THE PERFECT ROSE
Abandoned by his wife and left to raise a child alone, Caleb Reed falls short of the ideal work-from-home dad.
He needs a woman to help him, in every sense of the word.
At the suggestion of a friend, Caleb agrees to hire Ariel Lauren on a trial basis.
As an orphan, Ariel has more issues than just how to make it on her on. Yes, she needs the money that Caleb offers her, but more than anything she finds she desires his love. One calamity after another befalls her and jeopardizes her new job and her chance at having a family.
But through it all, Caleb is by her side, his gruff exterior threatening to melt in the face of their shared attraction.
Will they decide to continue life alone or will the magic of Valentine’s Day bring them together?
Felicia Rogers modestly describes herself as “just your average, ordinary woman, with a side interest– writing.” Born and raised in the southern US, she committed many years of her life to being a good Christian wife and mother.
For eleven years, every waking moment of her life was consumed with changing diapers, wiping noses, and kissing scrapes. But now that her children have grown and she enjoys a modicum of freedom, in addition to taking care of hearth and home, she writes! She enjoys adding a flavor of realism and humor to her all too real romance stories. For what is love without a little laughter!
Her first thought was towards writing a historical romance, however as the ideas began to develop, a paranormal story with a twist suitable for the YA market drew the most inspiration and so her first two novels were born
‘The Perfect Rose’ was conceived as a novella and took Felicia into the world of adult romantic fiction, and now, finally fulfilling that original dream of penning historical fiction novels, she hasn’t looked back.
“The best thing about being a writer, is being able to make up my own world and when I don’t like that world, I can leave it and create another, or just change it”
Keep up to date with all Felicia’s news, on her website
She should be here any moment.
Mabel had said ten o’clock and assured Caleb the lady was never late.
Now here he sat, sipping hot coffee and watching Joshua make snow angels in the yard.
His mind relaxed and drifted to his earlier conversation with Mabel …
This is my first foray into the world of the ‘Novella’ and although I didn’t start to read with any preconceived ideas, I did wonder how a ‘beginning, middle and end’ to the story, was going to be realised in such a few short pages. Felicia however, was well up to the challenge and managed all three elements with great aplomb and without managing to lose her way.
Starting off with three emotionally damaged characters and in just a few chapters turning them into a well balanced, stable family unit, was a feat in itself, without all the extraneous events which occurred to threaten the very tenuous fabric of their growing affections.
Some of these events appeared to have been added rather randomly and therefore slightly stilted the free-flowing nature of the central story, however they did build beautifully on the whole atmosphere of tension, which lurked beneath the surface, ready to rip assunder any relationship which was forming between Caleb and Ariel.
The introduction of Kelly, Caleb’s ex-wife and Joshua’s mother was the pivotal point in this new and fragile relationship and although, given the circumstances under which Caleb and Kelly had parted, I could see what Felicia was hoping to achieve by bringing her back into the equation; by either offering them a chance to regroup as a family and try to move on, or to finally bring and end and closure to the marriage, I wasn’t sure that allowing Kelly to run roughshod over everyone and just move back into the family home was quite plausible, although in such a short story perhaps it was the only way to bring about a swift conclusion to the episode.
Tender moments which Ariel shared with Caleb’s son, Joshua, strengthened and re-inforced the concept of the secure and loving family unit, which Ariel herself had longed for yet never known, whilst also highlighting the inbuilt resilience of the young to be able to adapt to and accept a new situation, if they are given time to assess for themselves its true value and worth.
I was with Joshua all the way, as he battles in his own mind, whether he should accept the return of a birth mother he has never known, only that she went away and left him; or whether he should move on and allow Ariel to be included in the life he has built around himself and his father and to adjust to having a third person in that tight-knit and strongly bonded relationship, which offered both father and son the security blanket they had so needed in those early days of being alone.
Central to the whole storyline is the character of Mabel, who has been looking out for Caleb and Joshua all the way down the line and, although she may at first appear to be the slightly nosey neighbour, is actually quite perceptive in her assessment of the pair’s domestic and emotional needs. She realises that living a solitary existence is not the way to protect yourself against life and the ability to be hurt again, especially for Joshua who is ever-increasingly dependent on Caleb emotionally and is becoming unreceptive to outside intervention in his life. She is able to tread where other family members fear to go, as she recognizes that Caleb will be too polite to refuse her ‘meddlesome’ ways outright, giving her the opportunity to intervene in her own unique style.
The most obvious thought I am left with, after reading ‘The Perfect Rose’, is that inherently, we all of us like to think that we fit in and belong, and we all like to feel valued and loved. Would that we could all have a ‘Mabel’ in our lives!
I am not sure that ‘Novella’ is the way to go for me, as I prefer a slightly longer novel, where the characters can be given clear definition and allowed to grow more into their roles, as part of a more complex plot, however, as a study in the genre, ‘The Perfect Rose’ worked well and provided a relaxing and enjoyable break from more lengthy and studious novels.
I am certainly looking forward to reading Felicia’s new full length novel There Will Your Heart Be Also, which is due to be published in the Autumn of 2011.
This complimentary review copy was kindly provided by the author.
This in no way influenced any comments I may have expressed about the book, in any blog article I have posted. Any thoughts or comments are my own personal opinion and I am in no way being monetarily compensated for this, or any other article.
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