I really enjoyed this book and did not want to put it down until I knew how the author was going to resolve the story and bring Rosa and Weston happilI really enjoyed this book and did not want to put it down until I knew how the author was going to resolve the story and bring Rosa and Weston happily together. Because you know they’re going to. Even though unlike in the story of Ruth and Boaz, Rosa is not seeking a husband when she asks for help. And we learn quickly that Weston hasn’t gotten over the death of his first wife five years ago.
I didn’t expect Louise Gardner, Rosa’s mother-in-law, to be so cheerful and optimistic. After all Naomi was quite bitter. But it doesn’t detract from the story, Louise is a good lesson on moving on and overcoming grief. The extended Gardner family really loves and cares for each other. They must have all been heartbroken when Louise and her family originally moved away.
The aspect of the story that I enjoyed most was learning about and watching Rosa. She’s new to the culture and tries very hard to behave according to the cultural norms of 1870s Texas. Which isn’t always easy. Regina Jennings does an excellent job illustrating how easy cultural misunderstandings occur. One such misunderstanding occurs during the dance, my favorite scene.
Overall this is a wonderful story. It’s a clean read. A couple of times I was confused about who a character was, but that probably was my fault for reading it so late at night and not due to any negligence on the author’s part. I’d give it at least four stars.
Princess Annie is resistant to magic, which is a good thing when an entire castle falls into a magical sleep around you or when an evil witch tries toPrincess Annie is resistant to magic, which is a good thing when an entire castle falls into a magical sleep around you or when an evil witch tries to cast a spell on you. But it’s not a great thing if your family doesn’t like being near you because you negate the magic bestowed upon them. Nor is it good if you find yourself in the witch’s candy house and the gingerbread floor starts caving beneath you.
Yes, Annie has a hand in rescuing Hansel and Gretel. She also meets the bear from Snow-White and Rose-Red, and discovers Rapunzel’s secret. And that’s just a few of the characters that E. D. Baker has woven into the story. But none of those characters’ stories are quite like the classic tales.
The story is fun and engaging and the characters unique. I laughed and grinned several times. If you enjoy fairy tales you’ll probably enjoy reading the story of The Wide-Awake Princess.
This was another very fun book. The back cover gives you the idea it is more about Cimorene, when it’s really about Mendanbar and his quest to find ouThis was another very fun book. The back cover gives you the idea it is more about Cimorene, when it’s really about Mendanbar and his quest to find out why there are large bare, almost burnt out patches of nothing in his forest. He is sent by a squirrel to see Morwen who tells him to visit Kazul. Only problem is Kazul is missing.
Thus Cimorene and Mendanbar set off together to find the Dragon King. Along the way they meet the usual giants, dwarfs, magicians and royalty. Except none of them are actually “usual” as you may suspect if you’ve read book one.
For example, the giant is fed up because “every three months, regular as clockwork, one of those boys shows up and there’s never been a Tom, Dick or Harry among ‘em. Just Jacks. The English have no imagination.” (p.101-102)
Similar to the first, this book has a dash of romance but in this tale it’s mainly friendship and mutual interests that then blossoms into love at the very end. There is also plenty of adventure, mystery and lots to chuckle about.
What an enjoyable read! A beautiful romance, intellectual discussions, a bookstore, poetry. What more can you ask for in a novel? This is a book I wilWhat an enjoyable read! A beautiful romance, intellectual discussions, a bookstore, poetry. What more can you ask for in a novel? This is a book I will very likely be buying for my personal library, one I will certainly recommend when discussing books, and one I will very likely buy as a gift for friends.
Celia is a delightful heroine, she’s smart as well as pretty, but the focus is on her love for books, flowers and art, not her appearance. She can hold her own when conversation involves Tennyson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Pascal, Dickens, and Josephus just to name a few. Yes, this book has plenty of literary discussions.
I don’t know anything about the author as I type this but it is amply evident that she understands literature, loves roses, understands Christian apologetics and is a talented writer who can weave all of that into a Beauty and the Beast like tale.
All of the characters were important to the story and there were plenty of them. There were a few times I couldn’t quite remember which lady in the town was who but that really didn’t detract from the story and there was always a reminder in the scene or conversation that followed. Often times recently written historical romances only contain a handful of characters but I enjoyed the richness of a full cast.
Some might say parts of the book get “preachy” but it is a very important part of the plot and is line with the other intellectual literary discussions in the story – the only difference being the subject matter. The vocabulary is on a higher grade level than most fiction written today which might slow down or turn some people off as well. I ended up reading this book in two sessions even though I can usually manage a book of this length in one sitting.
The romance is clean and the gentlemanly restraint is heartwarming even as the intense physical desire is acknowledged. The tender affection that the Chestleys show for one another is endearing and sweet.
I highly recommend this to anyone who loves a good discussion about literature and who loves romance set in 1876 Massachusetts.
I love fairy tale retellings and this was a delightful collection of five versions of Cinderella. Last year author Anne Elisabeth Stengl hosted a writI love fairy tale retellings and this was a delightful collection of five versions of Cinderella. Last year author Anne Elisabeth Stengl hosted a writing contest and the result was this book. Just this week the fairy tale for the next Rogglewood Press writing contest was announced. And if the quality of the Cinderella stories is anything to go by Five Enchanted Roses will be a fabulous collection as well.
What Eyes Can See by Elisabeth Brown My Reaction: How fun! I do like the twist that the stepsisters and mother are nice. Though I wish we could have heard more of Arella’s thoughts. My Review: Elisabeth Brown does a great job giving us the classic story, but with a twist. Arella is painfully shy and does not want to marry the prince. I could almost imagine the story taking place in the settings of Disney’s movie but with a master editor rewinding and speculating ‘what if…’
Broken Glass by Emma Clifton My Reaction: Loved the ending! Especially the epilogue. This quote stuck out: “It does take more than one dance to find your soul-mate.” I really like that this story and the previous one both emphasize that fact. My Review: Emma Clifton mixed magic and steampunk together and came up with a story that has some of the harshness of the original Grimm fairy tales but also the characters to love and admire. I hope Emma continues writing stories set the land she created as I’m quite curious as to what happened to Ophelia and of course the epilogue is a perfect teaser for another fairy tale retelling.
The Windy Side of Care by Rachel Heffington My Reaction:What a light hearted piece of fun and political intrigue! And a great “fairy” godfather! My Review:Rachel Heffington did a great job completely reimagining Cinderella has a charming political schemer who is actually a disinherited princess. The dialogue was witty and very well written.
A Cinder's Tale byStephanie Ricker My Reaction:Delightful. Nice to have a change from romance being the focus (though I’m sure a sequel would have plenty). Great riveting action and danger. My Review:Stephanie Ricker put Cinderella in a space suit in a far corner of the universe and crafted a very exciting tale. I especially liked that she used the names Jac, Gus and Bruno for Elsa’s friends. Though I did keep picturing the dog when I read Bruno. His is a story I would love to read more of. The clones with their unique outfits were a great way to tie in the traditionally ill-dressed stepsisters.
The Moon Master's Ball by Clara Diane Thompson My Reaction:Thrilling. Spooky. I do wish the word limit had been a bit longer since while the story is excellently told, the climax felt very rushed. My Review:Clara Diane Thompson painted an eerie scene and kept the mystery front and center. The sudden appearance and disappearance of the Circus reminded me of the Twelve-Year Market from the Tales of Goldstone Wood. Much has been written about the impracticality of glass slippers – and whether they were mistranslated and should be fur slippers, but in this story they finally had a purpose and a point.