Aparna (inspirethoughts) wrote,

Book Critique 2016 – 06/21/2016: Black Rose (In The Garden Trilogy #2)

Continuing with the critiques I started in 2015, here is the next in series – a book review.
Prologue: Go here.
For review of all books in this series: Go here.

Stars: 3.5 / 5
Recommendation: If you love ghosts and gardens, this is a definite pick.

Black Rose is the second installment in the In The Garden Trilogy by Nora Roberts and was published in June of 2005. This is the story of Rosalind "Roz" Harper and Dr. Mitchell "Mitch" Carnegie. Ofcourse it involves quite a few sub-plots. As always Nora has melded them well.

Just as the first book, this one also opens with a sub-plot that is set in December of 1892 in Memphis, Tennessee. This continues from the previous book as well - the life of Amelia, after she faces her biggest fear, the time with Reginald Harper and when she finally faces the betrayer. The story then fast forwards to Harper House in present Memphis in the year 2004 where everyone is geared up to celebrate Christmas in Harper House.

Stella Rothchild is engaged to Logan Kitridge  now and are preparing for their upcoming nuptials. She will be soon moving into Logan's home once it is finished for a family of four. We get introduced to Roz's remaining two sons - Gavin and Mason - when they come to visit for the holidays. A nice cozy family is Roz's. However Hayley and Stella tie in very well into it. Now how does or rather will Mitch fit in there?

Roz hires Mitch to do her family genealogy  so they can identify who the resident ghost is. We already know her name is Amelia since she writes it on the glass at the closing of the first book. Mitch sets up his office in Roz's library for working on the genealogy when he is onsite. Of course, he has the added benefit of watching Roz in close contact - towards whom he is attracted. However, Mitch has his own share of baggage that he had worked hard to get it loose. His baggage comes with a son - Josh - an excellent basketball player and well educated. Will Mitch act on his feelings towards Roz? Will Roz reciprocate even after what she had faced with her second husband Bryce Clerk?

Speaking of Bryce, he is back in town and had managed to finagle an invitation to Roz's party at Harper House - albeit as a guest to a recent widow of much much younger age for him. Although Roz gave him the boot again from the party, will Bryce sit quiet and let go of what he had considered a cozy nest egg in Roz? How will Roz fight back Bryce again without causing damage to her pride and dignity?

And the resident ghost, Amelia. She has come back full force now, resorting to physical attack at Mitch when Roz starts seeing Mitch on a more personal basis. Why is Amelia doing this? Who is she angry at? Will she cause more harm to Roz despite the efforts she is putting in to identify her? Well one has to read and see to know what happens.

Another lovely sequel written by Nora Roberts. However, like I mentioned in my previous one. There is heavy dosage of gardening, garden terms and plants. Yet, she has made it interesting with the addition of the paranormal aspect and a whole lot of romance. Usually I feel the second book always has a low rating compared to the first or the third and thereafter. However in this series, this second book also has been not only gripping but also intriguing enough for the reader to not want to put the book down until finishing it. If you come across this book, I would hope that you enjoy it as much as I did.

Spoiler Alerts:
1) The love that Harper Ashby - Roz's oldest son - has towards Hayley Phillips continues and progresses. We have to wait and see how it turns out in the third book. Obviously they are the pair for Nora's third book. ;)
2) Mitch talks about the film Fargo. I had heard about it but never seen it. Another one added to my list for a future blog post. :)
Tags: books, critique by amateur, in the garden trilogy, reviews

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