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Stranger (Blades of the Rose) Mass Market Paperback – December 1, 2010

12 customer reviews
Book 4 of 5 in the Blades of the Rose Series

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Product Details

  • Series: Blades of the Rose
  • Mass Market Paperback: 370 pages
  • Publisher: Zebra; 1 edition (December 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1420106821
  • ISBN-13: 978-1420106824
  • Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 1.3 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #511,931 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Zoe Archer is an award-winning romance author who thinks there's nothing sexier than a man in tall boots and a waistcoat. As a child, she never dreamed about being the rescued princess, but wanted to kick butt right beside the hero. She now applies her master's degrees in Literature and Fiction to creating butt-kicking heroines and heroes in tall boots. She is the author of the acclaimed BLADES OF THE ROSE series and the paranormal historical romance series, THE HELLRAISERS. She and her husband, fellow romance author Nico Rosso, trade off writing the books in the steampunk romance series THE ETHER CHRONICLES. June 2013 will see the launch of her new gritty Victorian romance series, NEMESIS, UNLIMITED for St. Martin's Press. Zoe and Nico live in Los Angeles. Please visit her on the Web at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Schreiner on December 28, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Gemma Murphy has been following Catullus Graves and his friends for some time now. After first seeing him in the Northwest Territory of Canada, she now finds herself on a boat, to England. A reporter, she loves to investigate, and she knows Catullus and his crew have many secrets.

Catullus is a member of The Blades of the Rose, a secret organization that protects Sources, those items that hold magical power throughout the world from the evil Heirs of Albion. The Heirs now have the primal source, and have plans to use it for world domination. The Blades are hot on their trail, and are willing to sacrifice whatever it takes to stop them.

The first time Catullus set eyes on the red haired, freckled beauty in Canada, it stirs him. A genius inventor, Catullus has a very scientific approach when it comes to romance, which means he isn't quite the ladies man. Soon Catullus becomes aware that Gemma is following them, and when the Heirs spot her with the Blades, her life becomes endangered. She wants to prove to the Blades she is a competent fighter, and she wants to break down Catullus's serious ways, and show him just how wicked romance can be.

Stranger is the fourth book in Zoe Archer's The Blades of the Rose series and held much anticipation for me to discover Catullus whom we meet in great detail in book three, Rebel. Catullus is reserved, a bit shy and awkward when it comes to women. He loves fine waistcoats and is extremely smart. His match, Gemma is just the kind of woman who can break him out of his mold. She has spunk and spirit, yet she is very kind and from the start understands who this man is. Although Catullus is black, she never once sees his skin color as a deterrent. I absolutely adored their romance.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on December 10, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In 1875 Chicago newspaper reporter Gemma Murphy overhears three people discuss saving the world from some affluent British Heirs. Fascinated with what she heard, Gemma makes inquiries into the trio especially the mysterious inventor Catullius Graves. She asks him for an interview.

Catullius knows his first loyalty must be to the Blades of the Rose, but he also feels a kinship to Gemma as he is an intense outsider who knows no one understands him; while he senses she must prove her worth every day to the good old boys' network at her paper where she is an outsider there. They are attracted to one another but in spite of his efforts to keep her out of his undercover work, Gemma joins her loved one and his Blades to prevent the Heirs from obtaining and using the Primal Source to reanimate King Arthur as the first step in making England the depository for all of the magic in the world.

The Blades of the Rose (see Rebel, Warrior and Scoundrel) is another super thriller as the suspense never slows down while the romance simmers in order to first save the world. Loaded with action as Camelot appears coming to Reconstruction Era Chicago, Zoe Archer scores four consecutive bulls-eyes with this great finish to this terrific saga.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
We have met our hero Catullus in each of the previous books in this series so it was with a glad heart that he got his own story, well my glad heart. I have really enjoyed this world Zoe has built that is full of magic. This series can be read as stand alone but the series as a whole is much richer if read in order in my opinion. This last book of the Blades of the Rose series has joined the rest on my keeper shelf, Zoe has also left it open to continue the series if she desires and I hope that she does at some point.

So Catullus is the unofficial / official leader of the Blades of the Rose. He is smart, no he is a genius as in MacGuyver- build a bomb with a paperclip genius. He's also a bit shy and quite the gentleman who is always fashionably dressed , he is obsessed with waistcoats and protecting the magic of the world. He has also become obsessed with our heroine Miss Gemma Murphy and her freckles, oh how he loves freckles on a woman.

Catullus, Gemma and the rest of the Blades are all that stand between the evil Heirs who have conjured up the legendary King Arthur and the world that they are determined to save as well as the magical realm. Zoe has done a wonderful job and I love the magical powers she gave Gemma and how she employs them, then we have Catullus who discovers how to magnify those powers. Their trip to the otherworld is certainly interesting.

Zoe has done an excellent job with her character personalities and how they interact with each other. I had a hard time putting the book down and I about went crazy looking for where I packed it. I'm a bit obsessive with a good book. The action is exciting and the story keeps you on the edge of your seat. I hope you all will try Zoe's Blades of the Rose series.

Z Seawitch
SeawitchReviews From the Bookshelf
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Catullus Graves is the primary inventor for the Blades of the Rose, a society responsible for the protection of the world's magic. While on a mission in Canada, he encounters a beautiful American reporter, Gemma. Gemma senses that Catullus and the other members of his party are up to something extraordinary and, desperate for their story, she follows them back to England. Soon she's caught up in the Blade's quest to stop the villainous Heirs of Albion from using the Primal Source of magic to enslave all of the world's magic. Along the way, Gemma and Catullus face vicious fairies, enormous monsters, and even King Arthur himself.

Positive Comments:

As usual with Zoe Archer's books, there's a ton of action and adventure. The mythology feeds the action, and is so imaginative and varied that the reader is never sure what to expect.

I loved Graves in the previous books when he was a secondary or background character. Now, as a hero, he measures up pretty well. I was surprised when he was revealed to be awkward with women, but in some ways it was charming. He's clever, original, and very sexy. I didn't connect strongly with Gemma, but I did find her likable. She's charming, smart, and readily accepting of Catullus and all of his eccentricities. They were a bit of an oddball couple for me, but I found their romance fairly enjoyable.

I really liked seeing all of the Blades, especially the couples from the previous books, come together to fight and save the day.

Critical Comments:

The conflicts in this novel are almost entirely external. There's nothing wrong with that, especially in an adventure based novel. But the effect, for whatever reason, is that I connected with the characters only on a shallow level.
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