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The Collector of Dying Breaths

(Reincarnationist #6)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  1,556 ratings  ·  375 reviews
A lush and imaginative novel that crisscrosses time as a perfumer and a mythologist search for the fine line between potion and poison, poison and passion…and past and present.

Florence, Italy—1533: An orphan named René le Florentin is plucked from poverty to become Catherine de Medici’s perfumer. Traveling with the young duchessina from Italy to France, René brings with hi
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published April 8th 2014 by Atria Books
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Laurie Gienapp oh my!! I hadn't realized it was book #6! I'm nearly done with it... trust me, it is definitely enjoyable as a stand-alone.…moreoh my!! I hadn't realized it was book #6! I'm nearly done with it... trust me, it is definitely enjoyable as a stand-alone.(less)
Lynnette He could have been but his loyalties affected his decisions...

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Part 16th century France and part present day France, this novel effectively weaves two time pieces together in such a clever way that I didn’t even notice it at times.

In present day France, Mythologist Jac L’Etoile discovers some works by Perfumer Rene le Florentin (16th century), and a collection of dying breaths. She believes that there may be an elixir that will bring about eternal life. It also appears that she is not alone in her quest to recover this mysterious elixir.

I found the science
Jan 29, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Interesting subject matter (the history of fragrances, the middle ages, Catherine de Medici). Captivating descriptions of place (why can’t I ever find a secret, hidden chamber?) But this is less historical fiction or suspense than pure romance novel. Lots of “flowing juices” in these pages, with characters right out of an afternoon Soap.

If the Collector of Dying Breaths was a perfume I imagine it would smell like a cross between damask rose, strawberry bubblegum and attar of unlaundered bed lin
Kathy Roberts
Mar 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This work floored me.

I'm not entirely sure what I was expecting. Having never read any of M.J. Rose's works before, I believe I assumed from the synopsis and the cover that it was just another Romance novel with historical undertones and a bit of adventure to add some meat to the story.

There were, of course, Romantic elements that took up some huge real estate in the plot, but more than Romance there was an idea of loss, of accepting yourself and all of your personal oddities, of believing in
Dec 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
There is nothing inherently wrong with this book, I just didn't find enough interest in it to enjoy it. It lacked the suspense and a solid story that I like and left some holes that bothered me. Apparently there is an earlier story with some of the cast of characters that the story refers to. It's not a big deal but it rarely had significant bearing on the current story.

I found the characters to be shallow, under developed or just weird. Although the science and whatnot of 16th century alchemy
Dec 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of series, gothic literary suspense, reincarnation theories
Recommended to Katy by: NetGalley
Book Info: Genre: Literary Suspense
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Fans of the series, of gothic fiction, those interested in reincarnation theories
Book Available: In hardcover, Kindle, MP3 CD, and Audible formats
Trigger Warnings: Euthanasia, murder, suicide, torture, brother beating his sister with a whip

My Thoughts: M.J. Rose's latest Reincarnationist book is as beautifully evocative as previous entries into the series. Generally speaking, the Reincarnationist series is set up in two tril
This installment of the Reincarnationist series has us exploring the world of the Medicis, specifically Catherine, and the world of fragrance past and present.Revolving through 16th century France and the present,the reader is treated to a first class mystery and a rather explicit bodice ripping romance.
I found the history fascinating and the mystery was what I have come to expect from this author. Her entree into explicit romance was unexpected. I don't usually have much patience for juicy,(l
Jan 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
What a perfect blend of historical fiction, suspense, and a gothic and mystical tale. In this new installment in the reincarnationist series, MJ Rose has outdone herself. I have loved all her books in this series so far, with the last one being my least favorite (the part about seances and the devil did not work for me). I absolutely love the character of Jac, a mythologist, who has been the main character in the last three books, and her connection to perfume and perfume making. This book can e ...more
R.S. Carter
Two luxurious tales revolve around each other, one in present day and one in 16th century France. They are different stories, but the same as the reincarnated souls from past lovers fulfill their destinies with another chance for love.

As both stories revolve around perfumers, the writing is infused with the scents of past and present - so descriptive you can almost smell them as they waft around you, seeping up straight through the pages. It even affected me, someone who has diminished olfactory
Nov 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

M.J. Rose is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. Her stories are wonderfully imagined and the lyrical quality of her prose is point blank beyond compare. Thematically heavy, they aren't what I'd term easy reading, but I assure you, they are more than worth the time one puts into them.

Now before I get too far ahead of myself, I'd like to offer a small disclaimer about the Reincarnationist series because I think it impo
Mar 17, 2014 rated it liked it
This is my first book by MJ Rose. It had a lot of elements I enjoy, historical fiction, mansions and ruins, parallel stories, magic and the supernatural. Add in some reincarnation, romance, murder, a bit of erotic play, and you should have a bang up novel. I'm still trying to figure out what it was that didn't completely work for me. And although I know it sounds silly, it's the collection of dying breaths that I just couldn't buy. It was a bit far-fetched, and just didn't make sense to me. This ...more
Jan 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this... historical fiction with a lil mystery thrown in creating a very good story!!! Didn't realize while I was reading this that it is part of a series... look forward to reading more by this author!!! ...more
Colleen Turner
Nov 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I reviewed this book for

In MJ Rose's Reincarnationist series she introduces us to an unforgettable character named Jac L’Etoile, a woman from a long and illustrious line of French perfumers who has continually fought against her abilities to experience past life memories, her own as well as others, and who has spent her life trying to debunk the mysteries of the past in order to make sense of the mysteries surrounding her in the present. In The Collector of Dying Breaths,
Paul Pessolano
Mar 18, 2014 rated it liked it
“The Collector of Dying Breaths” by M.J. Rose, published by Atria Books.

Category – Fiction/Literature Publication Date – April 08, 2014

Rene le Florentin is taken in by monks and becomes an apprentice of Dom Serapino, a monk who is an apothecary that sometimes delves into the mysterious. When Dom Serapino dies, aided by Rene, Rene is imprisoned. He is saved from death by Catherine
De Medici. Catherine, who is destined for the French court and becomes Queen, intends to use Rene and his knowledge o
The Lit Bitch
Feb 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars.

I have been a fan of M.J. Rose since I read Seduction last year, so naturally I wanted to review this one when it came out! While I thought Seduction was wonderful, I enjoyed this one ten times more!

What I loved most about this novel was that it had a lot more romance in it. Not just for Jac but for Rene as well. Their love stories were intertwined throughout the novel which made the romance of the novel more powerful and sensual for me. The love story is what won me over in this inst
Mar 06, 2014 rated it liked it
There were many things about this book that made me really like it. Jac was a very well drawn character with a compassionate nature and an interesting background. From the beginning, her compassion for those she cared about made me feel close to her and want to keep learning more about her life.

That being said, this book was not as historical as I expected after reading the blurb. There is a lot of historical reference in it, and it does bounce back and forth between time periods, but much of t
Jan 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, 2014
The Collector of Dying Breaths by M.J. Rose is a absolutely wonderful book!

This story has everything a good book needs - there is love, sensuality, grief, secrecy, murder, theft, madness, different time periods, historically famous people, magic, dreadful end and happy end.

Once again Jac has her visions and she discovers secrets that would be otherwise undiscovered for forever. She also has to find it in her to finally believe that her souls past does not define her present and she has every rig
Rebecca Skane

Beautiful to a fault. A complete sensory immersion into the lives of two perfumers, one in 16th century France. Full review: The Collector of Dying Breaths Book Review.
J.M. Cornwell
Nov 26, 2013 rated it really liked it

I began this journey with Jac L'Etoile in Seduction and I admit it was a bit difficult getting into the rhythm of the way the book is put together. The historical perspectives were very much like Jac's memory lurches and were a bit disconcerting. I've read several books in the series culminating in Collector of Dying Breaths. I wondered how M. J. Rose would incorporate perfumes and reincarnation into the story and now I know.

Jac's brother is dying from some unknown disease and he's going quickly

Oct 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
4.0 out of 5 stars - Compelling, fascinating, historical fiction with a supernatural element and a theme centering on the subject of reincarnation.

This conclusion to the trilogy featuring mythbuster and perfumer Jac L’Etoile brings closure to a very entertaining series, but I must say that I'm sad to see it end. I especially enjoyed the descriptions of life and times in the 1500s from the point of view of René le Florentine and learning about the machinations of Catherine de Medici and her cour
Mar 15, 2014 rated it really liked it

Do you believe in the idea of reincarnation and of the ability to reanimate someone using their last breath? You don't need to in order to read this book, but I am sure you would find it even more fascinating if you did. As it is, I need to suspend belief on lots of the things that drive the characters and that happen in the book but, in this case, it didn't hamper my enjoyment of the book. That isn't always the case as I have a bit of an up and down reaction to M J Rose's books. The last book i
In 1500’s France, René le Florentine becomes perfumer to Catherine de Medici after she saves him after he’s been accused of murder. But being a royal perfumer isn’t his sole passion, it’s trying to capture person’s dying breath to make an elixir that will bring person back to life.
At present-day France Jac promises her dying brother to continue his work trying to figure out the dying breath mystery that he was doing for a wealthy couple. Even as Jac starts to have suspicions about the couple, sh
Mar 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Collector of Dying Breaths is a wonderful book of intrigue, sensuality and deadly passion. This totally mesmerized me and I couldn’t put it down. I was caught in its fire and I couldn’t put it down.

In the beginning, Jac is in denial and pain. She isn’t able to accept her abilities or her life. However, by trying to fulfill her brother’s experiments she is able to finally accept who she is and not live her life in fear. She has found her passion again and it is a deep and sensual passion. Her
The title of this book caught my eye. A collector of dying breaths? Hmmm. Then the book jacket reinforced my urge to check out this book. The book shifts, chapter to chapter, from the 16th century to the 21st century and back again. One story is about the perfumer to Catherine de Medici, the other is about a modern day perfumer in Paris. There's intrigue and suspense here and you could tell there'd be some action between forces for good and forces for evil. Imagine capturing someone's dying brea ...more
Apr 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Another wonderful read from M. J. Rose. I really enjoy all the books from this series. This book does feature Jac from L'Etoile from Seduction and The Book of Lost Fragrances. If you have not read either of these books that is ok as the author does a nice job of making this book allowable to be read as a stand alone novel.

This series is my favorite time travel period series. M. J. can really make both the past and present as equally interesting. However this time it was the past that I was the
Christy English
Apr 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As THE COLLETOR OF DYING BREATHS by MJ Rose opens Jac’s brother is dying and no medical expert can figure out why. The last of her living family, as she watches her brother waste away, she begins to wonder if perhaps he has been poisoned.

Jac faces her loneliness at the loss of her brother and best friend, but faces the truth that her loneliness has ever been her constant companion. She turned away the only man she ever loved, and is unable to connect truly with anyone or anything, save for her w
Feb 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd read Seduction last year, and quite enjoyed it, so I was delighted to be able to get The Collector of Dying Breaths ahead of time. And it didn't disappoint at all. In fact, I think I enjoyed it more. The intrigue of the court of Catherine de'Medici, and the present-day mystery of Jac's strange employers, combined to make a novel that kept me reading intently. If I hadn't had to sleep, and work, I'd likely have inhaled it in a single (rather long) sitting.

Jac's brother Robbie has died, and sh
I loved this book! I've never read any of M. J. Rose's books before but this definitely made me want to try them too because they have Jac in them and well, I read this out of order. This is such a unique story about magic, perfume, theft, murder, history, etc. And it all starts in the Renaissance Italy of the Medicis with a perfumer that was trying to create the elixir of life. This story spans centuries beautifully.
Romance was a big part of the story but didn't take away from the other themes
Oct 03, 2013 rated it did not like it
Having read and enjoyed some of this author's previous books in her Reincarnationist series, I anticipated this novel (#6) with great eagerness. Unfortunately, I was hugely disappointed. This book had great potential, given the rich and intriguing historical back story; however, the book felt poorly executed and never developed into the captivating tale I was hoping for. Instead, it was a struggle simply to finish. I know some readers have loved this book, but sadly it just wasn't for me.
Our ful
Mar 18, 2014 rated it liked it
I received this book free from Net Galley and Atria Books in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for the opportunity!!!

I really tried to get into this book. I have heard so many good things about M.J. Rose, but apparently, this was not the book to start reading.

There was way too much blatant sex going on in this book and I found myself skipping more pages than reading them.

Obviously, this is not my genre and my review should not be taken as anything against this author. I will maybe try rea
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New York Times Bestseller, M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother's favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice... books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and re

Other books in the series

Reincarnationist (6 books)
  • The Reincarnationist (Reincarnationist, #1)
  • The Memorist (Reincarnationist, #2)
  • The Hypnotist (Reincarnationist, #3)
  • The Book of Lost Fragrances (Reincarnationist, #4)
  • Seduction (Reincarnationist, #5)

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