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.

0 Kudos
by on ‎04-01-2010 10:05 PM

Been there did that, tumor the size of a football.

by Blogger Marisa-ONeill on ‎04-02-2010 07:41 AM

I'm a huge Mary Jo Putney fan and I'm looking forward to reading this one. I'm curious - how the heck can this be a romance if the hero is going to die? 

by Blogger Maria_Lokken on ‎04-02-2010 08:04 AM

Don't worry - as I said - you'll be cheering in your reading chair by the end of the book.  And if you're a Mary Jo Putney fan - this is another book to add to your collection.  It's terrific!

by Moderator becke_davis on ‎04-02-2010 05:08 PM

I'm so glad you brought that up, because I was really hoping this would have my requisite HEA. I've read a couple hero or heroine battling a death sentence stories, and they always suck me in emotionally. I'll be adding this to my TBR pile, along with the million other books I want to read.


Tigger - that sounds awful! I hope you're okay now.

by Cheyenne_Catina on ‎04-03-2010 09:04 AM

this kinda reminds me of the circumstances in this duchess of mine by eloisajames...

by on ‎04-03-2010 01:51 PM

Oh Becke, that was years ago. I'm fine, thanks for asking. But it was defiantlly the do I really want to do all this cr*p anymore moment. Durring recovery it became a reoccuring "o I don't need this bullsh*t" moment when I tried merging back into the pattern and pace of life previous. I came away from it with new priorities and a great appreciation for things normally set aside.

by Moderator becke_davis on ‎04-04-2010 12:15 AM

Well, it definitely sounds like you grabbed "your dreams by the scruff of the neck and went out and LIVED!

by on ‎04-04-2010 10:22 PM

(chuckle) Maybe.. but I did get happier that's for sure.


I think stories like the book mentioned above are good things for all those people out there needing a good life tree shaking.

by Blogger Maria_Lokken on ‎04-05-2010 07:17 AM

TiggerBear - very happy to hear it all turned out right for you.  This book does make you think, pause and then say - OKAY, what do I really want.


Becke - you will be very happy with the ending... I must admit though, I was on the edge of my seat wondering how Mary Jo was going to work her way out of this one - and that was half the fun.

by Moderator becke_davis on ‎04-06-2010 04:02 PM

Even when I KNOW the story is going to end well, I can work myself to a frazzle worrying how that's going to come to pass.

by LT322 on ‎04-15-2010 09:10 AM

Is this a rewrite or a re-release? My local library catalog has it listed as being published in 1997. I swear I've read this book -- but I really enjoyed it! Mary Jo Putney is one of my favorites!


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