Thursday, 26 January 2017

Review: A Crown of Bitter Orange by Laura Florand

A Crown of Bitter Orange (La Vie en Roses #3) 
by Laura Florand
Publication date: January 24th 2017
My rating: 4.5 stars 
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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.

Lifelong enemies. 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?
My Thoughts:
Coming back to Grasse after her grandmother’s death is bittersweet for Malorie.   She loves her grandmother’s countryside home, La Maison de Monsard with its fragrant bitter orange grove.  But coming back brings back years of memories, the family’s shame over a past betrayal, and Tristan.  After years of trusting her charming father to have their family’s best interests at heart, and being disappointed time and time again, Malorie has learned to only rely on herself.  She finds it hard to believe that charismatic Tristan genuinely cares for her anymore than a passing flirtation.  Yet, that playful boy she was always paired with in the classroom throughout school, turned into a beautiful man, the one she fantasizes about on lonely nights.

Tristan has always tried to capture Malorie’s attention, but she never seemed interested, but he’s grown up now and figures a few things out:

He’d spent all those years in high school unable to touch Malorie not because she was busy dismissing him as an immature trouble-maker but because she was too proud to risk him looking down at her?

And the future seems to open up with possibilities! 

One of the reasons I love this series is because of the beautiful setting: the French countryside!  Through Ms. Florand’s gorgeous descriptions, I could almost smell sweet scent of orange blossoms wafting on the breeze through the Monsard’s orchard, high above the Mediterranean Sea!

I adore this big, close family!  The Rosier Cousins all team up to tease Tristan, payback for his needling while Matt and Damien were figuring out their own romances.  And of course, the dreaded ALIEN PHOTO shows up!! The Cousins were very eager to bring that historical gem out to share with Malorie!  The family’s matriarch, Tante Collette is there to dole out much needed wisdom and understanding to Malorie and Tristan over a garden lunch.  I love the respect and care the family shows to her!  I hope she does live to one hundred twenty-three!

I’m always impressed by Laura Florand’s amazing insight into feelings and motivations. She really gets to the heart of her characters, making them come alive with layers of complex emotions.  I felt their attraction, yearning, and vulnerabilities keenly.  Both Malorie and Tristan had misconceptions about their feelings through the years, but growing up gives clarity that helps sort all that out. This was such a beautiful, emotional story!  I eagerly await Lucien’s story!


Laura Florand burst on the contemporary romance scene in 2012 with her award-winning Amour et Chocolat series. Her international bestselling books have appeared in ten languages, been named among the Best Books of the Year by Romantic Times and Barnes & Noble, received the RT Seal of Excellence and starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist, and been recommended by NPR, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal, among others.

After a Fulbright year in Tahiti and backpacking everywhere from New Zealand to Greece, and several years living in Madrid and Paris, Laura now teaches Romance Studies at Duke University. Contrary to popular opinion, this means she primarily teaches French language and culture and does a great deal of research on French gastronomy, particularly chocolate. For more information, please see her website:  


  1. I know I've been saying this forever now, but I will get to her books one of these days. I actually bought a couple of them from her chocolate series. I just need to pick them up.
    Anyways, this sounds like a lovely book, Rachel. I love the sound of the setting, the big family and the emotional romance! Sounds perfect for me! :)
    Lovely review!

  2. This author is new to me! Is it weird that I'm actually not a huge fan of the big family types? I have a very large family so maybe that's why... I love all of the love and closeness of my family, but sometimes it's a little suffocating. o_o

    The setting sounds lovely! You can't go wrong with France. It sounds like the author has character development down pat.

    Great review, Rachel!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  3. I saw this book when I put it in a Friday Forecast and I immediately thought of you. It sounds delightful, and I love that cover. I am adding this to my TBR.

  4. YES, I'm so glad you loved this one too, Rachel! I'm such a huge fan of Florand and her writing and characters are just phenomenal. Plus, this family!! Gosh, so excited for Lucien's story next! Wonderful review, dear!

  5. I know how much you love this series. Thanks for sharing the latest. The setting really does sound divine.

  6. I can’t wait to read this story! I love Florand’s books for the same things as you. Her characterization is amazing, writing is beautiful and she truly brings to life France. I had no doubt that the alien photo would reappear again. Lol. Wonderful review, Rachel!

  7. Awesome review Rachel :D Yay for loving this one a lot. <3 And ee, feeling for the characters is the best feeling. Yay for these ones being awesome :)


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