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Alternate-cover edition for ISBN 9780671870980 can be found here

1879. In Blue Belle, Montana, everyone knew better than to mess with the Claybornes. The brothers had once been a mismatched gang of street urchins—until they found an abandoned baby girl in a New York city alley, named her Mary Rose, and headed west to raise her to be a lady. They became a family—held together by loyalty and love if not by blood—when suddenly they faced a crisis that threatened to tear them apart....

Trouble came to town with one Lord Harrison Stanford MacDonald. Armed with a swagger and six-shooter, he cut a striking figure—but it soon became apparent to Mary Rose that he was too much of a gentleman to make it in her rough-and-tumble town. She asked her brothers to teach him the basics of frontier survival, which he acquired with ease. And soon he possessed a deep and desperate love for Mary Rose. She returned his affection wholeheartedly... until MacDonald revealed a secret that challenged everything she believed about herself, her life, and her newfound love. Now her search for identity and meaning would begin, raising questions that could only be answered if she listened to the truth within her heart....

561 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published September 1, 1995

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About the author

Julie Garwood

144 books11.6k followers
With more than 35 million books in print and 26 NEW YORK TIMES bestsellers, Julie Garwood has earned a position among America's favorite fiction writers.

Born and raised in Kansas City, MO, Ms. Garwood attributes much of her success to growing up in a large family of Irish heritage. "The Irish are great storytellers who relish getting all of the details and nuances of every situation. Add in the fact that I was the sixth of seven children. Early in life, I learned that self expression had to be forceful, imaginative, and quick," says Ms. Garwood.

She began her writing career when the youngest of her three children entered school. After the publications of two young-adult books, she turned her talents to historical fiction. Her first novel, GENTLE WARRIOR, was published by Pocket Books in 1985. Since then, she has branched into other genres including contemporary romantic suspense. Today, her name appears regularly on the bestseller lists of every major publication in the country, and her books are translated into dozens of languages around the world. Her bestselling novel FOR THE ROSES was adapted for the HALLMARK HALL OF FAME television movie ROSE HILL.

Ms. Garwood lives in Leawood, KS and is currently working on her next novel.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 569 reviews
Profile Image for Kristen.
830 reviews4,720 followers
August 28, 2014
5–This Book Owns My Heart–Stars

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I can't even begin to express how much I love this story. I'm a HUGE Julie Garwood fan and I pretty much love any historical romance she writes, but this book stole my heart like few of her other stories have.

This heartwarming book is a little different than Garwood's usual fast-paced, fun-loving, and whimsical romances. It's longer, is more drawn out, and doesn't just center on the love story. For the Roses is a tale about family, friendship, and love. It features the Claybornes, four young orphaned boys who find a baby girl and band together to give her what non of them has ever had: A FAMILY. It's chock-full of richly developed and unique characters, excellent and witty dialogue, captivating and exceptional storytelling, and a swoon-worthy romance.

This book and its characters will alway hold a special place in my heart. I laughed with them, cried with them, ranted with them, and rejoiced with them. I can't think of a better gift an author can give to her readers than to create a story that will forever live in their imagination. I highly recommend this book.

Note: If you've never read this author before, I would suggest starting with one of her other books. As much as I love this story, it isn't one I would recommend for a first time Julie Garwood reader. I would recommend The Bride (my favorite), The Secret, or Ransom.
Profile Image for Mo.
1,351 reviews2 followers
May 21, 2017
I loved it. What a tale, what a saga! Spanning a number of years and two continents it was fantastic. It had humour, passion, tears, laughter, sex! Mary Rose was a great character and her interactions with her brothers was wonderful. How they all loved each other dearly. But the arrival of Lord Harrison Stanford MacDonald meant that changes were about to happen in their world.

It is set mostly in Montana, a wild, rugged, beautiful place. I really don't want to say too much. If you read the premise, you know what the story is going to be about but if I say too much, I might give something away.

“If you begin to give away parts of yourself, eventually you'll give it all. And once you've lost yourself, haven't you lost everything?”

“Going to university is only one avenue to gain knowledge. There are others. A degree isn't insurance against ignorance.”

Ain't that the truth!

... anguish such as he had never felt before welled up inside him until it consumed him.

"For whom the bell tolls," he added in a whisper. "It tolls for thee."

Profile Image for UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish.
1,166 reviews1,583 followers
March 7, 2010
From the cover:
The Clayborne brothers were a rough gang of street urchins -- until they found an abandoned baby girl in a New York City alley, named her Mary Rose, and headed to Blue Belle, Montana, to raise her to be a lady. They became a family -- held together by loyalty and love if not blood -- when suddenly a stranger threatened to tear them apart...Lord Harrison Stanford MacDonald brandished a six-shooter and a swagger, but he soon proved to be a gentleman to the core. The brothers taught him frontier survival, while Mary Rose touched his heart with a deep and desperate passion. But soon, a shattering secret would challenge everything Mary Rose believed about herself, her life, and her newfound love.

