Romancing the Dark in the City of Light

Romancing the Dark in the City of Light
Age Range
Release Date
October 06, 2015
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A troubled teen, living in Paris, is torn between two boys, one of whom encourages her to embrace life, while the other—dark, dangerous, and attractive—urges her to embrace her fatal flaws. Summer Barnes just moved to Paris to repeat her senior year of high school. After being kicked out of four boarding schools, she has to get on the right track or she risks losing her hefty inheritance. Summer is convinced that meeting the right guy will solve everything. She meets two. Moony, a classmate, is recovering against all odds from a serious car accident, and he encourages Summer to embrace life despite how hard it can be to make it through even one day. But when Summer meets Kurt, a hot, mysterious older man who she just can't shake, he leads her through the creepy underbelly of the city-and way out of her depth. When Summer's behavior manages to alienate everyone, even Moony, she's forced to decide if a life so difficult is worth living. With an ending that'll surprise even the most seasoned reader, Romancing the Dark in the City of Light is an unputdownable and utterly compelling novel.

Editor review

1 review
Romancing the Dark in the City of Light
(Updated: September 10, 2015)
Overall rating
Writing Style
ROMANCING THE DARK IN THE CITY OF LIGHT is an intriguing story of contrasts. Readers meet eighteen-year-old Summer Barnes who is sent to Paris after being kicked out of a number of schools. At first there really isn't much to like about her as she comes across as selfish and privileged. She also has a drinking problem. While at PAIS, an international school in Paris, she meets Moony, a classmate who is recovering from a serious car accident. He is encouraging to Summer when everyone else has written her off. She doesn't really give people a chance to like her either. Then she runs into a mysterious handsome older guy named Kurt who brings out the worse in her and pushes her to extremes by showing her the darker side of Paris and herself.

What worked: I was hooked from the very first chapter. Though Summer isn't very likable, readers get glimpses into her painful past which help explain her alienating behavior. It also doesn't help that she is pressured to graduate from not only high school but college by the age of twenty-two or she will forfeit an inheritance. The pressure of that and the wounds of losing her beloved father have her self-medicating with alcohol. I feel these scenes worked. Readers see her torment and self-defeating behavior that eventually lead her back to the bottle.

Kurt is very creepy. I knew something about him was 'off' but didn't find out how much until the very ending. Kuddos to the author for showing readers the subtle truth behind him and why he was so interested in being with Summer.

The Paris in this novel is unlike other ones I've been reading. It's darker, edgier, and yes, uglier. That's the power of this story though as the setting reveals the darkness stirring within Summer. She longs for love but is attracted to the dark.

I really loved Moony. I also loved how he's a flawed love interest and not the typical gorgeous guy. His beauty is within. I know that sounds cliche, but his actions toward Summer, even when she does everything to alienate him, make him very endearing.

Powerful glimpse into the world of darkness and the love that can pull one from its depths. A creepy, haunting read that will surprise readers at the end.
Good Points
1. Intriguing contrast of dark and light
2. A reveal that was totally unexpected!
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