Author: Laura Florand
Publisher: Laura Florand
Rating: 4.5 stars
Buy Links: Amazon
Provided by Publisher
Blurb: Ruthless. That was what they said about Damien Rosier. Handsome. Wealthy. Powerful. Merciless. No one messed with his family, because to do so they would have to get through him. No one thought he had a heart. Not even the woman he gave his to.
Cynical. That was what they said about Jasmin Bianchi. A top perfumer of her generation, Jess had achieved commercial success by growing a protective shell over a tender heart. The one time she cracked it open to let Damien in, he crushed it–after a night of unbelievable passion.
Lovers. That one magical night couldn’t survive the harsh light of dawn. When Jess woke up to discover the man in bed beside her had stolen her company, she fled.
Enemies. Now she’s come to the south of France with something of his. If he wants to reclaim both his family heritage and the woman who walked away from him, he’s going to have to fight as dirty as only Damien can.
But Jess knows how to fight dirty, too. And these days, she has nothing left to lose.
Certainly not her heart.
Review: I love Laura Florand’s books. Her use of setting and presence is better than almost any other writer out there–the landscape of Provence literally becomes a character in the book, with the history and the landscape coming to life as you read. I devour her books because I love her subjects–chocolate, pastries, food and flowers. But I also read her because she can set a mood in a book that literally takes you away–makes you feel like you’re THERE–and that’s truly a gift.
Note about this book–it’s the second in the series. I think you can read it alone, but it would be better to have read the first one, Once Upon a Rose, for a clearer understanding. There’s a lot of family history and dynamics at play–plus, it’s just a lot more fun. I love series and this one is better than most!
For the past six months, Jasmin Bianchi has been on the edge. They say bad things always happen in threes, and her life was a perfect example. Made famous at a young age for a brash perfume that embarrassed her in front of the other more serious, professional perfumers, she’d always longed to gain credibility at her craft. So she’d invested in a start-up company, ready to take a second chance at creating something original–something new. Finding out that it’d been snatched up by none other than the man who’d betrayed her after a blazing-hot one-night stand had destroyed her–and her father’s death two weeks later had been the final straw. Damian, powerful head of the Rosier family, whose family has had a lock on the perfume industry in Grasse since forever. She’s lost everything–her father, her company, and her heart.
So when she receives a notice from an attorney telling her about a property she’s been given in Grasse, France, she’s got nothing to lose by finding out what it is.
Unless she runs into Damien.
Everyone knows the Rosier family owns Grasse, the capital of the perfume industry. Damien’s the assassin for the family, taking out any and all threats that pop up. So when it turns out that the little perfume shop she’s been given is right in the heart of his family’s valley, Damien’s going to be pressured into trying to get her to leave. How are they going to deal with each other? And how is Jess going to handle seeing the man who not only broke her heart but stole her dream?
When Damien sees her, he can’t believe she’s there in his great aunt’s perfume shop. How can this woman, who devastated him with her callous disregard for his feelings, still bring such unbearable hope with her presence? What did he do to cause her to treat him so horribly?
While this romance involves one of my least favorite tropes–the misunderstanding–it moves beautifully beyond that in the talented hands of Ms. Florand. Complex circumstances place them both at fault; and while it’s quickly resolved, it allows a knowledge of their feelings and creates an emotional investment in the relationship that brings an unexpected richness to the story. Damien’s emotional growth shines against Jess’s developing self-worth as they risk Rosier family disapproval and their own self-doubt to take a risk at true love among the jasmine.