My Review:
Reading For the Roses has been a bittersweet experience. Sweet because I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, more than I have any other romance novel, and bitter because now that I have read it, I don’t see how any other book will come close to capturing my attention and my heart the way this one did.

I’ve been so enthralled with Garwood’s historicals, especially her medievals, that I had put off reading For the Roses thinking that a 19th century Western Historical wouldn’t hold a candle to those wild Highlanders. I was sorely mistaken.

It’s 1860 in a New York City alley and we meet an unlikely band of castoffs: four boys who, for one reason or another, were discarded by their families or by society and left to fend for themselves. This particular alley is their home. Eating from garbage cans when they can’t steal what they need, these resourceful young men were doing what they had to do to survive when one night fate stepped in and changed their lives forever.

It was Douglas’ turn to stand guard while his ‘brothers’ slept, and as he kept watch, something caught his attention: a basket was placed in the trash by a mysterious woman who then fled the scene. Douglas alerted the others and followed the woman to see what he could learn about her. The brothers were able to get to the basket before the rats had chewed their way through and Imagine their astonishment to find a baby inside!

The dialogue between Adam, Cole, Douglas, and Travis as they try to decide what to do with their discovery is charming, innocent, naïve, and funny as all get out. Through their observations and ideas about what needs to be done with “Sidney,” we learn so much about the boys’ lives before they found each other as well as their lives together. They knew what it was like to be “thrown away” and uncared for and were not about to allow their new little charge to know those feelings. They decided to take little Sidney as their own and raise him as a brother. Only, as it turned out, Sidney wasn’t a Sidney at all; he was a little girl, and she became their Mary Rose, named Mary after Cole's mama and Rose after Adam's Mama Rose.

Fast forward to chapter one which takes us to Montana Territory, 1879. **gasp** What? Nineteen years later?!? I was immediately heartbroken. I wanted to know what happened to the children during those years as they made their way west! I was, however, quickly relieved of my torment when I discovered that each chapter begins with a letter that one of the boys had written to their Mama Rose, filling her in on their adventures, or misadventures as the case may be, along their journey. We see them all growing up, and eventually little Mary Rose begins her own letter writing. It’s adorable to read her tattlings and pleadings that Mama Rose see things her way and set her brothers straight.

There are so many things to love about this book. Each and every character was so fully developed that I didn’t feel like this story revolved around just the hero, Harrison and heroine, Mary Rose whose sexual intimacies-when they finally occured-were very hot. I found myself every bit as much in love with the brothers, as well as Hanging Judge Burns, Blue Belle and especially Crazy Corrie.

This story had me smiling and laughing constantly, as well as shedding a few tears of joy and even those of sadness. This has become my all time favorite feel good romance novel, so much so that I considered changing all my other ratings down one star so that For the Roses would hold a 5 star place of honor. Then I came to my senses and realized the amount of work that would entail and decided instead to just spread the word to anyone who would listen to my rantings that they simply MUST read this book.
Profile Image for Alba Turunen.
651 reviews205 followers
March 6, 2021
#RetoRita5 #RitaGarwood

En realidad 3'5 estrellitas. Hacía mucho que no leía a la Garwood y es una de mis escritoras favoritas. Curiosamente su serie Clayborne es lo único que me faltaba por leer de ella. Admito que siempre me dio pereza leerlos porque la temática del Oeste no me llama nada, y ya he sufrido más de un pinchazo con los libros de la Garwood que están ambientados en el siglo XIX. Soy más fan de ella con highlanders medievales o en suspense contemporáneo.

Finalmente y gracias al #RetoRita5 me animé a leer "Tiempo de rosas". Lo primero que diré es que no esperaba que fuese tan largo. De hecho siempre que he visto libros en físico de ésta serie me parecían muy cortitos, pero ya he visto que el primero es la excepción, pues te presenta a toda la familia, e imagino que el resto de libros se centrará en el romance de los hermanos.

¿De qué va esta historia? Adam, Douglas, Cole y Travis son cuatro pillos del Nueva York del siglo XIX. Una noche encuentran en su callejón un cesto donde hay un recién nacido, una niña, y deciden adoptarla, criarla y cuidarla.

Si soy sincera, me ha sido algo complicado creerme la historia de los hermanos y su éxito, pese a que la Garwood nos explica que Douglas robó el dinero que llevaba en un sobre la señora que dejó la cesta, y gracias a ello pudieron establecerse en el Oeste. Pero lo cierto es que no me lo he tragado.

A partir de ése momento, estos chicos y la niña, a quienes no unía ningún vínculo de sangre, se convirtieron en los hermanos Clayborne, y huyeron al Oeste, a Montana, donde todavía no había sido declarado Estado. En Montana, los cuatro hermanos comenzarán a trabajar en el cuidado y crianza de reses, caballos, etc. Gracias a su esfuerzo, los Clayborne han podido darles a la pequeña Mary Rose una buena infancia y una mejor educación.

Cuando empieza el libro, Mary Rose tiene dieciocho años y ha dejado el internado de St.Louis para volver a casa con sus hermanos. A la vez, llega al pequeño pueblo de Blue Belle, en Montana, un forastero, un inglés que dice ser abogado.

