"It is with irony now, forty years later, to think that if I had not been called a murderer on the most frightening night of my life, there might not be any perfume in Paris today. And that scent—to which I gave my all and which gave me all the power and riches I could have hoped for—is at the heart of why now it is I who call myself a murderer."
From The Collector of Dying Breaths
"Fragrance is the first layer of dressing, a woman's invisible body suit." ―Donna Karan
In The Collector of Dying Breaths, we are taken to 16th Century France where a monk believes he has created a formula to collect a person's dying breath and supplant that breath into a living body, reigniting that soul. And so, the author approaches reincarnation from a different angle and it's brilliant.
Jaq, our recurring heroine in the series, has experienced a great loss and so the concept of capturing someone's dying breath intrigues her, while she is wary at first. She encounters an heiress who has her own reasons for wanting to know the secret, but Jaq has an agenda of her own.
Intertwined with the modern day story, we have the apprentice of the now deceased monk working closely with Catherine de Medici herself, not only as a scent maker, but as a creator of the deadly poisons with which Catherine is known to have dispatched her enemies. As usual, the author seamlessly moves back and forth from one era to the other and instead of feeling like two separate stories, they play off and compliment each other. As the reader, we never feel like we're in one time or the other, but made a part of both times.
I always look forward to a new book in this series because each book can really be read as a stand alone. The reason for this is that the author always connects the present, continuing characters and their lives to a certain era in the past and it works beautifully. I look forward to where and when the author will take us to next.
About the book
Publication Date: April 8, 2014
From one of America’s most imaginative storytellers comes a passionate tale of love and treachery, spanning the days of Catherine de Medici’s court to the twenty-first century and starring a woman drawn back, time and again, to the past.
In 1533, an Italian orphan with an uncanny knack for creating fragrance is plucked from poverty to become Catherine de Medici’s perfumer. To repay his debt, over the years René le Florentine is occasionally called upon to put his vast knowledge to a darker purpose: the creation of deadly poisons used to dispatch the Queen’s rivals.
But it’s René’s other passion—a desire to reanimate a human breath, to bring back the lives of the two people whose deaths have devastated him—that incites a dangerous treasure hunt five centuries later. That’s when Jac L’Etoile—suffering from a heartache of her own—becomes obsessed with the possibility of unlocking Rene’s secret to immortality.
Soon Jac’s search reconnects her with Griffin North, a man she’s loved her entire life. Together they confront an eccentric heiress whose art collection rivals many museums and who is determined to keep her treasures close at hand, not just in this life but in her next.
Set in the forest of Fontainebleau, crisscrossing the lines between the past and the present, M.J. Rose has written a mesmerizing tale of passion and obsession. This is a gothic tale perfect for fans of Anne Rice, Deborah Harkness, and Diana Galbadon.
Praise for The Collector of Dying Breaths
“History, mystery, ambition, lust, love, death and the timeless quest for immortality…a riveting tale of suspense.” – B.A.Shapiro, New York Times bestselling author of The Art Forger
“Mysterious, magical, and mythical…what a joy to read!” – Sara Gruen, New York Times bestselling author
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About the Author
M.J. Rose is the international best selling author of fourteen novels and two non-fiction books on marketing. Her fiction and non-fiction has appeared in many magazines and reviews including Oprah Magazine. She has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the ’80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors – Authorbuzz.com. The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose’s novels in the Renincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and runs the blog- Buzz, Balls & Hype. She is also the co-founder of Peroozal.com and BookTrib.com.
Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.
For more information on M.J. Rose and her novels, please visit her website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.
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A copy of this book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for providing it.