Pretty much everything here originally appeared at my actual blog: By Singing Light. I particularly focus on upper middle-grade and young adult books. I also enjoy adult genre books, especially speculative fiction.
A Wish Upon Jasmine is the 2nd full length book in Florand’s new series, set in Provence. I’ve been really enjoying this series, and this book was no exception–in fact, it might be my favorite so far! Several of the themes carry over from previous stories, especially the relationships within the Rosier family, and the secrets they keep from outsider and from each other.
Jasmine Bianchi’s father was from Provence, and after his death she gets word that she has been given a property in the town where he grew up. She is very good at what she does–creating new perfumes–and yet she’s been unable to shake the image of an old perfume called Spoiled Brat. Provence seems like a place to start over, since she’s still mourning her father and also a brief relationship that ended badly and that she sees as a betrayal. At the same time, she is wary of the Rosiers, based on the stories her dad told her when he was still alive.
Damien Rosier is ruthless, heartless. Everyone knows that. But in fact, he works to protect his family, to protect the town and region and keep it going despite changing times and business practices. And secretly, he wants someone to see him as something other than a shark. He thought Jasmine might have been that person once, but then he took over her company and she disappeared. When she shows up again on his home turf, he knows he will have to tread carefully.
I really loved this one a lot. The characters worked very well for me, despite the fact that the initial set-up might seem a little coincidental. Jasmine wants to hold a grudge against Damien, but one of her gifts is seeing things clearly, and it quickly becomes obvious that the heartless Damien Rosier she has in her head doesn’t entirely match reality. And Damien’s combination of ruthlessness and the feeling of being trapped in that role while no one really sees him also worked really well for me. (Damien = swoon fest, basically.)
I also love the way Florand writes about the land and the family history. It gives the love story a depth and texture that makes the whole thing so rich and beautiful. Each of the three stories in this series so far have looked at different ways of interacting with and reacting to history and responsibility, while at the same time, they have also built on each other, shading in different layers and meanings. Finally–I am very very interested in Antoine Vallier, the lawyer who attempts to go up against Damien. I’ll say no more!
Laura Florand is a Twitter friend and all around lovely person–she offered a review copy of this one, which I happily accepted. However, I am also genuinely a fan of her books and all of the opinions in this review are absolutely my own.
Book source: review copy from author
Book information: 2015, self-published; adult romance