Este inglés, Harrison MacDonald, en realidad es un noble escocés, que sí, a pesar de ser lord, trabaja de abogado. Y un asunto muy turbio lo ha llevado hasta un poblado sin ley tras una pista muy valiosa. Harrison está buscando a alguien, un bebé que desapareció hace años en Nueva York, y cuyo padre está buscando.

Harrison afirma en el pueblo que quiere convertirse en ranchero y ello es aliciente para que los Clayborne lo adopten temporalmente en sus tierras, y así será como Harrison conozca a Mary Rose y averigue que ha llegado al final de su viaje.

Los Clayborne son temidos y respetados en Blue Belle, el mayor de todos, Adam, es un hombre negro nacido como esclavo y huído de una plantación del sur, Adam es el jefe de la familia, pero es el más bueno y honrado de éste clan. Douglas es el amable criador de caballos, y el encargado de los animales, Travis era el pequeño y travieso y a Harrison le parece que tiene madera para ser un buen abogado. Mientras que el último, Cole, es pendenciero y complicado, se enfada si lo contrarían y es más rápido que una bala cuando se trata de sacar un arma. Así es como Harrison conocerá a los Clayborne y averigue el trato y valor fraternal que le dieron a la pequeña Mary Rose.

Sin duda, Mary Rose ha sido la niña de los ojos de todos los hermanos. Ella fue el motivo de su unión y quien los convirtió en una familia, les dio un propósito de vida y de futuro y ellos hicieron lo que mejor creyeron para contribuir a la crianza y educación de la pequeña.

Como libro debo decir que está bien escrito y tiene lo mejor de la Garwood, su humor y sus protagonistas inocentonas. El protagonista, Harrison, es un amor, pero comparado con otros hombres de la Garwood, se queda algo corto. Aunque el romance no ha estado mal, no es de los mas fuertes o inolvidables de la autora. Si bien el libro está muy correcto, no es de los mejores que ha escrito.

Por otro lado, el libro quizás es demasiado largo. Con esto tampoco quiero decir que me haya aburrido, pero si hay alguna escena que otra que no era necesaria. El desarrollo del libro está bien llevado, pero el problema que he tenido es que es bastante predecible, cuando sabes que hay algo en el argumento, sabes lo que va a pasar, por tanto no hay factor sorpresa.

Lo mejor de todo es que es un libro de la Garwood, y me ha parecido una introducción perfecta para ésta serie. Aunque no sea fan de las historias del Oeste, sí que me gustaría leer las historias de los hermanos.
Profile Image for Millie Razeh.
61 reviews9 followers
June 10, 2022
Oh shiet! Racism was a thing! Right. Forgot about that lmao.

The one thing you should know about this book is that this is less of a story about romance and more about family.

The story is about four boys who live in the streets of NY. One day they found a baby girl, named her Mary Rose Clayborne and decided to raise her; so they moved to the west. For years they stayed in the same town, no trouble, until one day Harrison MacDonald arrives in search of missing person, lost years ago in NY who looks exactly like Mary Rose. Pretending to be inept, Harrison stayed at the town to investigate further about this “family” who look nothing alike (one of them was a black man for god’s sake!). Harrison is falling in love with Mary Rose but her brothers sure are protective and annoying. Thank god Harrison is so likeable, he won them over in no time.

At the very end of every chapter, there was a letter from the Claybornes to Mama Rose (one of the boys biological mother who is a slave). Even though none of them are related, they consider Mama Rose to be their mother. And we get to see their struggles in writing, their worries for their mother, troubles from racism, slavery, and even puberty. I teared up almost in every letter. For example:

“when this is over, you’ll be a free woman, and you can come join your family. The baby needs you so…” - Douglas Clayborne

“I wonder why Mama and Papa threw me away? I wonder what I did wrong. Love, Mary Rose.”

I mean….

As I said before, this book is a story about family and community. There are small stories about the town’s whore, the town’s crazy person, indians, the pub owner, the drunks, the outlaws; but most of all, it was about the Claybornes. I love how all of them have their own personalities and talents.

As for the romance: it was all natural. Mary Rose and Harrison fell in love very realistically. They felt an instant connection from the start and Mary Rose was actually daydreaming all the while! She was already humming and eyeing Harrison from the first meeting. It was super cute.

Anyways, this book was about 500 pages long, slow paced, and lots of subplots. But I enjoyed it immensely (no surprise there) This is an amazing book, but if you don’t like slow books with many subplot, i decide to postpone this one until you find the mood.
October 11, 2016
3.5 very slow moving stars. Omg this book had so very much going on. I really loved a whole lot of it but sometimes you just want things to move on. I was very invested in this couple though. My goodness Julie Garwood can write a hero who absolutely knows what he wants and doesn't waver. I adored Harrison and the heroine Mary Rose was so good hearted. The whole family was so layered and each character was vibrant and adorable. I only felt the story moved too slow. I still am a self confessed Julie Garwood addict for sure.

