Monday, February 20, 2012

ARC Review: The Book of Lost Fragrances

Title: The Book of Lost Fragrances
Author: M.J. Rose
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Suspense
Release Date: March 13th

A sweeping and suspenseful tale of secrets, intrigue, and lovers separated by time, all connected through the mystical qualities of a perfume created in the days of Cleopatra—and lost for 2,000 years.

Jac L’Etoile has always been haunted by the past, her memories infused with the exotic scents that she grew up surrounded by as the heir to a storied French perfume company. In order to flee the pain of those remembrances—and of her mother’s suicide—she moves to America, leaving the company in the hands of her brother Robbie. But when Robbie hints at an earth-shattering discovery in the family archives and then suddenly goes missing—leaving a dead body in his wake—Jac is plunged into a world she thought she’d left behind.

Back in Paris to investigate her brother’s disappearance, Jac discovers a secret the House of L’Etoile has been hiding since 1799: a scent that unlocks the mysteries of reincarnation. The Book of Lost Fragrances fuses history, passion, and suspense, moving from Cleopatra’s Egypt and the terrors of revolutionary France to Tibet’s battle with China and the glamour of modern-day Paris. Jac’s quest for the ancient perfume someone is willing to kill for becomes the key to understanding her own troubled past.the ancient perfume someone is willing to kill for becomes the key to understanding her own troubled past.

The Book of Lost Fragrances touches your senses immediately from the first page.

I was drawn into this story within the pages of scents and sounds and sights through the author’s wondrous and detailed descriptions immediately and found myself intrigued from the start. The subject matter was not light though, I admit, as it touches on mythology, past-life regression and reincarnation, ancient history, Tibet’s turmoil with China, and suspense. I felt this is not something you might want if you’re just looking for “light and fast” reading--though I did read through this quickly because I was very engaged in the plot.

M.J. Rose knows how to write in a way that appeals to readers’ senses. Descriptions and details are smooth, sensuous, and vivid.

It did start a little slow for me, but it didn’t take long before it began to pick up. The parts I enjoyed most were the historical flashbacks and Jac’s perspective. This brings me to a few minor nitpicks that I found bothersome--there are many characters in this novel. I found it a struggle sometimes to keep up with everyone, and even harder when the points of views were constantly switched to them to show what was going on in their end during the events. It just came across very complicated---though very well written and suspenseful. In the end, everything did tie up together and seemed quite nicely done.

I love the idea. I would love to search into my own past lives. It’s an interesting storyline and that’s why I picked to read it. It didn’t disappoint in the slightest. Mystery and intrigue, romance and suspense--The Book of Lost Fragrances can make you intoxicated.

3.5 stars!




  1. I got a Goodreads alert about your review and saw you had only given the book 3 stars so was afraid to read the review - I almost didn't since bad ones are so hard to take. (Writers are supposed to have thick skins but don't). I read it anyway and its such a very very lovely review!!!! It's a wonderful review and thank you for reading the book.

  2. My ratings don't necessarily mean anything bad--especially if it's 3 stars and above (and as above, this was technically rated 3.5, just goodreads doesn't allow half star ratings unfortunately). :) I'm really glad you still enjoyed the review! Thank you for stopping by and I'm glad I got the chance to read this! :)


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