Layla “Belle Woods” Dubois has just won a Grammy for her Indie rock album, but is fleeing to the French countryside in a desperate hope that she will find some inspiration, or there won’t be a second album any time soon. She’s “accidentally” drowned her phone in a fountain and is hoping to stay away from press attention and the demands of her producers for long enough that she can write some new songs and rediscover her love of playing. Visiting the house she’s inherited in Provence seems like the perfect plan.
Matthieu Rosier is one of five very competitive male cousins, and the appointed heir of their grandfather. While his other cousins have been able to go off into the world on adventures, Matt has stayed in the Rosier valley his entire life, devoting his life to taking care of its inhabitants and the precious roses that grow throughout, providing essences to the perfume industry. The valley is HIS, just as he considers his life a gift to the valley, occasionally envious of his other cousins, but all the same, content with his lot in life. So when he discovers that his great-aunt has gifted the house he has spent several months modernising and a part of the land of the valley to some petite American, he is not happy. His grandfather, one of the brave Resistance heroes of France, wants him to consider Layla as the enemy, doing everything in his power to drive her away and reclaim the family land.
Of course, when Layla and Matt first meet, neither know of the coming enmity. It’s Matt’s 30th birthday party and he’s more than a little drunk. As Layla arrives, helplessly lost without her phone to provide GPS, he is instantly smitten and decides to introduce her to all his cousins as his girlfriend, just to make sure none of them lay claim to her first. At one point he actually bodily picks her up and carries her through the room. Layla is surprised, but quite charmed by his flirtatious behaviour. She eventually manages to get across to some of the more sober wedding guests that her car has broken down and she is lost, and is given a place to stay for the night. Of course, the next morning, the reason for her presence in the valley is revealed, and everything changes.
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