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Once Upon a Rose (La Vie en Roses Series #1)
     

Once Upon a Rose (La Vie en Roses Series #1)

4.5 14
by Laura Florand
 

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She stole his roses.

Fleeing the spotlight, burnt out rock star Layla--"Belle"--Dubois seeks refuge in the south of France. That old, half-forgotten heritage in a valley of roses seems like a good place to soothe a wounded heart. She certainly doesn't expect the most dangerous threat to her heart to pounce on her as soon as she sets foot on the land.

Overview

She stole his roses.

Fleeing the spotlight, burnt out rock star Layla--"Belle"--Dubois seeks refuge in the south of France. That old, half-forgotten heritage in a valley of roses seems like a good place to soothe a wounded heart. She certainly doesn't expect the most dangerous threat to her heart to pounce on her as soon as she sets foot on the land.

He wants them back.

Matt didn't mean to growl at her quite that loudly. But--his roses! She can't have his roses. Even if she does have all those curls and green eyes and, and, and...what was he growling about again?

Or maybe he just wants her.

When an enemy invades his valley and threatens his home, heart, and livelihood, Matthieu Rosier really knows only one way to defend himself.

It might involve kissing.

And that might be just the start.

Praise for Laura Florand's novels
"A poignant, lovely, moving, authentic story." – Virginia Kantra, NYT bestselling author

"Sweet, sexy, and all around delicious. I'm addicted. I can't wait for the next book." – Nalini Singh, NYT bestselling author

"Chocolate, Paris, and a Greek god for a hero; this delectable confection has it all!" – Library Journal Starred Review

"(Florand) captures the nature of love, its fierce, soul-warming necessity, in a way that will make you as happy as the finest bonbon could." – The Barnes & Noble Review, a Best Book of the Year

"Florand outdoes herself with this exquisite confection... painstakingly crafted and decadent as the sweets it portrays, leaving the reader longing for just one little taste." – Publishers Weekly Starred Review

"Adorable, charming, whimsical." – Smexy Books

"Romance at its strongest and most powerful." – Dear Author, Recommended Read

"A delectable summer bonbon." – NPR Books

Editorial Reviews

Kristin Ramsdell
Overflowing with wise humor, family dynamics, and vivid descriptions, this story is as sexy and flirtatious as it is poignant and caring. Roses, music, and Provence--it doesn't get much better than that, unless you toss in a totally hot, stubbornly responsible rose grower and his assorted equally appealing cousins, some of whom definitely deserve stories of their own. Mais oui? -- Library Journal STARRED REVIEW
Library Journal - Kristin Ramsdell
Overflowing with wise humor, family dynamics, and vivid descriptions, this story is as sexy and flirtatious as it is poignant and caring. Roses, music, and Provence--it doesn't get much better than that, unless you toss in a totally hot, stubbornly responsible rose grower and his assorted equally appealing cousins, some of whom definitely deserve stories of their own. Mais oui? -- Library Journal STARRED REVIEW

Product Details

BN ID:
2940149922628
Publisher:
AOS Publishing
Publication date:
01/26/2015
Series:
La Vie en Roses Series , #1
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
299
Sales rank:
15,123
File size:
891 KB

Meet the Author

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 what the “Romance Studies” may imply, this means she primarily teaches French language and culture and does a great deal of research on French gastronomy, particularly chocolate.

