Surprisingly steamy, The Collector of Dying Breaths is the next novel in M.J. Rose’s Reincarnationist series. Though reknowned mythologist Jac L’Etoile is the heroine in each of the novels, they definitely stand on their own. You won’t need to read the previous Jac L’Etoile novels in order to follow The Collector of Dying Breaths. While the novel has a slow start, its sensuality and steamy sex scenes partly make up for it.
The story alternates between Jac’s research and attempt to uncover her patrons’ secret and Rene’s rise to power as Queen Catherine de Medici’s royal perfumer. Jac L’Etoile is the heiress of an old French perfume family. Years ago she eschewed the world of perfume to study and debunk myths. She can’t escape her olfactory gift and her past life memories. After the death of a loved one, she learns of the sixteenth-century perfumer Rene le Florentine, who may have been working on an elixir that would unlock the secret to immortality. Her research returns her to Florence, Italy as she chases the secret recipe to the elixir.
M.J. Rose does a great job of transporting her readers to the past, even if it’s just a small glimpse into Rene’s life. Those scenes were by far my favorite of the novel. I didn’t felt drawn into the story until well past the halfway mark. There simply was too much exposition to catch up readers who had not read the previous novels. By the time I became engrossed into the novel, it was pretty much over. However, I’ve come to know and love Jac and her love interest Griffin and was pleased to see that they resolved their issues. (Any more detail and I’ll spoil it for you!)
Big thanks to Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for a copy of the book! Want to learn more about the book? Visit the The Collector of Dying Breaths Tour page for more.