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Count The Roses Paperback – June 8, 2016
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About the Author
Jackie Weger is a traveler of the good earth by foot, boat, bus, plane, train and pickup, but usually only gets as far as Walmart.
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I've been to New Orleans, but never having visited the bayou country, I was enchanted with the descriptions of the locale and the people who inhabit this interesting area.
As for the main characters, Jennifer and Aiden are not glamorous jet-setters, they're complex people with hurts they're working to overcome and the author does a great job developing not only the main characters, but also the secondary ones as well. I laughed, cried, and enjoyed every minute of this read.This is the kind of book that lives with you long after your finished reading. Five stars all the way
The overall story had a lot of potential however the relationship between the main characters was not well developed . I'm not real sure how they got from the fussing to the bedroom anytime they communicated it was with sarcasm. Over all I felt the idea for the story was there but it was just thrown together.
Jennifer Dewitt was betrayed and jilted by a man she thought loved her, but turned out only to need her connections to her father to get a job. She was also tired of her mother trying to set up her life, forcing her to go into acting. She departed the East Coast for a brand new life in New Orleans, and worked her way up from ground level in a hotel, and got to catering manager, but she's still barely making do. That is, until she encountered Adrien Merrill. Adrien Merrill is Cajun Royalty... he still has a plantation, and he actually owns the hotel Jennifer works at. An encounter between Adrien and Jennifer at the hotel had Adrien intrigued, but Adrien was commitment shy after his previous wife hated plantation life ("boring") and actually had an abortion after their divorce, made him wary of "city girls" and "northerners". But Jennifer was nothing like that. But Jennifer's life experience had taught her to rely on no one, and Adrien's southern charm seems so... smothering. Yet they can't get over each other...
The southern charm was nice but didn't feel as southern as some of the other southern charm romances I've read. The characters just feels a bit flat compared to author's other efforts.
Adrien has been hurt. He married, only to find that his wife hates the bayou country he calls home, and she eventually walked out. Jennifer has been hurt. Her fiancee used her to get a job with her father, and as soon as that came through, he walked away. Jennifer leaves New York and moves to New Orleans, taking a job at a local boutique hotel. Here, she meets Adrien. He more or less blackmails her into a date, even though she isn't supposed to date guests. They develop a hot and cold relationship. He gets her to come out to his home on the bayou and host an important business weekend for him. Both Adrien and Jennifer have been badly burned by love in the past. Will they take a chance on a new love? Will either of them bend in their independence, or will they break their own hearts with pride?
Lots of interesting supporting characters. Bertie. Henri. Leddy and Etienne. All of the goings on a the hotel. Ms. Weger writes with a really nice flow to it. Mostly, it feels like the words flow along, only occasionally getting a little stagnant before breaking free and moving again. Things were wrapped up fairly well, although they did seem a little rushed in the end. Enjoy!
Adrien Merrill is 100% proud Cajun. He loves his land, cattle, crops, friends and family. He owns an old New Orleans hotel, but wishes he didn't. He should have never married his now ex-wife. Two years is long enough to mourn and regret. It's now time to begin again, but carefully. After all, aren't all women the same? The moment he meets Jennifer, all his per-conceived notions begin to fade into the background as she slowly turns his Cajun world upside down
I love Jackie Weber's beautifully descriptive writing style. With Counting the Roses, I was drawn into and immersed in Adrien's Cajun Bayou culture, even as it clashed with Jennifer's independent New York perspective. I must admit to being a bit annoyed with personality traits in both Jennifer and Adrian. However, as their guards lowered and their true personalities emerged, I liked them both. Their chemistry was always simmering, but the author left the details to my imagination. Their friends were delightful and the villains detestable. This stand-alone novel was filled with humor, angst, joy and wisdom as it ambled towards a HEA ending.
All in all this is a clean and loving novel that I can recommend to any reader.