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The Perfumer's Secret Fleurette Delacroix is being forced to marry a man she despises Aimery De Lasset Both Fleurette and Amiery come from families that run successful perfume businesses and it is expected that the two of them marry even though Fleurette has no desire to be Aimery's wife World War I was looming which meant Aimery would have to leave Fleurette but neither of them were expecting it to be on their wedding night Fleurette was pleased to see Amiery leave as her feelings had not shifted toward him but it also meant saying goodbye to her brothers who must also leave for war Fleurette is a little disturbed one day after getting a letter from Aimery's brother warning her not to marry his brother With no explanation for this warning even though it has come too late Fleurette is puzzled as to why she has received this warning In time Fleurette will learn of the deep dark secret that has been hidden for years and could potentially destroy both familiesFor those who love to read historical fiction this one is a must read Aussie author Fiona McIntosh has written a fabulous book which I thoroughly enjoyed Highly recommended While I liked the story overall I found Ms McIntosh's style of writing frustrating She takes so long to get to the point in any scene and goes over things again and again Now I don't mind internal monologue usually but not on this scale For example the first chapter is a woman in a carriage going to marry a man she doesn't love and conversing with her brother who's forcing her into it and it's 20 pages of going over and over her objections and his reasons for making her do it It was too much She also regularly inserts flashback segments to other conversations in the middle of tense scenes effectively killing the pace of the scene with something that is usually not overly exciting even if it might be relevant to the scene in uestionThe ending also tried my patience as again it took so long to get to the point And then when the end did come it seemed overly abrupt The resolution was far too uick considering the build up and the constant raising of tensionThe general plot and characters I enjoyed immensely and I would have rated this book far higher if I hadn't found the ponderous pace so frustrating I have read and absolutely enjoyed several of this author’s books so I was really looking forward to getting into this one It is set on the eve of World War 1 and Fleurette only daughter of the Delacroix family is being made to marry Aimery De Lasset The problem is she can’t stand him but when it comes to duty and the family name it appears she has no choice War intervenes before the marriage is consummated Aimery as well as Fleurette’s twin Felix and their older brother Henri head off to war Meanwhile along with wedding presents Fleurette receives a strange letter from Aimery’s brother Sebastien from whom he has spent his life estranged So this is a book about secrets Although I have to admit I thought the initial secret was pretty easy to guess As the background to this book is making perfume something I adore this should have been a book I would adore Some of the information about perfume making was interesting but it became too much in the end There will be plenty of people who will love this story but I was a bit disappointed It was an okay read but not as good as I was expecting from this author I thought it could have been much shorter I found some of the story repetitive and the plot predictable The love story didn’t convince me at all and I was never that engaged with the characters It won’t stop me reading this author’s newest book though as others I have read by her have been consistently good I’ve read and enjoyed several other Fiona McIntosh books and thought this would be similar to her others The cover is gorgeous as is the setting in Grasse the perfume capital of France however these were the best parts of the book My library listed this as historical fiction but I think it would be accurate to call it historical romance with emphasis on the romance rather than the historicalIt was eye rollingly sentimental and soppy much of the time It was also uite repetitive with the same concept being harped on about over and overBeing about the 2 major perfume families of Grasse there was uite a bit of discussion about fragrance and top notes base notes and heart notes and considerations regarding oriental or floral or other scents and other things that are peculiar to perfumery Some of it was interesting but at times it felt contrived and overdonePerhaps I am so especially disappointed in this because I have found all the Fiona McIntosh books that I’ve read before this to be great reads and so the fact that this was uite average was disappointing than if I hadn’t been expecting something at a higher level The Perfumer's Secret is Fiona McIntosh's seventh historical tale of romance Set in the Provence region of France during World War 1 it's a story of duty secrets love family and perfumeDramatic and romantic the plot of The Perfumer's Secret centers around Fleurette Delacroix To secure the futures of Grasse's eminent perfumery dynasties Fleurette is forced to wed Aimery De Lasset by her eldest brother Henri Though resigned to her fate it's a relief when war is declared before the marriage is consummated and De Lasset rides off to join the French troops marching against the invasion of Germany With the men including Fleurette's brother away at war it is left to her to ensure that both family business continue to flourish a challenge she is than capable of for Fleurette has 'the nose' a rare ability to distinguish over 3000 scents But when Fleurette's husband's estranged brother Sebastien De Lasset appears in Grasse he carries a secret that could destroy everything both families have built and break Fleurette's heart Fleurette is a lovely character from the first