Every wish is a risk, an exercise in hope.
The last 2.5 years have been incredibly hard for Jasmin Bianchi. She sat at her father's side and watched him slowly die, losing him and her new company in one terrible two week period, six-months ago. In the midst of that terrible time she shared one perfect magical night with a stranger, who seemed that night like the answer to a wish but in the morning, a foolish fantasy.
It has been six-months since Damien Rosier has seen Jess. Six months since she left his bed without saying goodbye, shutting him down every time he tried to approach her. He is shocked and baffled to discover her setting up shop in the middle of his hometown of Grasse, taking over his family's original storefront. As the Rosier family 's resident shark it is his responsibility to negotiate a return of the shop to the Rosier family but all he wants to negotiate is a second-chance at her heart.
I love stories where the protagonists have built up a bunch of false beliefs about each other and through the course of the story need apologize or grovel over the ways they have misjudged one another. Both Jess and Damien made assumptions about what that night meant for each of them, and then misjudged how the other responded afterwards without having all the information or context. The anger and frustration was very real.
Florand did a wonderful job portraying how much trust and willingness to risk pain is necessary to develop intimacy. I loved how Jess and Damien persevered in learning how to learn to talk and trust to each other. Damien's parents are a powerful counter example of what can happen when people stop putting in the effort.
I loved the continuation of the series themes of belonging & familial expectations. The Rosier's are tight-night family, but those bonds sometimes strangle them. This generation of Rosier heirs has grown up loving the family business but also trapped in roles that don't really fit them. They can't complain or whine because they can never compare their pain and struggles to the generation that not just survived the war but saved and fought for others. Yet wanting to be seen and recognized is still a need for both the generations. The lasting legacy of family history & familial roles is woven into the story. I love the way Rosier family history is slowly being revealed and complicated.
Disclaimer: I had the opportunity to meet and chat with Laura Florand at RWA last month. She even shared some of her chocolate cake with me. She was lovely and gracious in person. I received a review copy of A Wish Upon Jasmine from her.