Despite a few storyline jumps, the chapters end in such a way that readers will be compelled to continue reading. Hake’s characters, particularly Maggie, are endearing. Like the rose theme that integrates the story, the romance sweetly blooms.
Maggie Rose is a strong-willed woman who is a masterful barterer and maker of soaps, lotions and perfumes, with a special rose recipe passed down from mother to daughter for generations. She has never wanted to marry until she meets Todd Valmer after his mother suffers an apoplectic episode, leaving her unable to care for herself. They return to Todd’s farm, where Maggie struggles to maintain her legacy. Not only must she adapt to married life, she must deal with an overbearing and sharp-tongued mother-in-law. Did serendipity bring this couple together or is it part of God’s master plan? (BETHANY HOUSE, Dec., 205 pp., $14.99)
Leslie L. McKee