The Secret of a Heart Note by Stacey Lee is a perfect spice of romance. In addition, Lee adds a nice little touch of magic to the general story with our adorable main character, Mim, being an Aromateur. A type of "Witch" that has a nose unlike any other. Mim can smell the heart notes and the personality of the people around her and her ability to do this allows her to create love potions.
I loved her growth throughout the story. Mim goes on an incredible journey discovering her true self along the way. She also finds love on her path, with a sweet-hearted boy who challenges her all the way. The romance, while very very subtle, was heartwarming and it was a crucial part of the story but it wasn't the main focus.
The Secret of a Heart Note is an interesting read. It was very quirky with all the elixir-making and surprisingly, those were my favorite scenes of the book. I loved all the descriptions of the scents, the process of making the elixirs and the effect of using these potions. There was something very magical about the whole thing.
Family is one of the themes throughout The Secrets of a Heart Note. Lee excels at developing relationships and at showing all the nuances and complexities there are to relationships. In this story, we get to experience the complicated, yet heartfelt relationship between a mother and a daughter. As they come from a long line of aromateurs, they have a family legacy with lots of expectations. While Mim enjoys creating these potions, part of her desires a normal teenage experience and she battles with that throughout the story. Family expectations can be rough on teenagers and I loved how deeply Stacey Lee explored that here. There were tense moments between Mim and her mother, but there were also those scenes that portrayed the pure love and respect they had for each other. It was a complicated and messy relationship, but it was inherently very authentic.
Overall, this was a really enjoyable read! Great characters, great plot, great writing. I very highly recommend this one. *JK*