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.
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.
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.
Now she’s come to the south of France with a threat to his family heritage. If he wants to reclaim both it 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.
I’m not a big fan of stories whose characters have this humungous misunderstanding. Stories like these frustrate me and I usually quit half way through the book. But this is a Laura Florand book, so I (figuratively) packed my bags and made the return journey to Grasse.
Set two months after the first book Once Upon A Rose, Laura continues to tell the story of the Rosier Men. Perfumer Jasmin Bianchi and Damien Rosier had a wonderful night, finding in each other a wish granted. But fantasies sometimes end abruptly and painfully. With Jess leaving the in quiet haste and Damien failing to talk to her, they both thought it was the end of their encounter. Six months later, Jess goes to Grasse to claim an inheritance from a long lost relative. She finds out that the perfume store she was to get was part of an inheritance from the Rosier Family. And they sent their shark, Damien to get it back.
I love Damien. Being given the dirty job of expanding Rosier SA, a lot of people think Damien is cold and ruthless, like a soldier bent on killing. Damien is in charge of protecting the front lines of Rosier SA, which means acquiring failing companies or fighting the ones that threaten theirs. Cold as it may seem, in truth, it is this need to protect and provide for his family that drives him to do what he does. Whatever the family wants, Damien grants it. Something like the Genie of the lamp, Damien has phenomenal wish granting cosmic powers, and although he doesn’t have an itty-bitty living space, no one understands the cost he has to pay for it. It is this sadness he tries to hide. But with Jess, it all comes out, unguarded. Also with Damien, Laura surprises by deviating from her usual sexy scenes. he is somewhat domineering and, well, dirty. He is the first male character from Laura who I’ve seen like this and I absolutely love it. It works to the story’s full advantage as it is still tasteful and absolutely romantic. I also love how Laura gives a fresh perspective on boyfriends and the love that comes from spending money on the ladies they love.
My heart just goes out for Jasmin Bianchi. With the death of her father and the loss of her dream company, she has gone through so much sorrow in her life. And when given a little spot of happiness, it was so difficult for her to believe she deserved it. She meets Damien again, with that baggage of misunderstanding from their previous encounter. But their undeniable attraction to each other was so hard to ignore. She brought out his protectiveness as she tries to understand him. She finds the her courage and discovers her self-confidence as she falls hopelessly inlove again.
As I’ve said before, Once Upon A Rose was a beautiful start to Laura Florand’s new series, and she continues on with A Wish Upon Jasmine. She slowly reveals the history of the Rosier family and of Elise and Leonard Dubois. The dynamics of the Rosier family is explored further and for each Rosier cousin, there is an element of their ancestor, Niccolò in them. And as each great granddaughter of Elise returns, a piece of Elise and Leonard comes back home too. My only concern is that I was hoping for a some Lucien-Damien interaction, since in the first book, it was said that Lucien contacts Damien once in a while.
Regardless, I love how Laura has written everything. She can write the grocery list and I would read it. With this recent installment, she beautifully delivers through her writing, the emotions of her characters and the scent of fields and fields of jasmine. Her words come to life because it is not only read on paper, but is also is felt in the heart.
“What’s your rush? the key’s scent said. The stone of the street said. The bright young sun said, seeking its way into the color-washed walls through cracks and crannies and shirts hung out like flags between balconies to dry.
I’ve got all day.
You’ve got all week.
We’ve got a half-dozen centuries.”
Received a copy from the author for an honest review.
Other Books in the La Vie En Roses Series
Turning Up The Heat
Buy link: Amazon
The Chocolate Rose
Buy link: Amazon
A Rose In Winter
(No Place Like Home Anthology)
Buy link: Amazon
Once Upon A Rose
Buy link: Amazon
Laura Florand is the international bestselling author of the Amour et Chocolat series (The Chocolate Thief, The Chocolate Kiss, etc). Her books have appeared in ten languages, been nominated for Reviewers Choice Best Book of the Year, received the RT Seal of Excellence and starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, and been recommended by NPR, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal, among others. Four of her past five books have been recommended reads by Dear Author and two have been Sizzling Book Club Picks by Smart B*, Trashy Books.
Laura was born in a small town in Georgia, but the travel bug bit her early. After a Fulbright year in Tahiti, a semester in Spain, and backpacking in New Zealand and Greece, she ended up living in Paris, where she met and married her own handsome Frenchman. You can find out quite a bit more about those crazy adventures in her memoir, Blame It on Paris. She is now a lecturer in Romance Studies at Duke University. Contrary to popular opinion, that means she studies and teaches French language and culture, rather than romance. Fortunately, French culture includes French chocolate, research to which she is very dedicated. You can catch some glimpses of that research in the books, on her blog, and on her Facebook site, where you are welcome to join her and other readers!