The Flower Reader

The Flower Reader

by Elizabeth Loupas


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Rinette Leslie of Granmuir has the ancient gift of divining the future in flowers, but her gift cannot prepare her for the turmoil that comes when the dying queen regent entrusts her with a casket full of Scotland's darkest secrets. On the very day she means to deliver it to newly crowned Mary, Queen of Scots, Rinette's husband is brutally assassinated.

Devastated, Rinette demands justice before she will surrender the casket, but she is surrounded by ruthless men who will do anything to possess it. In the end, the flowers are all she can trust-and only the flowers will lead her safely home to Granmuir.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780451235817
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/03/2012
Pages: 448
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Elizabeth Loupas has held various positions in radio and television, and worked as an editor, writer, and marketing consultant. She lives near Dallas, Texas.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"A spellbinding story of Rinette Leslie, a spirited young woman who carries secrets and gifts that theaten the throne of Mary, Queen of Scotland in the 1560s. Assassins, secret caskets, and the whispers flowers can speak thread through the story. The flower imageery is lovely..."
Karleen Koen, author of Through a Glass Darkly and Before Versailles

"Elizabeth Loupas' engaging second effort gives a thought-provoking peek into the inner working of the court of Mary, Queen of Scots. Thick with intrigue and spiced with scandal, The Flower Reader is a lush, vibrant tapestry of a book."
Deanna Raybourn, national betselling author of The Dark Enquiry

“Mary Stuart is portrayed in all the fullness of her enchanting youth: impulsive and sweet, majestic and clever but also vain, naïve, temperamental and slightly neurotic. Her court is brought to life, as are the various factions and plots which rend Scotland asunder and lead to Mary’s downfall. Loupas accurately depicts a stormy, complex era by means of a page-turning mystery and romance.”
Historical Novels Review

“Loupas demonstrates how meticulous research and lush details make for a fascinating novel, drawing readers into the court and life of Mary, Queen of Scots, through the eyes of a young woman whose ability to divine the future through flowers leads her to danger and love. The mystery and treachery of the era, and the political struggles, are all wonderfully portrayed.” –Romantic Times

“The novel mixes history with fiction brilliantly. The time period is well-researched, so much thought and detail is put into the novel, and you can tell how much Loupas enjoyed writing the novel. The passion and love for the characters and plot shine through. The Flower Reader is guaranteed to be a top novel of 2012!” – (Pittsburgh Examiner, PA)

"...the character of Rinette bursts forth from the start, showing her strong resolve to keep herself, her loved ones, her property and her resolve under murderous pressures! I loved her brave spirit and her willingness to stare down death and queens despite her youth, power and lack of weapons. Because of this beautiful, mystically talented and unabashedly strong woman this novel is one of my favorite historical novels this season... five stars."
—A Bookish Libraria

"In this richly dramatic and darkly potent historical novel, Elizabeth Loupas unveils a tale of dark intrigue imbued with drama, violence and love..."
—Raging Bibliomania

