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Maggie Finds Her Muse

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A sparkling romantic comedy starring a bestselling author who goes to Paris to overcome writer's block and rediscovers family, independence, and love along the way.

All Maggie Bliss needs to do is write. Forty-eight years old and newly single (again!), she ventures to Paris in a last-ditch effort to finish her manuscript. With a marvelous apartment at her fingertips and an elegant housekeeper to meet her every need, a finished book—and her dream of finally taking her career over the top—is surely within her grasp. After all, how could she find anything except inspiration in Paris, with its sophistication, food, and romance in the air?

But the clock is running out, and between her charming ex-husband arriving in France for vacation and a handsome Frenchman appearing one morning in her bathtub, Maggie’s previously undisturbed peace goes by the wayside. Charming and heartfelt, Dee Ernst's Maggie Finds Her Muse is a delightful and feel-good novel about finding love, confidence, and inspiration in all the best places.

304 pages, Paperback

First published April 20, 2021

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About the author

Dee Ernst

34 books367 followers

Dee Ernst was born and raised in New Jersey, which explains a great deal about her attitude towards life. She loved reading at a very early age, and by the time she was ten she had decided to become a writer. It took a bit longer than she expected.

She went off to college, moved around a bit, had a job or two, a husband or two, and a daughter or two. It was the birth of her second daughter at the age of forty that got her thinking about what to do with the rest of her life. That was when she decided to give writing a real shot.

Dee loved chick-lit and romantic comedy, but hated the twenty-something heroines who couldn’t figure out how to go and get what they wanted. She began to write about women like herself — older, confident, and with a wealth of life experience to draw upon. She got an agent but no sales, and took the plunge into self-publishing in 2010.

In 2012, Better Off Without Him became an Amazon bestseller. She signed with Montlake Publishing, which went on to re-release Better Off Without Him and launch A Slight Change of Plan in 2013.

Since then she has written across several genres (cozy mystery, YA/fantasy, women's fiction) gone from full-length novels to short stories, and has written for Lake Union Publishing. She self-publishes under the 235 Alexander Street logo.

She is still in New Jersey, where she writes full-time. She lives with husband #2, daughter #2, a few cats and a needy cocker spaniel. She loves sunsets, long walks on the beach, and a really cold martini.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 549 reviews
Profile Image for Tina Loves To Read.
2,528 reviews1 follower
August 16, 2022
I cannot believe how much I loved this book.

This is a women's fiction/romance book. This is about a writer that cannot write, so she goes to France looking for a muse to help her write. Her daughter is also in France, and she meets up with her daughter. Her daughter does have Autism. I love the characters in this book, and they are really developed. The plot/storyline was really good. There is not so much drama in this book, but there was a lot of stuff going on. This book is told in the view point of Maggie, and I loved the Maggie character. I really loved all the parts about France, and it kindof made you feel you where in France. I was kindly provided an e-copy of this book by the publisher (St. Martin's Griffin) or author (Dee Ernst) via NetGalley, so I can give honest review about how I feel about this book. I want to send a big Thank you to them for that.
Profile Image for Terrie  Robinson.
443 reviews710 followers
April 16, 2021
"Maggie Finds Her Muse" by Dee Ernst is a delightfully fun Rom-Com!

Maggie Bliss is a 48 year old author struggling to begin writing her final book in a popular romance trilogy. With hopes of spurring things along, Lee, Maggie's agent offers his Paris apartment as a source of inspiration. A way for Maggie to overcome her 'writer's block', to relax, enjoy the sites and savor the French cuisine. But, mostly to write. Primarily to write!

Best thing about this trip? Maggie's daughter Nicole lives in Rennes, a short train ride from Paris. To visit her daughter and meet her new beaux, Louis would be a bonus! When Maggie tells Nicole about her Paris trip, she discovers Nicole's dad and her ex-husband, Alan plans to visit Nicole at the same time. Well, that's just perfect, right?

Off Maggie goes to Paris! The apartment is a dream and comes equipped with an elegant and savvy housekeeper, Soulange, who is a fabulous cook and...wait for it...a Maggie Bliss fan! Soulange's precious French Bulldog, Jules, is sweet, quite memorable and loudly flatulent. Enough said!

Alone in the apartment, Maggie wakes one morning to find a man in the bathtub. A very handsome and charismatic Frenchman named Max. He's in Paris expecting to visit his mother, Soulange, but it's just Maggie in the Paris apartment. Hmmm...

With ex-husband-Alan about to visit, handsome-charismatic-Max in the Paris apartment and Maggie attempting to write, how does all that work? Is Maggie in Paris to find her muse and finish her romance trilogy? Or, are the sites of Paris and the French cuisine too distracting? Will Maggie find her muse and get the final book written? Or, what?

This story is told in the first person voice of Maggie. I love that Maggie is a 48 year old woman rather than a 20ish/30ish year old. With that being said, Maggie reeked of immaturity. Self-centered Maggie is all about 'Maggie Bliss, Romance Author'! But, I still adore this character! I laughed and cried right alongside Maggie every step of the way!

