So my latest romance read has taken me weeks. Weeks of boredom. Thankfully Malin reminded us CBR Romancers that the new Lucy Parker comes out next week (which I preordered months ago). All this is to say it gave me finally the motivation to finish this snore fest so I’m ready to go for Tuesday!
A Crown of Bitter Orange is the latest in Laura Florand’s La Vie en Rose series. It’s the only one I’ve read in this series so far, and it’s the only one I will be for a while. Her Paris Nights series that she is concurrently writing has been much better so far. I will be sticking with those for now.
A Crown of Bitter Orange is the story of Malorie, a French perfume accountant at a big perfume company in New York, and Tristan, her childhood friend turned world class perfumer. Tristan and Malorie have known each other all their lives. They’ve had their ups and downs at friendship over the years, but when Malorie comes home to France to settle her grandmother’s estate Tristan decides to make one last go for Malorie. Things progress from there.
It was just so mediocre. When Ms. Florand is on, she is ON. They’re full of quick wit, excellent smolder, and wonderfully three dimensional characters. When she is off, she veers off the rails, but this was in between which resulted in a *shrug*. Tristan was a very modern and thoughtful hero. He actually contemplated how a woman would feel before he touched her (and the fact that him touching her might make her uncomfortable and therefore not okay to do). Shocking, but lovely to read. He was very much a hero that avoids so many of the common things we complain about in romances (especially on the “forcing” front).
But otherwise, they were just. so. boring. Malorie has daddy/grandaddy/great grandaddy issues and is closed off and independent. That is her entire characterization. There was zero spark or sizzle when the two were together. Tristan is always trying to be patient waiting for her to see him, and she does but refuses to tell him. While I appreciated what would have been high drama in another book was resolved in a thoughtful conversation here, I just couldn’t care at the end. They were fine, if uninteresting characters.
So I shall continue to avoid this series, but anxiously await April when the next Paris Nights comes out as Chase Me was surprisingly good and fun. Go read that one instead.