Review: A Crown of Bitter Orange by Laura Florand


Title: A Crown of Bitter Orange (La Vie en Roses #3)
Author: Laura Florand
Genre/Themes: Contemproary romance
Release Date: 24 Jan 2017

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My rating: 4 Stars


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?


Laura Florand is one of my favourite authors of contemporary romance. This the third book in her series set in the French province telling the story of a family of rose farmers and perfume makers.

The story of Tristan and Malorie is marked the usual intensity and deep sensuality. like most of the author's books this is a very character-focused story. Tristan, unlike most of her heroes appears to be more open, jovial, less closed off than his cousins but we quickly see this is only on the surface. His carefree and easy going manner is in reality a mask, a mechanism he uses to cope with his ADHD. His outward appearance and behaviour is deceptive and way too often people form the wrong opinion of him, yet he can't really correct this impression of himself if he wants to be able to help the people he cares about. When it comes to the things and people he cares the most about he becomes shy and tongue-tied.

It's a friends-to-lovers romance where Tristan and Malorie have known each other all their lives and have been attracted to one another for almost as long. Yet in their eyes there are too many obstacles before them to come together.

I liked how their relationship developed, how the author managed to make their differences so very clear. The reader can see how Tristan fails to understand Malorie's fears,  it's oh so easy to misinterpret things and so difficult to see them from the other person's perfectible. Same holds true for her. She couldn't imagine how he felt, what was going on in his mind. Their different situations in life, opposite family relations and social status were a big obstacle before them. And it's not easy to talk about things like that, even more so with someone whom you love desperately and would do anything for your affections to be returned.

It's uncanny how topical the books in the series have become today - the Rosier family history as part of the French Resistance during WWII brings to the fore the topics of the past and how it shapes our present, the importance of family and strong support system, the whole aspect of the fight between good and evil and how it never really ends. 

A Crown of Bitter orange is a wonderful contemporary romance with some hidden depths and relevance to the current political turmoil all over the world. It's a bit nostalgic, a lot romantic, but also playful and fun. 

Purchase links: Amazon / B&N / Kobo / iBooks

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