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Midnight in Paris meets Night at the Museum! A gorgeous standalone forbidden romance with magical elements! Fall in love with The Muse, a sweeping romance set in a modern day Paris that’s full of magic, art, mysteries, and passion from #1 NYT Bestseller Lauren Blakely!

The first time a woman stepped out of a painting, I thought I was seeing things.
The second time, I thought I was going mad.
The night she emerged from a Renoir, I felt something else entirely — a deep stirring of desire, and the wish to get to know the brilliant beauty who’s been trapped inside a painted garden for years.
She can only come out at night in the Musée d'Orsay, where I work. There, after hours, we wander through galleries, with the Van Goghs, the Monets, and the Toulouse Lautrecs the only witnesses to our midnight kisses and, soon, our trysts.
She opens her heart to me, and I learn her story.
But she keeps secrets too, ones I hope to unravel. Why she was trapped. Why Renoir is hunting her. And why artwork in famous museums across the world is starting to disintegrate.
Why I, too, seem to be the only person who can repair the masterpieces.
As I fall deeper for the woman who’s trapped in a museum, I’m caught up in another side of Paris after dark, one inhabited by forgers, ghosts of famous artists and, impossibly, by Muses.
But someone is after the woman I’m falling in love with, and it’s up to me to save her…even if it means losing everything I’ve found with her.


First published March 19, 2021

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About the author

Lauren Blakely

215 books19.5k followers
A #1 New York Times Bestselling, #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling, and #1 Audible Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that's sweet, sexy and witty. Her heroines are strong and smart and her heroes have hearts of gold and fantastic funny bones. She'd love to give you a free book today! Check out her web site to grab your free read: https://laurenblakely.com/one-free-book/

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 135 reviews
Profile Image for Lauren Blakely.
Author 215 books19.5k followers
March 13, 2021
Midnight in Paris meets Night at the Museum! A gorgeous standalone forbidden romance with magical elements! Fall in love with The Muse, a sweeping romance set in a modern day Paris that’s full of magic, art, mysteries, and passion from #1 NYT Bestseller Lauren Blakely! Preorder for a special $2.99 ebook discount!
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March 27, 2021
5 Beautiful in the Best Way stars⭐
This Story was Different from Other books I've read of Lauren, but I loved this as much! Such a beautiful & Enigmatic Story, Showing the Magic. Words defy me to express all my appreciation for it! I enjoyed it so much & the characters were all fun! DEVOURED this in 5hrs (over 2days).

Julien (Charming, Sweet, Mature, Smart!) is a 21yr old who loves art & interns in the Musée d'Orsay Museum where his Elder sis Adaline Works. He has an affinity to Art unlike others & the story is predominantly told from His POV (Which I didn't feel bad about!), only 2 Chapters from Clio's POV towards the end.
I didn't knew that this'll be a series & We meet a lot of people here, mostly Established couples, so it'll be fun to see how this series goes.

There's so much going in here, such complexity that you HAVE to read with rapt Attention. The Blurb signify it perfectly. I liked how much Art info it gives!
Julien thinks he might me going mad, all with Seeing The paintings come to life at night in Museum, Then having a Crush on the woman in Renoir's 'Woman Wandering in the irises' & this weird "Sickness" the paintings are having which only he can see 1st...But there's so much more at play, A Prophecy coming to life.
"Magic. The word rolls through my brain like a marble in a tilting maze. There is magic in Paris. Magic in art, magic in dust, magic in my hands....If there’s good magic, wouldn’t there be bad magic too?"
When 'Woman Wandering in the Irises' comes to his museum (Which seems to be magical!), Clio (Fun, Sassy, Strong!)-THE woman in the painting- comes to life, even if only in nighttime, too. Clio & Julien have this instant spark, She's keeping secrets but They come out as they grow close AND As Julien, along with his friends, Find Why & Who is after Clio. Uncover Magic.
~Paintings Life, Crush, Friends, At the party, Art-Research, Magic, Disintegrating paintings, Clio at Museum, Dates & Secrets, Kisses & Real, Renoir spirit, Truths, Curse, Human Muse, Fading paintings, Some power, Making out, In the Canvas, Eternal Muse of painting, Made love, Art forgers, Attacks...
"Once upon a time, many weeks ago, I fell for a work of art. A painted image of a woman. I didn’t know her. I hadn’t talked to her. Now, I’ve fallen for the real woman behind the painting. I know her. I talk to her. I touch her. And I’m certain, too, that I won’t be happy in a world without her."
Clio's not a figment of imagination. She's a real person trapped in a painting. As Danger increases & Truths come out, Clio+Julien fall deeper in love. Julien finds he's a Human muse with the power to correct the Fading Paintings, also the one who can free Clio. But as one problem is solved, another comes forth. Love Or Art? You can only choose one...

