Expected publication: March 13th, 2012
My Rating Scores:
Cover Art Rating: ***** 5 out of 5 stars
Overall Content: *** 4 out of 5 stars
Quoted from GoodReads:
"A sweeping and suspenseful tale of secrets, intrigue, and lovers separated by time, all connected through the mystical qualities of a perfume created in the days of Cleopatra—and lost for 2,000 years.
Jac L’Etoile has always been haunted by the past, her memories infused with the exotic scents that she grew up surrounded by as the heir to a storied French perfume company. In order to flee the pain of those remembrances—and of her mother’s suicide—she moves to America, leaving the company in the hands of her brother Robbie. But when Robbie hints at an earth-shattering discovery in the family archives and then suddenly goes missing—leaving a dead body in his wake—Jac is plunged into a world she thought she’d left behind.
Back in Paris to investigate her brother’s disappearance, Jac discovers a secret the House of L’Etoile has been hiding since 1799: a scent that unlocks the mysteries of reincarnation. The Book of Lost Fragrances fuses history, passion, and suspense, moving from Cleopatra’s Egypt and the terrors of revolutionary France to Tibet’s battle with China and the glamour of modern-day Paris. Jac’s quest for the ancient perfume someone is willing to kill for becomes the key to understanding her own troubled past."
This book is a mix of ancient history, paranormal, religion, mystery with a little romance tossed in on the side! It doesn't sound like a combination that would work, but it really does. The only thing missing was the actual smell of the fragrances being described in the story (remember scratch and sniff??).
I really liked the character of Jac. She had an interesting history and a few scars from her troubled past remained, but she strong enough to move on with her life. I would have liked to know more about her brother, Robby. The author, M.J. Rose, tossed out some enticing bits of information about him that made me want to know him better! (Maybe in another book...)
The pace of the book was good, but at times, I found myself re-reading the first few paragraphs of each new chapter. The story flip flops between ancient Egypt, Napoleonic France and present day. It was like reading several different stories that all converge in the last few chapters. Some of the plot was predictable, but there are a few surprises along the way.
So why didn't it get 5 out of 5 stars? Well....my 5 out of 5 stars are for books that haunt me for days after reading them. The Lost Book of Fragrances just didn't do that for me. It's a quality that is hard to pin point, but you know it when you see (or read) it! This is still a book I will recommend to my friends. It would be a great book to take on a trip. I look forward to reading more books by this author!
Many thanks to netgallery for allowing me to read and review this book.