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One Perfect Rose

(Fallen Angels #7)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  2,693 ratings  ·  192 reviews
Stephen Kenyon, Duke of Ashburton, has always taken the duties of his rank seriously—until shocking news sends him running from his isolating world of wealth and privilege to roam the countryside as an ordinary man. When he meets the lovely Rosalind Jordan, a foundling who has grown into an enchanting, compassionate woman, she stirs the deepest desires of his heart. Yet ho ...more
Paperback, 421 pages
Published June 1st 1998 by Fawcett (first published 1997)
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4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,693 ratings  ·  192 reviews

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Carrie Olguin
Oct 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is what a romance novel should be, two people falling in love, facing hardship and adversity together (instead of bickering and arguing and hating each other into love) - with a multi-dimensional (human not inhuman) antagonist.

Spoliers follow!

The proloue covers the heroines childhood trama. Read it. Don't skip over it like some readers do.

Chapter one opens with the hero (an unmarried duke) receiving a diagnosis of death from his physician, only three to six months to live. To cope with the
MJP definitely saved the best for last in the Fallen Angels series. Had I known that this one could most likely be read as a standalone (maybe reading Shattered Rainbows first, but not necessarily), I probably would have read it first, but at least I got to know a lot about the secondary characters on my journey.

Stephen Kenyon, Duke of Ashburton, is dying. His doctor warns him that he has 3-6 months to live, but probably will not make it all the way to 6. So Stephen - desparate to live what litt
Apr 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have found a romance novel that made me bawl for half the book. Seriously. Ugly, gross crying that requires a box of kleenex and hiding from your family. I think it might end up displacing Laura Kinsale's Flowers from the Storm as my favorite romance novel.

Set in the later 1810s, the hero of the book is Stephen Kenyon, Duke of Ashburton (the older brother of Michael Kenyon from Shattered Rainbows, glimpses of whom I loved in SR though reading SR is unnecessary to get the brunt of this book).

Jacqueline J
I'm really fond of this book. I like ones where the main character thinks he's dieing and goes about closing out his affairs and doing the things he feels he should do before he dies. Of course since I like happy endings, I only like these books if the character doesn't really die. Here the hero sets off to travel and discovers love. I really enjoyed Stephen and loved the travelling players he meets. Well drawn main characters and secondary characters.
Lois Bujold
Jul 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: readers of Regency romances
Recommended to Lois by: followed trail of breadcrumbs from prior book

I followed this up from The Bargain. It's not quite the same trope but has resonances -- the dying hero --I picked it out from its fellows in its series from the descriptions on Amazon, so it must be what I was (still) in the mood for. A staid duke (why must it always be dukes, these days? Isn't the lesser aristocracy sufficient? Rank inflation...?) gets bad medical news (happily for the rest of the tale, not the pox), and rides out alone to deal with it; he encounters a group of traveling playe
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is amazing! The struggle to come to term with death....the haunting uncertainties of whether there is a life after here...the need for love and fulfillment...all universal things that humans have grappled with and tried to understand since the beginning of time! MJP is a master of human emotions and potraying the dichotomies of human strength and frailties in the face of catastrophe of personal or larger proportion.

So why not 5 stars?

Ohhh because I am a very very very impatient reader
Krista (I remember you, Min) (Critical)
Rosalind and Stephen worked well together. They were nicely developed and likable. It was very refreshing how the two actually LIKED each other through out the whole book, and never got mad at each other. Yay!

I loved Stephen! He was such a different romantic hero. He was kind and nice and not overbearing or bossy. He was genuinely a really good person. I felt SO protective of him. And I loved his brother, Michael. Their relationship was sweet.

Rosalind's sob story was a little silly and pointles
Oct 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful story and wonderful ending to a great series. I loved how MJP kept us apprised of the other couples throughout the entire series without being intrusive about it. I would love to see a reunion book done, but that is just me never getting enough ending.
Kate McMurry
Excellent audiobook narration of a wonderful historical romance

All of his blameless life, Stephen Kenyon, Duke of Ashburton, has lived an upright, responsible, and somewhat stodgy existence, caring for his estates and his numerous dependents. But at 36 years of age, his personal physician hands him a death sentence. He has only six months to live due to an incurable disease. Angry and despondent at an unjust fate, he is determined to not waste the few, remaining days of his life walled up in an
Jun 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance
Intense. But in a good way. This was an amazingly romantic story, honest and heartbreaking, and it kept me riveted from page one.