100% Safe
Profile Image for Mou.
534 reviews115 followers
November 19, 2017
❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

I absolutely loved, loved and loved it.

It’s a story where we can find every perspective of life in every shape with the different form of love. I say it’s a Chronicles of life.

Julie Garwood, I absolutely admire you. I feel all of the emotion while I was reading. Only a great and wonderful Author like you can gift such a beautiful story to us. A story, A tale, A saga…

For the Roses….

Profile Image for *CJ*.
4,002 reviews435 followers
May 21, 2016

I loved this so much. There are no words. *HAPPY TEARS*
Such a beautiful story. Mary Rose was such a well written- sweet, kind hearted and loving character.
Found as an abandoned baby and raised by 4 orphans into one of the sweetest woman ever, everything goes well until Harrison, the lawyer, sweeped in their life and stole Mary's heart.
I loved everything about it- I loved the humor, the bond between family, the letter to the mother, the passion between the main couple, and the angst too. Every brother had a distinct but lovable character(esp Adam- cant wait to read more!)
Every side character was well written- and from the point she meets Elliot- to her anguish over people trying to change her, aaaaagh SO GOOD! However, you still dont feel like hating the dad- why- because she even justifies everything perfectly.
Though Harrison is not my fav JG hero, he certainly stood stong! I love how her men never want to fall in love, but one look at the heroine, HISTORICAL BOOM!
TBH, there hasnt been a JG I havent loved so far. And Im thankful for that. *grumbles wanting rose at pillows too*
Profile Image for Sharon.
505 reviews257 followers
December 14, 2019
Here are some of my thoughts:
• I love the idea of four unrelated young boys (9-13) finding a baby literally in the garbage and deciding to raise her and be her family. It is a wacky idea – but so endearing. I love how these boys have become brothers who strongly protect their sister. They all have issues of some sort, with abandonment and/or crime – they are alone in this world, but they have found each other and have made a family out of this, which is sweet. They are prickly at times, but there is no denying how much they have cared for their sister.
• In particular, I adore Adam. He is my favorite brother of them all, and I truly hope he gets his own book. Also, I find it interesting that the author has made race a central topic (Adam is African/black). Anyway, I love the scenes where Mary Rose has a problem or she wants to cry or complain, and she goes straight to Adam. They have this honest policy and I think it is great that she can come to him for anything. He is the best older brother, and I love how patient he is with her (and honestly, with everyone because he is the only sensible man out of the brothers).
• I also like Cole. He is mean to most people, but so protective and kind to Mary Rose.
• The other 2 brothers, Travis and Douglas – I thought they would contribute more to the story (they were pretty distinctive characters in the prologue), but in the actual book, they did not have much scenes where we see them bonding with Mary Rose. I think that is a disappointment considering how we know how strong her relationship is with all her brothers – so it sucks that we do not get to see more “real-time” bonding scenes with her and her brothers. Adam and Cole had a few, but I have to admit that sometimes, it felt too glossed over. I want to hear the actual dialogue and not just “she talked with them,” if you get what I mean.
• I also love Mama Rose, Adam’s mom, and I hope we get to see her in future books instead of just mention and letters with her. The letters in each chapter are adorable, and a great way of showing how Mary Rose has grown up along with the boys.
• Mary Rose – I honestly found her character initially lacking depth and substance, but she definitely became more interesting and complex as the book progressed. I have grown to like her.
• Harrison, the love interest, is a solid guy. I have enjoyed the gradual developments between him and Mary Rose. Their romance is sweet and filled with lots of bantering. However, I was disappointed in him at one point during the book more towards the end for how he treated her when Mary Rose felt isolated, sad, and homesick I did not expect him to be so blind for an extended period of time. I can see WHY, but it didn’t feel enough to me. Anyway, I do believe he has made up for it, and in general, I have enjoyed this romance. In addition, I like that it is not just about him chasing after Mary Rose. He learns to respect and care for all of the brothers as well. He truly becomes a part of their family.
• I feel disappointed in Eleanor. I really like her character developments at one point – but she is a fickle character. She seems like a good, loyal friend for Mary Rose after she has learned her lesson to stop complaining and starting appreciating and contributing – but she quickly goes back to her pampered self. I think it is fine if she and Mary Rose have different values, and they accept that – but I thought Eleanor would at least still be a good, reliable friend to Mary Rose by the end, but she wasn’t. It is a shame because I quite like their friendship developments in the middle of the book. It seems almost moot to see all her character developments if it is just going to end like that.
• When I read my first Julie Garwood books, I wasn’t expecting to read about 1000-1200 era. I was not particularly interested in reading about that time because I was used to more 1700-1900s England/Scotland (yes, more specifically the popular Victorian times). Anyway, I loved her books anyway and she made the era interesting. Here, I finally got the 1800s like I was used to in this book, but I honestly was not expecting 1800s America. I’m not a fan of reading about the Wild West. Really, really not a fan. But dang, she made it work for me again.

