Book review and giveaway: The Collector of Dying Breaths – I love France #89


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The Collector of Dying Breaths
(Reincarnationist #6)

Collector of Dying Breaths cover2

In full compliance with FTC Guidelines,
I received this ebook for free in exchange
for a fair and honest review.
I was in no way compensated for this post
as a reviewer,
and the thoughts are my own.
The Collector of Dying Breaths
MJ Rose

PublisherAtria Books
Pub. Date: April 8, 2014
ISBN: 978-1451621532
Pages:  384
Historical suspense

Source: Received
from the publisher for a
virtual book tour on France Book Tours


Buy Now

This book counts for the following Reading Challenges:

      books-on-france-14 2014 historical fiction    2014 Ebook-2


new eiffel 4

Even though The Collector of Dying Breaths is the 6th in the Reincarnationist series, it is a perfect standalone. Like in the previous books, you accompany the heroin Jac l’Etoile both in her current life and in the past, here the 16th century, in Italy and France.

The bridge is perfume: René le Florentine, trained by the monk Serapino, learns all the secrets of herbs, perfumes, and poisons. That will make him become Catherine de Medici’s famous personal perfumer. As such, he will escape death and his life of misery, to join her in France, where he will launch into a very particular endeavor:

His quest was to capture a person’s last elusive exhilaration, to collect his dying breath, then to release it into another living body and reanimate that soul.
kindle location 108

Jac is from a family of perfumers. She feels called to take over her brother’s very special mission, and that will lead her somehow to René and to relive some most exciting pages of French history, in a creepy old castle.

As in previous books, Jac has a special gift of connecting with the past, her’s and other people’s, thanks to fragrances.

I don’t believe in reincarnation. But this book has no aim at theology. It’s a novel. As such, I thoroughly enjoyed the following:

  • the amazing description of perfumes, all the research behind the secret and sometimes quite mysterious ingredients. It makes for a very sensual writing at times.
  • the historical background around the formidable Catherine de Medici, and the religious conflicts of the time between Catholics and Protestants.
  • the suspense elements, in the lives of René back in taly, and of Jac and her brother Robbie.
  • the totally gothic ambiance of the chateau in the Fontainebleau forest , close to Paris, with her creepy inhabitants.
  • the down to earth character of Griffin, the necessary anchor to put things in perspective and lead you to the real meaning of life and love.
  • and ultimately its last message about love

There’s so much going on in this book, but giving you more would reveal too much. You will have to try it for yourself, it’s really worth the trip.

And if things like collecting dying breaths to reanimate them seem to you over the top, I highly suggest you read this awesome Q & A with the author. Did you know that a famous American had his final breath collected, and that you can even go see it in a museum?

VERDICT: The Collector of Dying Breaths is a smart and unforgettable mix of historical fiction, suspense, and fantasy, with a touch of romance. If you love history, France, and the haunting world of perfumes and fragrances, you won’t want to miss its message on what real love is all about.


 From one of America’s most imaginative storytellers comes a passionate tale of love and treachery, spanning the days of Catherine de Medici’s court to the twenty-first century and starring a woman drawn back, time and again, to the past.

In 1533, an Italian orphan with an uncanny knack for creating fragrance is plucked from poverty to become Catherine de Medici’s perfumer. To repay his debt, over the years René le Florentine is occasionally called upon to put his vast knowledge to a darker purpose: the creation of deadly poisons used to dispatch the Queen’s rivals.
But it’s René’s other passion—a desire to reanimate a human breath, to bring back the lives of the two people whose deaths have devastated him—that incites a dangerous treasure hunt five centuries later. That’s when Jac L’Etoile—suffering from a heartache of her own—becomes obsessed with the possibility of unlocking Rene’s secret to immortality.
Soon Jac’s search reconnects her with Griffin North, a man she’s loved her entire life. Together they confront an eccentric heiress whose art collection rivals many museums and who is determined to keep her treasures close at hand, not just in this life but in her next.
Set in the forest of Fontainebleau, crisscrossing the lines between the past and the present, M.J. Rose has written a mesmerizing tale of passion and obsession. This is a gothic tale perfect for fans of Anne Rice, Deborah Harkness, and Diana Galbadon. [from the publisher]



mj-roseM.J. Rose, is the international bestselling author of 13 novels;Lip Service, In Fidelity, Flesh Tones, Sheet Music, Lying in Bed, The Halo Effect, The Delilah Complex, The Venus Fix,The Reincarnationist, The Memorist, The Hypnotist, The Book of Lost Fragrances, and Seduction.
Rose is also the co-author with Angela Adair Hoy of How to Publish and Promote Online and with Randy Susan Meyers of What to Do Before Your Book Lauch.

She is a founding member and board member of International Thriller Writers and the founder of the first marketing company for authors: She runs the popular blog; Buzz, Balls & Hype.

Getting published has been an adventure for Rose who self-published Lip Service late in 1998 after several traditional publishers turned it down. Editors had loved it, but didn’t know how to position it or market it since it didn’t fit into any one genre.

Frustrated, but curious and convinced that there was a readership for her work, she set up a web site where readers could download her book for $9.95 and began to seriously market the novel on the Internet.

After selling over 2500 copies (in both electronic and trade paper format) Lip Service became the first e-book and the first self-published novel chosen by the LiteraryGuild/Doubleday Book Club as well as being the first e-book to go on to be published by a mainstream New York publishing house.

Rose has been profiled in Time magazine, Forbes, The New York Times, Business 2.0, Working Woman, Newsweek and New York Magazine.

Rose has appeared on The Today Show, Fox News, The Jim Lehrer NewsHour, and features on her have appeared in dozens of magazines and newspapers in the U.S. and abroad, including USAToday, Stern, L’Official, Poets and Writers and Publishers Weekly.

Rose graduated from Syracuse University and spent the ’80s in advertising. She was the Creative Director of Rosenfeld Sirowitz and Lawson and she has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

She lives in Connecticut with Doug Scofield, a composer, and their very spoiled dog, Winka. [from her website]

Visit the author’s website

Connect With M.J.



please click on the Rafflecopter link here
to be entered in the draw.
The winner of this draw will be sent to the author,
and she will choose 2 winners
[only 12 blogs are participating,
so you’ve got a great chance of winning!]:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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21 thoughts on “Book review and giveaway: The Collector of Dying Breaths – I love France #89

  1. Pingback: France Book Tours stops for March 23-29 | France Book Tours

  2. I have read The book of Lost Fragrances, The Hypnotist and The Memorist. M.J. Rose has the ability to write books that are captivating, unusual and intriguing. Her talent allows me to be transported to other eras and are unforgettable and memorable. She is creative and imaginative and the novels are always a place where I get lost within the pages and never want to leave.


  3. Just
    Lords of Italy: Portraits from the Middle Ages by
    Prescott, Orville which has some chapters about the Medici. I have read more about the Borgias, Sarah Pooles’ books and G.J. Meyers’ non-fiction book The Borgias.


  4. I think that it is best to red at least the three Jac books to get the best out of the resolution in this book. Maybe that is because I am a stickler for reading in order.


  5. Thanks for the giveaway!!
    No, I haven’t read any other book on the medics – looking forward to picking this one up 🙂


  6. I haven’t read anything on the Medici. I have been meaning to pick up a book on Catherine de Medici. I watch the television show Reign. Catherine is a major character. Curious to compare the fiction with the non-fiction.


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