Release Date: January 24, 2017
Blurb from Goodreads: Childhood friends.
Tristan Rosier might have asked Malorie Monsard to marry him when he was five years old, but things had only gone downhill from there. She’d spent the rest of their lives ignoring him, abandoning him, and destroying his perfumes. Now she was back, to wreak who knew what havoc on his life.
Tristan might choose to dismiss the generations-long enmity between their two families, but Malorie didn’t have that privilege. Like all the other privileges wealthy, gorgeous Tristan took for granted that she couldn’t. But if she was going to restore her family company to glory, she might just need his help.
Or the perfect match?
They’d known each other all their lives. Could these childhood friends and lifelong enemies ever uncross their stars and find happily ever after?
“Well, look at that. Prince Charming. Malorie should have known she’d stumble over him the instant she set foot back in his kingdom.”
Here, however, the evil forces keeping Prince Charming Tristan Rosier and the Princess, Malorie Monsard, from matching are decades in the making. The animosity between the two families grew out of the betrayal of the resistance movement by Malorie’s great-grandfather during WWII that resulted in the deaths of several of the townspeople. As if that weren’t enough, Malorie is also battling a distrust of men, instilled in her after the betrayal of her narcissistic father. And, then her family dissolved, mother and sisters abandoning their home to live in the far reaches of the world, leaving behind their beloved grandmother.
Malorie has had to depend solely on herself and envies the supportive and close-knit Rosier family. The Rosier cousins stick together and always have in great part due to Tristan, who seems like a charming, but perhaps shallow playboy. Beneath the veneer, however, is an extremely intelligent empath who struggles to keep his family together as well as a gifted perfumer.
As in previous novels, Florand creates a love story written with poetry and feeling. Malorie and Tristan “feel” deeply. Malorie wars with herself in her dealings with Tristan to remember that he is Tristan; he is not her father or any of the other unreliable and narcissistic men in her family. Tristan wars with himself to understand and negotiate the walls that Malorie has erected. While emotional, the characters are also rational. You won’t find the melodrama of the emotional misunderstanding, the type that could have been dissolved by a simple question. Instead, the barrier arises from acknowledged self-constructed barriers and Malorie is self-aware enough to want to remove the walls so that she can have her happily-ever-after with Tristan, whom she has always adored.
Again, as in previous Florand novels, the language is extremely sensual and lush, unhurried and poetic.
There are many things that I love about this novel, but I had a definite “yes!” in reaction to this:
“She’d never been attracted to bad boys. Maybe because she’d known Tristan all her life. She’d always known, up close and personal, that the sexiest creature on Earth was a really good guy.”
And, yes, Tristan probably represents the apex of book boyfriends. He is heart, soul, sensuality, sweet, and funny.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
From Amazon: Crown of Bitter Orange
rating: (5 out of 5 butterflies)