Rose Petals Volume 2 by Jo Barrett, Beth Caudill,
 Christine Columbus, Peggi Lowe, Deb Tompkins, and
 Deborah Vlahakes
Wild Rose Press
Romance Anthology – Various Genre
ISBN: 1-60154-041-8
Reviewed by Katherine

   

 

Hearts in the Dark by Jo Barrett

Tommi Wood had come to Bonneville to recuperate after an accident.  She was scarred, still had a cast and had difficulty walking.  She wanted to be left alone, and to hide from the gawking, as people were wont to do when seeing her now.

Still self-conscious about his height, Marcus knew that the town had considered it a disappointment that he had not been athletically inclined.  Instead, he owned a landscaping and nursery business.  It was only during the cover of night that Tommi went outside, and that is how Marcus Ranger came across her.

Hearts in the Dark is a tender story of two people who feel like social outcasts coming together.  My heart would ache for the pain that Marcus felt about his size.  Although Tommi still had some healing ahead of her, and if she so chose, cosmetics could help hide her scars.  Marcus meanwhile would always stick out in a crowd.  I was a little disappointed in the conflict near the end of the story, but overall, the well-developed characters made up for that weakness. This was my favorite story in this anthology.

 

Garden Magic by Beth Caudill

Melinda was engaged to be married.  She loved her fiancée, Eric, but he truly didn’t understand her love for the garden at her family home.  He wanted to get rid of it, but she would not allow that.  Luckily she found him in a compromising position with another woman before the marriage.  What she didn’t realize was that Rendell Cunningham, the man she met on that fateful day, was actually her destiny.

Garden Magic has a lot of different elements.  There are people with different abilities, and I enjoyed those aspects.  The romance development between Melinda and Rendell was a little weak, as they only had a few pages together. I also could not fathom why Melinda was with Eric.  Still, Beth Caudill developed an intriguing new world that I would be interested in seeing again.  I loved Rendell’s business of planning vacations for members of the “supernatural community”.  A whole series could be made of those clients, learning what they are, seeing where they go and being entertained by what they do.

 

A Hard Day on the Farm by Christine Columbus

Molly had moved out of the city into Edgewater, which was full of hobby farmers.  Until then, she had never heard of people who worked small farms in the evening after they finished their jobs in the city during the day. 

Unfortunately, George was taking his good old time in seducing Molly.  She didn’t understand his reticence, but she had decided that this was the weekend for the next step in their relationship.

A Hard Day on the Farm is about a couple already in love.  For a romance, it didn’t have any conflict.  Molly and George are passionate about each other, but Molly simply doesn’t understand why George hasn’t done more than kiss her.  The concept of the hobby farmers, and their life in Edgewater was interesting, and I would have liked to have seen some more development in a back story.  I kept waiting for there to be more plot than just moving to the next level in a relationship, so I was a bit disappointed in the story. 

 

5th Floor Garden by Peggi Lowe

George Julian needed his new tenant, Emma Pinkerton to leave.  His resident ghost did not like him having any female companionship, which made for a very lonely life.  Even though she didn’t come up to his floor, and stayed in her shop below, his ghost was not happy.

Emma didn’t understand why George had suddenly decided to try to get her to leave, but she wasn’t having any of it.  She liked her shop exactly where it was.  She even liked her landlord.  If only he’d give them a chance…

5th Floor Garden is a romance of two people coming together while helping a ghost.  The first part of the story was very entertaining.  I enjoyed the banter between George and Emma, as well as his difficulties in coming to terms with his ghostly dilemma.  However, at the end, there was a drastic change in tone and direction that pulled me from the story.  I felt it was unnecessary and it diminished my pleasure of the story.

 

Led Down the Garden Path by Deborah C. Tompkins

Josephine Burdette is a woman on the run.  Not from the law, but from the man she had thought she’d been in love with.  Unfortunately, that man did not exist.  Jo had seen with her own eyes the type of man Mark Estades really was.  So she had run and hid.

Mark Evans was looking for a woman.  For the past two years, he had had one goal, find Jo and tell her the truth about everything.  Now he was in a town that he knew would be perfect for her.  He just hoped that his skills at ferreting information would help him find her before she slipped away again.

Led Down the Garden Path is an entertaining story.  First are the secondary characters with side comments and thoughts.  Then there is Mark trying to find Jo, while utilizing town pride.  Last is the heroine Jo who must learn that seeing should not necessarily be followed by believing.

 

For a Good Cause by Deborah Vlahakes

This story does not qualify as a romance as there is no HEA (Happily Ever After), nor is there truly a romance between Mia Myers and any particular man.  It is simply the story of Mia accepting who she is, and deciding to enjoy life.  The future is open to her, and there are men out there who would be interested in the accomplished professional woman that she is.

     

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