Two Curses, One Solved. Other can only be cured by Clio...But at what cost?
I was legitimately crying at these scenes, At the Impossibility of their Love...How they won't be able to be together. & Of course, they chose Art.
~Thalia's curse, Falling apart, Oh fuck, Stop loving him to Save art, I love yous hurt, Missing, Feelings can't Die, Hope...
But in Classic Lauren fashion, we get a swoony HEA, Somehow it all works itself out (Clio's Brilliant & so are her sisters!). Clio chooses Julien above all *Swoon*.
In real world, Clio+Julien are sure to experience challenges, Clio being trapped so long...but I loved how they made it work & Found their Passion, together! The Epilogues are Gorgeous, Adored seeing'em Happy❤.
"Free from the curse. Free to be together. Free to do what any other man and woman in this city might do. Kiss. And touch. And laugh. And love. It’s a wonderful world, this one. Full of art and love and food and friends and a new kind of magic. The kind that love makes possible."
All the other characters: Julien's Sis Adaline, J's Bestie Simon, Simon's GF Lucy, L's Friend Emilie, Rafe+Remy, Remy's sis Sophia, the Villains & many others made this book all the more delightful, I hope we get to see more of them!
**ARC Received for a Honest Review.**
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Profile Image for PP's Bookshelf.
2,115 reviews309 followers
March 14, 2021
What an utterly magical, sensational and breathtaking story from Lauren Blakely! The Muse was romance, fantasy and pure surreal beauty mixed together by the spellbinding writing of Lauren Blakely. Don't we all want to live inside a dreamy romance? Well, Lauren Blakely made our dreams come true!

Julien is an avid art lover, an artist and a student of art. He is working as an intern in Musée d’Orsay, Paris. And he was living his best life with music, dance and art when strange things start happening at night. The paintings begin to come alive every night and apparently he is the only one who can see it. Woman Wandering in the Irises, a missing painting by Renoir is brought to the gallery and he becomes completely obsessed with Clio, the woman in the painting. But the paintings all over the world are getting sick suddenly. Why? Who is Clio? What new secrets will Julien come to know about himself and the art world?

How can I express how fascinated and addicted I am to this story? How can I tell you about all the surreal feels I had while reading this story? How to express the exhilarating, mesmerising and breathtaking journey? I felt like I came alive with the paintings and the characters. It was set in very real Parisian world that was brought to life beautifully by the author. A real palpable vibrant city. But the events were majestic and fantastical. The chase of the legends. The mythical incidents. The magical and dramatic twists. Yet, this story is absolutely romantic at the very core. The same soulful, heartaching and swoonworthy love story that is trademark Lauren Blakely. Julien and Clio is an out of the world couple. They are also united by their love for art. Julien wants to protect Clio. He falls in love with the real woman behind the painting. A ridiculously charming and smart and delicious man loving the woman in the painting with everything he has. Really, it doesn't get any more romantic than this. Clio is an enigma, an eternal beauty with so much mystery but she feels so close to our heart. This story poured some intense feelings in pages right along the tension and suspense. And the combination is jaw droppingly enticing!

Lauren Blakely transported me to an intoxicating and impossibly romantic world in The Muse. The reality and magic were getting mixed together in my head. And my heart and soul is still in that hazy blissful state of emotional high. Undoubtedly one of the best creation by Lauren Blakely.

I reviewed an early copy voluntarily
Profile Image for Sandy S.
6,450 reviews161 followers
March 16, 2021
THE MUSE is the first instalment in Lauren Blakely’s contemporary, adult BEAUTIFUL MAGIC paranormal, romance series. This is Musee d’Orsay tour guide and art historian Julien Garnier, and lady in the painting Clio’s story line.

Told from first person perspective ( Julien) with a couple of final chapters by Clio, THE MUSE follows art historian student and museum guide Julien Garnier as he struggles to make sense of craziness that has become his life. Late night visits to the Musee d’Orsay in Paris, France finds Julien Garnier ‘talking with’ and watching the paintings come to life but more specifically the ‘Woman Wandering in the Irises’, a canvas painted by Renoir featuring Monet’s garden. Enter Clio, the woman in question, and the woman with whom Julien will fall in love. What ensues is the building romance and relationship between Julien and Clio, and the potential fall-out as Clio’s love for Julien begins to affect a number of famous paintings throughout the world.

Julien Garnier has no idea his life is about to change. With the ability to see what no one else has the ability to see, and repair the damaged masterpieces that are being destroyed at an alarming rate, Julien will have to confront the possibility of ghosts inhabiting the body of friends, the Muses, and art forgers desperate to take control of the world’s most expensive paintings. Clio is a woman with a secret, a secret that is about to affect the Classics, and Masterpieces, and in this, Clio struggles with what has to be done but our heroine has been targeted by someone from her past, someone who refuses to accept what happened years before.

