Friday, July 26, 2019

Julie's Review: Meet Me in Monaco

Author: Hazel Gaynor & Heather Webb
Series: None
Publication Date: July 23, 2019
Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 384
Obtained: publisher via Netgalley
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Bottom Line: Romance with a dash of history added in
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab

Summary: Movie stars and paparazzi flock to Cannes for the glamorous film festival, but Grace Kelly, the biggest star of all, wants only to escape from the flash-bulbs. When struggling perfumer Sophie Duval shelters Miss Kelly in her boutique to fend off a persistent British press photographer, James Henderson, a bond is forged between the two women and sets in motion a chain of events that stretches across thirty years of friendship, love, and tragedy. James Henderson cannot forget his brief encounter with Sophie Duval. Despite his guilt at being away from his daughter, he takes an assignment to cover the wedding of the century, sailing with Grace Kelly’s wedding party on the SS Constitution from New York. In Monaco, as wedding fever soars and passions and tempers escalate, James and Sophie—like Princess Grace—must ultimately decide what they are prepared to give up for love. 

Review: Grace Kelly and her visit to the Cannes Film Festival is the catalyst for Sophie Duval and James Henderson meeting but she is not responsible for the sparks that fly between them. She brings them together by trying to outwit James by coming into Sophie's parfumerie and hiding in the office. By happenstance they meet again only to cause Sophie to start questioning why she's always been a non-risk taker. Does she have what it takes to save her business, her passion?

Sophie has been happy to create her perfumes in her factory/lab in Grasse but it's the sales part of the business she struggles with in Cannes, until Grace Kelly commissions one of her fragrances for her wedding to the Prince of Monaco. Will she be able to capitalize on her notarity? Will she also take Grace's advice and follow her heart.

James is battling his own issues at work. He's too gifted of a photographer to be working in a newspaper. So when the opportunity to work for a gallery and do the work he truly wants to do arises, he takes the matters into his own hands. It doesn't hurt that the gallery puts him in great proximity to Sophie.

It is the romance between James and Sophie that you get caught up in. How they get to know each other between their letter correspondences while they are apart. How they fall in love with who the other is before even having a proper kiss. I feel that there is something to that in these days of instant gratification. Their loved developed on pages before they had a chance to spend time together.

One thing I was missing was the true essence of the friendship between Grace and Sophie. I wanted their friendship to bloom outside of correspondence and I didn't get that. I do feel that there was a mutual appreciation and affection but friendship is a stretch. Grace Kelly is the backdrop to the story that is James and Sophie.

If you are looking for a romance in a beautiful location, then definitely pick up Meet Me in Monaco.



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