Customer Reviews

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The Flower Reader 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Kimberly_Book_Addict More than 1 year ago
If I had to pick a genre of book that is my absolute favorite, it would be historical fiction. More specifically, historical fiction that takes place in Europe between the reigns of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. I find the history between England and Scotland during this time to be absolutely fascinating! When I was offered the opportunity to join the blog tour for The Flower Reader by Elizabeth Loupas I immediately said yes, knowing it took place during my favorite time period! Rinette Leslie has quite the interesting gift. She can read flowers as if they are Tarot cards, divining the future through her connection with all things floral and plant related. Additionally, she is one of the ladies in waiting to Mary of Guise, the Queen of Scotland. On her deathbed, the Queen asks Rinette to use her gift to tell her what her future holds, yet once everyone leaves her alone with the Queen, she encounters a different task: the Queen gives Rinette a small casket full of important letters and documents that she instructs Rinette to keep safe until her daughter, Mary Stuart, can return to Scotland and ascend to power. Unable to resist a look at their important cargo, Rinette and her husband open the casket and find that the letters and documents are meant to help Mary Stuart in her quest to take over the throne, and contain very important secrets. As a result of his knowledge of the contents of the coffin, Rinette’s husband is murdered by an unknown assailant. Distraught and filled with vengeance, Rinette takes a place at the new Queen’s court in order to hunt down her husband’s killer. Will her plans succeed? Will she too be killed over the casket’s contents? When I first finished this book, I was struck by the Loupas’ creativity. It’s not every day that you hear of a character that has the power to read futures in flowers! I think it added an interesting touch to Rinette’s personality, and helped make her character seem more mysterious and powerful. Granted, as a woman who has lost her love and vows revenge she is quite powerful on her own, but this touch seemed to make her quest that much more adventurous and really made the chapters fly by. The plot moves as a break-neck pace, and events are constantly swirling. When you think things have calmed down for a moment, it picks right back up again. There is definitely no shortage of action in this story. Another thing I noticed was the correlation between Loupas’ writing style and Phillipa Gregory’s. I definitely think that fans of Phillipa would enjoy this work, as there are similarities in how intricate and exciting the plots are. The anticipation and antsy feeling that I got while reading about Rinette’s adventures definitely reminded me of Phillipa’s works. And being that Phillipa is one of the best known writers of this genre, that’s a good thing! One slight detraction I did notice was that the sheer amount of characters in this work tended to confuse me at parts. The character index in the front of the novel did help a bit, but I still was scratching my head at some points. Overall, Loupas’ tale is an excellently written story of love, betrayal, revenge, and loyalty. Couple this with an exciting plot that leaves you on the edge of your seat, waiting to see what will happen next, and you have a recipe for a great hit. I definitely recommend this one, especially to all the Phillipa fans out there. You won’t be disappointed! (Reflections of a Book Addict)
allisonmacias on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Rinette Leslie of Granmuir is given a silver casket by the dying Mary of Guise, with strict instructions to give the casket to Mary's daughter, Mary Queen of Scots, upon her arrival in Scotland. Rinette, anxious for her home and loved ones, quickly returns to Granmuir with the casket and marries her childhood sweetheart, to whom she shows the casket. When Mary Queen of Scots arrives in Scotland, Rinette is ready to discharge her duty, but her beloved husband is assassinated. Demanding justice and protection in exchange for the casket, Rinette begins her own search for her husband's murderer. Betrayed by her dead husband and with no help, she allies herself with Mary's mysterious French Secretary, Nicolas de Clerac. The only thing Rinette can depend on in the mercurial Mary Queen of Scot's court is the flowers, which scream warnings of impending danger.Rinette, the spunky heroine makes this book. Like Loupas' Barbra of Austria, Rinette is driven by self preservation and a determination to protect her family and home. This determination puts her at risk from the Queen herself and many others who want the casket's prophecies from Nostradamus. Mary Queen of Scots could make the most patient of people lose their temper, but she made the story more interesting. Her hardheartedness forced Rinette to face danger may times. Rinette has a very developed second sense that helps her avoid pitfalls as she tries to unravel the secrets behind the casket and her husband's murder. Loupas does a wonderful job of mixing revenge, love, loss, lust and mystery into this wonderful story. This book is a must read!!
celticlady53 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the first novel I have read by Elizabeth Loupas and enjoyed it so much that I will be going back to read more of her work. The Flower Reader is about Rinette Leslie of Granmuir, Scotland. At the beginning of the story, Rinette is given a silver casket with secret information in it from the dying Queen Mary with instructions that Rinette is to give to Mary Queen of Scots when she comes back to Scotland. Rinette is a "flower reader", meaning that she is able to "see" things about people by using flowers. Rinette is deeply in love with Alexander Gordon, a friend from childhood. She takes the casket home to Granmuir until she is able to hide it. Rinette and Andrew get married and are extremely happy. Rinette shows her husband the casket and he talks her into opening it, which they do. Inside the casket is some powerful information that a lot of people want. Andrew is murdered and Rinette is in danger, there are different factions, including Elizabeth I and Catherine de Medici, that desperately want this casket for their own reasons and will do whatever it takes, including murder to get the casket and it's information.After Andrew's death, Rinette is determined to find out who killed her husband and in doing so, she continues to be in danger and ends up in a forced marriage with a brutal man, who threatens her and her children and all she holds dear. I always love reading a historical fiction novel for the interesting facts that I had not known about. Although a lot of it was fiction, there were enough true facts thrown in to make this an exciting read and the author has a part in the back of the book explaining what is fact and what is fiction.This is a well researched historical novel full of court intrigue, violence and most of all love. I highly recommend this novel.