Overall, I have enjoyed this book. It has made me cried some tears. Garwood is REALLY, REALLY good at making me empathize with the heroine. I like the romance developments b/w Mary Rose and Harrison. My favorite aspect is the strong family bond, between the brothers, between Mary Rose and her brothers, and between Harrison and the brothers. 3.5/4 stars

Things that you might want to know (WARNING: Spoilers below)
Happy/satisfying ending?
Love triangle? Cheating? Angst level?
Favorite scenes?
Profile Image for Mei.
1,881 reviews410 followers
August 30, 2017
A very sweet and almost old fashioned story!
It reminded me of Polliyanna meets Oliver Twist meets cowboys! :)
January 26, 2021
I hate that it took me this long to pick up this book.


I laughed a lot ( it was so freaking funny). I love the small town of Blue Belle (and the story behind this name 😂). I love the weird townspeople. I LOVE THE CLAYBORNE BROTHERS. I want to read Adam's story so much and he's my favourite character in this.

For once, I do have to say, as much as I love the romance in this, the family theme and kinship that won me over. You have these four boys from different horrible backgrounds and this little girl, growing up and being a family of their own. I have feelings... So much feelings about this sweet little family they made for themselves.

God, I'm so sappy.

Definitely recommended. Go. Read. It. Now.
Profile Image for Zumbagirl.
154 reviews3 followers
August 31, 2012
Normally, I love Julie Garwood. Maybe I've changed because this book kind of annoyed me. It was way too long - could have and should have been edited back at least 100 pages. Her writing style is very simple - maybe too simple. I liked all of the characters and the premise was good. But something was missing from this compared to some of her other books. The Bride (Lairds' Fiancées, #1) by Julie Garwood and The Secret (Highlands' Lairds #1) by Julie Garwood are still my favorites!
Profile Image for Piper.
302 reviews76 followers
October 27, 2017

Of all flowers, Methinks a rose is best.

This was a wonderful story with enchantingly solid characters. Looking forward to the next installment.
Profile Image for NMmomof4.
1,493 reviews3,630 followers
Shelved as 'lost-interest-but-maybe-come-back'
July 31, 2021
204 pages and 35% in and while I enjoy the family aspects of this, it is moving way too slow for me. It has so much going on with side characters that it isn’t much focused on the romance between the mcs. I liked the brothers and the mcs and their story so far, but I kept on getting distracted with other things (like tv, games, or falling asleep) that I think I need to step away for now and maybe come back to it another time…
Profile Image for Arch .
83 reviews48 followers
February 10, 2015
I love this book. I love how Julie has created a family. A family, although they were different, they were and knew what family is all about.

My favorite brother is Cole Clayborne. :) He's a good, bad boy.

08-31-09 I'm adding an updated review, to the already view I have given the book. I've reread this book in August 2009. I've finished it on 08-31-09.

For The Roses is a 5 stars book. I've first read this story, back in 2000 and recently done a read read in this month, August 2009. Wow! Nine years have passed and I have finally gotten a chance to reread this wonderful book. Ms. Garwood has done an excellent job with this book. Her characters came alive on the pages. It was as if, I was watching them on TV. That's how real they are.

I love rereading books, because it's like visiting old friends. Rereading a book is also good, to catch things that you have missed the first time and I have to say, in 9 years, although, I remembered a lot about this book, there were still some things that stood out to me in the book, after reading it after 9 years.

What I like about this book is that this book is about a family that was built on trust. None of the members of this family shared the same blood and that what makes this family unique. In truth, people don't have to share the same blood, to be family. Being a family goes deeper than blood. Blood may be thick, but blood isn't purer than a true family and that's what the Claybornes are - a true family.

Ms. Garwood had made a family out of 4 boys (Adam; A slave, Douglas, Cole and Travis), 1 baby girl (Mary Rose) and a slave woman( Adam's mother- Mama Rose).

Adam had to run away from the South, because of what happened to his master. He was only 13 years old. Cole met him in New York and stuck to him like glue, because Adam was his protector. To me out of all the brothers, Adam and Cole is the closets. It started from their connection. Cole is spoiled to Adam. He looks up to him and would die for Adam. When Cole first seen Adam, he doesn't see color. He doesn't see a slave. No, all of this is not written in the book, but Cole does explain how him came about hanging around Adam. Cole father's didn't want him, after his mother died giving birth to him, so he basically threw him away. Douglas and Travis were thrown away as well. Mary Rose was thrown away too, but not by her parents. But by a betrayer. I'm happy that the 5 went down the path that they have, for if they didn't, they wouldn't be the Claybornes. Travis gave them all his last name.

The four boys were a little gang. Not a bad gang. They helped one another. One day, Douglas spotted a basket being thrown in a trashcan. Come to find out, it was a baby girl. At first, after rescuing the basket from rats and looking inside, the baby was mistaken to be a boy, because it was bald. Cole gave the baby the name Sidney, but due to the baby needing a changing of cloth diaper - the boys discovered they had a girl on their hands. The baby needed a name, so Cole suggested Mary, after his mother. Adam suggested Rose, after his mother. Of course the boys gave their reasons, for wanting her to be named after their mother. To squash the argument, Douglas suggested that the baby have both of their mother's name - Mary Rose.

