Stephen Kenyon, the Duke of Ashburton is the regally arrogant, prideful hero of One Perfect Rose. When stomach pains turn into a fatal illness he realizes this is one of those bummer days. What’s a Duke to do? With a death sentence hanging over his head, he decides to step down from his lofty perch of Dukedom and see how the other half lives. Leaving his estates, dancing shoes, responsibilities and calling cards behind, he throws a few clothes in his saddlebag and rides off to experience a side of life his white gloved hands and cold heart have never touched. A riches to rags story. Makes you want to get all cozy in your chair and start reading, doesn’t it?
His travels bring him to a theatre – not his usual box at Covent Garden or Drury Lane, but a country barn masquerading as a stage featuring The Fitzgerald Troupe. Knowing this could be the last summer he will experience, the last play he will see, the last time he will be swept off his feet, his heart reaches out to the one actress on stage that captures his full attention -Rosalind. But Rosalind has already escaped death once and her future plans only include living.
This is not a boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy marries girl story. No, it’s much more than that. Our Duke must come to terms with thirty-seven years of baggage, including the pride and arrogance that made him a bystander of life who merely commanded others. His journey to death is a journey to life, and his realizations change him forever.
Ms. Putney gives you a marvelously heartwarming happy ending, but she plays the characters and the story like a master conductor, placing the adagios, allegros and crescendos in all the right places. She keeps you on the very edge of your reading chair until the final moments when you sit up, raise your hand in the air and say “Whoa Yeah, this is why I read romance!”
What would it take for you to grab your dreams by the scruff of the neck and go out and LIVE!
Maria Lokken is an avid romance reader and an award winning television producer.
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