All her life, Esme has desired exactly 2 things: becoming a master perfumer and Charles Brittle. While pursuing her first dream of becoming a master perfumer at a conference in Edinburgh, she almost literally runs into Charlie. The once former bookbinder has a surprise for her, he’s a pirate. Not only that, he needs her help.
What’s a master perfumer to do?
This is a fun short novel; it’s a little too long for a novella at 165 pages. The book features two working class protagonists, which let me tell you is super rare for a historical romance set in Europe. (There’s even an ask about it on gimmeromance.) The book follows the quest for Charlie to free himself from his servitude aboard the pirate ship as well as Esme’s pursuit of becoming a master perfumer. I particularly liked the sections that discussed the different perfumes and scents.
Esme was not the heroine I expected. She was delightfully practical but at the same time also a dreamer. Ever optimistic and lighthearted even when circumstances were at their lowest. Charles is an interesting mix of alpha hero and beta hero. He is a contradiction. Life aboard a pirate ship has hardened him mentally as well as physically. He’s intelligent but he also knows when to back away and let Esme shine. Frankly I liked him. I also liked that he didn’t assume that his dream was worth more than hers. And that’s quite frankly way to rare in romance.
There are some triggers that I need to warn about. There’s some mild petnapping (everything works out okay). And there’s a lot of very frank discussion about human trafficking and how pressing actually works.
But despite those things. It’s a fun light book. It’s even intrigued me enough that I picked up one of the books at my library book sale.
If this is your jam, you can get it here.
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