The relationship between Julien and Clio is predicated upon Julien’s powers to see the paintings come to life, and talk with the characters featured in the museum’s Masterpieces. Magic plays a large role in the relationship between our leading couple as Clio and Julien embark on a journey into the some of the most famous paintings around the world. The $ex scenes are mostly implied.

There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters including Julien’s sister and museum curator Adaline; art collectors Remy and Rafe; Julien’s friend Simon, and his new girlfriend Lucy; Clio’s sister Thalia; as well as several characters that come to life, or inhabit the bodies of people whom Julien knows. The requisite evil has many faces.

THE MUSE is an enchanting and magical story line with a little bit of real history and the art world woven together. The premise is detailed and charming; the romance is sweet and passionate; the characters are colorful and charismatic. THE MUSE and the Beautiful Magic series is a departure for author Lauren Blakely, a departure that is sure to resonate with fans of the paranormal genre.

copy supplied for review
Profile Image for Pam Nelson.
3,219 reviews100 followers
March 16, 2021
The Muse is unlike any Lauren Blakely book I have read yet it is classic Lauren. That might sound odd but if you’re a fan you know, you get it.

The Muse is magical and whimsy with the spirit of romance woven throughout the story.
Julien works for the Musée d'Orsay and when he sees the painting his world kind of pin points to it not just the painting but the woman in the painting.

He has the power to make the work come alive, with that he frees Clio who has been cursed for going on a century. Only she doesn’t want to truly be free because it would mean going back to the way things were.

The story is of love, hope, loss and moving forward.
The narration was good, I like Shane don’t get me wrong but another narrator with an accent would be nice too. The epilogue was awesome probably my favorite part of the book.
Profile Image for Chris.
1,627 reviews14 followers
March 19, 2021
This book takes you on a magical journey through the beautiful city of Paris. Something a little different from Lauren Blakely, but still has her signature banter, romance and sexiness. This story has elements of mystery and lots of humor, and emotion too. I felt like I was experiencing everything right along with Julian and Clio. His passion for art is evident in how he cares for the pieces and his curiosity about all of the strange events going on in the museum.
Shane East was the perfect choice to bring Julian to life.  He takes Lauren's words and makes makes them more...everything.
Clio's chapter at the end made me cry. So much emotion and wonder, beautifully performed by Siiri Scott.
I listened to this book twice and it still amazes me.
Profile Image for ☕️Kimberly  (Caffeinated Reviewer).
3,033 reviews646 followers
March 20, 2021
The Art... all the Art! I loved it.

Set in modern day Paris, I fell in love with the Art, the magic and the romance. Listeners will love the magic, mystery, and ghosts as we weave among the paintings. I felt as if I were with Julien in the Musée d'Orsay. Which has moved up on my bucket list. I love the paranormal and was delighted to see Blakely dip her toes in this genre. I hope she swims in it next.

Shane East did a lovely job narrating the characters and his soothing tones made listening a pleasure. This standalone romance is one you will want to add to your audio library.

Profile Image for Cynema.
591 reviews87 followers
May 6, 2021

“To love. To love staying, to love lasting, and to love changing you.”

Is art imitating life, or is life imitating art? Loving Ms. Blakely’s The Muse should have been a slam-dunk for me all the way through. You have no idea how eager I was to read it. After all, it deals with some of my favorite things: French Impressionists and their artwork … Paris … Musée d’Orsay (my favorite museum in Paris besides the Louvre) … all things French … and a creative mix of romance, the Arts, and fantasy/paranormal. It spoke to me like it was tailor-made, and incredibly intriguing that one of my go-to romance authors was thinking outside the box in a fantasy love story so unlike anything expected of her.

The notion of a fantasy romance between a young artist in Paris and a painting-come-to-life magically in a museum with a mythological connection had my rapt attention. What kind of fresh magic was this? [My world is film, and it reminded me of the old 1948 flick ONE TOUCH OF VENUS with Ava Gardner as the statue come to life.] There was so much creativity in the mix about art history, artists, and classic mythology of the Nine Muses. Every artist needs a Muse, no? And Clio was just the thing for half-French artist Julien Garnier, right? Sadly, the story never came together for me until the second half. The first half was slow and a bit plodding, despite the fact that I should have been totally absorbed in all the backstory (maybe too much?) and mystery of paintings coming to life with an actual Muse. I wanted to love all of it so badly. It isn’t the first artistic-themed book that has captivated me, but this one was more a case of still life. It took too long to generate interest and still lacked that tangible spark that made the fantasy animate for me. It kills me to say that it came to life only in the second half, which affects my rating.

