Synopsis provided by the author.
Perfume is the essence of beauty, the heart of illusion, the soul of desire. It is my past, my present, my future. —from the journal of Danielle Bretancourt.
When French perfumer and aristocrat Danielle Bretancourt steps aboard a luxury ocean liner, leaving her son behind in Poland with his grandmother, she has no idea that her life is about to change forever. The year is 1939, and the declaration of war on the European continent soon threatens her beloved family, scattered across many countries. Traveling through London and Paris into occupied Poland, Danielle searches desperately for the remains of her family, relying on the strength of Jonathan Newell-Grey, a British shipping heir and Royal Navy officer. Finally, in the wake of unspeakable tragedy, she is forced to gather the fragments of her impoverished family and flee to America. There she vows to begin life anew, in 1940s Los Angeles.
Amidst the glamour of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Danielle works her way up from meager jobs to perfumer and fashion designer. Still, personal happiness eludes her. Can her sheer force of will attract the elusive love she desires, or will it only come at the ultimate cost?
This beautiful looking cover drew me in and I immediately found myself in a very engaging book with a storyline that made it very difficult to put down. Danielle Bretancourt is a very strong woman who is determined to do the best for her family despite the horrific and traumatic situations they find themselves in. Her story is set in France, Poland and America during the years of the Second World War where happiness is difficult when family is fighting against family, undercover war work has to come before family and death and destruction are never far away. Danielle’s escape is in her perfume work and her skill and determination means she has the ability to change her life through her work. It is the first book that has ever made my nose tingle, as I could almost smell the fragrance descriptions as I was reading it.
Danielle is torn between remaining in Europe to search for her young son who has disappeared in Poland or taking her remaining family to the safety of America and to a new life that must be built from scratch. Wherever she is she never gives up on her goals no matter how low she gets and she often puts her happiness second to making the right decisions for her family. There are men in her life and she is a passionate woman, but it seems that circumstance always puts the right man in the wrong place at the wrong time. There were many very moving parts to this book that made me cry.
This book is more than just a romance novel and would appeal to those who enjoy reading about the French perfume and fashion industries and those with an interest in historical fiction set during the 1930’s and 1940’s.
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This book will be available from Amazon UK in ebook format from 31st March and in paperback from 1st May.