Thursday, February 6, 2020

#BookReview – “Desert Rose” by J. Arlene Culiner


A secret life is the best protection against love…

Men love Rose Badger, and if the other inhabitants of dead-end Blake’s Folly, Nevada, don’t approve, she couldn’t care less. With a disastrous marriage far behind her, settling down is the last thing she intends to do. Isn’t life for fun? Doesn’t a stable relationship always mean predictability and boredom? Well… perhaps things might be different with Jonah Livingstone, but he is off limits for anything other than friendship. Even though he’s started a slow burning fire inside her, he’s still entangled in a complicated past relationship. And Rose has another secret life—one that she’ll never give up for any man.

The last person geologist Jonah Livingstone expected to meet in a semi-ghost town is Rose Badger. She’s easy-going, delightfully spontaneous, and Jonah is certain their attraction is mutual. But Rose is always surrounded by a crowd of admirers and doesn’t seem inclined to choose a favorite. Though Jonah has also suffered a failed marriage, he can’t help being drawn to Rose—and he dares to hope she may feel the same for him. But is Jonah too independent to settle into a permanent relationship again? He’s leading his own very private life, as well…and secrets are an excellent protection against love. Will he do what it takes to hold on to his DESERT ROSE?


Rose Badger owns a vintage clothing boutique in a small, scarcely populated town in the middle of the Nevada desert. She’s a natural flirt, so she’s befriended many of the local men, to the scorn of their wives. She doesn’t want love or permanence, and luckily for her, her admirers don’t want anything permanent with her either. All that changes when newcomer Jonah Livingstone walks into her store.
Jonah has a doctorate in geology and is studying the fossils in the area. Though he has a woman in his life, their relationship isn’t a romantic one. He and Rose have an instant attraction, and they’re powerless to ignore it. Secrets, though, are constantly wedging between them.
Great story! Rose and Jonah fit well together, even though they were too stubborn to see a future with one another for the longest time. I couldn’t connect with Rose, however, but I did understand why she made a game out of flirting—to hide her hear of commitment and the fact that she’s been hurt before. Jonah was a more likable character. He’s made some mistakes, but I liked how he was trying to straighten out his life.
I enjoyed the plot, but the story could use a light edit to clear up a few typos and filter words. The history and geology sections slowed the pacing a little, but the Native American culture, Russian culture, and American Old West history were very interesting.
Anyway, this was a fast read. If you like a sweet romance, give this book a try.
4 Stars

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