The Paris Model by Alexandra Joel. (2020).
**4 out of 5 stars**
After a shocking discovery, Grace leaves her vast Australian sheep station and travels to tumultuous post-war Paris in order to find her true identity. While working as a mannequin for Christian Dior, Grace mixes with counts and princesses, authors and artists, diplomats and politicians. But when Grace falls for Philippe she doesn’t know that he is leading a double life, nor that his past might inflict devastating consequences upon her. As she is drawn into Philippe’s dangerous world of international espionage, Grace discovers both the shattering truth of her origins and that her life is in peril…
I quite enjoyed this story; it was a nice period of escapism while I was reading it. It was very engaging and I liked that we started off in Australia before jetting off to France. I found Grace to be a likeable character, I thought she was quite strong and determined and even while she clearly had a good heart she also had some sass to her which was great. At first glance you could easily mistake this for a fashion orientated plot (not that there’s anything wrong with that!) but the story develops to the point where it becomes centred on an espionage, double-agent, assassination type drama before then becoming focused on Grace’s personal issues again. I thought this was pretty clever actually as it flowed quite well.
Overall, this is an easy and enjoyable historical fiction with elements of romance with a bit of thriller drama included.