Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
ebook published: November 21, 2016
Publication Date: December 13, 2016
At the end of October I reviewed both of the previous books in The Rousseaus series, Jonquils for Jax and Marry Me Mad; you can see the review here. I really adored both novels and being introduced to the Rousseau family as well as the author Katy Regnery. After reading so many romance books and finding a lot of them to be of the cookie-cutter mold, Regnery’s Rousseau series was sparkling with newness. So you can imagine my anticipation to read the third book in the series, J.C. and the Bijoux Jolis.
As in Jonquils for Jax and Marry Me Mad, the timeline for J.C. and the Bijoux Jolis overlaps somewhat. Jean-Christian, the oldest Rousseau sibling, is best man for his brother, Etienne, while Libitz is the maid-of-honor for her best friend, Kate. Both J.C. and Lib are notoriously promiscuous so it seems only natural that they would hook-up, except that Lib thinks it would be a bad idea since they would probably see a lot of each other in the future. J.C. can’t get Lib out of his mind, probably because she’s one of the few to turn him away. His obsession increases when his sister, Jax, shows him a painting that’s been in the attic. The model is a replica of Libitz.
J.C. and the Bijoux Jolis started out well enough. Much of the conversation at the beginning between J.C. and Lib is funny. She is a smart-ass and sassy. And, as J.C. had been in the previous two novels, he is fun and sexy and, actually, pretty in touch with himself. Sparks fly.
Then there’s a two month gap in which Lib suddenly becomes reformed (if indeed someone who loves and has sex needs to be reformed) because she’s decided she wants what Kate has: a loving husband and a baby on the way. At this point, I confess that Lib’s character began to fall flat for me. She’s now in a relationship with a nice guy, Neil, although they haven’t had sex. She knows she’s not in love with him, but he is solid and dependable and her mother is always quick to point out that he’s a good catch.
Does this sound familiar? Yawn.
Knowing how J.C. feels about her, she makes a call to Neil in J.C.’s car while J.C. is driving to tell Neil that she will be spending the night with him. So she’s stringing poor Neil along and hurting J.C. simultaneously which in turn brings about these lines:
“Any way you slice it, you’re using him to get away from me. You know it, and I know it.”
“So what?” she demanded, blinking her burning, confused eyes at him. “Why is that wrong?”
And for me, that was the nail in the coffin of my dislike of Libitz. How can anyone not know that using someone else is wrong? That intentionally hurting someone is wrong? Why is that confusing? And, why would a guy like J.C. who is intelligent and self-aware and honest want Lib after her asking why it was wrong? This is one of those rare times when a character change is not for the better.
That’s pretty much when their coupling didn’t work for me. I just wanted J.C. to run. But this is a romance novel and that can’t happen.
So did my dislike for Libitz make this a bad novel? No.
First off, J.C. and the Bijoux Jolis begins in 1939 in Marseille where an older French artist is painting a beautiful young woman who it turns out Libitz is almost an exact replica of. Oooooh, mystery! For a good portion of the novel J.C. and Libitiz are trying to track down information about the painting. There was also a little touch of, let’s call it, paranormal when J.C. and Libitz share the same exact sleeping dream.
Also, there is the underlying theme of bigotry which is so very pertinent, especially in today’s climate.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Did you fall in love with The English Brothers? Were you hot for the Winslows? Katy Regnery’s New York Times bestselling Blueberry Lane series continues with The Rousseau siblings in 2016!
If the best man and maid of honor are both single, it’s practically an unwritten rule that they should pork.
…so begins a rocky acquaintance between Jean-Christian “J.C.” Rousseau and Libitz Feingold at the wedding of J.C.’s brother and Lib’s best friend. While manslut best man J.C. is surprised when maid of honor Libitz soundly spurns his advances, his curiosity is piqued. The girl he couldn’t have becomes the only one he wants.
So, when he finds a seventy-year-old portrait in the attic of his sister’s mansion that bears an uncanny resemblance to the prickly gallery owner, he enlists her help in solving a mystery seven decades in the making. Traveling from Philadelphia to New York to Marseille, a couple who started off as enemies will discover that even cynics can find true love…and mortal man is no match for destiny.
Get to know the families of Blueberry Lane!
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katy Regnery started her writing career by enrolling in a short story class in January 2012. One year later, she signed her first contract and Katy’s first novel was published in September 2013.
Twenty-five books later, Katy claims authorship of the multi-titled, New York Times and USA Today Blueberry Lane Series, which follows the English, Winslow, Rousseau, Story, and Ambler families of Philadelphia; the six-book, bestselling ~a modern fairytale~ series; and several other standalone novels and novellas.
Katy’s first modern fairytale romance, The Vixen and the Vet, was nominated for a RITA® in 2015 and won the 2015 Kindle Book Award for romance. Katy’s boxed set, The English Brothers Boxed Set, Books #1–4, hit the USA Today bestseller list in 2015, and her Christmas story, Marrying Mr. English, appeared on the list a week later. In May 2016, Katy’s Blueberry Lane collection, The Winslow Brothers Boxed Set, Books #1-4, became a New York Times E-book bestseller.
In 2016, Katy signed a print-only agreement with Spencerhill Press. As a result, her Blueberry Lane paperback books will now be distributed to brick and mortar bookstores all over the United States.
Katy lives in the relative wilds of northern Fairfield County, Connecticut, where her writing room looks out at the woods, and her husband, two young children, two dogs, and one Blue Tonkinese kitten create just enough cheerful chaos to remind her that the very best love stories begin at home.
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