I can’t fault the concept, the intrigue of the characters, the emotional context, the appeal of the art world and all that backstory (even when it felt instructional), and I’m a sucker for the classics and artistic romance, so I’ll chalk it up to execution. For me, if this book was a painting, it would be a “still life” in the first half, and a “moving landscape” in the second half. Don’t let my personal reaction prevent you from taking a stroll into love with a fantasy Muse and her real life artist in the most romantic city in the world where art – especially Impressionist art – is king. Love really does conquer all and fantasy makes all things possible, but where was MY Muse when I wanted to love the entire romance?
Profile Image for Mel.
719 reviews62 followers
March 26, 2021
5 stars!

Oh my goodness. The Muse is such a wonderfully original read. It is unlike anything Lauren Blakely has written before and I love this new side of her writing!

Julien loves art and interns at the Musée d’Orsay where his sister is the head of the museum. One night a painting comes to life when a dancer literally steps out of the canvas. Soon after, more art becomes real and Julien seems to be the only one able to see the change. He spends his nights at the museum enjoying the art until the sun rises and every painting goes still again. When a Renoir painting titled Woman Wondering in the Irises comes to the museum after being lost for over a hundred years, Julien is desperate to meet the woman who caught his eye, even if she is only a painting.

This story is amazing. It beautifully weaves together fantasy and reality, creating a magical love story. The whole story is interlaced with art, history, magic, hope, and love. The feels and mystery are real, and the fantasy elements are well thought out and wonderfully depicted.

From the moment Julien laid eyes on Woman Wondering in the Irises he felt a connection to the painting. When Clio steps out of the painting for the first time I felt a shift in Julien’s world. Even before she was real he knew there was something about her that called to him and I felt every emotion Julien had when Clio entered his life.

Julien and Clio are a very special couple. They relate in a way that Julien has never experienced. They share a passion for art and that love brings them together. She teaches him so much about the past while he helps her understand the present. The trust and love that grows between them is magical and I felt it all.
“You are more than a moment, Clio.”

I loved this story. There is magic and mystery and muses, and suspense that put me on edge desperate to see what was going to happen. There are twists that change everything and I loved learning the “why’s” and “how’s” of the magic and who Clio truly is. I especially loved experiencing their love. It wasn’t until the end that I was finally able to see how everything would play out and I was overjoyed with the ending.

There is so much to love about this book but I don’t want to spoil anything. It is best to go in blind and just enjoy the magic. As I said before, this is a new side to Lauren Blakely and I love it. The Muse is the first book in the Beautiful Magic series and a new fave!! I cannot wait for more!
“It’s better like this, isn’t it? When we are on the same side of the frame?”

*ARC generously provided by the author and Candi Kane PR*

Profile Image for Elodie’s Reading Corner.
2,499 reviews116 followers
March 20, 2021
The Muse
Beautiful Magic Book 1
Lauren Blakely
Release Date 03/19/2021
Publisher Lauren Blakely Books


A gorgeous standalone forbidden romance with magical elements! Fall in love with The Muse, a sweeping romance set in a modern day Paris that's full of magic, art, mysteries, and passion from #1 NYT Bestseller Lauren Blakely!
The first time a woman stepped out of a painting, I thought I was seeing things.
The second time, I thought I was going mad.
The night she emerged from a Renoir, I felt something else entirely -- a deep stirring of desire, and the wish to get to know the brilliant beauty who's been trapped inside a painted garden for years.
She can only come out at night in the Musée d'Orsay, where I work. There, after hours, we wander through galleries, with the Van Goghs, the Monets, and the Toulouse Lautrecs the only witnesses to our midnight kisses and, soon, our trysts.
She opens her heart to me, and I learn her story.
But she keeps secrets too, ones I hope to unravel. Why she was trapped. Why Renoir is hunting her. And why artwork in famous museums across the world is starting to disintegrate.
Why I, too, seem to be the only person who can repair the masterpieces.
As I fall deeper for the woman who's trapped in a museum, I'm caught up in another side of Paris after dark, one inhabited by forgers, ghosts of famous artists and, impossibly, by Muses.
But someone is after the woman I'm falling in love with, and it's up to me to save her...even if it means losing everything I've found with her.

𝗠𝘆 𝗿𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄

Whom to choose when love and art must be opposed ...

It is not often that I read contemporary romance by myself, it more like I follow an author in an other genre then decide to give a go on a new release.
But when I saw the blurb, it is definitely for me, being French, the Musée D’Orsay, impressionist painters and a woman trapped in time, it could only whisper my name.
So I jumped in.
All along the pages, I had the feelings of meeting old friends, I tried to anticipate part of the outcome and I loved running the Paris streets alongside of the hero in this wondrous fantasy romance.

This tale was a long prose poetry about love and art, an extended declaration of love to every form of art.
From the moment the hero walks in fantasy land on the night he sees a ballet dancer stepping out a Degas paint. It will be the beginning of adventure of one’s life which will unearth the love of his life.

