Friday, January 30, 2015
Review: Once Upon a Rose (La Vie en Rose #1) by Laura Florand
She stole his roses.
Fleeing the spotlight, burnt out rock star Layla—“Belle”—Dubois seeks refuge in the south of France. That old, half-forgotten heritage in a valley of roses seems like a good place to soothe a wounded heart. She certainly doesn’t expect the most dangerous threat to her heart to pounce on her as soon as she sets foot on the land.
He wants them back.
Matt didn’t mean to growl at her quite that loudly. But—his roses! She can’t have his roses. Even if she does have all those curls and green eyes and, and, and…what was he growling about again?
Or maybe he just wants her.
When an enemy invades his valley and threatens his home, heart, and livelihood, Matthieu Rosier really knows only one way to defend himself.
It might involve kissing.
You know that question where you have to name what books you would take with you if you were stuck on an island? I can never seem to answer that. I love a lot of books for different reasons but probably not enough to be stuck reading them over and over.
But now I think I have my answer. Anything and everything by Laura Florand. If I had her books I could travel to Paris and the valley's of France, meet world class chefs, savor the best chocolates, run through a field of roses, fall in love.
There is just no other author whose writing captivates the senses and sweeps me away as Laura Florand does.
Once Upon a Rose takes us away from the Amour et Chocolat series and our beloved bossy pastry chefs with their decadent chocolates and whisks us away to the fields in the South of France. While I adore chocolate, I wasn’t sure I would be as invested in the perfume industry – but of course I was.
The La Vie en Rose series has the authors trademark grumpy heroes but I think this series has more of a sense of family to it. Whereas the chefs from the other series are adrift and alone, Matt and the upcoming heroes of this book, are anchored in tradition and family. Even if they don’t realize it yet.
Matt. *sigh* I loved him so so much. We meet him when he’s and tipsy, relaxed and happy at his 30th birthday party. Layla’s car has broken down and she stumbles into the party looking for assistance. He sweeps Layla up in a whirlwind of energy – open and kind. But then the next day he’s embarrassed by his behavior and stumbles trying to apologize and reestablish a connection with her until he finds out she’s an enemy to all that he’s tried to protect.
Layla is another lost soul, at a crossroads with her singing career. The pressure to crank out music and have another hit record has left her feeling empty and unsure of her place in the industry. She inherits a house in the French valley – more specifically - smack dab in Matt’s valley.
Matt and Layla are so different from each other and just shouldn't work. There were a few times I wasn’t sure how Florand could write her way out if it. Matt’s connection to his land and family is so deep – yet Layla needs to wander. It’s in her blood. How they could ever stay together and work out was a mystery to me but it works.
I loved how Matt is all growly and grumpy but also sweet and awkward. He gets mad at Layla – views her as the enemy - yet fixes the pipes and electricity in her (his) house. He tries to show off his buff body – yet gets tangled in his t-shirt and blushes frequently. Oh those blushes….
And I loved how Layla needs that house to restore herself yet realizes Matt might need it more. While most of this author’s heroes are all alpha (in a good way) I felt like it was Layla who was the alpha here. She may not have known Matt long and his family is quite intimidating but she has no problem calling them out when they might do or say things that hurt him. Matt needs that kind of person in his life.
This is just a really sweet, loving exploration of self, duty and family.
OK, I’m rambling now so let me just say SA-WOON. I loved it all! I’m as completely captivated by this series as I was with the the Amour et Chocolat series.