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From one of America’s most imaginative storytellers comes a passionate tale of love and treachery, spanning the days of Catherine de Medici’s court to the twenty-first century and starring a woman drawn back, time and again, to the past.
In 1533, an Italian orphan with an uncanny knack for creating fragrance is plucked from poverty to become Catherine de Medici’s perfumer. To repay his debt, over the years René le Florentine is occasionally called upon to put his vast knowledge to a darker purpose: the creation of deadly poisons used to dispatch the Queen’s rivals.
But it’s René’s other passion—a desire to reanimate a human breath, to bring back the lives of the two people whose deaths have devastated him—that incites a dangerous treasure hunt five centuries later. That’s when Jac L’Etoile—suffering from a heartache of her own—becomes obsessed with the possibility of unlocking Rene’s secret to immortality.
Soon Jac’s search reconnects her with Griffin North, a man she’s loved her entire life. Together they confront an eccentric heiress whose art collection rivals many museums and who is determined to keep her treasures close at hand, not just in this life but in her next.
Set in the forest of Fontainebleau, crisscrossing the lines between the past and the present, M.J. Rose has written a mesmerizing tale of passion and obsession. This is a gothic tale perfect for fans of Anne Rice, Deborah Harkness, and Diana Galbadon.
I’d read Seduction last year, and quite enjoyed it, so I was delighted to be able to get The Collector of Dying Breaths ahead of time. And it didn’t disappoint at all. In fact, I think I enjoyed it more. The intrigue of the court of Catherine de’Medici, and the present-day mystery of Jac’s strange employers, combined to make a novel that kept me reading intently. If I hadn’t had to sleep, and work, I’d likely have inhaled it in a single (rather long) sitting.
Jac’s brother Robbie has died, and she’s sucked into the orbit of a very troubling, obsessive woman named Melinoe, who is determined to discover the secret of immortality, of the dying breaths. Jac accepts, and once she arrives at the chateau, she begins to see the life of the perfumer René. In some ways, seeing René’s life is like knowing the ending to a movie, but still being on the edge of your seat with horror and anticipation.
I think this is my favourite of M.J.’s books so far. The mix of French royalty and history, and the gripping suspense, kept me anxious and reading as much as I could.
Release date: April 8, 2014
by Atria Books
also available as an ebook
About the Author
M.J. Rose, is the international bestselling author of 13 novels;Lip Service,In Fidelity, Flesh Tones, Sheet Music, Lying in Bed, The Halo Effect, The Delilah Complex, The Venus Fix,The Reincarnationist, The Memorist, The Hypnotist, The Book of Lost Fragrances, and Seduction.
Getting published has been an adventure for Rose who self-published Lip Service late in 1998 after several traditional publishers turned it down. Editors had loved it, but didn’t know how to position it or market it since it didn’t fit into any one genre.
Frustrated, but curious and convinced that there was a readership for her work, she set up a web site where readers could download her book for $9.95 and began to seriously market the novel on the Internet.
After selling over 2500 copies (in both electronic and trade paper format) Lip Service became the first e-book and the first self-published novel chosen by the LiteraryGuild/Doubleday Book Club as well as being the first e-book to go on to be published by a mainstream New York publishing house.
Rose has been profiled in Time magazine, Forbes, The New York Times, Business 2.0, Working Woman, Newsweek and New York Magazine.
Rose has appeared on The Today Show, Fox News, The Jim Lehrer NewsHour, and features on her have appeared in dozens of magazines and newspapers in the U.S. and abroad, including USAToday, Stern, L’Official, Poets and Writers and Publishers Weekly.
Rose graduated from Syracuse University and spent the ’80s in advertising. She was the Creative Director of Rosenfeld Sirowitz and Lawson and she has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.
She lives in Connecticut with Doug Scofield, a composer, and their very spoiled dog, Winka.