Because of Mary Rose, the boys decided to become a family. They became brothers that day and she became their sister.

I love what Adam said, after being hesitant about running, especially with a white baby girl. Since he was a slave, something bad could have happen to him. But, he didn't want to leave his friends - now brothers, hanging. He wanted to be part of this family. He said: "For The Roses."

I have to admit, I didn't pick that up the first time, I've read this book, but it stuck out to me, this time around. The name of the book is For The Roses. Everything that the boys have done, from that point on, was for Mama Rose and Mary Rose. How cute!

I love how the Douglas, Cole, Travis and Mary Rose accepted Mama Rose as their mother. A woman they have never met, but have gotten to know over the years. She probably wasn't with them, but she sure was a mother to them. She didn't treat any of them differently. She didn't favor Adam more, because he was her biological son. She would correct him too, if he was in the wrong. Mary Rose would always write to her mother and complain on her brothers, especially, when they didn't let her have her way. Her brothers spoiled her, but they have also corrected her when she was wrong. Of course, she had them wrapped around her finger. I have to say that out of all the brothers, she was closer to Adam and Cole to me. LOL, Cole called her Sidney to remind her not to be uppity.

Mary Rose would write her mother a lot. LOL, when she was younger, she didn't like being a girl. She didn't understand why she had to be growing a chest and she had punched two boys for taking a bold step towards her. Both boys kissed her and she found that to be gross. Her behavior is one of the reasons, her brothers sent her to a boarding school.

Shortly after Mary Rose returned home from boarding school, a new man came to town. He's a lawyer named Harrison MacDonald. He came in search for the truth, behind a kidnapped baby girl, which turned out to be Mary Rose. When he first sees her in Blue Belle, he couldn't help but think that he was seeing her dead mother - Lady Agatha.

Mary Rose and Harrison meet and she introduce her to two of her brothers she rode to town with. Cole and Douglas. Harrison had a hard time believing they were her brothers. Well, Cole and Mary Rose did favor. They both are blond with blue eyes. After he meets Travis and Adam, he definitely had a hard time, believing that Mary Rose was kin to any of those men. Adam was black.

The time that Harrison spends with the family is funny. Their behavior seemed strange to him. Example: They weren't of one religion. Every three months they change religion.

To make a long story short. Harrison tells Mary Rose's brother why he came. He tells them that Mary Rose is Victoria. Lady Agatha and Lord Elliot's long lost daughter. Mary Rose and Harrison gets married. She goes back to England to meet her father and family. Her father and family wanted her to forget about her brothers and focus on being part of their family. Of course Mary Rose couldn't do that. She tried to become Victoria for her father and family, but she wasn't happy. She wasn't being true to herself. Mary Rose returns home. Adam goes on trial for killing his slave master, which he didn't kill him. Adam only tried to protect him from beating his wife, Livonia some more. The man was crazy. Adam was only 13 years old. Yes, he pulls the man off his wife and even punches him, but that didn't kill the man. The man was drunk. He slipped and hit his head on a mantle. Livonia is the one that told Adam to run and so he did and after all these years, her son came to cause trouble. They wanted Adam to pay for killing their father. Of course, they didn't have any evidence. They have misread what Adam wrote to his mother in regards to his slave master. They read, "I kill him mother." - which Adam never written. The sons were so cruel and just like their father. They beat their own mother badly- trying to make her write a confession that Adam killed her husband. Those sons didn't love their mother. They became just like their father. Their own mother tried to protect them, from getting beat by their father. She would hide them behind her, while their father would beat her for them. This is some way to treat their mother. They kill their mother. Eventually she died.

Wow! This thread is long, but I had to give highlights about this wonderful book.

I like all the brothers, but Cole Clayborne is my favorite brother. He stood out to me. He's a good bad boy!

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Paraphrodite.
2,423 reviews51 followers
January 23, 2012
This is one of my most favorite Historicals. The Prologue of four street boys finding a baby girl amongst the rats and rubbish in their New York back alley and their decision to become a family to save the baby is one of the best I've ever read.

Then the kids' letters to their Mama Rose giving glimpses of their journey with the baby from New York to the Wild West and all their trials and tribulations as they settled in Blue Belle, Montana, are both funny and touching.

The romance between Harrison, the highlander/lawyer who eventually succeeded in his quest to find the long-lost heroine Lady Victoria/Mary Rose has its ups and downs and to my mind, is almost secondary.

I think narrator Melissa Hughes did a brilliant job with the kids' voices, especially when reading their letters and of course, the Prologue.

This unabridged audio edition is much better than the abridged audio version offered by Simon and Schuster - the latter wasn't able to give the level of depth of love between the siblings that is only apparent with the numerous letters between Mama Rose and the kids.

