Saturday, March 17, 2012

Book Review: The Rose of Winslow Street

Libby Sawyer's life hasn't been terribly exciting. At 28 years of age, she lives with her elderly professor father in a grand old house on Winslow Street, in the town of Colden, Massachusetts. Or at least she used to. While Libby and her father are away at their summer residence, a mysterious Romanian man has moved himself, his two young sons, his sister, and two henchmen into the Sawyer home! Michael Dobrescu claims the house on Winslow Street belongs to him, and he is willing to battle in court for it. At first outraged and intimidated by Michael, Libby is later intrigued and strangely drawn to this bold, strong interloper. Michael's fierce love and protection for his family are what drives him, and in time, Libby longs to be a part of that family. But she is caught between loyalty to her father and the new love growing in her heart.

This book was excellent. Set in Massachusetts in the late 1800s, I really liked the setting as a New Englander. But more than that, I loved the heroine, Libby. This was the first time I've ever come across a heroine with Libby's unique disability--she cannot read. But oh my, can she draw and paint! And then there was Michael--a big bear of a man who is passionate about flowers and perfume, of all things! Yet also a man who will hack down a whole garden of roses to protect his sister, Lady Mirela, from the tortured memories their fragrance brings. Have I piqued your interest yet? :) I really enjoyed this book. It was a real treat to follow Libby's and Michael's paths, and there was even a little bit of mystery woven into the story. The only thing that bothered me a little had to do with "holy sisters" and a convent--but I don't want to say too much about that so as not to spoil the story for anyone. I understand why the author wove them into the story, though. Also, I should note that there a couple of "darker" incidents described in the book--nothing extremely graphic, but I wouldn't recommend this book for preteen or young teen girls because of that. All in all, this was a very satisfying read, and I look forward to reading more of Elizabeth Camden's work! I give The Rose of Winslow Street 5 out of 5 stars.

**Disclosure: I was given a free review copy of this book by Bethany House Publishers, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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