A delightfully sweet romance layered with historical fiction, life lessons, and difficult choices SUMMARYThe beautiful actress Grace Kelly is visiting the Cannes Film Festival in May 1955 where she is relentlessly pursued by a British photographer Kelly enters a perfume shop where she is tucked away in an office by the shop s owner, Sophie Duval just as the pursuing photographer enters the shop Because of this act of kindness the two women form a bond that lasts a lifetime.Sophie, a struggling perfumer, confronts the photographer, James Henderson and sends him on his way, but before he leaves he snaps a quick photo of the shop owner In the days and weeks that follow, James can t seem to forget his encounter with Sophia He sends her a copy of the photo After dealing with the death of a good friend, James is given the coveted assignment to cover the wedding of the century, and sail with Grace Kelly s wedding party to Monaco Before sailing to Monaco he sends a letter to Sophia requesting a date Perhaps a romance will bloom REVIEWMEET ME IN MONACO smells as delightful as the Duval parfumerie in Cannes You can just smell the scents of jasmine, violets, lavender and tuberose wafting from the shop s beautiful glass bottles, on the streets of Cannes and from the fields of Grasse, where Sophie s family has grown their flowers for generations I couldn t stop myself from inhaling the pages.Sophie s character is smart, confident and independent, while James is an enigma, surprisingly sensitive at times and aloof at others Grace Kelly s meeting and marriage to Prince Rainer, and her interactions with James and Sophie are expertly woven into this cleverly layered fairy tale romance The writing was enjoyable and the story was full of life lessons, difficult choices and enlightening information about the creation of fragrances, and head, heart and base notes of perfumes One of my favorite parts of the book is James s evident love and dedication to his ten year old precocious daughter, Emily This pleasurable book would pair well with a glass of wine, a cheese tray and a lavender scented candle Readers of romance will enjoy this light and bright story Thanks to Edelweiss for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review Publisher HarperCollins PublishingPublished July 23, 2019Review www.bluestockingreviews.com Set in the 1950s against the backdrop of Grace Kelly s whirlwind romance and glamourous wedding to Prince Rainier of Monaco, New York Times bestselling author Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb take the reader on an evocative sun drenched journey along the C te d Azur in this page turning novel of passion, fate, and second chances.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, fending 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. I was in seventh heaven when I knew Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb were writing a book set in the French Riveria that was interwoven throughout with Grace Kelly s fairy tale romance to Prince Rainier of Monaco The French Riviera, especially Provence and C te d Azur where the novel takes place and of course, Cannes and Monaco , is where my husband and I spent an incredible two weeks for our 10th wedding anniversary, so the book transported me right back there Grace Kelly is also one of my favorite actresses from the Golden Age of Hollywood, so reading Meet Me in Monaco has been at the top of my list all year, and I can say that it was spellbinding, magical, glamorous, poignant, and everything that I hoped it would be The lavender fields of Provence are one of the most gorgeous sites and smells I ve ever encountered and with expressive, vivid writing Gaynor and Webb managed to take me to the passion, glamour, and fragrance of the French Riveria in 1955 where young parfumeur Sophie Duval has a fateful encounter with beautiful Hollywood star Grace Kelly Grace is being pursued by an English paparazzi photographer when she runs into Sophie s perfume shop seeking a place to hide In a surprising turn of events, the two women not only forge a friendship but Sophie and James, the tabloid photographer, develop a relationship that is lovely, yet poignant and bittersweet.The novel is told through the alternating narratives of Sophie and James with news articles detailing Grace Kelly s love affair with Prince Rainier and her devastating death mingled throughout, giving the story such a wonderful historical context The story unfolds itself gorgeously, much like one of Sophie s perfumes or the flowers she uses to handcraft the fragrance, and the way the book is divided into three parts head, heart, and base notes like the way fragrance notes are blended for beautiful, perfect scent just intensified the way the story unfurls Undeniably, such exquisite writing from this outstanding duo I have not had a lot of love for historical fiction this year, few books in the genre have wowed me as they have in past years, and I ve often felt a disconnect, like I was falling out of love with the genre Then Meet Me in Monaco came along and reminded me why I love the genre It s an emotional story written so lusciously that you can t help fall in love Grab a copy, grab a glass of wine, and let yourself be transported to sunny, fragrant France This is definitely one of my favorite books of the year.This was a Traveling Sister s read Thank you Edelweiss and William Morrow for an ARC All opinions are my own. As soon as I heard about this sumptuous novel, I wanted to get my hands on it Princess Grace The Prince Their wedding And an entrancing connection between Sophie Duval, a perfumer who protects Grace from paparazzi in Cannes, and British photog James Henderson, who falls hard for Sophie I love, love, love this exotic C te d Azur tale, already named one of Popsugar s best beach reads Highly recommended for historical fiction fans, lovers of romance, and the legions enchanted by the legendary Grace Kelly MeetMeInMonaco PrincessGrace A chance