pages she demonstrates spirit courage and patience and continues to mature over the course of the novel Given the era she has few options when Henri insists she marries Aimery but she doesn't let it dampen her hopes that she will find a place in the family business and she copes admirably with the scandal and tragedy that befalls her Aimery is an uncomplicated villain arrogant boorish and misogynistic while Sebastien is a traditional heroic character The romance that develops between Fleurette and Sebastien is easy to root forMcIntosh's deftly weaves historical fact into her fiction The story is meticulously researched in terms of location period and the specifics of the perfumery industry McIntosh describes the study she undertook in the back of the book spending time in Grasse interviewing perfumers visiting museums and creating a signature scent I don't wear perfume my husband is allergic but I still found learning about its production and scents interestingAn easy engaging and pleasant read The Perfumer's Secret is a grand historical love story ideal for francophiles and romantics This is a glorious tale of love family and loss Set in the outset of World War 1 this is a stunningly beautiful portrayal of a woman striving to be herself of brothers trying to prove themselves and of loveI thoroughly enjoyed this glorious book and would highly recommend it to anyone but especially to this who enjoy historical romance 1 her love interest reminds her repeatedly of her brother Ewwww2 her love interest may be her brother3 she falls in love in a day4 her brother losing his sense of smell is said to be worse then the grief of both her parents dying WHAT5 the first HALF of the book explains repeatedly about the various wafts of jasmine that float through the town grasse6 HER LOVE INTEREST REMINDS HER OF HER BROTHER She even says they could pass as the same person when standing side by side and in a book where the main plot is of inbred children that is a disturbing claim to make And even disturbing she was turned on in the very next sentenceWe didn't meet her love interest until 23 through 7 unbelievable and predictable On the eve of the First World War Fleurette the only daughter of the wealthy Delacroix perfume house is being forced to marry a man she loathes Aimery De Lasset head of the pre eminent perfume manufacturer in France It is only the cathedral bells tolling the rally to the frontlines on her wedding night that save her from sharing his bedWhen she receives a letter from Aimery's estranged brother warning against their union Fleurette is left with the burden of a terrible secret It is one that has the power to shatter the two families and their perfume empires once and for allThe highly anticipated new blockbuster from the bestselling author of The Lavender Keeper and The Last Dance Fiona's books can be a bit hit or miss and weirdly enough this was a little of both for me I was really enjoying it until about 23rds through where she fell in love in a day and everything just started getting real fast For a book whose beginning was uite slow the end was uite a uick and sudden affair leaving me thinking oh is that it? Is it over? I liked the setting I loved Fleurette I liked hearing about the perfume industry and the smells that go into it Really there were a lot of things I liked about this book The end just rushed by me so fast too fast for me to really enjoy But on the scale on things this is one of Fiona's better works A richly hued tale of love and adversity at a time of great upheavalBorn into one of Grasse’s elite perfumier families Fleurette Delacroix is beautiful intelligent and has The Nose a rare yet crucial skill for perfume creation It’s 1915; as a high born woman Fleurette is forbidden from any official role in the business and instead forced to marry the owner of the neighbouring De Lasset estate to bind two great perfume houses Then on the night of her wedding the men of Grasse are mobilised for war The women take on the tasks of their men and though still curtailed by convention from becoming the perfume maker she longs to be Fleurette takes over management of the estate When her brother in law Sebastien walks into her life wounded and handsome and bearing a devastating family secret Fleurette faces her biggest challenge Will Sebastien save her—or ruin her?Fiona McIntosh delivers another evocative tale of women who find their strength through adversity and the men who love them Set among the famous rose fields of Grasse scent is very present and it’s easy to feel transported to that time and place to feel the sun on your face and inhale the fragrance of the fields Though set at the start of the Great War this isn’t a story of war but of those left behind of the upheaval caused to a carefully ordered and gendered social structure As always McIntosh provides plenty of contextual information about the cultural norms and societal expectations On occasion that context threatens to overwhelm the storyline yet the tale moves along at a good pace with plenty to intrigue The details of perfume creation are fascinating and instructive I certainly feel I’ll be a informed purchaser next time I’m shopping for scent One or two of the early secrets may be a touch predictable but these secrets are layered and some of the latter revelations you definitely won’t see coming In The Perfumer’s Secret McIntosh delivers another immersive and fascinating tale that does what all good escapist historical fiction should do educate as it entertains I finished the novel feeling I’d been to Grasse in 1915 without the worry of war or all those crushing social conventions If you enjoy sweeping stories of love and adversity set in a previous time you’ll love The Perfumer’s Secret To read an interview with Fiona McIntosh about The Perfumer's Secret drop by Thanks to Penguin Random House for an ARC

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