I am Parisian, so I loved walking the center of the city, visiting the museums (especially at that time of pandemic restrictions) with the protagonists, it was like being back to my youth place.

Julien is an art student, with an internat in the Musée D’Orsay to prepare his thesis. His love for paints goes beyond the usual, he is psychologically bond to the artists masterworks or minor pieces, and one draws more than the others, the Woman Wandering in the Irises (I confess I googled it as I did not know this painting, which was normal as it was made up for the novel).
Something or someone in this painting calls to him. More than the others, when he is also very receptive to any art call.
For the love of art, he is a man who will not hesitate to sacrifice even what would have been the most precious gift life offered him.
The heroine was no surprise for me, but you will have to read this book to know why.

I won’t say more to not spoil the story but the author surprised me, this prolonged proclamation about love and art is one moving, entertaining and full of surprises romantic tale.
5 stars

𝗦𝘁𝗲𝗮𝗺 𝗹𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗹 onscreen lovemaking scene.

Profile Image for Suzi Vanderham.
104 reviews21 followers
March 15, 2021
Mystery, magic, and magnificence is found between the covers of Lauren Blakely’s latest creation “The Muse”. We are used to Ms. Blakely weaving a tale of fun romance and even a bit of suspense, but with this latest release she has transported us into a world of enchantment unlike anything I have read before in romance. Charming characters that captivate your heart, words beckoning you to believe in myths leave you desiring even more of this writing style!

Journey into the world of our hero Julian, art history student interning at Paris’ famed Musee D’Orsay, home of the beloved works of Caillebotte, Monet, Cezanne, Renoir, Van Gogh and more. One night he discovers a piece of fruit has fallen out of a painting and surreptitiously places it back where it belongs. Then we begin to enfold ourselves into a world of Parisian neighborhoods, art, food, and mythical Muses that come alive in the delicious descriptions only Ms. Blakely can write.

When nothing could make this tale more spectacular, we receive the best gift possible in the voice artistry of Shane East performing the entire tale. From Julian’s English to Simon’s Scottish, many French characters, both male and female, my dear Mr. East pulls together Ms. Blakely’s written script into a lyrical success. To hear his voice describe Monet’s gardens was like being transported to the famed lily pond and seeing it all for yourself. The emotion and love he brings to this performance are what fans love about his work yet nuanced to set this book on a course all its own.

I feel like this book was written just for me and will now live on the repeat shelf in my audio library. I could listen to this tale over and over and never ever be bored. Absolutely Brilliant & Bravo to all involved in its creation!
Profile Image for Jodi - JodiReadsnListens.
661 reviews27 followers
March 14, 2021
The Muse was a such a refreshing, magical, romantic read with a hint of mystery. This is book 1 in Lauren Blakely’s Beautiful Magic series, and I loved everything about it!

This book is set in Paris and mostly at an Art Museum. The whole book has a majestical and mesmerizing mood that instantly captivates and sucks you into this world. I love that Lauren gives us the element of magic through art, referencing so many amazing artists and their work. Julian is a unique character that has a strong passion for art and art history. When he meets the Clio their attraction is instant and magnetic.

Lauren Blakely has written an alluring, passionate, and romantic book with intriguing characters that I could not put down! This was a unique read as it gave me a little bit of Mannequin and Night at the Museum vibes set in the City of Lights. I am looking forward to where Lauren Blakely goes with this series next.
Profile Image for Erin Lewis.
4,199 reviews133 followers
March 22, 2021
4 star review of The Muse (Beautiful Magic #1) by Lauren Blakely
This is certainly a departure from Lauren Blakely’s other books. It was well written with characters whose story you cannot help but become invested in.
The blurb for The Muse was intriguing and I jumped at the chance to listen and review as it reminded me of Night at the Museum which is one of my favourite moves to watch so.
I will be honest, it took me a while to get into it this one and I am not sure why, I can’t really put my finger on it but there it is. This is told predominantly from Julien Garnier’s perspective and is set in Paris where Julien, an art history major works at the Musée d'Orsay.
When paintings start to come to life before Julien’s eyes, a magical experience takes place. Initially he thins he is going mad but soon realizes that it is really happening. He quickly becomes infatuated with Clio and that’s when the real adventures start. There is more to Clio that she lets on and the secrets that she hides will put them both on a path neither saw coming.
The writing was descriptive and I could easily see myself visualizing the paintings and Paris as I read this book. Although not my favourite from Lauren Blakely it will draw you in and keep you invested.
Profile Image for Monique.
1,022 reviews49 followers
March 18, 2021
4.5 stars.

I was pleasantly surprised by this new one from LB, but I will be honest I was a little worried going in. And it did take me a minute or two to get my head around what I was going to be reading about. Then I relaxed and sat back and enjoyed the ride because it was LB giving me a tale. You get a little bit of everything in this story, mystery, curses, a ghost and a magical romance in the contemporary genre. For an added bonus, those that love their art history, you will get a kick out of the references to the Renaissance era and being set in Paris gave it a true romantic feel about it.

