[500]: Once Upon a Rose by Laura Florand

Self-Published | Kindle, 300 pages
Series: La Vie en Roses, #1
January 26th, 2015
Adult Contemporary Romance

If there’s ever an environment conducive to falling in love, there is no other place more perfect than the South of France. Surrounded by roses, and big, burly, specimens of the  male persuasion, you can pretty much forget about real life.  I mean, why wouldn’t anyone want to stay there forever? I know, I would. Even though I don’t know a lick of French.

That’s where Layla Dubois found herself stranded in the middle of the night. On a quest to get away from the spotlight, she decided to check out the cottage she inherited from an “aunt” she’d never met before. When she stumbled upon a celebration of sorts, she was unprepared for the flirty Frenchman who introduced her to everyone as his girlfriend. The bear of a man was Matt; owner of Rosier Valley where her inherited cottage was on. The next day, however, she’ll find out that Matt is a tad bit possessive of his land. When he sobers up, he’ll hate himself for being attracted to the intruder who inherited a piece of his valley.

It wasn’t hard not to fall in love with the setting and the collection of quirky characters in this book. Here, you’ll meet Layla and Matt. And their meet-cute was hilariously sweet. Matt was drunk, so he was irresistibly funny. This man was just too adorable for words. He was a bumbling fool when confronted by Layla’s presence, and unable to put on/take off his shirt (you kinda had to be there, I guess).

This book has a different air than Florand’s Chocolate series. I mean, it was just as romantic, but it was somehow lighter. More fun, but it hits you when you least expect it. Like the part where Matt’s aunt talks about why she decided to give Layla the cottage. It will break your heart, I swear.

Matt is a huge barrel of a man. But somehow just a little bit more intimidating than a kitten. There is something about the way he kept kicking himself for things that he should’ve done and should’ve said. He was perpetually contrite, awkward, sweet, and kind.  He’s had a very bad experience with a former love interest who happened to be a celebrity. So when he finds out that Layla hid that fact from him, I expected an an explosion of sort. I’m always surprised when I read about two calm, level-headed adults talk their issues out. It’s a novelty in romance, for sure. So when Layla and Matt actually found a common ground, I was refreshingly surprised.

I’m glad Florand is giving her fans more books from this world. I think I speak for some when I say, thank you. Because if I can’t get to France myself, Florand’s books are the next best thing!

  • I love these lighter/fun reads. They always have me feeling good when I’m reading them. Great review girl!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

  • Oh gosh, I just adored drunk, flirty Matt! It was hilarious and cute how they first met! I do agree, it you can’t get to France reading Florand’s books are the next best thing. Love this review, Joy! 🙂

  • You really are enjoying her books! I certainly like the idea of the south of France and people who calmly discuss their issues rather than running away from them. 🙂

  • I like the sound of this book, and the romance. The idea of it being set in France sounds great, and then of course, roses are my favourite flower. What’s not to love? Sounds like a sweet book :c

  • This looks nice, but lol to this: ”But somehow just a little bit more intimidating than a kitten.”


  • Honestly, even if I do manage to go to France, I seriously doubt I’m going to stumble upon a family or profession of young, hot men. Florand’s books are just my favorite and I’m so glad you enjoyed this one, Joy, despite the struggles you’ve have with some of her earlier work. Gorgeous review, dear!

  • Who can resist a perfect setting like this and Matt sounds like a character I need to meet! I love the fact that he has his own awkward moments (so adorable sounding) which is a nice change from the perfect bad boys I usually read. Lol.
    Thanks for the great review, Joy!

  • Youn developed a taste for France I can see. I was the same way after watching Under The Tuscan Sun (mine was Italy). atmospheric reads are rare in contemporaries, so when you find one its like finding a treasure!

  • Aww, who doesn’t like France…I hope I get the chance to visit that country again in the near future. The book does sound like a sweet romance and I love the sound of an awkward and sweet male hero. Will check it out!

  • I so need to read this book yet Joy, I’m glad that it was another successful book from Florand for you. Also Matt sounds like he could end up being my next favourite fictional crush! I love my guys who are big, but still super sweet! I need to meet Matt asap!

  • Two calm headed people in any genre is sadly becoming a novelty! I love that this was like that. I think I would really enjoy and like Matt. 🙂

  • I laughed a little at your first sentence. I absolutely love the sound of Matt looking like a tank, but being a soft cuddly bear on the inside. I think I would fall hard in love with him. The setting sounds gorgeous too. I need to check out this book!
    Beautiful review, Joy!

  • It seems really good, especially being set in France (:

  • Definitely a romantic setting for a developing romance! I love the sound of Matt, he sounds like a hoot and like a big burly kitten. Great review Joy!

  • Amazing review Joy 😀 I don’t read adult yet, but I think this book sounds pretty amazing. The man sounds all kinds of cute, hih 😀 I would love to read about him. <3 So glad you loved this book. And the romance 😀 Thank you for sharing about it sweetie. <3

  • Great review! As you know, I love Laura Florand and her chocolate series. I have not read this series yet but I really need to. I am glad you loved it.

  • Right…I should read these 😉

  • LOL you know I”m living in the south of France so it could be fun to read it but well it won’t be a different setting for me. The story sounds sweet too! This one is new to me I confess. thanks for the review!