encounter with actress Grace Kelly at Cannes during the international film festival in 1955 changes two lives forever She dashes into the boutique parfumerie owned by Sophie Duval to avoid pursuit by an avid member of the paparazzi Sophie directs her to her office where the actress can sneak out the back door Meanwhile English photographer James Henderson rushes in looking for Grace and confronts Sophie All he needs is a photograph of Grace to keep his boss happy but settles for a snap of Sophie instead When Grace contacts Sophie to thank her and ask for a gift for her sister, the two begin a lasting friendship which may just save Sophie s struggling business When James develops the photo he took of Sophie, he realizes he d like to see that attractive woman again He is fortunate enough to be among the newspeople included when the actress meets Prince Rainier of Monaco for the first time and as the famous couple s relationship develops, he has a front row seat for much of it The love story of Grace and her prince always seemed like a fairy tale when I was a child What fun to read how it all unfolded through the eyes of Sophie and James told in alternating chapters There are also news articles sprinkled here and there, written by reporter Angeline West, to fill in some of the details Very nicely written piece of historical fiction I received an arc of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley for my honest review Many thanks for the opportunity to spend time in Provence and learn about a fascinating woman. When I heard the amazing writing team of Hazel and Heather had a new book AND it was set against the backdrop of the wedding of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier, I knew I had to read it Filled with glamour, history and romance, Meet Me in Monaco is a page turning must read A chance encounter between Hollywood starlet Grace Kelly, luxury fragrance perfumer Sophie, and celebrity photographer James forever alters all of their lives Alternating between Sophie and James, the story begins in 1955 and includes tidbits from Grace s real life romance with Prince Rainier III of Monaco, while mainly focusing on the budding friendship romance between Sophie and James The three of us had apparently become as entwined as a tangled spool of thread Still grieving the loss of her beloved father, Sophie is determined to continue his legacy as a perfumer As her father always told her To be a perfumeur is to be a detective a psychologist and a keeper of memories But, does she have what it takes to preserve the company Maybe meeting Grace Kelly was the touch of serendipity I d needed SophieMeet Me in Monaco included so many of my personal favorites a gorgeous setting, a historical backdrop, strong female characters and men who appreciate them , a celebrity appearance, and a bit of romance that I couldn t help but fall in love with it Since I read it while vacationing in California, it took me longer than usual to finish it, but every time I picked it up, the incredibly dreamy, romantic, and swoon worthy story immediately transported me to another world Au revoir , Sophie and James it is not goodbye, but rather, until we meet again I vote yes to a sequel haha If you enjoyed reading about a perfumer, then I would highly recommend The Scent Keeper 4 stars by Erica Bauermeister about a magical machine that tries to preserve scents as a way to invoke a specific memory.Location France Nice, Grasse, Cannes, and Provence , England London , and MonacoI received an advance copy of this book All opinions are my own. Like their wonderful collaboration LAST CHRISTMAS IN PARIS, Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb have again crafted a spellbinding historical romance Set largely on the lush Cote d Azur, MEET ME IN MONACO is a tale of first, missed, and second chances of relatable women and men trying to make good lives for themselves in spite of difficult circumstances It is a fairy tale set in post war Europe, with an enchanting, fascinating fairy godmother Grace Kelly.This novel about parfumeur, Sophie Duval, has a clever arrangement, with Part One Head Notes first impressions , Part Two Heart Notes falling in love , and Part Three Base Notes denouvement Like a flower unfurling, a closed off Sophie begins to open herself to life and love The quiet, gentle creation process she uses in crafting the perfect scent for the royal bride to be perfectly balances the paparazzi laden frenzy preceding the wedding of Prince Ranier III to American Hollywood star, Grace Kelly.It s the kind of book the reader will devour in a few sittings It s a novel where a woman navigates her own business empire while a man wrestles with guilt over leaving his child It s a story that will send one scouring the internet archives for photographs, and the ending is unexpected and satisfying.I adored MEET ME IN MONACO. 4.5 starsMeet Me in Monaco is a feast for the senses the smells, the sights, the flavors of Provence It will transport you the French Riviera which you will never want to leave This is exactly the type of book I love to read I adored the enchanting setting of South of France, I loved the historical backdrop of Grace Kelly and Prince s of Monaco romance, and I fell in love with the main characters, Sophie and James Grace Kelly serendipitously brought them together and became the catalyst for their relationship that changed both their lives Meet Me in Monaco is very close to perfection and I highly recommend it for historical fiction and romance fans ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. The advanced copy fairy continues to treat me very well Here are my thoughts about this fantastic book Webb and Gaynor s latest collaboration is a historical fiction home run The duo brings to life a vivid, engaging heroine, a glorious C te d Azur setting, and the ultimate princess, Grace Kelly MEET ME IN MONACO is smart, romantic, and heartbreaking, and the tale captivates from the start.