One White Rose
One White Rose is cute. I don’t mean that at all derogatorily, but that’s the best word I can think of to sum up this book. Like One Pink Rose, it’s 150 pages, and, like One Pink Rose, it follows up For the Roses. Later this summer we can expect another short book, One Red Rose, and, this fall, a full-length hardcover – Come the Spring.
The Rose books are all about the Clayborne family. In One White Rose, the brother is Douglas, one-time thief, now gun-slinger, who, when he arrives at the cabin of Parker Grant to pick up two horses he bought at auction, is greeted instead by Isabel, eight months pregnant, and packing a rifle. Parker’s been killed and she knows nothing about Douglas buying her beloved Arabians. Worse, her water breaks and he knows nothing about birthing no babies, unless, of course, those babies are colts.
Such is the beginning of this delightful yet brief book. When Douglas learns the reason why Parker is dead and Isabel tried to shoot him, he realizes he’s going to have to stay around for awhile to protect Isabel and the baby. You see, there’s a nasty rancher who wants Isabel for his own and is using his means to cut her off from the rest of the world until she gives in to him. It is difficult to convey the humor and wit that Julie Garwood has packed into these pages. She is a master at having the hero and heroine mirror each other’s thoughts, but from an opposite viewpoint. She does this here as well, and quite successfully. She moves back and forth between points-of-view with ease, never confusing the reader, and thereby manages to create instant intimacy for the reader. As Douglas and Isabel spend nearly 10 weeks in her cabin, they come to know one another and to fall in love. I enjoyed the easy relationship that developed between Isobel and Douglas, and the novel way in which they got together. There is a good deal less in the way of loving than one expects in a Garwood book, but the short format does not allow for that. My problem with this book is the short length. While the author manages to tell a taut tale, and includes many of her trademarks, I would rather have seen this as a full-length book, so that all the elements she writes so well could have been included. I loved the family scenes between Douglas and his brothers. I loved the love scene. There could have been more of both, and I would have loved them even more. The story-line, while it couldn’t have supported a full-length historical, could have supported, say, the length of a typical Loveswept – 230 or so pages.
What was there, however, was written well. Fans of this author will not be disappointed in One White Rose, but, as I did, will probably wish it were longer. I enjoyed this so much that I may finally give in and read the copy of For the Roses I bought the day it was released but have been afraid to read until now. If you know me at all, you will know this is a fairly strong endorsement. Still, I wish it were longer. . . .
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