If you like historicals that are in turn funny and poignant, this is one that you shouldn't miss.
Profile Image for Albagar90.
212 reviews2 followers
May 20, 2020
Una historia entretenida, lo que más me ha gustado de la novela es la relación de todos los hermanos, ese sentimiento de que no hace falta llevar la misma sangre, para ser más que familia y todo lo que lucharon, para cuidar de la pequeña Mary Rose. Lo que no me gusto nada, son las escenas de sexo, que parecían mas de relleno, ya que no concuerda mucho con la época y estropeo bastante la historia.
Profile Image for Kathie (katmom).
689 reviews46 followers
June 16, 2011
A friend, Sandi Layne, told me that THIS was the Julie Garwood book to read. She was right!

I LOVED this from the moment the four boys found Sidney who turns out to be a girl. These young men know what FAMILY is and they raise Mary Rose to be an articulate, knowledgeable, kind, caring woman.

Each chapter ends with a letter to Mama Rose, the eldest brother's mama, who has become the mama to all five of them. It doesn't matter that four of the five have NEVER even met her, she's their MAMA and through letters she helps raise them all to be wonderful people. The color of their skin, the blood that runs through their veins, none of that matters. FAMILY is what matters.

The mystery of just WHY little Mary Rose was tossed out like so much trash comes to light through the endeavors of Lord Harrison Stanford MacDonald, an attorney who works for the little girl's father. She has been long sought and now she's found.

This quote made me swoon:

"I'm wearing clothes in my thoughts and dreams though. What am I wearing in yours?" she asked.


Yes...very hot!

Her father lives in England and Mary Rose's character leads her to meet him, to assure him that she is fine, that she is well loved.

Her experiences there broke my heart, and hers too.

I found myself on the edge of my seat during the last few pages. I loved it!

And the best part? There are MORE books ready to be read, so that we can see Mary Rose's brothers find their own HEA...maybe I really don't need to sleep for the next week, I need to read!

Yes, this one is going on my BEST BOOKS EVER list...thanks Sandi! I'll be reading this one again!!!!
Profile Image for Melanie.
437 reviews28 followers
June 6, 2010
I've put off reading this one for quite a while, but I ended up reading it all in one sitting last night: this book didn't have what I usually enjoy in HR(the big villain) but it was very well written, and I loved Mary Rose and her brothers' relationship.. Harrison was great, and the interaction between himself and the Clayborne family was very enjoyable and fun.. I did like Mary Rose, but there were times where she grated on my nerves a teeny tiny bit, especially at the beginning:-) And I also think she forgives too easily... I don't want to say more, but I do wish that she wouldn't have made it so easy :-) All in all, I did love this book..
Profile Image for Vickie.
332 reviews
May 17, 2020
Romance histórico con tintes eróticos. Personajes secundarios entrañables y protagonistas que no me han llegado lo suficiente. La historia es bonita, pero para mi gusto le sobran páginas e intensidad en algunos momentos.
Profile Image for ♥Sharon♥.
958 reviews143 followers
January 16, 2018

I adored everything about this book. Such a lovely tale. Such wonderful characters. A must read for sure!

Profile Image for Neus Gutiérrez.
1,011 reviews523 followers
August 30, 2020
Bueno, es completamente cierto que a mí las novelas románticas históricas me encantan, pero que cuando se desenvuelven en EEUU normalmente no me terminan de cuadrar. De cada 10 que he leído, igual me han gustado 3, cosa que es un porcentaje bastante bajo. En esta novela, tenemos un EEUU seguramente diferente a lo que viene siendo en la mayoría de novelas que he leído. No es una ambientación en la guerra de independencia, ni tampoco en la Guerra Civil entre el Norte y el Sur. Aquí nos vamos un poco más allá, y no hay guerras ni combates, ni tampoco típicos ranchos del sur, ni esclavos, negreros o lo que también es bastante habitual, indios. No. Aquí simplemente tenemos a un grupito de 4 chavales que se juntan y cuidan de una niña pequeña que encuentran en la calle. Cada uno es diferente, y el mayor de todos es un hombre negro que huye de un pasado jodido y a lo largo de la novela tendrá que afrontar aquello de lo que ha estado huyendo durante toda su vida.

Aunque es una novela de amor, es importante recalcar que el argumento de pareja no es el único protagonista y que tampoco se lleva el 70% de la novela, ni mucho menos. Y al contrario que otras veces, ese hecho no me ha molestado. ¿Por qué? Porque creo que los otros argumentos merecían páginas y tiempo, y además le daban al libro un tono mucho más interesante que el de simple novela romántica, como tantas otras.

- Familia. A lo largo del libro el argumento te invita a pensar qué es realmente la familia, que son realmente los ideales, qué te forma como persona, qué es importante en una persona. Mary Rose crece con esos 4 chicos, pero a lo largo del libro descubre quién es su familia, y hay una serie de problemas, por los que ella tiene que tomar la decisión de romper con su vida anterior y ser "otra persona", o pese a saber la verdad de quién es, seguir en su mundo y con quien ella ha considerado su familia todos esos años.
- Racismo. El mayor de los hermanos, es un chico negro que durante el libro es acusaso de asesinato. A raíz de eso, hay una serie de problemas y al final hay un juicio al que tiene que ir para ver si es condenado a muerte. El protagonista es el abogado y es muy importante tanto todo el juicio, como los ardites que él monta, como también su alegato.
- Clases. En todo el libro queda muy claro la diferencia de clases, el dinero, el saber estar, las formas, el modo de vestir... y también a su vez, empieza la pregunta de ¿y todo lo que el dinero no puede comprar? ¿Y lo que puede ofrecer alguien como persona, lo que tiene más allá de su vestimenta o de su forma de hablar?

