Steven LeConte has all the qualities that propel a young man to success. He is bright, handsome, charming . . . the list is long. Yet, at age 27, this scion of a prominent Connecticut family is teaching tennis in Paris. His journalistic aspirations have produced a few dazzling leads but not a single completed article. If he can take pride in one achievement, which he does not, it is the prodigious number of girls he has coaxed from the tennis club into his bed. A small inheritance from his aunt is nearly exhausted; he faces an uncertain future. As if to highlight his professional shortcomings, he has befriended his neighbor, Sophie Marx, the retired Paris bureau chief of the New York Times. In contrast to his own lack of output, her freelance articles appear at a dizzy pace in the Western world’s best newspapers and magazines. Sophie has just embarked on a new venture: to chronicle ...