The ambience of Paris is palpable throughout this book. The Bistro's, the small street-side cafes, the incredible French cuisine, the French wine, the landmarks of Paris - all so visibly portrayed by the author. I absolutely felt like I was with Maggie on her Paris trip!

I was also impressed by the author's attention to the Asperger's Syndrome focus in this story. When I read the Rom-Com genre, it is preferable to have something socially relevant in the mix. It's a bit of a deal breaker, so to speak, without it! Just saying.....it's important!

Lastly, long chapters without breaks are never my preference, but this book worked just fine in that regard. Every chapter was cleverly titled and felt like a separate vignette. Actually, it felt like a faster read based on this unique touch!

This is such a fun story and pleasurable distraction. I highly recommend this book to those who love the Romance and Rom-Com genre. And, I will definitely read this author, again!

Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin's Press and Dee Ernst for a free ARC of this book. This is my honest and voluntary review.
Profile Image for Theresa Alan.
Author 10 books1,042 followers
April 22, 2021
What a lovely book.

Maggie hasn’t been able to even start the third novel in her successful trilogy, and she’s going to miss her deadline, so her agent and his partner suggest that she accompany them to Paris. Her daughter is living there, and by chance, her ex-husband Alan is there to visit their daughter. In addition to Alan, she meets Max, who encourages her to wear clothes other than her scruffy writing outfits and get her hair and nails done. In Paris, she can magically write once again, and in between cranking out a first draft, she visits the gardens and museums of Paris, naturally eating tons of bread and cheese and butter and delicacies all washed down with ample amounts of wine. Will she fall back for Alan now that they are in a different stage of their lives? Will she fall for Max, the Frenchman?

This novel won’t be released for almost a year, and maybe by then travel won’t seem quite so scary, but this was a delightful novel to read during the safer-at-home orders of my state, although not a helpful book to read as I try to take off the quarantine weight in which I somehow thought calories didn’t count, and wasn’t getting that much of a workout using the remote control too many hours a day.

Romance and wonderful characters including France fill this enjoyable read.

Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this novel, which RELEASES APRIL 20, 2021.
Profile Image for Madison Warner Fairbanks.
2,360 reviews337 followers
April 20, 2021
Maggie Finds Her Muse by Dee Ernst
Contemporary women’s fiction / romance with an older heroine.
Maggie Blish is working on her third romance novel in a trilogy. Or at least she’s supposed to be. A retreat to Paris is exactly what she needs to jumpstart her creativity. Add the sexy Frenchman, Max, who provides a bit of inspiration to the mix.

A lovely, romantic story. Especially if you’ve ever fallen in love with Paris. Or in Paris.
I wish Maggie had a bit more confidence in herself but then it wouldn’t have been the same story. And she does learn. And it was gratifying.

I enjoyed the Chapter headings. They were succinct and amusing.
Chapter 2: I arrive in Paris, and it does not suck

Excerpt from Maggie and Alan chatting about the end of the marriage many years prior:
“The place where your mother and I left off,” he said at last, “involved a lot of screaming and, I believe, crying. And there was flying cookware, if I remember correctly.”
I nodded. “Our very last fight,” I said fondly. “Cookware and dishware. Many things were broken.”
“All over the kitchen floor,” Alan agreed. “We could no longer live together, and we had very good reasons for that.”
Excerpt from Maggie finds her Muse by Dee Ernst

I received a copy of this from NetGalley.
Profile Image for Jessica.
326 reviews388 followers
May 6, 2021
Maggie Finds Her Muse is a cute story about an author with writer’s block that goes to Paris to find inspiration. She is staying at a friend’s apartment alone until one day she finds an attractive man in her bathroom. Her newly single ex-husband is on a solo trip to Paris visiting their daughter. Maggie finds inspiration but also has to choose between these two men. She also has to decide if she wants to be with either of them. There is drama and a love triangle and many laughs. Maggie brings her daughter into her lies. I really enjoyed Maggie Finds Her Muse. This book was very entertaining and had a cute romance. Maggie rediscovers her confidence in Paris and has to decide what she wants. I recommend Maggie Finds Her Muse for fans of cute romances.

I listened to the audiobook narrated by Gillian Vance and enjoyed the narration. She was the perfect voice for Maggie and talked with emotion. Vance pulled me into Maggie’s story.

Thank you St. Martin’s Press and Macmillan Audio for Maggie Finds Her Muse.

Full Review: https://justreadingjess.wordpress.com...
Profile Image for Kelly.
1,312 reviews502 followers
January 3, 2021
I requested this book because of the cover which made me think it could be a fun romance story set in France, my home country. In this book, you'll meet Maggie has she has writer's block. She's about to go on a trip to Paris after dumping her now ex-boyfriend who thought his work was more important than hers. When that happened, I was rooting for her.

This book is described as a romantic comedy but I have to say that I didn't find the comedy anywhere in this book. As for the romance, the sort-of love triangle wasn't very exciting to be honest. I didn't feel any sparks between our heroine and her ex-husband or Max, her "muse". And should we call it a love triangle if we knew from the beginning who she would end up with? I'm not sure.

