Monday, April 7, 2014


Publisher:  Atria
Published:   April 8, 2014
Genre:   Thriller, Suspense, Paranormal
Book format:  Ebook
Obtained via:  Publisher through Netgalley
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina

Five Hearts

Her beloved brother dying of an unknown cause mythologist, Jac L’Etoile hopes and seeks for a way to save him.  For so long now all she and Robbie have had were each other.  Oh there were lovers and friends, but that true and abiding connection to someone, that just knowing what each other needs and is, is shared by brother and sister.  Jac has loved—and lost.  Linguist Griffin North was the one man who connected to her soul and yet over and over they have lost each other, not for the first time in this lifetime. 

Almost 500 years ago, in another life time, René le Florentin sat by his mentor’s side as he sought a serum, an elixir to bring the dead back to life.  As that man breathes his last René is there and captures the dying man’s breath in the hopes that perhaps one day he can return him to the living.  But René is accused of murder.  Then one day a princess comes to his cell and he is saved—or so it seems for many years.  He soon becomes the perfumer to Queen Catherine of France.  Renécontinues his mentor’s experiments while aiding, after a fashion, Catherine’s dreams for France.  But all is not what it seems and before long he is caught in a web of deceit and lies…some promulgated against him.

Robbie’s death turns Jac’s life around in more ways than one.  In her brother’s notes Jac finds words that lead her to a woman, Melinoe who seeks Rene’s formula for her own reasons.  At first Jac refuses, but then, when it seems Robbie may be reaching out from the grave she agrees to continue the tasks he began.  Wonder of wonders, Griffin appears to be with her.  What she finds, the discoveries that are revealed unravel the threads of Jac’s life.  Can she weaves them together again before it is too late?

I have been a fan of M.J. Rose from her earliest books, the Butterfield Institute series and became even more so when she began her Reincarnationist series.  The Reincarnationist series is mesmerizing on so many levels land in her latest, THE COLLECTOR OF DYING BREATHS she outdoes even herself.  You can not only smell the scents as they are revealed and created by the perfumers in the story—you can taste Rose’s words.  She tells not only a story, but draws you into a magical web where you are among the characters playing out the story.  The telling of parallel stories, the unveiling of the history of those who came before Jac, Robbie and Griffin is a seamless blending.  Each of the stories is easy to follow and the transition from time period to time period is a wonderful part of the mystery to be unveiled.

M.J. Rose is not only an incredible storyteller.  In each of her books she has offered words of wisdom, of something life affirming.  Without giving away a key element the one line that spoke volumes to me was how those we love live on with us in every breath we take.  Simple, yet such powerful words.

THE COLLECTOR OF DYING BRAETHS is not a fast paced thriller.  It moves at its own pace as Jac unveils each layer of the mystery surrounding Robbie’s death.  Not a word is wasted but instead draws you more and more deeply into the story.  I have enjoyed each book in this series but truly in THE COLLECTOR OF DYING BREAHTS, Ms. Rose has outdone even herself. 

Each book is a standalone and while you do not have to read them in order I highly recommend you do just to be sure you do not miss one absolutely incredibly wonderful story.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.


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