cover image Meet Me in Monaco

Meet Me in Monaco

Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb. Morrow, $26.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-291354-8

With glamour, perfume, and romance, Gaynor and Webb’s second collaborative novel (after Last Christmas in Paris) is a scrumptious concoction served up with delectable descriptions and heaps of emotion. James Henderson, scrabbling by as a tabloid photographer in 1955 London, is 35, divorced, and uncertain in his parenting skills. Visiting Cannes, he ignominiously fails to snap a red carpet photo of Grace Kelly; while chasing down the elusive star, he follows her into the shop of 33-year-old Sophie Duval, a second-generation parfumeur, whose livelihood is on the brink. Grace gains sanctuary, Sophie gains an influential client, and Jim negotiates access to a photo op between Grace and Prince Rainier. His irate editor fires him anyway, freeing Jim to pursue the photos that interest him—and reconnect with the “intriguing” Frenchwoman who thwarted him. Sophie, meanwhile, must navigate the demands of her widowed, alcoholic mother and businessman boyfriend as she tries to parlay Grace’s patronage into new life for her business. Jim’s occasional reappearances warm Sophie’s heart but distract her from her goals. He is in love, yet constantly tugged homeward by ties to family and friends. Sweet, then bitter, then sweet again, the love story is woven through with Grace’s fairy-tale romance with Rainier and its devastating ending, snatching redemption from tragedy in the best Hollywood style. Agent: Michelle Brower, Aevitas Creative Management. (July)