Overall, this was a nice story but sadly, I didn't find it very interesting. A writer finding her "muse" in a person/place sounds nice enough on paper but I got bored very quickly and I was hoping the romance would pick up my interest. Unfortunately, that didn't happen but at least this was a quick read...

(Thank you for letting me read and review an ARC via Netgalley)
Profile Image for Heather~ Nature.books.and.coffee.
677 reviews164 followers
May 31, 2021
3.5⭐ I needed a change of pace, and this light, enjoyable romcom was great! I read and did the audiobook as well. The narrator was Gillian Vance and she was great! Maggie Is a 48 yr old author with writers block. She decides to go to Paris and get an apartment to try to find her inspiration. You get to read about all the pleasures of Paris while reading, and getting a few laughs along the way.
Profile Image for Sam (AMNReader).
1,320 reviews284 followers
March 8, 2021
So much ugh.

I don't even know why I grabbed this ARC-older couple maybe? And it really started out fine, but I must admit an author heroine with only first person POV. Well, it dragged. Very few authors can pull off a story about their own profession successfully for me, and this just wasn't one.

There is a bunch of stuff (minutiae, really) on France, writing, and how hot and attractive the hero is-and the hero is on page for like 20 pages, I swear, but there's no intimacy built between the couple - like they go from mutual attraction to a few outings (not even dates) to attraction and straight to sex. There's just no build-up. Complicating this, is the ex in the picture who is very sweet and Maggie just really, deep down wanted to believe in the fire and the passion. She writes romances after all.

And it was unforgivably boring. Aside from this, the author repeated scenes we'd read, and explained how there was a Big Mis, what it is was and that her two friends would stop reading her books if she ever did one.

Like I said, ugh.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC.
Profile Image for Stephanie .
492 reviews94 followers
April 19, 2021
Maggie Finds Her Muse was an absolutely delightful book! I'm definitely going to have to read more books by Dee Ernst after reading this gem.

Maggie Bliss is a 48 year old romance writer with a severe case of writer's block; she's on a deadline to finish the last book in her trilogy and she's got nothing, nada, zip. She's also just kicked out her younger, egotistical boyfriend who thinks that her writing doesn't matter because it's "romance novels" compared to his Pultizer award-winning works, so she's ready to move on from that dumpster fire. When her agent Lee, who is on pins and needles over her impending book deadline because another extension is out of the question, offers her a free trip with him to Paris so she can get a change of scenery, change of pace, and find her muse, she jumps on the chance! After all, she's never been to Paris and her daughter has been living over there for school, so she can write, see the delights of Paris, and see her daughter!

Of course, the City of Love causes Maggie's creative juices to start flowing and she starts putting words down almost as soon as she arrives in Paris. But is it Paris and all its gorgeous sites, food, and just luscious vibe in general that causes the words to flow? Or is it reconnecting with her ex-husband Alan, who also happens to be in Paris visiting their daughter? Or is it Max, the charming Frenchman, who also lives in Lee's apartment and who just happens to be devastatingly attractive? Maggie is superstitious when it comes to her writing, and if she's found her muse for this book that is so, so good, she can't let it (or him) get away.

I loved this book! I loved Maggie, especially that she was a character just several years older than I was. The descriptions of Paris were divine, and they made me want to hop on a plane (if this were a non-Covid world) to one of my favorite cities in the world. I could taste the cafe creme, the baguettes with fresh butter, the lemon tarts, and I think I gained 10 lbs just reading about the food! Such a lovely, fun romance with a great cast of characters!

Thank you NetGalley and St.Martin's Press for the DRC. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Roxana.
559 reviews41 followers
April 5, 2021
This review includes mild spoilers.

I'm sorry to say I didn't find much to like in Maggie Finds Her Muse. Maggie, the titular romance novelist searching for inspiration in the City of Love, is 48 and long divorced, recently split from her selfish boyfriend, and, honestly, pretty annoying. Her romantic prospects, the dashing French banker Max and her gently nerdy ex-husband Alan, provide her with little in the way of chemistry - we're supposed to read this as a love triangle, but Alan is never a likely option, and the romance falls flat on all sides. The big conflict near the end of the book comes from an incredibly silly, shallow misunderstanding...and then Maggie, ever the romance novelist, tells us "Oh, this is a Great Misunderstanding," defines that trope, and tells us she would never write something so lazy! And yet here it is!

There's also the matter of Maggie's relationship with her daughter, Nicole, who lives in France, a relationship that was even less appealing to read about than the flat romances with Max or Alan.

