Monday, October 3, 2011

Review: The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley

Title: The Rose Garden
Author: Susanna Kearsley 
Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Time Travel/Historical Romance 
Publisher: Sourcebooks 
Number of Pages: 478 
Source: Sent to me by the publisher to read

When Eva's film star sister Katrina dies, she leaves California and returns to Cornwall, where they spent their childhood summers, to scatter Katrina's ashes and in doing so return her to the place where she belongs. But Eva must also confront the ghosts from her own past, as well as those from a time long before her own. For the house where she so often stayed as a child is home not only to her old friends the Halletts, but also to the people who had lived there in the eighteenth century. When Eva finally accepts that she is able to slip between centuries and see and talk to the inhabitants from hundreds of years ago, she soon finds herself falling for Daniel Butler, a man who lived - and died - long before she herself was born. Eva begins to question her place in the present, and in laying her sister to rest, comes to realise that she too must decide where she really belongs, choosing between the life she knows and the past she feels so drawn towards. (

 Susanna Kearsley's books are meant to be savored. The story can't be rushed, and you will be rewarded for your patience at the end of the story when everything comes full circle. The Rose Garden is the kind of book you want to save for a day when you can curl up on the couch in a blanket with a hot cup of tea at your side and not get up until you've finished the book. Susanna Kearsley's tales are always beautifully written, and I felt like I was living in Cornwall, England with the characters in the book-the descriptions of the coast were just so vivid that it makes me want to vacation there every year. 

Eva has come to England on a sad mission-to scatter the ashes of her famous Hollywood star sister at a place where they spent a lot of their childhood. The past mixes with the future, and I fell in love with both stories; however, I found myself wanting her to stay in the past more and more, Every time she'd come back to the present day I'd stomp my foot a little bit because I loved the story of Daniel Butler so much. I mean who doesn't love a smuggler fighting for a cause you know isn't going to turn out well for him? One of the things I loved was that there are bad guys that you love to hate and good guys that just make you smile.

While the explanation of why Eva was able to travel through time was a little weak (lay lines)  I enjoyed how after the first freak out of going back in time she adjusted fairly quickly and didn't whine a lot about it. (I hate whiny heroines, lol) The present day story got a little boring near the end, but I think that's just because I loved the one happening in the past so much. All the characters in this book were strong and felt myself sighing at the end of the book when all the different story lines intertwined.  The Rose Garden is just a classic romance that won't ever go out of style.

Martini Sigh Meter: High 
Curran Crush Meter: High 
Barrons Hero Hotness Meter: Low...but Daniel is very likable-he's just not a Barrons kind of hero
Ethan/Merit Sizzle Meter: The tension was high in this book, but actual sizzle is low b/c it is very pg rated
Rhiannon Kick Ass Heroine Meter: Medium...Eva does have her moments where she puts the bad guys in their place