Imagine joining Grace Kelly’s private dinner parties with a jet set of aristocrats, artisans, and Hollywood elite, all taking place along the glamourous Côte d’Azur. Add Prince Rainier, the wedding of the century, and the magic of Monaco, and it’d be no surprise to see Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb delivering another bestseller with their latest collaborative release, Meet Me in Monaco (William Morrow).
Readers will not be disappointed as they bask in the glow of the Mediterranean sun, slip into quaint European cafes, and wander through the local shops, all while chasing the lure of romance—in France, where it’s always at its best.
But the true treasure in this novel is the masterful craftmanship of this powerful duo of female authors who weave together a page-turning narrative through the sensory-rich creations of a parfumeur. “To be a parfumeur is to be a detective.” So went the first lesson taught to Sophie Duval by her beloved father, a man whose memory she’s determined to honor by continuing his life-long legacy of creating the finest perfumes, fresh from her own flowering fields.
The unique story brings Sophie out of her simple world when the flashing cameras of the paparazzi invade her community. There, we zoom in on one tabloid photographer, James Henderson, an interesting man who has traveled from London to capture the magic of the beautiful American actress captivating crowds during the Cannes Film Festival. Desperate to keep his job after a divorce—and carrying the weight of a strained relationship with his young daughter— he’s feeling pressured to redeem himself by snapping the perfect shot.
Determined to escape the chaos, the heavily-pursued Grace dips into Sophie’s quaint boutique hoping to fend off the persistent British photographer. Naturally, Sophie helps the beautiful star evade the press, and this leads the two women through an unexpected chain of events that will change their lives forever.
But it’s not just Grace whose life is impacted by the French parfumeur. James, too, cannot forget his brief encounter with the savvy shopkeeper. As their paths continue to cross, readers are swept along through emotional encounters, feeling every tug of the heartstrings as James and Sophie wrestle with family obligations and the struggles of toxic relationships in their lives.
Of course, Grace has a romance of her own, falling for the most eligible bachelor in the world, Prince Rainier. As family dramas play out in all three lives, readers won’t be able to put this book down. The relationships span thirty years of friendship, love, and tragedy, ultimately leading them all to examine what they’re willing to sacrifice in order to love and be loved.
Not only does this book offer a luxurious escape to the glamourous 1950s, Gaynor and Webb deliver fast-paced plot development while building characters we want to spend time with (and a few we don’t), all while managing to teach us something new about the posh world of fresh floral perfumes and the fascinating chemistry that drives both love and memory.
Meet Me in Monaco will be available for purchase July 23.
About the Authors
Hazel is an award-winning, New York Times, USA Today and Irish Times bestselling historical novelist. All Hazel’s novels have been received to critical-acclaim and are translated into ten foreign languages and published in seventeen countries to date. Hazel lives in Ireland with her husband and two children and is represented by Michelle Brower at Aevitas Creative in New York.
Heather is a professional freelance editor and shares advice at award-winning writing site WriterUnboxed.com. When not writing, she feeds her cookbook addiction, geeks out on history and pop culture, and looks for excuses to head to the other side of the world. Heather is represented by agent Michelle Brower of Aevitas Creative Management.