Stephen, the Duke of Ashburton, has three months to live, six on the outside. After receiving the news, he fills two saddle bags with supplies and takes off alone to come to terms with his mortality. He might only have been gone a week, but when he saves the life of a boy who might have drowned into the river, he becomes a part of the boy's family -- a traveling theat
Jan 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book.
The overall writing is rather better than most of recently written books and that really makes it pleasant to read.
The plot with some secrets, some fool play, some adventure, came along very nicely, without ever dragging for too long. It supported the characters' development and change over time, especially regards their relationship which came unexpected but felt nonetheless true and strong enough to last a lifetime whatever came to them. I liked that the secrets are
Aug 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Those of you who know me, know I rarely give out 5 star ratings. So take that as a sign of a great novel, I laughed, cried and smiled until my cheeks hurt. Touching is to soft a word but I can't seem to select another. Unfortunately this is not on audio, definitely an oversight... I would have gladly purchased it and listened to it immediately if that was the case. A great voice would have had me bawl I know. Definitely a HEA ending so have no fear... and that's the only spoiler you'll get from ...more
Nov 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This really hit the spot. I *liked* Rosalind and Stephen immediately, and I enjoyed watching them get to know each other and fall in love. They're good people. Both have experienced pain but neither is defined by their traumas. (It's a relief to read about some likable characters who like each other rather than another tragic hero rescued by a saintly heroine.)

My only quibble, and it's a small one, is that the ending is a little too neat and a little too sweet.

One Perfect Rose isn't the first in
Jun 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I don't care much for Regency books unless they are really good. This one is.
Stephen Kenyon, Duke of Ashburdon, has always faithfully fulfilled his obligations. He even married a woman because that was his obligation. She died, and sometime later Stephen is given a death sentence of his own.
He decides it is time for him to do the things he would like to do for a change. One of the things he does, is to set off on an adventure across country where he runs into a family of stage actors.
As he
Mar 23, 2016 rated it really liked it

My absolute favorite one in the series. I am a sucker for terminal illness romance but this one was so much more. It can be read as a stand alone. I don't think there was a character that I didn't care for in this book except the old already dead Duke... but I already hated him from previous books.

Feb 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
3.75 stars rounded up to 4
This was a sweetly romantic book. The MCs were amazing and I loved their relationship. They were loving, honest, supportive, and patient with each other. It was a refreshing change.

Most of the conflict revolves around the fact that Stephen has been given a diagnosis that means he only has a few months to live. This changes the way he views everything in his past, present and future.

I give this 3 stars because it all was so predictable to me. I immediately guessed that (view spoiler)
Oct 24, 2017 rated it liked it
A book I liked despite itself. Here, in a flourish of spoilers, is why this is a real grain of salt book:
1. a 3 year old child sees and not only remembers awful events but understands the implications, and 25 years later is able to tell all.
2. NO ONE asks for a second opinion- even the guy who is told he has 3 months to live, until the midnight hour when he's going down for the count.
3. The guy who is deliberately responsible for attempted murder is forgiven by almost everyone for pretty flim
Abt 3.5- eh not bad lah. It’s probably been over 20 years I haven’t read romance but this was rather sweet and makes me want to watch a Shakespeare play
Sep 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like historical romances with a grown-up couple on both sides
Shelves: ebook, read-in-2012
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oleta Blaylock
Jun 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is probably the saddest book of the entire series. The story is about Michael Kenyon's brother, Stephan Kenyon the Duke of Ashburton. Stephan is such a contrast to Michael and their father. He is kind, caring, compassionate and so very lonely. He has always tried to be what was expected of him and when he is told he is dying he realizes that he has never really lived the way he wanted. His adventures after finding out he is going to die lead him to a woman that makes him feel things that he ...more
Nov 22, 2013 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was what originally drew me to Mary Jo Putney. A remarkable book with depth, this book is truly a wonderful culmination of one of my favorite series of all time. Stephen is such a complex man facing his own mortality and finally casting off the bonds of a "privileged" lifestyle that afforded him so much heartbreak. Truly the backbone of his family, I wish so desperately for him to survive and yet love the way he embraces his life on the brink of death. Rosalind, with such a tragic past ...more
Nov 07, 2011 rated it liked it
I'm still trying to make up my mind about Mary Jo Putney. She was recommended to me as being similar to Brenda Joyce, which, after 2 books, I really can't agree with. Still, this book was enjoyable, exciting, romantic and held my attention. That's worth three stars, in any case.