We are told early in the book that Nicole always had "social problems" and was diagnosed with Asperger's as a high school junior (despite Asperger's syndrome having been removed from the DSM in 2013; it would be more accurate to say Nicole is on the autism spectrum). Maggie spends plenty of page time reminding us, and the other characters around her, that while she and Nicole love one another (and, indeed, their relationship as it actually plays out in this book seems perfectly fine and affectionate), Maggie just doesn't *get* her daughter. You know, because Nicole doesn't care what other people think of her clothes (unlike Maggie), doesn't wax poetic over every meal (unlike Maggie), and has a strong social conscience and believes in activism (unlike Maggie). Apparently these are all symptoms of how Nicole's mind is "like a strange and distant country" to Maggie, who finds it "exhausting" to have to "reset" her mind to see things from the point of view of Nicole, who, we're told several times by her mother, can't handle social situations. Mind you, what we actually see from Nicole on the page is...a lot of hanging out in social situations and crowds of strangers, partying and having a perfectly good time. Not that that would make the way her mother talks about her okay, because even if she did exhibit more stress in social situations on the page, the focus shouldn't be just on Maggie's "exhaustion" in understanding her daughter, who clearly puts up with a lot from her mom. And yet Maggie briefly wonders why Nicole seems so much happier in France - a continent away from her parents. Truly, it's a mystery. The only real on-page moment in which Nicole's autism is relevant, not just Maggie telling us how she can't figure out her daughter, is when Nicole spills the beans on her mother's lie (as part of the aforementioned Great Misunderstanding), because she's not good at reading facial expressions. Never mind that her mother set up the lie in the first place, or that there isn't much in the scene for her to 'read' (the lie has already been revealed; the problem here is her elaboration on it, a slip literally anyone might have made without realizing it'd be a problem). In fact, another character who has just arrived on the scene and should have NO idea what's going on, berates Nicole for not adequately reading the expression. Which makes far less sense than the goofy web of lies in the first place. Honestly, Justice 4 Nicole.

Ableist rhetoric aside, it's also worth pointing out that there's a touch of casual racism thrown in just for good measure - namely, in the books-within-books that Maggie has written and is writing. At one point, she mentions one of her older books, a historical romance, featuring a Confederate soldier as the romantic hero. Cool. And her current trilogy, the final book of which is the source of her writer's block that drives the plot, appears to be a militaristic, imperialistic white savior story set in a fictional country that smushes together every third world stereotype, with details like a "Middle Eastern-inspired" "tribal" cover design. Cool.

It isn't like a decent story, interesting characters, or appealing romance would make up for ableism or racism, but Maggie Finds Her Muse doesn't even have these, so there's no need to try.

I received an early digital copy from NetGalley and St. Martin's Griffin in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Amber.
1,029 reviews
July 13, 2020
I received a complimentary copy of this ebook ARC from the author, publisher, and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Maggie Bliss is a romance author who has writer's block. When she finds out that her live in boyfriend thinks he is more important than her, she leaves him and decides to go finish her book by going on a trip with her agent Lee to Paris. Will she be able to find her inspiration and find love again? Read on and find out for yourself.

This was a pretty good women's fiction romance novel. If you enjoy stories about family and more, be sure to check this book out when it officially releases in bookstores and wherever books and ebooks are sold on April 21, 2021.

July 27, 2021
BOOK REVIEW: Maggie Finds Her Muse by Dee Ernst

Finding Love Later In Life…

In this story, we have a welcomed strong female protagonist exploring a later in life romance. It is refreshing to see her character finding love later in life while shifting from making purely emotional decisions in relationships to making decisions to support and nurture her full dimensional life as a priority in determining how she moves forward within her relationships.

Books About Books…

And… I loved the “behind the scenes” peek at a fictional author’s process and how it integrates with the challenges of the book publishing business.

Why do I like the story?

• Features a vivid setting that “literally” takes us away on a book adventure completely from our favorite reading chair… Bringing books to life in your life and home…

• Features a strong female lead character exploring a later in life romance that begins with loving herself first…

What is my biggest takeaway from this book?

Looking for love in all the right places... ✨😎✨


All my reviews can be seen at This Is My Everybody | Books, Lifestyle & Home Ideas for Simple Living | Denise Wilbanks at www.thisismyeverybody.com

♡ Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC. I voluntarily chose to review it and the opinions contained within are my own.
Profile Image for Andrea.
738 reviews111 followers
May 4, 2022
A solid ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Three things I most appreciated about this book:

-A woman who is DONE taking crap from a self absorbed man.
-Ample descriptions of Parisian food that left me drooling.
-Quotes like this, from the main character who‘s thinking about the one question we ALL have on our minds: “Wondering what kind of career opportunities there were for 40-something women who wanted to work in their pajamas. “
Profile Image for Literary Redhead.
1,732 reviews514 followers
August 8, 2020
Maggie Bliss suffers from writer’s block and comes to Paris to retrieve her muse. She’s single again at 48, and hopes her stay will birth a new book and a new life. Her daughter starts school nearby, and soon Maggie’s ex-hubs Alan shows up too. He wants to reunite, but she’s intrigued by Max, a handsome Frenchman she found in her bathtub.

Will she finally finish her book? Patch things up with Alan? Or get her groove back with Max? A sexy summer read!

4 of 5 Stars

Pub Date 20 Apr 2021

Thanks to the author, St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for the review copy. Opinions are mine.

Profile Image for Milena.
757 reviews83 followers
November 24, 2022
Highlights: Paris setting, mature heroes, love triangle, writer's block.

Maggie Finds Her Muse is a witty tale of a romance author suffering from writer's block who goes to Paris to find inspiration to write her latest book. When not writing, Maggie spends time exploring Paris, eating delicious food, and meeting new people, including a charming Frenchman, Max. Maggie's ex-husband, Alan, is also in Paris, visiting their adult daughter, who lives in France. It appears Alan wants to rekindle their relationship, so Maggie is torn between the two men.

