It’s hard to resist a good poisoning mystery (or maybe that’s just me).
At its heart, Romancing His English Rose is very much a romance. It centres on Rose Warren and Simon Trumbull, who have been betrothed since birth. Both are doing their best to avoid each other until their duty becomes unavoidable, but when Rose thinks Simon’s cousin may be at the centre of a poisoning murder, she enlists his help.
They soon discover there is more to each other than they first thought. Bespectacled, shy Rose is the character that really steals the show in this book. She’s likeable and endears us to her due to her shyness (although I must admit her frequent stammering did become a bit wearing). This aside, when given the chance to open up, she hides a keen intellect and a determination that stops Simon in his tracks a time or two. Simon, too, is likeable, but in that reformed rake kind of way (typical of this genre), so I didn’t find him nearly as original as Rose.
Their unfolding relationship is enjoyable, and at times, amusing to watch. Both fighting against the inevitability of their betrothal, only to find that they do actually quite like each other. This all happens against the backdrop of the poisoning mystery, which adds an extra element to the story not always found in this genre.
I liked the concept of this book, both in terms of the murder mystery and the romance. As I discovered, there wasn’t so much a mystery to be solved, but a killer to be brought to justice. It meant the plot was fairly straightforward and lacked surprises, but overall it was enjoyable. Perfect weekend reading for historical romance fans in need of a light-hearted escape.
Romancing His English Rose
Lady Lancaster Garden Society
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Entangled Publishing.
Date of Publication: 9-9-13
Number of pages: 174
Rose Warren and Simon Trumbull may have been betrothed since birth, but that doesn’t mean they have to like each other. Rose is sure the notorious playboy Simon will never willingly settle down, and Simon, well… he agrees. Never one to be forced into anything, he’d rather drink and gamble with his mates than spend time with the bookish, bespectacled Rose.
When the two are thrown together to investigate a potential poisoning mystery, neither expects the sparks that fly. Simon discovers that Rose is, in face, a brilliant sleuth and – even better – hides a delectable body beneath her flowing skirts. Suddenly, falling into bed may be the best idea either has heard, but can Simon convince Rose his romancing is forever?
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“Ah, yes…” Simon said haltingly, unable to believe that Lady Lancaster had suggested he dance with Rose. Usually when he poured on his charm, the older ladies did everything in their power to keep the young impressionable girls away from him. Of course, he was engaged to Rose, so perhaps that accounted for the woman’s unusual decision.
Turning to Rose, Simon saw that she too was surprised by the dowager’s recommendation. She also appeared displeased by it. Most young ladies fawned over him and when he asked one to dance, they would practically swoon with delight. But Rose seemed almost disgusted by the idea.
Pride pricked, Simon came to a decision. This dance would be the best Rose had ever experienced—one she would never forget.
Pulling himself up straight and tall, Simon adopted the most sincere mien he could and asked, “Rose, may I have this dance?”
Rose nodded and accepted Simon’s arm and together they walked to the dance floor.
Soon they were moving gracefully around the ballroom floor…in complete silence. Rose was gazing absently over Simon’s shoulder and Simon was trying in vain to come up with something witty and interesting to say.
While deciding to impress Rose enough for her to never again regret having to dance with him, Simon took a moment to get a better look at his betrothed. Something was different about her tonight, but he just couldn’t put his finger on what.
Catherine Hemmerling has been a technical writer in the software industry for nearly twenty years and has published many user manuals and technical documentation in that time. She has always had a love of writing fiction but has never pursued publication in that genre until now.
Hopefully it is the beginning of a long new journey with Lady Lancaster and the Garden Society girls. Certainly historical romance (especially the scandalous kind) is more fun than writing technical documents!
This author happily resides in Tehachapi, California (near Bakersfield – home of her Alma-mater!) with her family.
Catherine writes for Entangled Publishing’s Scandalous historical line and is thrilled to be part of their family of writers!