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Once Upon a Rose 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
LynnLTX More than 1 year ago
This first novel in Laura Florand’s new series La Vie En Roses charms the reader with Layla and Matthieu’s story of love among the roses in enchantingly beautiful Provence. Layla Du Bois, an American musician, comes to Matt’s valley after being given a beautiful old house smack on the edge of his rose fields. She hopes to regain her muse seemingly lost after the anxieties of her career to write songs for a new album. After years of hard work in the music scene and winning a Grammy, she faces extreme pressure to maintain a high level of excellence so she doesn’t sink into the one hit wonder oblivion. Layla also has issues with the personal exposure and demands from audiences who assume that they own a piece of her simply because they purchased her work. When an ersatz fairy godmother offers this dream chance to hide out in a fairy tale setting, Layla meets Matt who is a big handsome bear of a man deep into celebrating his birthday with his very large extended family; he is immediately attracted to her as his own special present. Matthieu Rosier runs the family rose business, and he is weighted down like Atlas holding up the world while he shoulders the burden of keeping the centuries old rose farm running. When he hears that Layla has been given part of “his” valley, the bear lets loose with a mighty growl. The threat to his land incenses Matt which leaves him conflicted as he is very strongly attracted to Layla. And he is just so delicious with that beautiful body, growly voice, and fragrance of roses on his skin that Layla can’t help but want Matt all the while trying to resist temptation to forget about her album and throw herself into his arms. In the beauty and peace of the land where the “sea of roses held sway over the bottom of the valley, making it seem like a fairy tale in which a woman could curl up and go to sleep, dreaming her dreams,” Layla’s fetters begin to fall away, and she can once again feel the music within her. Matt has had it drilled into him that he must protect the land at all costs from all types of invaders including cute, curly haired princesses he would rather entice than drive away. Matt’s very old but still sharp Tante Colette seems to be the family’s matchmaker and has a very specific agenda gifting the house to Layla. Despite the obstacles of Layla’s work, its attendant fame, and Matt’s circumscription by his duties, they fall in love among the roses tended by his hands and songs written from her heart. Bumps occur in their relationship brought on in part by the pressure each feels to fulfill responsibilities and not let themselves and those depending on them down. Both Layla and Matt deal in worlds of fragile, ephemeral beauty where such treasures can be easily lost. Laura Florand writes sensuous, romantic, lyrical prose so beautifully descriptive of the roses, landscape, and most of all, the emotions and blooming hearts of Layla and Matt. It’s fun to watch their relationship develop while also getting to know some of the equally hunky and handsome cousins who delight in torturing Matt about his relationship with Layla as only family can do. For all his roaring and growling, Matt is more teddy than grizzly bear and would offer his heart in bouquet of roses to Layla if she would treat it gently. She has the artistic sensibilities that produce the deep wells of emotion her music comes from but leave her very thin-skinned and vulnerable to the world. Love and the joining of soul mates accomplishes what no amount of striving in the world for success can do. The intensity of their attraction burns up the pages and will leave the reader happy and yearning for the next in the series.
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Lo65So More than 1 year ago
I loved this book!  The whole story line was GREAT!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Once Upon a Rose was a lovely foray into Laura Florand's La Vie en Roses series. This author, always an auto-buy for me, never disappoints with her love stories. I really enjoyed Matt and Layla's story and it left me with the "warm and fuzzies" in the best way. The author totally sold me on the love at first sight theme which, if not written correctly, comes off fantastical.  I also love the way she writes the perspective of her heroes.  I feel in some traditional romance novels, men are written to be very one-dimensional  while the heroine is the one with all of the depth. Not so with Laura Florand's characters. Her men are written with a real heart that can break like everyone else's without sacrificing their masculinity. Definitely recommend!
Brandy_Muses More than 1 year ago
Once Upon a Rose is so much fun. I love Matt as a hero. He is a big grumpy cuddly bear, and Layla with her sense of humor and free spirit is the perfect match for him. I enjoyed how they both have insecurities and struggles that are realistic even though they are both have very unique jobs that place them on the outer circles of celebrity and power.  My favorite part of the book though is the interactions between all the Rosier cousins. Flooring excels at writing great banter and scenes between her male characters. I enjoyed it in this book even more than in the Chocolate books because I got such a sense of the long history and camaraderie between these men.  Also, this book is FUNNY. I laughed out loud a lot. This series looks to be just as entertaining as the Chocolate one and I can not wait for the rest of the cousins to get their stories. I'm not sure yet which one I'm most excited about
AnnaNanner More than 1 year ago
5 Stars - Simply Romantic! "Life sang from the old stones, and he couldn't remember the last time it had done that for him. The last time those thousand-year-old walls had played a thousand years of hope to him and not a thousand years of expectations." Perhaps, this is an emotional rating, but as I was trying to decide on rating this 4 stars or 5 I had a thought. I wondered does a romance have to be complicated. Once Upon a Rose is incredibly romantic and scenic too! It makes one want to book a flight to the south of France, absorb the culture, admire the architecture, and imagine falling in love. Le sigh. Two people are brought together - one an indie singer and the other a proud man with a huge legacy attached to his broad shoulders. There's almost a magical fated quality to their union, as if their paths, whether fixed or unsteady, are meant to cross. I swallowed their magic as if it was heavenly chocolate; inhaled the rose-scented pages as if I could never get enough. Mmmm. Once Upon a Rose feels real. One of the hardest and unnerving parts of starting a relationship is making oneself vulnerable. The hero, Matthieu, is a big growly bear who was once burned by a selfish woman. The closer one gets to his heart the more he growls...or blushes! Layla, the heroine, is an insightful woman. She understands Matt from the get-go. She treasures his roses. Matt inspires her!  