HFVBT Presents: The Queen's Daughter

Queen Elizabeth's DaughterPublication Date: March 18, 2014
St. Martin’s Griffin
Paperback; 320p
ISBN-10: 0312662122
Rating:  5 Stars
Mistress Mary Shelton is Queen Elizabeth’s favorite ward, enjoying every privilege the position affords. The queen loves Mary like a daughter, and, like any good mother, she wants her to make a powerful match. The most likely prospect: Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford. But while Oxford seems to be everything the queen admires: clever, polished and wealthy, Mary knows him to be lecherous, cruel, and full of treachery. No matter how hard the queen tries to push her into his arms, Mary refuses.
Instead, Mary falls in love with a man who is completely unsuitable. Sir John Skydemore is a minor knight with little money, a widower with five children. Worst of all, he’s a Catholic at a time when Catholic plots against Elizabeth are rampant. The queen forbids Mary to wed the man she loves. When the young woman, who is the queen’s own flesh and blood, defies her, the couple finds their very lives in danger as Elizabeth’s wrath knows no bounds.

My Thoughts

Queen Elizabeth's Daughter, while one book, tells the stories of two women; Queen Elizabeth I and her ward, Mary Shelton.
Surprising, though the story does indeed feature Queen Elizabeth, it is the character of the lesser known Mary, that is truly allowed to shine as the "driving force" behind the novel's complex plot.

Following Mary from the time that she first comes to Elizabeth as an orphan at age 3, through her childhood,  service to the queen, and culminating at Elizabeth's death.  Queen Elizabeth's Daughter, allows readers an intimate look into both the queen's heart and mind, as we see her be the mother to Mary that she would never get to be to children of her own.

Mary is written as a very strong character whose tenacity and resourcefulness rivals that of Elizabeth.  As Mary ages, readers discover that though she is indeed Queen Elizabeth's creation, she is not one to let her life be overtaken by her sovereign's desires.
Determined to balance love for Sir John Skydemore with her duties to "crown and country", Mary is soon forced to choose between to love of the only mother she has ever known and the love of the man who holds her heart.

This is a wonderfully written tale, that while brimming with the lies, deceit, plots, and scheme s that make novels of the historical genre great, is built upon interpersonal relationships that are often overlooked when the whole of history is explored.
The Queen's Daughter provides readers with a most intriguing viewpoint on what it means to be a mother, a daughter, and the daughter of a queen.

Buy the Book

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Book Depository

About the Author

Anne Clinard BarnhillAnne Clinard Barnhill has been writing or dreaming of writing for most of her life. For the past twenty years, she has published articles, book and theater reviews, poetry, and short stories. Her first book, AT HOME IN THE LAND OF OZ, recalls what it was like growing up with an autistic sister. Her work has won various awards and grants. Barnhill holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Besides writing, Barnhill also enjoys teaching, conducting writing workshops, and facilitating seminars to enhance creativity. She loves spending time with her three grown sons and their families. For fun, she and her husband of thirty years, Frank, take long walks and play bridge. In rare moments, they dance.
For more information, please visit Anne Clinard Barnhill’s website. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

The Giveaway

Will You Or Won't You Play Loyal Subject In The Court of "The Fetish Queeen"

The Fetish Queen, Part One: Reborn Title:  The Fetish Queen:  Reborn
Author:  Nicole Camden
Format:  ERC
Publisher:  Pocket Star
Rating:  3 Stars

Newly single and loving every minute, Lille—a.k.a. the Fetish Queen—is unleashed and ready to dominate in the first chapter of the sexy, enticing Fetish Queen series.

