“To be a parfumeur is to be a keeper of memories, Sophie. Every scent will remind you of something, or someone.”Hazel Gaynor & Heather Webb, Meet Me in Monaco
Title: Meet Me in Monaco: A Novel of Grace Kelly’s Royal Wedding
Author: Hazel Gaynor & Heather Webb
Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance
Pages: 384 (Paperback)
Published: July 23rd, 2019
My Rating: ★★★★★
Read: 7/20/2022 – 8/21/2022
Simply delightful! I was sold as soon as I knew the book involved Grace Kelly, though I figured she would be more of a cameo character. I was so glad to discover that she makes fairly regular appearances.
Being chased by a reporter during a visit to France, Grace hides out in Sophie Duval’s perfume shop. This unexpected brush with fame turns Sophie’s life in a new direction both professionally as well as personally. James Henderson, the reporter who was searching for Grace, becomes a fixture in Sophie’s life. However, both lament the life circumstances that threaten to keep them apart.
The book alternates between Sophie and James’ POV, Grace forging a friendship/acquaintanceship with each of them. Perhaps I’m biased being a fan of Old Hollywood and an admirer of Grace Kelly to begin with, but their interactions with her are the heart and soul of the book. James and Sophie have interesting storylines as well (both together and separately), but for me, it was all about Grace as she became Princess Grace of Monaco.
Likes & Dislikes:
What I liked:
- Grace Kelly. Every scene with her warmed my heart.
- Likable characters all around.
- James’ love for his daughter.
- The inclusion of smell. This is a difficult sense to capture in writing. All the talk about perfume made me want to walk through a department store.
What I didn’t like:
- The pro-infidelity themes.
- The pace. It felt like a lot was dragged out for longer than it needed to be.
I enjoyed savoring this one. It’s a perfect summer night read. I also liked how the ending worked out. I was a little bit surprised, though I did wonder where things were going. I’m curious now to see if there are other Grace Kelly-inspired books. She truly lived up to her name.