The story is simply but not simple at all. Boy meets girl, boy falls for her and they live happily ever after...... well it sort of plays out that way but the girl is a Renoir masterpiece. She has been cursed to live in the painting but can come out in the museum where she meets our hero Julien. They spend time together and explore the galleries at night where they also discover that they are alike, they speak the same language, understand each other perfectly and fall in love to the depths of their souls. If only it could last and not be detrimental to everything around them.

This book had me intrigued as to how it was going to play out and if I could not be too literal and welcome the magical elements. I am happy to say, that not only could I get on board with the storyline but I felt it was written brilliantly and I appreciated the work and imagination to give us a believable fable. This is not your typical LB novel and that includes the physical intimacy as well, but it was enough for me to get the connection of the characters. There is also an authors note at the end, and for those like me that need validation on what was real and what was created by LB, you may want to read that first. It will not spoil the story in any way, but it might help you decipher the genuine artefacts or pure imagination. This is definitely worth the read.
Profile Image for Alex in Spades.
844 reviews35 followers
March 21, 2021
This was such a magical read. Lauren took a risk all of a sudden writing something from the paranormal bookcase, and in my opinion it really delivered. For an art historian, and a person who works at a Museum it was even more magical. I loved the details of the paintings, and places - Paris was perfect as a background for such a story. I loved the whole idea af this book, and of living art. Even with my reading slump it checked all my boxes. I'm definilely waiting for more in the Beautiful Magic series, becuase this was simply amazing!
Profile Image for Red Cheeks Reads.
2,164 reviews359 followers
March 19, 2021

As a long-time Lauren Blakely fan, it’s a given that if she writes it, I’m going to read it. What I am not, or at least not typically, is a reader of paranormal romance. But this is Lauren Blakely, so with an open mind, I dove into The Muse, and am I ever glad that I did. I’ve stated in previous reviews for both this author, and others, that I love when an author steps out of their comfort zone and tries something new. Even if the result isn’t my new favorite story from them, I appreciate that fact that they tried something new and different because in my opinion, that’s how authors grow and hone their craft, and eventually all that growth and honing is going to payoff for me as the reader in new stories. The Muse is Blakely’s first foray into PNR, and again, while not my preferred genre, I enjoyed the heck out of this captivating romantic mystery.

For the record, I’d also like to mention that if Lauren Blakely is writing a story set in Paris, read the story. Her affection for the City of Lights is evident in every word, every detail and the care with which she tells these stories. The Muse, centered around the glittering jewels of this city—the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay—was a particularly consuming tale. Unusual paranormal elements, a plot rich in mystery and intrigue, and some seriously fascinating characters blend fluidly in this emotional, ethereal love story.

I don’t want to give too much away! I believe this is the kind of story that the reader needs to savor, that should be experienced as it organically unfolds, but hands down, The Muse is Blakely’s most unique and imaginative story to date. Once I started it, I couldn’t put it down, and I switched off between the digital and audio books. Shane East was brilliant as Julien, and his narration of this story was riveting and wonderful. I literally gasped hearing Siri Scott as Clio, because in my mind, that was how I heard her. Unlike anything I’ve read from Blakely, or anyone else, before, she strode right on into the paranormal romance genre and owned it. Truly original, this was a story that was romantic and sultry, full of surprise and seduction, and I was positively enchanted and hanging on every word from prologue to epilogue. Five smooches from me for The Muse by Lauren Blakely!
~Danielle Palumbo
Profile Image for Kara Hildebrand (Two Book Pushers).
1,641 reviews142 followers
October 3, 2020
The Muse is the first book in the Beautiful Magic series by the talented Lauren Blakely. I love when my favorite authors start a new series, I get all giddy. I'm especially loving this one since it's about Muses, artwork coming to life and love. Julien works for the Musée d'Orsay and art is in his blood. He never imagined that the paintings he loves so much would actually come to life, step out of their frames and dance for him. He might be crazy, but what a way to go! Clio is the most beautiful woman he's ever seen, and she just happens to be trapped in a Renoir. He fell for her before they even spoke, but after nights of stealing kisses, and wandering through paintings and sharing their stories, he learns that something is wrong. Paintings all over the world are starting to fade and he might be the only one who can save them. But at what cost? Losing the only woman he's even loved? Is it worth it? This story is just so lovely! I smiled a lot. Even shed a few tears. It's magical, mysterious and inspiring! I was an Art History minor in college and this just spoke to my soul! I could picture every painting and piece of art in my head and Lauren's attention to detail warmed my heart! It's different from Lauren's other romances, but you won't be disappointed in the way it makes you feel!
Profile Image for Dali.
1,799 reviews456 followers
March 25, 2021
Lauren Blakely creates an original, sweet and magical romance that will take the reader on a marvelous trip to Paris and beyond.

When paintings start coming to life during Julien’s nightly excursions through the Musée d’Orsay he thought he might be going mad. But when the beautiful woman from a long lost Renoir comes out to meet him, Julien intrinsically knows she’ll change his life.

Only being able to come out at night, the two spend their time visiting the museum’s exhibitions, getting to know each other, and wishing for the impossible to happen: for the woman to be free of the curse that has trapped her in the painting for over a century.

But as they fall for one another, artwork all over the world is starting to break down. Can they find a way to save the art and their love?

Blakely is a genius at combining art history, magical elements and romance. Picture the movie a Night at the Museum, Midnight in Paris and even a bit of Mary Poppins. I LOVED the art which was beautifully described. I felt like I was walking besides Julien through all the different museums he visited. I enjoyed the slow burn romance and was intrigued as to how it would develop. I also appreciated the story behind the art’s mysterious degradation and how it was resolved.

The Muse is book #1 of the Beautiful Magic series by Lauren Blakely. This was a wonderful start of the series! It is a standalone romance told from the hero’s POV with a happy ending. Genre: contemporary romance | paranormal romance. Tropes: Forbidden romance

Amazon -> https://amzn.to/3cYHbsz

★ I was given an ARC of this book courtesy of the author by Candi Kane PR. The excerpts are from that copy. I am voluntarily reviewing this title. ★

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Profile Image for Theresa.
909 reviews
March 19, 2021
What a beautiful adventure! Admittedly, magic isn't the sort of thing I look for in romance reading, and admittedly, I wasn't sure how I was going to take this book. It seems like it's not your usual LB tale, but it so many ways, it is. It's definitely reminiscent of Night at the Museum, but it's so much more. And to my surprise, I loved every minute of it.

Julien, an art history major interning at the museum where his sister is a curator, finds himself the recipient of a phenomenon. After sunset, the paintings he studies come to life. It seems like such a treat to have his passions dance around and play to their heart's content. At first, Julien thinks he's gone mad, but he soon realizes that isn't the case at all. When Clio steps out of a painting, he's captivated by her beauty, and finds himself falling for her. That's when everything takes a kind of turn, and adventures ensue. That's all I'll say on that.

Shane did an exceptional job narrating. He captures all the feelings, and the descriptions are so detailed, you see everything as you're listening. Like a friend of mine, I found myself looking up the paintings so I could see them as the story progressed. Lauren tells a beautiful, sensual, funny, adventurous treat. With the vivid descritions, it's an almost-tactile experience for the reader. I wasn't sure how much I'd like this, but I absolutely loved it. The backdrop of lovely, romantic Paris makes it even more magical. Although a different feel, there's no doubt that this is a Laure Blakely love story. Brava!!

And Siiri Scott's epilogue is beautiful.
Profile Image for Michelle.
515 reviews34 followers
March 23, 2021
The Muse is a mashup of romance, mythology, and suspense. I struggled early in the book when the focus was on Julien and his "gifts", but am chalking some of that up to the world building necessary in the first of a series like this one. The magical/mystery and suspense elements were a little sluggish for my taste. Loved the forgers and ghostly possessions, but after a big build-up they fell a little flat for me. Certain aspects of the book made me stop to question the outcome of events, which slowed the pace of the story. I did really love the art descriptions and the scenes where paintings came to life. Strong "Night at the Museum" vibes that were enjoyable, but I'd hoped for a little more romance. Overall, the book was an easy read and I'm hoping that the pace of the series will pick up a bit as it continues.
Profile Image for READ ME ROMANCE.
546 reviews130 followers
March 21, 2021
Lauren Blakely never stops amazing me. She is truly a gifted writer and her personal background in art history made The Muse come to life. I loved Wanderlust and her recent best seller, My One Week Husband, both set in France, and The Muse takes us back to Paris, a place of wonder.

I truly didn’t know what to expect because I am not a fan of paranormal or science-fiction, but am a huge fan of this author and with an open mind and an open heart, I dived into this enchanting book which is nothing short of magic. The author will completely sweep you away into another world when you enter the Musée d'Orsay, the art museum where our hero, Julien Garnier, an art student, works.

I am so impressed with Blakely’s range, because as fast as she writes, her books are so well researched and are all dramatically different. I learn something from every one I’ve read and feel so cultured! I loved reading her vision of the old world art masters such as Renoir, Van Gogh, and Monet, just to name a few. Art comes to life at night and Julien is enchanted and totally smitten by Clio, featured in the “Woman Wandering in the Irises” painting.

I don’t want to give too much away but trust in their journey and be swept away by this magical, passionate, inspiring fantasy romance.
Profile Image for Amy [Book Addict Reviews].
2,088 reviews156 followers
March 17, 2021
Beautiful, magical, breathtaking, refreshing and unique perfectly describe The Muse.