I adored this book. I loved that Maggie was a mature heroine in her late forties. I loved the Paris setting, and Maggie's "American tourist" faux pas made me laugh out loud. I also adored all the romance publishing and bookish references. We get a bit of "book within a book" following Maggie's writing process and getting to know her characters. I had this book on my TBR for a long time, and I am glad I finally read it.

*ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley
May 23, 2021

Thanks to NetGalley for this eARC!

This book was perfect for a nice winter snowy day off to read. It talks about Maggie our MC who is a writer and having a hard time writing and finding her “muse” she’s at her wits end and her agent Lee is basically telling her to get it together and at a last ditch effort to attempt to not prolong her extension another time, has her come to Paris with him and his partner Martin in hopes to spark some creativity and find her muse in where better else but the capital of love!
And then comes along the ex husband, the daughter, the daughters boyfriend, the housekeeper, Max the housekeepers son, and of course the dog. Maggie has two close girlfriends she keeps in touch with during her time and it is a really great read and makes me want to travel to Paris if not for anything but the food! I love reading books set in places I have never been and always wanted to go.
But it leads you to wonder....did Maggie ever find her Muse?! You gotta read it to find out! 😉
Profile Image for Lisa Wolf.
1,651 reviews200 followers
April 15, 2021
What a refreshing change to read a romance with a mature woman in the lead role!

Maggie is a successful romance writer, but she’s stuck. The second book in her current trilogy is about to be released, and she’s fast approaching the deadline for book #3. There’s a lot at stake, including a potential TV option that will take her to the next level of financial success and finally enable her to buy the beach house of her dreams. The problem is, Maggie is completely blocked. She’s got nothing on the page, and she just can’t ask for another extension.

Her trusted agent Lee offers a change of scenery as a desperate last-ditch effort to get her writing again: Come to Paris with him and his husband, live in their fabulous apartment free of charge, and let the Parisian vibe restore her to full inspiration once again.

After dumping her live-in boyfriend (who gives off a traditional romance alpha-male vibe, but is actually a self-centered leech), Maggie sets off to Paris. And soon, her creative juices start flowing again. But Maggie is a writer who relies on superstition (like wearing the same old sweater every single day until she finishes a book), and she starts to believe that Max, a charming Parisian who happens to be staying in the apartment as well, might just be her new muse. But what happens if Max leaves? How will she keep writing if her flesh-and-blood inspiration isn’t present any longer?

Along the way, Maggie spends time with her adult daughter and her ex-husband — her first love, who’s newly retired and interested in rekindling their romance after all these years. And yes, it might be nice to spend more time with Alan, who’s lovely and intelligent and comfortable — but what about that spark she feels whenever Max is around?

There’s a lot to love about Maggie Finds Her Muse. As I said at the start of this review, three cheers for a romantic heroine who’s not in her 20s! I love reading about a smart, successful, motivated woman who’s able to take charge of her professional and personal life. Maggie isn’t perfect — she has insecurities and doubts, but she’s also lived life and has learned a lot about herself, her needs, and what she expects from a potential partner.

It was really fun reading about her writing process, and I liked hearing about the story elements she explores over the course of the book. While her actual book doesn’t sound like the sort of thing I’d ever read (war-torn romantic drama), I was amused by scenes of her figuring out blocking by having her friends act out action sequences. I did feel not quite so charmed by the setting of her books, an invented country with vaguely foreign elements, which sounds like a Westerner’s standard generic anywhere-but-here kind of setting — warlords, non-English names that are hard to pinpoint, desperate escapes through deserts and mountains… It all feels a little too America-centric, like anyplace that’s not the US must be uncivilized and “other”. But I’m probably over-analyzing. After all, this is romance!

The Paris setting is delicious, of course. Maggie enjoys the food, the sights, the people, the customs, and so we as readers get to do so as well. It made me want to pick up and fly to Paris RIGHT NOW, but only if my trip would include a marvelous flat and totally chic and supportive housekeeper/cook/emotional guide like Maggie has.

As for the romantic elements, Maggie and Max are well-matched and are clearly the pairing to root for in the romantic triangle. Max is suave, kind, confident, and totally supportive of Maggie. They’re not without their difficulties, but I like that Maggie, as a romance writer, is very much aware of the genre tropes, and is horrified when her friends point out that she has fallen into a romance novel complication in her real life.

Overall, Maggie Finds Her Muse is a sweet, delightful read. The characters are smart and relatable, and I couldn’t help but want every single one of the people we meet to get a perfect HEA.

From reading the author bio on Goodreads, I learned that Dee Ernst specializes in writing older (okay, I hate calling them that — let’s say age 40+) leading characters, and I think that’s awesome. This is an author whose work I’ll be following!

Review copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley. Full review at Bookshelf Fantasies.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,891 reviews
April 25, 2021
4.5/ 5 stars

Maggie Finds Her Muse is a wonderful fun book that I found so enjoyable. It is my first book by this author.

The book is listed as a romantic comedy. But it really felt more like women's fiction to me. At least until the last third of the book.