Blond, buxom, and bold, pin-up girl Lillehammer Marceaux can get any man she wants, but she leaves her fiancé to move to Florida and run a sex shop called The Fetish Box, owned by her best friend. She immediately clashes with Max Jobman, the rough-hewn tattooed Irishman who owns the local pub. Not a very trusting man, Max is convinced she’s a spoiled beauty who’ll stay just long enough to find a rich husband. He quickly learns that Lille isn’t interested in a husband; she’s focused on making the business a success—but that doesn’t stop her from thinking about what an excellent lover Max will make…

What neither Max nor Lille realizes is that her efforts to become the Fetish Queen, which include making a type of reality show, have caught the attention of a dangerous figure from Lille’s past. Will her troubled past come back and drag her down, or will the Fetish Queen get her way?  -Goodreads

My Thoughts

What we have here is another case of a publisher going novella happy.
While the story in an of itself is fine...if not a little predictable in direction. The real problem in reviewing works that are parts of an unfinished whole...is just that!
They are unfinished. At this point in The Fetish Queen...
All I can truly say is that I will have to wait until later installments to offer a true and complete opinion.
Until then, a little emotional depth on the part of Lille would be nice. She reads as quite the cold fish.
Meanwhile, Mary aka "the supportive best friend" couldn't read as more of an emotional marshmallow if StayPuff had whipped her up himself.

Her conquests are just too easy for words. This story gives the reader the impression that there is going to be a "thrill of the chase" type hunt. Complete with
Lille as the triumphant goddess, and Max, her feisty prey.
What readers get is half that. Lille is that goddess, however, after only the slightest use of her charms; her hapless quarry has chosen to surrender himself on her porch with a nice note. (The scenario I have just described is metaphorical of course)
A novella is in essence, a short story. There is no room for the lengthy set up and small village worth of characters that come into play here.
This is especially true in a book that is as genre specific as the one discussed.
Please do not take my critique to mean that this book is not worthy of a read!
That is not the case at all.
The chemistry between Max and Lille is of the charts, and the sex is great too...when you finally get there.

Here's hoping that book two rectifies some of the issues of book 1.
I am more than certain that when all the pieces of this literary puzzle come together, the resulting image will be a beautiful one.

Find Love and Eroticism In "Rebecca's Lost Journals

Rebecca's Lost Journals (Inside Out, #1.1-1.4; 2.5)Title:  Rebecca's Lost Journals
Author:  Lisa Renee Jones
Format:  Print
Length:  240 pages
Publisher:  Gallery Books
Rating:  4 Stars

Includes Rebecca’s Lost Journals #1-4
(The Seduction, The Contract, His Submissive, My Master)
and The Master Undone

 In this stand alone collection connected to the Best Selling Inside Out Series, you meet Rebecca Mason, the intriguing woman who penned an erotic journal that changed everyone’s life it touched. This is her story, in her words.....

Rebecca’s Lost Journals.....

 Rebecca Mason has known heartache and sorrow in her life, losing everyone she loves. She’s on her own in San Francisco, lost in every way, until she dares to make the decision to chase her dream of working in the art world. It is then that he meets a rich, seductively powerful man who will become the Master she never knew she wanted and change her life forever. He will lead her on a dark, passionate journey where pain is pleasure and pleasure is pain, and where every limit she once had is no more. In this man, she will find solace to her pain, an escape from the ache inside her. And in him, she will discover a darkness she may never escape.

Bonus Story included:

Master Undone in his POV...

I told him goodbye, and I will not call him. I know if I do, it will be my undoing, and I'll once again be caught up in his spell. I will once again be . . . lost.

In her private journals, Rebecca laid bare her soul, revealing her obsession for the one man whose erotic demands captivated her imagination--and enslaved her forever. Now, with Rebecca no longer in his life "he is lost, questioning everything he thought he knew about himself and about control he holds in such high regard. One women will reach out to heal him and then turn away, leaving him haunted. She is nothing he thought he wanted and somehow everything he needs. He tells himself to forget her but he cannot escape his desire for her. He has to have more...  Goodreads

My Thoughts

 *The first three paragraphs of this review provide a review of  Rebecca’s Lost Journals #1-4
(The Seduction, The Contract, His Submissive, My Master

 Due to the cohesive nature of these individual works, they are reviewed together.
  The Master Undone
Is reviewed separately. 
Rebecca comes off as the perfect unsure, shy, self deprecating, wounded, yet extremely attractive young naive that seems ripe for the picking for someone with Mark's proclivities.
Because of the allusion to the intensity of Mark and Rebecca's relationship, one is led to expect a far more adventurous walk into BDSM than what is offered.
This is not to say however, that what is offered is not emotionally charged, enthralling, or well presented.  It is all of these things...it is also relatively safe.

