The Collector of Dying Breaths Review and Guest Post

Title: The Collector of Dying Breaths 
Author: M.J. Rose
Publisher: Atria Books
Published: April 8, 2014
Ebook, ARC
ISBN13: 9781451621556
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: NetGalley

Goodreads Summary:
A lush and imaginative novel that crisscrosses time as a perfumer and a mythologist search for the fine line between potion and poison, poison and passion…and past and present.

Florence, Italy—1533: An orphan named René le Florentin is plucked from poverty to become Catherine de Medici’s perfumer. Traveling with the young duchessina from Italy to France, René brings with him a cache of secret documents from the monastery where he was trained: recipes for exotic fragrances and potent medicines—and a formula for an alchemic process said to have the potential to reanimate the dead. In France, René becomes not only the greatest perfumer in the country but the most dangerous, creating deadly poisons for his Queen to use against her rivals. But while mixing herbs and essences under the light of flickering candles, Rene doesn’t begin to imagine the tragic and personal consequences for which his lethal potions will be responsible.

Paris, France—The Present: A renowned mythologist, Jac L’Etoile, is trying to recover from personal heartache by throwing herself into her work, learns of the 16th century perfumer who may have been working on an elixir that would unlock the secret to immortality. She becomes obsessed with René le Florentin’s work—particularly when she discovers the dying breathes he had collected during his lifetime. Jac’s efforts put her in the path of her estranged lover, Griffin North, a linguist who has already begun translating René le Florentin’s mysterious formula. Together they confront an eccentric heiress in possession of a world-class art collection. A woman who has her own dark purpose for the elixir… a purpose for which she believes the ends will justify her deadly means. This mesmerizing gothic tale of passion and obsession crisscrosses time, zigzagging from the violent days of Catherine de Medici’s court to twenty-first century France. Fiery and lush, set against deep, wild forests and dimly lit chateaus, The Collector of Dying Breaths illuminates the true path to immortality: the legacies we leave behind.

My thoughts:
The Collector of Dying Breaths by M.J. Rose is the sixth book in the Reincarnationist series and possibly the best one yet. Jac L'Etoile is back and tragedy has struck. She's lost her closest companion and her dearest friend--her brother. As he lay dying of a mysterious ailment, he tries to reveal something to her, but his time runs out before he can. I was sad to learn about Robbie's demise. Though I think this was an essential part of Jac being able to accept who she is. 

Even though Robbie is dead, Jac can still feel him with her. Robbie leads her to a women who may hold the secret of bringing back the dead. Jac is intrigued, especially since she wants to bring her brother back more than anything. 

While Jac is working to discover the formula to bring the dead back, she starts to relive the life of Rene le Florentin, an ancient perfumer who was also looking for the formula. Rene works as a perfumer for Catherine de Midici. He has a powerful position with the queen. A position many would kill to get.

Jac and Rene's stories are told through two distinct threads. I loved both the past and present. Jac knows she has the ability to relive not just her past lives, but others as well. Even though she knows she can do this, she still finds it hard to believe it's possible. I also love that Griffin comes back into the picture. They had a lot of unfinished business. The past and present collide in The Collector of Dying Breaths. I think this is a subject that most people can relate to. Who wouldn't love the chance to bring back a loved one? This novel is full of suspense, obsession, and sorrow. The more I read of Jac, the more I love her. 

My rating:

"It is with irony now, forty years later, to think that if I had not been called a 
murderer on the most frightening night of my life, there might not be any perfume 
in Paris today. And that scent—to which I gave my all and which gave me all the 
power and riches I could have hoped for—is at the heart of why now it is I who call 
myself a murderer." 

From The Collector of Dying Breaths 

"A woman who doesn't wear perfume has no future." 
―Coco Chanel 

Praise for The Collector of Dying Breaths

“History, mystery, ambition, lust, love, death and the timeless quest for immortality…a riveting tale of suspense.” – B.A.Shapiro, New York Times bestselling author of The Art Forger
“Mysterious, magical, and mythical…what a joy to read!” – Sara Gruen, New York Times bestselling author

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About the Author

M.J. Rose is the international best selling author of fourteen novels and two non-fiction books on marketing. Her fiction and non-fiction has appeared in many magazines and reviews including Oprah Magazine. She has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the ’80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors – The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose’s novels in the Renincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and runs the blog- Buzz, Balls & Hype. She is also the co-founder of and
Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.
For more information on M.J. Rose and her novels, please visit her website. You can also find her on FacebookTwitter and Goodreads.