The narrator is 48 year old romance novelist, Maggie Bliss (1st person POV). She lives in New Jersey and has been struggling to write the third book in her romance trilogy.

Okay so first off I love that Maggie is a romance writer. It is so amazing to read about her writer's block and I loved everything to do with her book.

Her agent Lee offers her a suggestion. Does she want to go stay with him in a beautiful foreign city? Will she be able to finish her book and find a muse (hence the title)?

The setting was phenomenal and was honestly my favorite thing about the book. I loved everything to do with Maggie being in Paris. The author described the food, the shopping, the people and the locations so well. And it made me feel like I was there.

Maggie's daughter Nicole lives in France. And this was a big part of the story. Also Nicole having Asperger's was a really great part of the book.

Romance is a part of the book. But it isn't a big focus in the first half of the story.

I really enjoyed seeing Maggie get to interact with her ex-husband Alan. And I absolutely loved Lee's housekeeper's son Max. He was so kind and charming.

This book had really long chapters. But it was a fairly quick read. Also, it has a love triangle (which I love). Overall, I really loved this book and would definitely recommend it.

Thanks to netgalley and St. Martin's Press for allowing me to read this book.
Profile Image for Bree Hill.
821 reviews581 followers
December 28, 2021
A fun frolic through Paris from the perspective of an American romance writer who has been struggling to write her latest novel. I love that our heroine Maggie is old enough to have an adult child. I’ll never tire of reading older heroines. This is the second story I’ve read in the past few days set in Paris and at this point I’m manifesting a visit there! This was a delight.
Profile Image for kelseyandherbooks .
332 reviews268 followers
April 26, 2021
As a thirty-three year old woman, I've resigned myself to the fact that I am now older than most of the heroines I read about in novels. That's why it was so refreshing to read about Maggie, a novelist in her late 40's. This is another 2021 romance that surprised me and absolutely blew me away!

Maggie is writing the third novel in her highly popular fantasy romance series (reason number two this book was so fun!) and is due to hand in her manuscript just before her second book releases. This insider look into the writing and publishing worlds was a really fun addition to the book, as was the Parisian setting that Maggie is whisked away to.

You see, Maggie is in a slump and her agent takes her on a trip to Paris for a change of scenery. And that, my friends, is where Maggie finds her muse. Again, incredibly refreshing to read about a love interest in his mid-50's and Max was definitely swoon-worthy!!

Paris is also where we meet Maggie's daughter, Nicole, and I really loved the Asperger's representation here. I would have loved to go deeper into Maggie and Nicole's relationship, as it does seem strained at times and I would have liked a bit of backstory as to why.

All in all this was a delightful story and I am grateful to St. Martin's for providing me with an advanced copy to read and review. Maggie Finds Her Muse is out now!
Profile Image for Chantel.
391 reviews189 followers
September 5, 2022
This story held a great deal of potential but, ultimately, fell very flat.
Maggie is in the mid-years of her life; she's written several books, teaches classes & is now experiencing writer's block while trying to complete the final book in a Romance-Fantasy trilogy. Had Maggie been written with a bit more gusto & less arrogance, I would have probably enjoyed this book more. To start, being a person who lives in the United States doesn't automatically make you an ignorant fool of everything happening in the world. However, in Maggie's case, it seemingly did.
Maggie travels to Paris under the guise of working through her writer's block & arrives there only to be totally unaware of basic culture & environmental etiquette. Why is she unaware of reusable bags? In which grocery store are people bagging all of your items for you to save Costco (who uses readily available boxes)? This is 2021, we are charged for plastic bags in North America, where have you been for the past ten (10) years?

The scene where Maggie assumes that someone is going to bag all her grocery items felt so beyond dated it made me uncomfortable. Also, how are you a very grown adult, travelling to a foreign country only to refuse to think ahead, to avoid instances where very clearly life is not the same for everyone everywhere?
There is also a scene wherein she stands in a shop & calls the attendant (albeit not to their face) rude names because they didn't want to waste their time looking for a bottle of wine that Maggie didn't bother to remember the name of. That's on you my friend, that's not the clerk's fault. They don't have to help you if you're unprepared & assume that they're meant to recall every brand of wine ever made.
These are just two examples of ample instances where Maggie is rude & conceited. I cannot understand going to another country & treating people like shit because they don't act how you act back home. It's ignorant. It also represents your fellow countrymen in a poor light & God knows Americans don't need more of that. I wish I could say that the rest of the story fell into place positively regardless of the main character but it didn't.
The love interests weren't interesting & there was no actual build-up for the reader to believe the plausibility of calling someone ugly upon first meeting them, to then wanting to jump their bones. Where was the transition? What exactly made Maggie want to have relations with Max? Also, what made Maggie such an appealing catch to Max? She complained often, was unaware of social rules, & wrote White saviour stories….where is the appeal?

Many other reviewers have touched on some of the deeper issues of this story & they said it best, so I will leave you to read their reviews regarding white saviours, poor display of people on the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), etc.