Beamis12 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What a wonderfully entertaining romp through the history of the middle 1600's when a very young Mary Stewart returns to Scotland to rule. When her mother Marie Guise dies, she entrust s silver casket to one her wards, Rinette, tells her to hide it and only give it to the Mary when next she sets foot on Scottish soil. What follows are the many plots, counter-plots, assassins, secret groups, political maneuvering and forced marriages. All that made living at court such a treacherous business. Rinette is the flower reader, she can read and sometimes hear the future from certain flowers and is more than once accused of witchcraft. I loved this element as it added something very special to this novel. I have never read this author's first novel, Second Duchess, but liked this one so well I will definitely read it soon. Also appreciated that the author included an afterword, telling the reader what was real or not and what people actually existed.
BrokenTeepee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In this tale of Scotland just as Mary, Queen of Scots is taking her throne we meet Rinette Leslie, a young woman with the ability to read people and their futures with flowers. She wants nothing more than to live in peace at her estate in Granmuir but that is not to be. She is entrusted with a silver casket full of letters from Mary's mother to present to Mary upon her return to Scotland from France. She is to show it to no-one and to give it only to Mary. As Rinette leaves the old queen's service she rushes home to marry her love, Alexander Gordon. Despite her instructions she shows him the casket trusting him to keep her secret.Alexander is brutally murdered and Rinette is saved and kept at Holyrood castle where everyone seems to know about the casket! Her Alexander turns out to be a less an adequate secret keeper. She has hidden it well, though and uses it as a bargaining chip to keep her from a forced marriage and from losing her beloved home.The Flower Reader is a refreshing take on a frequently covered period in historical fiction. Ms. Loupas inserts a number of fictional characters into history quite well. You never feel as if these made up people don't fit in or belong. The story takes the reader on an interesting ride through the early part of Mary's reign doing a very good job of explaining the politics of the time without boring the reader.There are a number of unexpected twists and turns and Rinette searches for her husband's killer although I must admit that I did see the final twist coming long before it was revealed in the story. That did not detract from my overall enjoyment of the tale. Rinette is a complex character and I would love to see her come back for another mystery in Mary's reign and with another opportunity to use her special gift with flowers.
BookAddictDiary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
First, an admission: I was in love with Elizabeth Loupas¿ first novel, The Second Duchess. It was one of the best books I read last year ¿even better than many of the offerings from more established historical fiction authors. I raved about the book to anyone who would listen and found virtually any excuse to recommend it to others. Needless to say, I was incredibly excited about Loupas¿ follow-up novel, The Flower Reader.Marina, known as Rinette, is the heir to a great Scottish estate, a relation to the French crown, and a close friend to Mary of Guise, the French-born Scottish queen. She also has the unique ability to divine the future from flowers, an ability that makes her an asset to the crown as well as a danger. When Mary of Guise trusts a casket filled with the secrets of the Scottish nobles and predictions from Nostradamas to Rinette, her life is changed forever. Rinette promises to protect the casket until it can reach the hands of Mary¿s daughter, but soon finds the deadly consequence of that promise. Her beloved husband is killed, she becomes the target of numerous court schemes, and is forced to marry a man she hates.The Flower Reader takes a more unique approach to historical fiction than just about everything else on the shelf right now. Rather than being primarily biographical, Flower Reader is a historical mystery surrounding the perilous court of Mary, Queen of Scots, but explored through the eyes of a purely fictional character. In fact, many of the characters in this book are fictional (more than the average historical fiction novel, I¿d say), as is the plot. And honestly, I thought this was incredibly refreshing for the genre, especially since Loupas made the characters feel so real. They absolutely came alive on every page, and I got completely engrossed in Rinette¿s story and struggles. I was cheering for her the entire time, even when it seemed like all was lost.Would I say that The Flower Reader is as good as The Second Duchess? That¿s a tough one. Both novels are very different and follow very different subjects with unique approaches, but Flower Reader is a worthwhile follow up that is easily one of the best book I¿ve read so far this year. I¿d recommend it to any fellow historical fiction reader.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked the part where Rinette saved the puppy from the witches
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love how it's written. Lots of imagery with the flower reading and all, and the main character doesn't let you down. She's so brave, and I saw her as a total badass. One of my fave books :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
