a fabulous book.

A Paris Apartment by Michelle Gable
Profile Image for TashNz.
723 reviews18 followers
April 22, 2014
What a lovely story to read over the Easter break!

I have been keeping up with the lovely reviews this story has been receiving and looking forward to getting stuck in and I wasn't disappointed. Packed with loads of information I do recommend you find a quiet corner to fully appreciate the story. It's certainly not a book that you can read with the TV on in the background.

Inspired by recent events and a true story Ella Carey has written a wonderful tale about Cat Jordan who inherits an apartment in Paris. It doesnt belong to her or her family so she's quite sure it isnt rightfully hers to inherit. Along the way we meet many interesting characters, Loic Archer, grandson of the owner, her boyfriend Christian, the art investigators and characters Cat uses to delve into the mystery of the apartment. The apartment is filled with antique parisian furniture and art which is worth a fortune. What's priceless tho is the historical letters that are discovered.

It's hard to discuss the plot without spoiling the story so I would like to draw attention to the lovely way the story is written, it flows well and slowly drew me in as the mystery surrounding the apartment and the past owner is gradually discovered thru the letters and the furniture and art which also tells its own story while in the meantime we have Cat and her fiancee and his family in the background then mixed with that is Loic, Cat's partner in crime if you will, who is there with his realistic outlook on life and I can tell you it wasn't very far into the story that I wished and hoped Cat would look his way and throw stuck up Christian to the curb.

I was very lucky to receive an ARC from the Author for my honest opinion which summed up is: The Paris Time Capsule by Ella Carey is a magical story, it swept me back to a past era, a time long gone by, with characters that were endearing and charming, it took me on a great ride that my imagination had a ball of a time with and which I felt was quite lovely when I finished.

I must also mention the lovely cover, it begs to be read.

Find yourself a secluded corner and let The Paris Time Capsule sweep you away to another time and place, you are only limited by your imagination and Ella Carey's story certainly lets you use tons of it.

Profile Image for Mrsbooks.
866 reviews13 followers
November 20, 2015
No! This was not a good book but I had to finish it because I had to know the answer!

Now I know and I don't think it was worth it. I should have just looked it up.

The idea behind this book is great. There really is an apartment out there and it was interesting how this author was going to take that story and make fictional sense out of it.

When I read a book I usually find there is too much detail and I get bored. Well, I think I might stop complaining about that after reading this book.

Things happenend like... Girl walks up to bar, orders glass of wine, says something to the man next to her, he responds, and now she's tipsy from too much wine?!? I didn't even know her wine arrived in that short time frame and boy, she must have guzzled down that thing!! That's what I mean by lack of details.

Other instances are equally annoying. Someone will say something and another character will be offended. I'm like, whoa where did that come from? So then I go back and re read that part and yes, I guess if you KNEW it was said in an offending way it makes sense but you weren't told that. Other times people say rude things (or what I assume are rude) and the main character doesn't seem bothered.

The main character also continuously let's everyone push her around. Annoying! Especially when she's finally got the information she's looking for (or she at least thinks she does) she doesn't even take the time to read it? Sure she tries, she makes excuses to go to the bathroom....seriously??? Are you that much of an wimp that you can't tell whoever you're with to shut the hell up and let you read something important??? (Said in the nicest way possible of course lol)

So no, this was not a good book. A good story with lots of potential and a neat mystery but too annoying to be worth it.
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