In any case, this whole book was a bore.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Chryssie.
202 reviews22 followers
March 1, 2021
Oh my gosh, this is the sweetest, most delightful, funny, and feel good romance novel I have read in a long time. I LOVED this book and read it in one sitting!! 😍

This is the story of Maggie (who I adored!! I wish I could pluck this character into real life and be her best friend forever! 😂). Maggie is an author with writers block and a looming deadline, so she travels to Paris to ‘find her muse’ (as in the spark she needs to inspire her writing). There, in the most romantic city in the world (ahh Paris, could there not be a more beautiful setting for a book?) she catches up with her daughter and ex-husband and falls in love with the city as she goes about experiencing all the touristy things, devouring delicious food and writing like mad. All the while, she rediscovers love, confidence and inspiration as she is surrounded by the beauty that Paris is.

I do not have words to express how gorgeous this book is. I read this entire thing with a smile on my face and laughed out loud multiple times. Every single character is realistic, relatable and simply delightful, and the atmosphere of this book has you swarming with an itch to jump on a plane and fly to Paris, right now! This is the sweetest, most uplifting book I have read so far this year.
Everyone needs to read this!! I promise you will have a smile on your face and lilt in your step for hours afterwards!

Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC of this book in return for an honest review. I truly enjoyed this so very much! 😍
Profile Image for Jen.
1,166 reviews102 followers
April 20, 2021
This was a witty rom-com full of heart and I loved it! ❤️

Best selling author Maggie is in a rut. She’s newly single and behind on writing her next book, feeling adrift and uninspired. She begrudgingly accepts a friends offer to go to Paris, stay in their apartment, and try to overcome her writers block. What follows is a journey of self love and discovery.

I sat and read Maggie Finds Her Muse in one sitting. I absolutely DEVOURED it. It’s so witty and fresh, and written so beautifully. I loved the lush descriptions of Paris, its people, and the food. This book was relatable and so incredibly charming! 5 ⭐️

Thank you @stmartinspress for the advance reader in exchange for my honest review.

Profile Image for Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance.
5,866 reviews294 followers
July 8, 2021
Maggie can't write, so off to Paris she goes to find her muse. Maggie is staying at the home of two friends and their housekeeper has a handsome son, and it doesn't take long for Maggie to find inspiration in Alex. But is that all Alex is? Just her muse?

I knew where this one was going from page one, but that's okay...it's set in Paris.
Profile Image for Stacy40pages.
1,374 reviews133 followers
February 3, 2021
Maggie Finds Her Muse by Dee Ernst. Thanks to @goodreads and @stmartinsgriffin for the gifted Arc ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Maggie is a well-known romance author, but she has writers block and an upcoming major deadline. She takes a trip to Paris for inspiration to write. She finds inspiration for sure, in a handsome French roommate AND her ex-husband who happens to be in the city as well.

I’m not sure how to describe this book besides refreshing. I feel like I had a nice relaxing, romantic trip to Paris myself! I absolutely loved that this book featured a woman in her forties finding romance. I even love more that there were some steamy scenes- with adults outside of their 20’s and 30’s. Yes, we may have some graying hair and a few wrinkles... but we love sex too! There were some amazing food descriptions, which we all know I love in books. It was very atmospheric with Paris as the background. There’s also a flatulent French bulldog, for those that love the breed.

“Last night I had been in a fog of lust and absinthe, but here, in the clear and sober light of day, I knew I’d been waiting my whole life for the taste of his lips.”

“I had found my muse in Paris after all, and he had the bluest eyes I’d ever seen.”

Maggie Finds Her Muse comes out 4/20.
Profile Image for Caitlyn DeRouin.
386 reviews46 followers
December 16, 2020
Trigger warnings: Sex (somewhat detailed descriptions), mentions of a teacher-student relationship (20-year-old college junior and her professor), divorce, mentions of parental death (car accident), mention of cancer, ableist language

Maggie Finds Her Muse focuses on forty-eight-year-old author Maggie Bliss as she struggles to write the third and final book in her bestselling trilogy. When her agent suggests that she travel to Paris with him and his partner she takes him up on the offer in the hopes that she'll be able to finally get started on her book. While in Paris she not only finds her muse, but she finds it in the handsome Frenchman, Max.

The premise of Maggie Finds Her Muse drew me to the book right away. I absolutely adore Paris (well what I know of it as I have never been) and since quarantine has the travel bug in me itching even more than usual, I thought that this book would be a great escape. While I found the book to be easy to read and follow with good descriptive writing, it fell a bit flat to me. I found myself getting a bit annoyed with Maggie throughout much of the book. While I understand that she's feeling just a little bit lost, especially when it comes to her book, and looking for something to spark her creativity I found her to be a bit childish. In fact, I felt like she came off as someone in their late 20s-early 30s and not a woman in her late 40s. I found her to be a bit flaky and aloof. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but in this case, it made me get a little annoyed with her.

