[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!

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