Julien is immersed in art and you can feel his love and passion for the art. Every night when the paintings come to life and Julien gets a magical show that no one else does. When the Musée d’Orsay gets a lost Renior painting, Woman Wandering in the Irises, Julien is drawn to the work of art, but once the painting comes to life he is even more drawn to the woman in the painting.

I absolutely loved this story from the uniqueness of it, the beautiful art, the wonderful Paris setting and the love that Julien and Clio have for each other and for the art. The connection between Julien and Clio is one that transcends any normal connection. There is so much beauty to it. These two people, despite coming from different worlds are truly soulmates and meant for each other. This story is completely addicting, it is one you won’t be able to put down and will transport you to a wonderful world full of art and beauty.

If you’re looking for a unique romance that is full of art, beauty and completely magical this is one to read!
Profile Image for Lourdes.
849 reviews9 followers
March 19, 2021
Julien Garnier studies and lives in Paris and has an internship at the Musée d’Orsay when he starts seeing the paintings come to life at night and he learns things he didn’t know about himself.
When a missing Renoir comes to the museum, he finally meets Clio, the woman who comes out the painting he’s been obsessed with for a while.
This story is a different kind of book for Ms. Blakely without missing her signature. In my case, it reminded me of the Jewel duet because it’s a departure from her usual stories without losing the feel of Blakely book. There’s fantasy and magic intertwined with very real lives and feelings which Ms. Blakely brings to the reader in her usual simple and yet masterful way.
That said, it didn’t totally do it for me. I went in wanting to love the story, but I didn’t. I liked it, but I didn’t get that overwhelming feeling I’m used to get from a Lauren Blakely story and it just felt a little flat for me.

3 stars
*ARC review*
Profile Image for Melena.
2,552 reviews51 followers
March 19, 2021
Julien who works in Paris at the Musée d'Orsay. He can see the paintings come to life and their inhabitants come out into the museum.

One night he meets Clio who emerges from Renoir's Woman Wandering in the Irises. The magical elements of the paintings were so interesting and it was fun to think of all them coming to life. This was a wonderful combination of romance and mystery and magic.

I have read a number of Lauren Blakely's contemporary romances and was surprised when I read the blurb for this one. However, it was a great read that I enjoyed.

Thank you to the author for providing an ARC for an honest review.
Profile Image for Stital.
861 reviews18 followers
March 18, 2021
Heartachingly beautiful, awe inspiring and completely magical The Muse is a silver dusted fairy tale.

Set in the captivating world of the Paris art museums, this is such a refreshing and charming story, filled with mystery, fantasy and hope. The plot is captivating and heartfelt, and the past 30% of the book had my in tears.
This book is a truly inspiring work of art, that will leave you with a sense of the impossible being reasonable, a deep longing for the emotional connection of art and a strong belief in the power of love.

5 stars and a 5 legged calf
Profile Image for Elizabeth Clinton.
733 reviews28 followers
March 13, 2021
I’m convinced that Lauren Blakely can take you on a journey anywhere and you will fall in love.
The Muse is so different than anything that Lauren has written but it will take you on the most whimsical trip through time & history that you will learn so much through the eyes of Julien & Clio that you will be swept away.
Julien discovers he is A human Muse and he will have the power to help Clio who is an Eternal Muse to correct the wrongs that have been done throughout the museums beautiful art.
Watching them together has you sighing in the best kinds of way, learning that each piece just needs the magical touch to correct the past and to bring the future to a beautiful light.
Profile Image for Renae.
617 reviews
April 12, 2021
I have just loved every book i have read by Lauren Blakely...until this one! I dont even know what genre it would fall under-paranormal romance? It was like watching Night at the Museum movie but not even a believable story. I wanted more of secondary characters than the leads. I did finish it but I was disappointed in myself for wasting the time to know the ending.
Profile Image for Lindap.
1,335 reviews
May 26, 2021
4 Stars

I won't go into the description of the book, it's been done in many reviews already.

This was different from any story I've read, and it was enjoyable! Two Muses (One eternal and the other mortal.) that find each other in a most peculiar way. There is mystery, intrigue and love.
Profile Image for Tammi.
1,867 reviews23 followers
March 29, 2021
Lauren Blakely has successfully dipped her toes in the fantasy genre. A story full of magic and love. I couldn't put it down.
But that's not all she pulls us into an art mystery.
I loved the beautiful imagery. A couple from two different times or is it different worlds (not a green alien!)? Not sure how to describe it but it was fascinating. I was a bit worried how it would work. Oh silly me Ms Blakely never let's me down. I got everything I wanted after a few chapters that hurt my heart.
I hope she writes more in this genre because I enjoyed spending my afternoon lost in this story!
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