I also felt that she made some very questionable choices. While this happened in the past, it made me very uncomfortable that her first husband she met when she was a junior in college and he was her professor. They in fact began a relationship when she was still in school and were married shortly after she had finished school. Her ex, Alan, is a very nice man and respectful and clearly still cares about her (as she does for him) but the origin of their relationship, even though she was 20, made me uncomfortable. She also had a lot of communication issues and it bothered me. In fact, she talks about how in her books she doesn't like to use the Big Miscommunication trope, but that's exactly what she does in her own life. I kind of just wanted to shake her and say "Maggie, if you used your words this wouldn't be an issue"

While yes, you know right away that there's a spark between her and Max, I wasn't very invested in them. I found myself thinking, "alright, when are they going to get together?" but when it happened I didn't feel too strongly about it. I thought "finally", but not in the 'YES I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS" kind of way, but in the "well we knew that was going to happen it just took forever"

For me, the side characters were the best characters. In fact, I think my favorite character was Maggie and Alan's daughter Nicole. Nicole lives in France, has good relationships with both of her parents, has a great boyfriend whom she clearly adores, and is portrayed as a confident, intelligent, and kind person. We find out in the book that she has trouble in some social situations and Maggie tells us that in her junior year of high school they found out that Nicole has Aspergers. Now, I'm not a parent, but I think that waiting until your child's junior year in high school is a bit neglectful especially if the entire reason why you had them go to a psychologist is because of how much trouble they were having socially. They were definitely having that trouble before then, so why would you wait that long? Really though my issue was that sometimes Maggie would say things about her daughter that would rub me the wrong way. Part of Nicole's personality is that she just straight up tells it like it is. She's not rude or brash, she simply says what she's thinking and moves on. She doesn't ever intend to upset someone. There's one point where she's teasing her mom because, as Maggie has said herself, she's not great with directions and Maggie says (not to her), something along the lines of "I love my daughter but sometimes she can be a real bitch." I found that so odd. I can state for a fact that even if I was being a bitch to my mother, she would never say that about me. That sounded like someone talking about their 'tell-it-like-it-is' best friend and not their daughter. There was also some ableist language that just bothered me. Sometimes Maggie made it seem like she had to try so hard to make sure that she was looking at things through her daughter's eyes and how difficult that could be for her, but not acknowledging how things could be difficult for Nicole. Furthermore, I don't think Maggie would've actually owned up to some of her actions if it weren't for Nicole, and when it backfired for Maggie, Nicole felt like she had done something wrong when in fact, she'd gone out of her way to support her mother.

Overall Maggie Finds Her Muse is fine. Really the 3rd star is because the book had an easy-to-follow writing style and I read it all in one sitting.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
2,631 reviews139 followers
April 28, 2021
Struggling to write the last book in a trilogy, Maggie heads to Paris hoping to find inspiration! Luckily for her, she finds plenty: a lovely apartment, an attentive housekeeper/excellent cook, her grown daughter, Nicole, who lives there, the city and all its accompanying sights, sounds, and tastes... and perhaps even a sexy Frenchman (or maybe even her ex-husband, Alan). Who or what will help Maggie find her writing groove?

"She is there to find her muse and get to work, not be shown around."

This story gripped me from the very first pages. I would have devoured it in one sitting if I'd had the time. It was fun, sweet, and sometimes laugh out loud funny. It held my attention throughout and brought me joy.

Location: Paris, France

I received an advance copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
July 30, 2023
Loved this book! I didn’t think Maggie would end up with the man she did. I’m glad she did too! Fresh start with someone new ♥️
221 reviews3 followers
June 14, 2020
Maggie Bliss has writer’s block on her 3rd book of her trilogy. Her agent Lee suggests her fly to Paris with him and his partner and stay in his family apartment. She decides to do it after she breaks up with her live in boyfriend. Maggie also thinks it’s a great idea because her daughter Nic is in France. Maggie meets Max who is Solange‘s son and the caretaker of the house. Also as a distraction is her ex-husband Alan whom she has been divorced for many years, he is in France visiting their daughter. Maggie starts writing again because she has found her muse . I won’t tell you what that it is because it would give the book away. The author does a wonderful job in describing the food, attractions and the characters. I enjoyed this book. I now want to go to France. Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the E-ARC. This is my own opinion.
Profile Image for Anitalia Payne.
233 reviews17 followers
March 18, 2021
A lovely book! As a person who rarely reads romance books, this is beyond expectation.

Maggie Bliss is facing a writer's block for her upcoming book, and her personal life also goes downhill, with Gregg (her boyfriend) treating her as a property or more as a personal assistant to him. These situations had alerted her agent, Lee, and offered her to come with him and his partner to go to Paris with hopes that Maggie will find her “muse”

From the beginning of this book, I immediately fell in love with Maggie Bliss. She’s an author, forty-eight years old and recently single, has two best friends who really loved her inside out, confident but not ashamed to admit that she also needs help. Other things that bring me smile, it’s Paris, a famous city with its special magic about love, art, and beautiful places to visit. I have never visited Paris (yet) but I’m able to imagine how beautiful this city is with how the author provides the information and describes the places where Maggie visits. With this magic, the main character and sub-characters somehow also played their role in a beautiful way too, no drama, more to show the readers “your heart is telling the truth feelings about love”. Why I don’t give perfect ratings as much as I loved this book, I want more story / the background life from one of the characters in this book.

If you are looking for a delightful, grownup romance read with confident character (s) with the magical Paris in it, this is the right book!

4.5 stars
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