pagese More than 1 year ago
There's a few reasons this book peaked my interest. First off, I've never heard divining the future through flowers. It completely intrigued me. Second, I've read a lot about Mary, Queen of Scots. But, it's always been from the English point of view. Third, I loved Elizabeth Loupas' first book, so I had high hopes for this one. Needless to say, my expectations might have been a little high. It did not fail me. I loved Rinette from the opening pages. She understands the complications of being someone of noble birth, but she longs to be away from the center of all the drama. She knows her hearts desire. But, life is not always kind and that future is ripped from her before it barely begins. After that, she makes it her new mission to play the games of the court to figure out who killed her husband and why. The mystery aspect of this story I was not expecting. One of the most frustrating aspects of historical fiction is often the sheer volume of character. That actually works to the advantage in this story because I honestly had no clue who it was. But, I did find "his" association with a certain group of people to be absolutely fascinating. Solving a crime like this would be difficulty in any time period. But, I think it might have especially trying in this one and add in the fact that Rinette is a women. It doesn't exactly open doors. Ienjoyed the slow romance as well. I was expecting it with the characters, but I loved the way it played out. I felt sorry for Rinette in the fact that she happens to fall in love with people who may no always have her best interests at heart (although, I think that changed in the end). I was reminded greatly in this book at how hard it was to be a women in this time period. Rinette is constantly being made to feel inferior. Those around her are always trying to bend and break her. She's rare in the fact that she owns property, but it wouldn't take much for that to be stripped from her. She can be forced to marry, her children taken from her, and anything else that might define her as a person. It was really frustrating to me. A great historical fiction. I'll add Elizabeth Loupas to my must read list! (I love that fact the both her books have been set in different countries. Were will she go next?)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a great fan of historical fiction. Especially European historical fiction. This book was up to the task! Great characters with a touch of royalty thrown in. Good book!
PamTX More than 1 year ago
Elizabeth Loupas' first book, "The Second Duchess" was one of my favorites from last year. "The Flower Reader", another historical fiction novel taking place in the 1500's, combines fictional characters and non fictional characters (the depiction of Mary Stuart was particularly interesting to me), to tell a story of murder, court politics and love in Scotland. It reminded me somewhat of "The Other Boleyn Girl" with all of the many many court injustices put forth by the royalty at the time . But I loved the story of the main character, Rinette Leslie, who is on a hunt to solve her husband's murder, with a mysterious small casket holding secret papers from Nostradamus, at the heart of it all. I will definitely be reading Ms. Loupas' third book.
Humbee More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book immensely. From start to finish I found Rinnette one of the most engaging and feisty of heroines historical fiction has offered in a good while. There are many strong historical women characters in recent historical fiction I've had the pleasure of reading, and I'm not meaning to take my praise from them. However, the character of Rinnette bursts forth from the start, showing her strong resolve to keep herself, her loved ones, her property and her resolve under murderous pressures! I loved her brave spirit and her willingness to stare down death and queens despite her youth, power and lack of weapons. Because of this beautiful, mystically talented and unabashedly strong woman this novel is one of my favorite historical novels this season. Rinnette is a brilliant character who will endear herself to readers and keep you hungry to finish her story. Played out on the world stage of the courts where such historic figures reigned such as Queen Mary of Guise, Mary Queen of Scots and the Scottish clans...not to mention such notables as Nostradamus, Elizabeth Queen of England, and Catherine de Medicis, this is a tapestry of time and intrigue that is absorbing in and of itself. Elizabeth Loupas has then laid a set of secrets and mysteries that rival the CIA! It's a plot that kept me reading, and that moved at a steady, rapid pace. I appreciated her writing style and her development of a world within the real world with adjunct characters that didn't really exist but seemed plausible! The relationships between her characters; Rinnette with her husband and her children, for instance, was palpable, striking at my heart strings. I felt a deep sense of loss with her at times, and a joy at other times. Ms Loupas has a strong gift of portraying emotion and personal relationships that gives her book depth and character. I really loved the element of the flowers and Rinnettes "reading" of them at every bend as she encountered friend and foe. This added a dimension to the book unlike any other historical fiction I'd read, obviously! In her section at the back of the book, Ms Loupas is interviewed about this element and she gives the history behind flower "discernment." I found it fascinating. The connection with herbal healing as we know it today and our use of "diffusion" for different states of relaxation and such, show us some small connection to the practice Rinnette must have been using. On a deeper level, and with a immediate mystical response, Rinnette was a master "flower reader" foretelling the future was so exciting to read this part of Elizabeth Loupas's story. In summary, a great book of historical fiction which I absolutely adored reading. I highly recommend it to all lovers of the genre, and to others of you who are thinking of taking a step into historical fiction. It is a mystical, feminist, mystery and family dynamic of a book. Great reading!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago