Carol (Reading Ladies)'s Reviews > Meet Me in Monaco

Meet Me in Monaco by Hazel Gaynor
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really liked it

Set in the 1950s at the time Grace Kelly first meets Prince Rainier of Monaco, this romantic historical fiction story follows the imagined lives of a perfumer, Sophie Duval, and a British press photographer, James Henderson. As Sophie develops an exclusive perfume for Grace Kelly and James is an assigned photographer, the wedding of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier is the backdrop of the bittersweet and star crossed romance of Sophie and James.

"To be a parfumeur is to be a keeper of memories, Sophie. Every scent will remind you of something, or someone."

The setting is exquisite and the details of creating fragrance is interesting. Easy reading and overall well written by the "H Team," the story did have one glaring weakness for me. The story jumps twenty six years in one page and I felt the transition was abrupt and I caught myself needing to reread to find out what had just happened! Even though the transition is separated by a Part III section break, I read two pages before I realized what had happened. I wish the transition had been smoother.

SPOILER ALERT: The next paragraph contains a SPOILER (you may want to skip it if you haven't read the story:

Part II ends with the wedding of Princess Grace and Part III begins with her funeral. Because of this twenty six year gap, I was left with lots of questions about what happened in the lives of the two main characters. It didn't seem realistic to me that in light of their love story that they didn't make some attempt to see each other. The ending redeemed the story, but I felt dissatisfied with the unrealistic lack of communication during the unaccounted for time period. This frustration doesn't affect my recommendation to read this story because there's a lot to love, but it is a personal preference that did affect my Star rating.

Recommended for readers of romantic historical fiction, for those who want to read more details about the wedding of Princess Grace, for fans of the "H Team," and for book clubs. Gaynor and Webb are favorite authors, and I will definitely read the next story they create for us!

Two other stories with perfume themes are The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister and The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro.

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Reading Progress

August 25, 2019 – Started Reading
August 25, 2019 – Shelved
August 28, 2019 – Finished Reading

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