Como novela romántica se podría decir que está bien, de notable raspadito, pero al tener toda la parte histórica y el tema del racismo/clases pues creo que le aporta mucho, y hace de un romance normalito un libro mucho más interesante a tener en cuenta. Los personajes están a la altura del argumento, bien contado, paso a paso, con lógica, con bonitas escenas de amor y el punto justo, la gracia, y entre el amor y la familia, tenemos un pedazo de juicio digno de gustar a esos que buscan un toque de típico thriller judicial. Me ha sorprendido para bien.
Profile Image for Kathleen.
1,329 reviews29 followers
August 28, 2014
3.5 stars. The story is heartwarming, smexy and sweet, but too slow. I do love Julie Garwood, but this American historical is not her best. I did like the hero, though. Garwood's heroes are always hot. Harrison is Scottish, big and braw. For some time, Mary Rose thinks he is a mild-mannered man, not familiar with guns or fights. This misperception created some mildly amusing scenes. I liked the four brothers and Mary Rose, too.

The best parts of the book are the first chapters (the boys find a baby) and the last chapters (leaving England, the trial). I was a bit disappointed in how clueless Harrison was, when Mary Rose was in England. Too many scenes with Eleanor, who became the Clayborne's houseguest from hell. She was Mary Rose's "friend" at boarding school in St. Louis. Such a waste of time, all the scenes with Eleanor. Then, a lot of wasted time in England, at the glorious estate.

Snippets of memorable scenes:

Now, listening to the audio version, the pace feels worse. It just goes on and on. Each chapter begins with an old letter to Mama (Adam's mom). This was nice, but it added to the length. It needed to be cut. The narrator, Mikael Naramore, is fine, except he makes Travis sound like a schoolboy, when he's about 27. His Scottish accent is okay, but not great. Still, a fine narration.

There is a sequel for each of her four brothers:
---Adam, the eldest, a runaway slave. He teaches his siblings to read, manages the money, and is generally accepted as Boss. Can be fierce and predatory, but is generally wise and scholarly.

---Cole, gunslinger, rancher, tracker, generally a scary badass guy

---Douglas, pickpocket premier in youth, horse whisperer, rancher

---Travis, supplier, finder, analyst
Profile Image for Angela.
245 reviews9 followers
November 16, 2017
This may be my last Julie Garwood. I try not to give one star ratings very often, because I completely understand that it's all subjective and my mood can play into whether I like a book or not. But this book was... wow. With the exception of Adam (a supporting character), every character is astoundingly immature. Harrison and Mary Rose (our H/h) are ridiculous. Around the halfway point when they admit they love one another it gets a little sappy. There's a lot of "we have something REALLY REALLY important to talk about - but let's wait foooooreeeeever to get to it." Disappointing, because the story has some potential. Just poorly executed.
Profile Image for Pamela(AllHoney).
2,631 reviews355 followers
August 11, 2014
One of my faves. The prologue begins the story before the American Civil War. Then fast forward to chapter one and it is years later after the war. The heroine, Mary Rose, has arrived back to Blue Belle and her loving family after being away at school in St Louis. Mary Rose was found in a basket in an alley as a infant and raised by 4 "brothers". Filled with humor and a few heart wrenching moments I highly recommend this one.
Profile Image for Gerbera_Reads.
1,406 reviews128 followers
May 5, 2021
I do not know if I was supposed to take this seriously or not. The H, Mary Rose, read as a complete doormat under the pretense of intense kindness and the h, Harrison, was a bully half the time and unlikable. I liked the idea of four boys finding an infant and raising her on their own but at times their interactions sounded too caricaturish, over the top sugary and plain silly.

There were moments when I really liked Mary Rose like making friends with Corrie or her patience with her father but then I would remember Eleanor and start loosing patience. I loved side characters a lot. I wish there was a bit more serious interactions and angst. It was way too light-hearted for the subjects that this author tried to tackle here. It was sort of okay story.
Profile Image for Sarah.
590 reviews
January 30, 2023
5 Red Roses!

This was pretty much a 5 star read from page one for me. I loved Harrison and Mary Rose so much, the love they had for each other truly was epic. It was one of those books I could just see being a great movie. There were a couple things that I thought would become problematic in the story, but in the end everything worked out. And I think it worked so well because of how much Harrison loves Mary Rose and you believe it. It was handled very realistically and very maturely by the heroine, which I also appreciated.

I also loved how this was similar to the Anastasia story, but with a happier ending lol. Mary Rose never once lost sight of who she was, and Harrison always loved her for exactly who she was. Beautiful! 💕

Oh, and special shout out to their sex life, cuz it was hoppin’! 😍🥰
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