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Publisher's Summary

An irresistible story of a woman remaking her life after her husband’s betrayal leads to a year of travel, art, and passion in Paris, from the award-winning author of This Close to Okay.

Vincent, having grown up as the privileged daughter of artists, has a lovely life in many ways. At forty-four, she enjoys strolling the streets of Paris and teaching at the modern art museum; she has a vibrant group of friends; and she’s even caught the eye of a young, charismatic man named Loup. But Vincent is also in Paris to escape a painful betrayal: her husband, Cillian, has published a bestselling book divulging secrets about their marriage and his own past, hinting that when he was a teenager, he may have had a child with a young woman back in Dublin—before he moved to California and never returned.

Now estranged from her husband, Vincent has agreed to see Cillian again at their son’s wedding the following summer, but Loup introduces new complications. Soon they begin an intense affair, and somewhere between dinners made together, cigarettes smoked in the moonlight, hazy evenings in nightclubs, and long, starry walks along the Seine, Vincent feels herself loosening and blossoming.

In a journey that is both transportive and intimate, Half-Blown Rose traverses Paris, art, travel, liminal spaces, and the messy complexities of relationships and romance, with excerpts from Cillian’s novel, playlists, and journal entries woven throughout. As Cillian does all he can to win her back, Vincent must decide what she wants...and who she will be.

©2022 Leesa Cross-Smith (P)2022 Grand Central Publishing

Critic Reviews

“Leesa Cross-Smith’s richly vivid prose pulls you in and transports you to Paris. Sharp-edged and sexy, Half-Blown Rose is an utterly intoxicating story of love, betrayal, and loyalty.”—Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times bestselling author of Malibu Rising

“With Half-Blown Rose, Leesa Cross-Smith has given us a brilliant, sexy, funny masterpiece. Reading her stunning prose is a full-blown experience. Within the deeply intimate worlds she conjures, she captures love, lust, and longing with such emotional intricacy and verve, I’m fairly certain I read this entire book with my hand pressed against my heart.”—Deesha Philyaw, author of National Book Award 2020 finalist The Secret Lives of Church Ladies

“By far the most exhilarating and sexy American-in-Paris story I’ve ever read. Leesa Cross-Smith’s Half-Blown Rose is smart, intriguing, and pure delight.”—Lily King, New York Times bestselling author of Writers & Lovers

What listeners say about Half-Blown Rose

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Finished but it was a NO!

I’m one of those people who finish what they start…couldn’t wait to finish this book because I thought the story was terrible and truly a work of fiction. I hated every minute of it. If I had to listen to one more drawn out playlist I would have tossed my phone.

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Blew Me Away…

Half Blown-Rose by Leesa Cross-Smith
Narrated by Mela Lee and Tim Campbell

*An irresistible story of a woman remaking her life after her husband’s betrayal leads to a year of travel, art, and passion in Paris.*


This book!! I was all up in my feelings. It had betrayal, age differences, racial differences, Europe, America, it had it all. A woman named Vincent, a young man named Loup, and their families and friends, everyone was so well developed and full. Not one character was lacking.
And the descriptiveness of each place, I could visualize clearly whether they were walking the streets of Paris or Amsterdam or New York, travelling on trains in England or The Netherlands
The narration was PERFECT! The story was alive and breathing and sucked me in. I became totally involved in the lives of these characters.

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Beautiful

I loved the intimacy and observation of the Vincent, the main character. I cannot put not words the beauty of Leesa Cross-Smith. Read it. Listen to it. Enjoy and Ponder.

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A little disappointed

I was excited about this book as it was recommended by one of my favorite authors but honestly I couldn’t relate to this story. It seemed unrealistic and the love storyline just felt like it was dragging the whole time. I won’t spoil the ending but it too was very unrealistic. I was disappointed throughout the whole story and kept hoping it would turn around but it never did. This wouldn’t be my first pick but perhaps it just wasn’t for me.

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What a let down

I found the whole story unrealistic. Just a whole bunch of sex and very little story to move it along. Spoiler alert: the whole idea of having sex with a young man the same age as my sons creeps me out. Consenting adults can do whatever they want to but I just found the whole thing completely unrealistic. It’s not even a good summer beach read romance. The assorted suggested playlists were about the best thing this book had to offer. I normally love stories set in Paris but this read was a waste of time.

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Half Blown Rose

Beautifully written - superbly performed by all, makes u want to head straight to Paris! the playlists are amazing also. someone put a lot of love and thought into creating this work of art

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