The plot was unusual as well as highly dramatic: a terminally ill duke runs away from all responsibility, and joins an acting troupe, where he falls in love with a actress who is really [spoiler alert] a lost French duche
Michelle Miller
Apr 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I have had my little rack-size hardcover edition of this book for probably 15 years and it's the one book I bring out and re-read every few months without fail. You can't help but fall in love with the dying Duke who would jump in a river to save a stranger's child, or to want to be a part of Rosalind's wonderfully quirky adopted family. This book stole my heart away the very first time I read it and continues to do so today! Some historical romances waste so much story on the characters' propri ...more
Jun 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
The first part of the book, up to the marriage, is excellent, other than the somewhat silly subplot about the brother running all over the country looking for the hero.

After that it becomes rather laboured and the cliches come fast and thick. The bits about the near-death experiences are almost unreadable. This is only the second book by Mary Jo Putney I've read and *both* of them have lost heiresses! What's up with that, especially when the heiress aspect doesn't add anything to either book?
May 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Mary Jo Putney creates characters that you would like to know. Her heroes and heroines are human but evoke empathy and a desire for a good ending in this reader. After avidly returning to romances in my retirement, I have discovered my taste runs more toward character development and growth stories rather than a lot of sexual tension and a dance between two people who are only chronologically adults. Mary Jo Putney has definitely met the criteria for being classified in the need to read her book ...more
One Perfect Rose is the seventh book in Mary Jo Putney's Fallen Angels series. Ms Putney has quite a few fans so curiosity had me pick this up when I saw it at my local library. I enjoyed reading the synopsis and thought it sounded interesting. I did like it. I'm not sure what it was about the book that didn't grab me. The story was good and the characters were likable but the writing itself didn't pull me in.
Oct 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical-favs
Enjoyed this final book in the 'Fallen Angel' series, largely because of the tenderhearted hero, Stephen Kenyon, the Duke of Ashburton. Loved his incognito road trip with a troupe of actors, the depiction of the fun and chaotic backstage life of the itinerant actors, and the theatrical history of the provinces and London during this period.
Jan 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful story , the plot is unique . The only thing I hate that the writer kept saying that Rosalind was not pretty ! I hate this in historical romances !!! They always said the the hero is the most handsome man and the heroine is not pretty enough ! Arrrgh that became a boring and No necessary thing in this case !
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She writes young adult fiction as M.J. Putney.

Mary Jo Putney was born in Upstate New York with a reading addiction, a condition for which there is no known cure. After earning degrees in English Literature and Industrial Design at Syracuse University, she did various forms of design work in California and England before inertia took over in Baltimore, Maryland, where she has lived very comfortably

Other books in the series

Fallen Angels (7 books)
  • Thunder & Roses (Fallen Angels #1)
  • Dancing on the Wind (Fallen Angels, #2)
  • Petals in the Storm (Fallen Angels, #3; Regency, #2)
  • Angel Rogue (Fallen Angels, #4)
  • Shattered Rainbows (Fallen Angels, #5)
  • River of Fire (Fallen Angels, #6)
“I believe as I did as a child, that life has meaning, direction and value; that no suffering is lost; that each drop of blood and every tear counts; and that the secret of the world is to be found in St. John’s “Veus Caritas est”—“God is love.” —FRANÇOIS MAURIAC” 0 likes
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