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One Perfect Rose Paperback – 1998
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This book was everything I love about a romance novel. A simple love with NO ridiculously stupid complications. I never understand people who complain that the hero and heroine are too nice. WHO wants people to be asses!?!? What's WRONG with nice people? Books can be great with nice people. If you don't think so than you obviously don't gave a good taste of what makes a good story if you think someone has to be cruel for a story to be good. Authors and readers alike. There's no big misunderstanding here which is a major gold star in any book but seriously the main plot is the hero is dying! I think that's ENOUGH of an obstacle to where no misunderstanding or ass personalities aren't needed.
Stephen, the Duke of Ashburton is given a dour diagnosis from his family physician and a time line of 3 months at the most to live. Stephen, unable to grasp the news immediately packs his bags and starts traveling the country to come to terms. Just when he does, he runs into the Fitzgerald Theater Troupe and watches their play and is taken with the personable nature of one of the actresses. When he saves the life of young Brian Fitzgerald while injuring himself. Grateful for his heroics the friendly Fitzgeralds allow daughter Rosalind to nurse him back to health. Stephen naturally stays with the group loving that people like him for Stephen and not the Duke of Ashburton. And of course, he and Rosalind connect.
Reading Stephen and Rosalind's relationship truly grow from a deep friendship to a slow burning love makes this one of my FAVORITE romance novels ever and I mean that. Stephen tells only Rosalind of his deteriorating health and wants her with him for his final days because she's brought him more happiness in a few weeks than he's had his whole life. She agrees because a few months with him is better than nothing and because she's cares so deeply for him. Unknowing to both of them that that affection is the growing power of love.
She stays by his side and it's TRULY heartbreaking to watch them have wonderful days then calm and remember that time is running out for them. I've never cried reading a book until this one. You'll feel as if you're Rosalind because Stephen is so wonderful and Rosalind is such a strong and likable heroine. Rosalind and Stephen are a lot alike in personality so it's easy to see how and why they're drawn to each other and both have similar pasts as a widow and widower and you just want the best for them and so much love. For worrywarts, remember this is a ROMANCE novel when you worry about reading a book where the hero dies. Romance novels = what type of ending????
I didn't see the twist coming but I did see on revelation that I wondered about early on.
Overall, BUY this book ASAP. It's so good you won't regret. Take it from one VERY picky reader. If you're sick of big misunderstandings, the same old love story formula and awful villains then PICK UP this book because it's so different from all of that you'll love it. You'll love every character and that is a tough feat in novels.
However ... the Kindle edition is ghastly. There are so many typos in this that I found it hard to read. At least half of the time when "the" (a very common word) should be used, the word "die" is substituted. wth ???? There are many, many periods in odd, incorrect places. Transposed letters abound. Example: the word 'comment' shows as connnent'. Well, you get my drift.
Now I see that it is not available for Kindle purchase, after just being released. I can see why. [Edited to add: August, 2011 ... I see it is now back up for sale]
Edited to add ... January, 2013 ... 2 1/2 years later and the Kindle edition has still not been fixed. I have gone back through and submitted corrections for all the boo-boos that I caught, but as yet it is not showing as an "updated version available". Come on publishers/Amazon ... fix these, please!
One Perfect Rose
The only thing that made this a 4.5 instead of a solid 5, was the whole aspect of how the heroine conveniently reconciles her lineage and past. I know this is romance and we ALL love our HEA, but it was just too convenient, too clean and ultimately (IMHO) unnecessary. There is also a religious element to this novel which may turn some readers off. I'm not religious personally but didn't have any issues with how the hero comes to find his faith
Really great book - I highly recommend that if you have the opportunity - read it.