Welcome to my stop for the new release Scent of Triumph by Jan Moran, an historical fiction / romance that begins in World War II, and follows a young ‘nose’ for the perfume industry as she navigates life, love and war, and the changes that come with each. Please be sure to check out the other tour stops, and don’t forget to enter the tour-wide giveaway where you could win a print copy of A SCENT OF TRIUMPH
As a fan of historic fiction, the era surrounding World War II has always fascinated: different but sill familiar, a clear villain to abhor, and people struggling to survive and thrive against desperate odds. Jan Moran uses the backdrop of war and change to bring us the story of Danielle Bretancourt and follows her journey.
Danielle is, at the outset, a Nose: one of those blessed with the ability to distinguish and remember distinct scents, highly prized by perfumers. Married to a successful businessman, pregnant with her second child, and her eldest son in the care of his grandmother, the story opens at sea, heading for England from the US in September 1939.
Europeans, at that time, were familiar with the rise of Hitler, and whether it was a wait and see attitude, or a sort of blithe disregard to the threat, the continent and the world are on the edge of massive change. With England’s declaration of War on Germany, the quiet passage across the Atlantic soon is disrupted by this war, and Danielle and her husband are sent to England.
The early chapters are portent of things to come: a story that is laced with dramatic events, some teetering on the edge of melodrama, the multiple subplots are simple backdrop to Danielle and the strength of character and determination she shows. Her character is, fortunately, believable and solidly drawn: she has a sense of who she is, where her strengths lie, and a wonderful ability to transform herself to fit the role most needed at the time Most emotionally present in her story is the frequent insets of Danielle’s devotion to her son, and the questions that surround his whereabouts, health and future (if any) as she had left him behind with his grandmother before war was declared.
A story that spans multiple years, it was a read that was intriguing, even as parts were overburdened with melodramatic reactions not necessary to the plot. The war years were horrid, and Danielle’s ability to morph and change to fit situations was beautifully done: intelligent and with an innate flair for fashion and her perfumer’s nose, she was able to redefine herself for the world’s eye repeatedly. Several twists and turns lead the reader on an emotional journey that keeps Danielle at the forefront: not just a witness to the changes in her life but an active participant and captain, steering her path in ways she feels will ensure her survival.
Danielle was a character that shone through the story, while some twists and moments were overworked to add dramatic effect, the strength of her character as written by Moran allowed readers to keep her at the forefront of the story. Indomitable yet facile in her ability to react and grab for every opportunity presented, Danielle’s story does stick with readers long after the final page is turned.
Title: Scent of Triumph
Author: Jan Moran
Genre: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Literary Fiction /Family Saga
Published by: Griffin, St. Martin's Press
Published on: 31 March, 2015
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google
Perfume is the essence of beauty, the heart of illusion, the soul of desire. It is my past, my present, my future. —from the journal of Danielle Bretancourt
When French perfumer and aristocrat Danielle Bretancourt steps aboard a luxury ocean liner, leaving her son behind in Poland with his grandmother, she has no idea that her life is about to change forever. The year is 1939, and the declaration of war on the European continent soon threatens her beloved family, scattered across many countries. Traveling through London and Paris into occupied Poland, Danielle searches desperately for the remains of her family, relying on the strength of Jonathan Newell-Grey, a British shipping heir and Royal Navy officer. Finally, in the wake of unspeakable tragedy, she is forced to gather the fragments of her impoverished family and flee to America. There she vows to begin life anew, in 1940s Los Angeles.
Amidst the glamour of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Danielle works her way up from meager jobs to perfumer and fashion designer. Still, personal happiness eludes her. Can her sheer force of will attract the elusive love she desires, or will it only come at the ultimate cost?
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
BONUS OFFER from Jan Moran
With every purchase of Scent of Triumph,Jan is offering a free ebook of Vintage Perfumes,
a nonfiction guide to the finest classic perfumes, for epub and mobi.
Just email proof of your purchase (receipt, email receipt, photo of yourself with the book or ebook on your reader, etc.),
and she will send you the free ebook of Vintage Perfumes.
Email Jan HERE