As a little girl, I was obsessed with Grace Kelly. I was fascinated by her love story and in the end, her tragic death, and longed for the day that I too could become a real American princess.
But as I got older I moved on from princess dreams to horses and didn’t look back. That is until the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markel. It was another famous American, marrying royalty and becoming a princess that reignited my interest in Grace Kelly.
When I saw that this book was coming out, I squealed in excitement. Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb have written some of my favorite novels both independently and together. They make a fabulous team and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this latest collaboration and see how they incorporated Grace Kelly into this story.
You are invited to attend the wedding of the century…
Sophie Duval of Grasse, France is a pragmatic young woman and highly respected parfumeur, whom many of the rich and famous of the Riviera have entrusted with the job of creating the perfect scent for them. As the Cannes Film Festival kicks off its ninth year, Sophie prepares to spend the tourist season on the Riviera where the wealthy will grace her shop with their presence, carrying their heavy purses along with them.
However, her summer plans change after one last, very familiar customer slips inside her Cannes boutique. With her blond hair tucked beneath a silk headscarf, the fine nose and large black sunglasses, the porcelain complexion, it’s impossible to not recognize her. It’s America’s darling, Grace Kelly. Miss Kelly, however, hasn’t come in for perfume, but to escape a photographer, hot on her trail. Just as Sophie hides Miss Kelly away in the back of the boutique, the photographer runs into the shop, camera tucked against his chest.
Struggling British press photographer, James Henderson, has arrived in Cannes to work the illustrious Film Festival. But in a twist of fate, he spots Grace Kelly strolling casually through a secluded arcade of shops. Seeing an opportunity to get the shot nobody else will have, James follows Miss Kelly into a small perfume boutique. But Grace Kelly is nowhere to be found and the shop owner won’t give anything away.
In spite of a brief and fractious exchange, Sophie can’t forget about the handsome photographer, James can’t forget the lovely parfumeur, and Grace Kelly can’t forget about Sophie’s kindness. From that moment on, the fates of Sophie, James, and a Hollywood icon are linked together in a story that will span three decades, tragedy, and love (summary from Goodreads)
This book was on the top of my most anticipated novels for 2019 and I couldn’t wait to start reading it! The setting was exotic and perfect for summer. As I have no travel plans for the summer, this setting made me dream of exotic scents and glamorous locations when I couldn’t get to be there myself! Reading this one was the ultimate escape for me and I adored every page!
It was dripping in elegance and beauty from the setting to the characters! I loved the royal wedding as backdrop to the larger love story between James and Sophie. It made the reader feel like they were experiencing the wedding but also getting to know the characters intimately.
I was 100% emotionally invested in Sophie as a character. I loved her profession and thought it added a lot of sensuality to the romance. This book in my opinion is more romance than historical fiction, but I was completely ok with that. As a fan of historical fiction, I felt like my historical expectations were more than satisfied with the royal wedding and a few other little bits, but the romance was the shining jewel in this book! If you are looking for a book exclusively about Grace Kelly then this is probably not the book you are looking for, she is a character in the book but the focus is truly on Sophie and James, but the characters, location and time period will surly win you over.
I couldn’t put this book down and I thought about it throughout the day, eager to return to it and find out what happened next. I was in desperate need of a new historical romance on my TBR list and this book absolutely met all of my expectations and then some. I was satisfied with how it ended and sad at the same time because I didn’t want it to end. The realness and emotion in the pages was so wonderfully done.
Gaynor and Webb are a powerhouse team and together they make fantastic books. Do not miss this lovely book! There is so much to love and you won’t be disappointed!