This story is so gently and gratifyingly nuanced any romantic heart would love it! This is my first Laura Florand book. It won't be my last. I've already read "A Rose in Winter," which can be found in the anthology No Place Like Home. It's Raoul & Allegra's story, who are also secondary characters in Once Upon a Rose. If you read the novella you'll see Tante Collette's role in her nephews' lives and hear her poignant WWII stories about the Résistance.  Other readers have told me that Florand's Chocolate series is even better. Really?!!! This author's love of France is obvious and her other series is set in Paris. Hmm. I can smell the roses and feel the characters hearts beat, so I guess I'll have to try her chocolate too! Oh, and next up is Tristan in the La Vie en Roses. Watching him fall in love will be such a treat! (You can see one of his quotes in a status update. Do it! He's funny!) Grade: A
northamericanwordcat More than 1 year ago
My love affair with Laura Florand's writing continues. This is such a lovely romance. You will like. You will keep it. You will reread it. Often. Florand has great talent in creating characters we care about and wish with all our hearts they get a happily ever after. Our hero is heir to a valley filled with roses for the perfume trade. He very much embraces who he is and is burdened by it at the same time. He has had a rough go at love with a former girlfriend who wanted him to be something different than he is. Which is sad because he is an awesome, earthy, blushing, growly, gentle giant who can fix up your 100 year old rose covered cottage and your car. And so very very French. Our heroine is a singer song writer in the first fame pressured stage of her career. She is losing herself in the spotlight. She needs a break and comes to the French countryside to explore her genealogy and inheritance. She is wry, steeped with music, curly haired, kind, and wistful. American in all the best salad not a melting pot ways. They fall in love. Its sexy and wonderful Florand was secret weapons in this book--a thoughtful exploration of the history of French Resistance Fighters (and non Fighters), the setting as a character, the rose trade, and an upside down 1 Bear and a Curly Headed Woman who won't leave his land fairytale which is not to be missed. There are places where I would have liked less repeating of growly and another where I thought everything might tilt into unneeded drama for a few beats too long but I adored this book and know it will be a comfort read for me when I need to be transported. I was given this book for my honest review. So, there you have it. 4/5 
KathyS0 More than 1 year ago
Goldilocks discovers that the biggest, grumpiest bear is Just Right. In Once Upon a Rose, Laura Florand once again plays with fairy tales and romance, roses and music, love and identity. The result is a warm and appealing story with a gratifying happily ever after. I am a big fan of Laura Florand’s books and this one is no exception. Matt & Layla’s story is definitely more comfortable and easy-going than say, Luc & Summer’s story. I like both, but loved just curling up with Once Upon a Rose and enjoying the more relaxed relationship. There is conflict, there are personal issues and things from the past that intrude on the idyll, but Matt & Layla are upfront, open and vulnerable and that was refreshing and satisfying. As always, it is fun to see characters from previous books. Allegra & Raoul and the rest of the Rosier family, Tante Collette, Gabriel & Jolie all make an appearance in Once Upon a Rose. Getting to know the cousins better makes me impatient for Tristan, Damien & Lucien’s stories. Definitely worth the read.
Maria-Rose More than 1 year ago
A story by Laura Florand is a feast for the senses, and this one is no exception, sweeping the reader off to the south of France and the flowered hills of Provence in this story of love, family ties and ageless history. Matt owns the valley of roses - or more precisely, it owns him. It's his family legacy, his lifeblood and his responsibility to keep the perfume companies supplied with roses from his ancestral land holdings. When Layla, a young singer finds herself inheriting a house in his valley that Matt always expected would come to him, it doesn't take long for Matt to realize that perhaps he'll be willing to share some of himself with her - only when he finds out that she's been keeping a secret from him, one that could affect their quiet peaceful valley, will he be willing to stake his future on these new fledgling feelings that are building between them? I adored this story. Matt is such a quiet, sincere, and reserved man - when he isn't drunk, in which case his flirtatious side comes out and he acts much more brashly and bold than he would sober, charming in his silliness and making Layla blush at their first meeting . But from then on, once he's sober and mortified at his behavior, it's Layla who has the power to make him blush. Regular Matt is a grumpy soul, weighted down with the responsibilities of his family duties, but hiding a tender and soft heart inside, one that Layla increasingly is able to uncover as they go from wary strangers to friends to lovers. Layla is equally engaging as a woman seeking solace in the valley after experiencing increasing frustration over her inability to compose the music that once flowed from her fingertips. Here in this valley, with Matt and his family she finds that music again, and wonders how she can keep everything that is coming to mean so much to her. The development of their romance, initially with glances and touches that become more intimate as time goes by was sweet and wonderful to experience. The love scenes between them are emotional and steamy, leaving the reader no doubt that their feelings will run deep. The camaraderie among the cousins is a highly entertaining part of the story - the teasing and reminders of youthful indiscretions make for many smiles. The strong sense of family pervades the story throughout. There are also poignant moments as war time memories are brought to the surface and shared, reminders of the sacrifices made for their families to have the valley and its treasures now. This story will make you laugh, will bring tears to your eyes, and was an absolute delight. I am very much looking forward to the next in the series. 5 stars.