The true draw in this read lies not so much in the erotic fantasy and BDSM play, but in the raw intensity of the romantic love Mark and Rebecca share.
Readers will find themselves swept up in Mark's fierce protectiveness of his lady love; just as much as they will bask in the glory of said protection, as seen from Rebecca's POV.

Rebecca turns out to be quite the wild card in this scenario; when all is said and done.  As her confidence grows, she becomes more aware of her power to choose the direction of her life.  It is this new found sense of self that ultimately leads to her surprising decision at the conclusion of My Master, and heralds the beginning of Sara's adventures in If I Were You.
The Master Undone takes both the reader and Mark into new and uncharted waters.  This novella is told from Mark's POV and takes place after Rebecca.  As such, it is being reviewed separately.
Mark seems very detached and broken.  He is a drowning man, grasping for  any life preserver.  
What he finds is Chrystal, a woman who takes control instead of giving it and is a most skilled teacher to his apt pupil.  Mark's true loss of control and fear of said loss, take a bit of getting used to after reading Rebecca's story.  

The collection of stories found in Rebecca's Lost Journals lights both a fire of passion in the readers' souls, and stokes embers of love in their hearts.

*This literary work is recommended to readers 18+ due to sexual situations*

Can A Book About The Power Of Lies Reveal "The Truth About Alice"?

The Truth About AliceTitle:  The Truth About Alice
Author:  Jennifer Mathieu
Format:  ERC
Length:  208 pages
Publisher:  Roaring Brook Press
Rating:  5 Stars

Everyone has a lot to say about Alice Franklin, and it’s stopped mattering whether it’s true. The rumors started at a party when Alice supposedly had sex with two guys in one night. When school starts everyone almost forgets about Alice until one of those guys, super-popular Brandon, dies in a car wreck that was allegedly all Alice’s fault. Now the only friend she has is a boy who may be the only other person who knows the truth, but is too afraid to admit it. Told from the perspectives of popular girl Elaine, football star Josh, former outcast Kelsie, and shy genius Kurt, we see how everyone has a motive to bring – and keep – Alice down.  -Goodreads 

My Thoughts
Sadly, stories of mass bulling have become almost common place.  Never before however, has there been a story told from the bullies (in this case there are more than one) points of view.
What we have in the case of The Truth About Alice, is the perfect blend of small town nosiness, coupled with a smattering of he said/she said, a cup or two of jealousy, and a pinch or two of lies.  When all of this is allowed to simmer in apathy; what you have is a recipe for destruction.  The destruction of Alice Franklin, in this case.
The biggest draw of this story is the fact that it cold happen to anyone.  You never know what secrets people hide behind their smiles.  It soon becomes clear that Alice is not the monster that they make her out to be.
She is simply a girl, who like any other girl has made mistakes and is trying to live her life.
This book cuts to the core of what it means to be a scapegoat.  The fall-guy for others' shortcomings, unfulfilled desires, fears and insecurities. 

Get Caught Up In The Emotion Found At "The Edge of Falling"

The Edge of Falling Title:  The Edge of Falling
Author:  Rebecca Serle
Format:  ERC
Length:  304 pages
Publisher:  Simon Pulse
Rating: 4 Stars

Growing up in privileged, Manhattan social circles, Caggie’s life should be perfect, and it almost was until the day that her younger sister drowned when Caggie was supposed to be watching her. Stricken by grief, Caggie pulls away from her friends and family, only to have everyone misinterpret a crucial moment when she supposedly saves a fellow classmate from suicide. Now she’s famous for something she didn’t do and everyone lauds her as a hero. But inside she still blames herself for the death of her sister and continues to pull away from everything in her life, best friend and perfect boyfriend included. Then Caggie meets Astor, the new boy at school, about whom rumors are swirling and known facts are few. In Astor she finds someone who just might understand her pain, because he has an inner pain of his own. But the more Caggie pulls away from her former life to be with Astor, the more she realizes that his pain might be darker, and deeper, than anything she’s ever felt. His pain might be enough to end his life…and Caggie’s as well  -Goodreads

My Thoughts
Mcalister Caufield, is a girl who from a outward appearances, has it all.

1.  She is at the top of the pecking order in the elite world of the New York young and wealthy.
2.  She has great friends.
3.  An awesome boyfriend.at
4.  She saved someone's life.

Or at least...that's what everyone thinks

Come just a bit closer however, and the cracks in the facade that is her life become glaringly obvious.

1.  She is barely making it through school.
2.  She is avoiding her friends like the plague.
3.  She can't stand the sight of her boyfriend.
4.  She is responsible for the death of someone she loved.

The Edge of Falling, is not a book that leads the reader into a very involved plot from the start.
In fact, the first half of the book is less about the meat of the plot (Mcalister's inability to deal with her loss) and more about her crumbling relationships with friends, family, boyfriend, etc., and the fact that she has been wrongly labeled a heroine.
It is not until the "chance" meeting with Astor (hauntingly sexy, dark, troubled, suffering with his own brand of loss) that Mcalister's real issues surface and this hidden gem of a book starts to shine.

The most impressive aspect of this book is the raw emotion that is allowed to come to the forefront once the veils of material wealth and trappings of social standing are allowed to fall.
It is that real pain, confusion, hurt, loss, fear, and finally acceptance which allows this story to make the jump from mediocrity to greatness.

This is a wonderful book, that deserves to be read.  Please take the time to wade into the deeper end of this literary pool.  The message found here just might be the life preserver you, or someone you know is in need of.

Let Love Find You in "The Geography Of You and Me"

The Geography of You and MeTitle:  The Geography of You and Me
Author:  Jennifer E. Smith
Format:  ERC
Length:  352 pages
Publisher:  Little Brown and Co.
Rating:  5 Stars

Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they're rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.

Lucy and Owen's relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and -- finally -- a reunion in the city where they first met.

A carefully charted map of a long-distance relationship, Jennifer E. Smith's new novel shows that the center of the world isn't necessarily a place. It can be a person, too.  -Goodreads

My Thoughts
The Geography of You and Me is one part guided world tour, teenaged Meg Ryan movie, one part "I can't believe that just happened", and altogether AMAZING!!!

In a world seemingly built on the "60 second hook-up" and a city known to "move at the speed of light";  Lucy and Owen manage to lose time and find each other.
As is true in life however, and as they all too soon come to learn...time and life wait for no one.
Lucy is destined for Scotland, Owen for the West-coast of the U.S.
Can  delicate bonds forged on the night when "the city that never sleeps" dozed off , hold these two hearts together even as time and distance conspire to pull them apart?

Jennifer E. Smith has done it again.  Her vibrant, honest, and heartfelt writing style brings characters to life with an easy realism that seems effortlessly conveyed.
The story of Lucy and Owen is one that could, and most likely has happened to readers in some capacity.  This real-life scenario is one that produces an almost instant connection between reader and audience.
Owen and Lucy are both good people trying to deal with very imperfect lives as best they can.  The bright spot that their budding romance seems to cast on the rather dreary landscape of their lives, is one that readers are loathed to see snuffed.  It is because of this, that one spends the majority of the read praying for that next email, postcard, etc.

The Geography of You and Me is about so much more than a journey of miles.  It is about life and the twists, turns, hills, and valleys that make up its scenery.  It is about moments, and how those moments come to shape who we are.  It is about choice and how we choose what and who is important to our existence. It is about love...and the lengths we will go to follow our hearts.

Give Yourself Over To The Sin and Sensuality That Is "Soul Surrender"

Soul Surrender (Soul Stripper, #3)Title:   Soul Surrender
(Soul Stripper #3)
Author:  Katana Collins
Format:  ERC
Length:  320 pages
Publisher:  Kensington
Rating:  5 Stars

Who knew sex could be so deadly. . .
A fallen angel with a bounty on her head, Monica's a succubus with an unquenchable craving for sex. With one pulse-pounding orgasm, she consumes just enough of a person's soul to keep her alive. Of course that means human lovers are off limits, and so she keeps her distance from  Drew, the one mortal she actually cares about. But Drew's been missing since his escape from Hell, and now her boss Lucien has gone MIA. Chased by every assassin this side of immortality, Monica has no choice but to abandon her low profile and put her own eternal life in danger. . .
Praise for Katana Collins
"What a ride! I can't wait to see what happens next in this fantastic new series!" --Caitlin Crews, USA Today bestselling author
"Erotica buffs will embrace this modern-day paranormal story, which is filled to the brim with sex, shifters and demons." --RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars, on Soul Stripper
This book contains adult content  -Goodreads

My Thoughts
Authoress Katana Collins has managed to both thrill and titillate audiences with the first two books in the Soul Stripper series.  Her third offering, Soul Surrender, does not disappoint on either count.

It seems that things have gone from bad to worse for Monica.  There is still a bounty on her head, Drew has gone missing from Hell, and Lucian...well let's just say that he has been stolen...for lack of a better explanation.
And that's just the first few chapters!
This series has been an edge-of-your seat, sinfully sexy, paranormal plot parade from the very start, and Soul Surrender has proven to be all that and more.

While Monica is allowed to strut her sexy succubus stuff just as she has in previous reads; the sensual side of things takes a welcome backseat this ride, making way for a story that has to be read!
Where the last book allowed Damien and Lord Buckley's stars to shine; this one is all about Lucian,
or I should say, Lucian's disappearance.
It seems that the Adonis of Arch-demons has gone missing and the list of people and reasons for his disappearance gets longer and more dangerous as the story progresses.
Uping the "feels" ante just a bit more is a flashback to an earlier assignment involving Monica and Lucian in 1776.  Yep, that's right.  During the Revolutionary War. Care to hazard a guess as to what side they were on?

I could and would happily go on to divulge more of the many sordid and drool worthy goings on, but in the interest of time and non spoilage...I won't.

What I will say is that this is the third and hopefully not the final book in what has proven to be a stellar Urban Fantasy series.  If you like stories where bad isn't always bad, sinners have souls, and good isn't always good for you...look no further.

Dark Fantasy Lives And Breathes In "Dreams and Shadows"

Dreams and Shadows Title:  Dreams and Shadows
(Dreams and Shadows #1)
Author: C. Robert  Cargill
Format:  Print
Length:  448 pages
Publisher:  Harper Voyager
Rating:  5 Stars

A brilliantly crafted modern tale from acclaimed film critic and screenwriter C. Robert Cargill—part Neil Gaiman, part Guillermo Del Toro, part William S. Burroughs—that charts the lives of two boys from their star-crossed childhood in the realm of magic and mystery to their anguished adulthoods

There is another world than our own—one no closer than a kiss and one no further than our nightmares—where all the stuff of which dreams are made is real and magic is just a step away. But once you see that world, you will never be the same.

Dreams and Shadows takes us beyond this veil. Once bold explorers and youthful denizens of this magical realm, Ewan is now an Austin musician who just met his dream girl, and Colby, meanwhile, cannot escape the consequences of an innocent wish. But while Ewan and Colby left the Limestone Kingdom as children, it has never forgotten them. And in a world where angels relax on rooftops, whiskey-swilling genies argue metaphysics with foul-mouthed wizards, and monsters in the shadows feed on fear, you can never outrun your fate.

Dreams and Shadows is a stunning and evocative debut about the magic and monsters in our world and in our self.  -Goodreads

My Thoughts

Welcome to the world of the vivid scream.  
A world where children live but childhoods die.
A world where two boys, a djinn, and a changeling meet and are forever...never the same.
A world where bloodied Red Caps thirst for yet shed blood and devils ride night winds.
A world both tangible and transient.
A world where only what is mist and fog survives.
The place of Dreams and Shadows.

Dreams and Shadows is an amazing juxtaposition of extremes.  The childhood escape that is the world of magic and fantasy; turned on its ear, given fangs, claws, and bloodlust...and allowed free reign over the imaginations of unsuspecting readers.

Audiences are drawn into a world that  warns of danger at every turn.  A world where nothing is what it seems, and there is a price to be paid for every boon.
While it is true that this story stars Colby, Ewan, Knocks, and a djinn; it would not do the story justice to limit its scope by saying that it is about them.
Their stories may be your ticket to enter and you coat check when you leave, but they are far from the only ones told at this party.  
There are fairies, demons, merfolk, and angels of every elk to be found here...all waiting to whisper a tale or two.
The thing that sets what is at its heart the cautionary tale of Dreams and Shadows apart, is the author's ability to present characters who are by all accounts villains as sympathetic slaves to their baser instincts.  In other words, the reader is often faced with the question, "Could this be you in this circumstance?"

Dreams and Shadows explores the part of fantasy where the dark things make their home.  As such, this is a very gory read.  Though child characters lie at its heart, this book is definitely written for adults.

Dreams and Shadows 
was just

Continue the journey
The Queen of Dark Things

Be Lucky Enough To Indulge All of Your Romantic Fantasies!

Today Indulgence Books is excited to share about our sexy March releases from three amazing authors that readers will want to snap up today!

The Rancher’s Second Chance by Victoria James

Widowed rancher Cole Forrester is all about running his family's ranch and guarding his heart. The last thing he's looking for is love, but when his little sister can't make it home to handle some of her wedding details, he's forced to entertain the event planner, Melanie Simms. Melanie is everything he's not even remotely interested in: she's high-society, complicated, and high maintenance. But when he's stranded with her at his remote cabin in the Colorado mountains, he realizes he's seriously underestimated her. She's hiding something about her past from him, but despite everything, he finds himself falling for the last woman he ever expected, and the first woman to make him want to give his heart and risk everything...

On sale for a limited time for just $.99!  Pick up your copy today.

Find The Rancher’s Second Chance Online:

Find Victoria Online:

Crash Into Love by Sofia Grey – an Indulgence novella

Cass thought spending a month at a beachside hideaway relaxing and collecting shells would be the perfect escape to finish her novel. When she meets the dark and brooding—and much younger—Jonah, who’s staying next door, her book becomes the last thing on her mind.

Jonah would rather stay home alone than go on vacation with his brother and their friends, but does his best to tolerate the situation after being convinced to go. But when he sees the beauty next door, he can’t avoid his attraction.

Together, they break all the rules, but will Cass be able to bring Jonah out of his shell forever, or will he leave her with only the crash of the surf to keep her company?

Find Crash Into Love Online:

Find Sofia Online:

Passionate Persuasion by Rosemary Clement-Moore – A Date By Mistake Novella

A hot playboy who has left a string of hearts in his wake can’t forget the cellist who haunted his fantasies. Now it is his turn to use his power of persuasion to prove he’s the only man to keep her satisfied.
Find Passionate Persuasion Online:

Find Rosemary Online:

HFVBT Presents: The Collector of Dying Breaths

Publication Date: April 8, 2014The Collector of Dying BreathsAtria Books
Hardcover; 384p
ISBN-10: 1451621531
From one of America’s most imaginative storytellers comes a passionate tale of love and treachery, spanning the days of Catherine de Medici’s court to the twenty-first century and starring a woman drawn back, time and again, to the past.
In 1533, an Italian orphan with an uncanny knack for creating fragrance is plucked from poverty to become Catherine de Medici’s perfumer. To repay his debt, over the years René le Florentine is occasionally called upon to put his vast knowledge to a darker purpose: the creation of deadly poisons used to dispatch the Queen’s rivals.
But it’s René’s other passion—a desire to reanimate a human breath, to bring back the lives of the two people whose deaths have devastated him—that incites a dangerous treasure hunt five centuries later. That’s when Jac L’Etoile—suffering from a heartache of her own—becomes obsessed with the possibility of unlocking Rene’s secret to immortality.
Soon Jac’s search reconnects her with Griffin North, a man she’s loved her entire life. Together they confront an eccentric heiress whose art collection rivals many museums and who is determined to keep her treasures close at hand, not just in this life but in her next.
Set in the forest of Fontainebleau, crisscrossing the lines between the past and the present, M.J. Rose has written a mesmerizing tale of passion and obsession. This is a gothic tale perfect for fans of Anne Rice, Deborah Harkness, and Diana Galbadon.

Praise for The Collector of Dying Breaths

“History, mystery, ambition, lust, love, death and the timeless quest for immortality…a riveting tale of suspense.” – B.A.Shapiro, New York Times bestselling author of The Art Forger
“Mysterious, magical, and mythical…what a joy to read!” – Sara Gruen, New York Times bestselling author
My Thoughts
M.J. Rose has managed to imbue the world of perfume creation with a mystique and grandoure that draws readers in much the same manner that an enticing scent on warm skin draws a lover.
The present and the past coincide within this read; with stories of the perfumer Renee Le Florintine, who is plucked from obscurity by none other than Catherine de Medici, and brought into her court to server as her personal perfumer.  For Rene however, all things fragrant are not the rose.  He soon discovers that his duties to the queen are far more nefarious than he could have imagined.  He must use his gift to concoct death potions that his queen then uses against her rivals.
Rene is a man with a few secrets of his own.  Determained to right the wrongs and regain the losses of his past, he becomes obsessed with reanimation of the dead.  Armed with a store of ornate bottles containing the 'last breaths of the dying', Rene is a man bound both by his passion for creation and his duty to destroy.
The link to modern time can be found in the story of Jac L'Etoile.  Jac is a woman struggling with her own spectors of grief and loss,doing all she can to distance herself from the perfuming world into which she was born, and the powerful psychic images that the scents found there evoke.  When her work as a mythologist puts Rene's journals and their alchemical secrets in her lap; the lure of possibility is too great to resist.
This book has much to offer the reader.  There is of course the historical aspect with Rene and his tale of court and crown.  There are the almost magical elements of both alchemy and reincarnation. There are two perfectly heart wrenching tales of loss. Let's not forget lies, intrigue, and mystery.  If that's not enough...there is romance, romance, romance.
Readers who are not familiar with the writings of MJ Rose will be happily surprised to find tha this is not the first story involving Jac.  Not to worry though the story found here does well as a stand alone.
Readers will also be impressed by the share amount of research that has gone into Rose's descriptions of the uses of oils, scents, and the like.  She seamlessly incorporates the nuts and bolts of the machine into the story in such a way that one is never distracted from the beauty and flow of said work.
The only true negative of this astounding read is the slowing down of the plot toward the end.  This is an engrossing and stimulating read that is sure to pique your interest, light your fire, and stir your soul.
Tour Hashtag: #DyingBreathsTour

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About the AuthorM.J. Rose

M.J. Rose is the international best selling author of fourteen novels and two non-fiction books on marketing. Her fiction and non-fiction has appeared in many magazines and reviews including Oprah Magazine. She has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the ’80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors – Authorbuzz.com. The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose’s novels in the Renincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and runs the blog- Buzz, Balls & Hype. She is also the co-founder of Peroozal.com and BookTrib.com.

Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.
For more information on M.J. Rose and her novels, please visit her website. You can also find her onFacebookTwitter and Goodreads.