Title: The Rose Garden
Publisher: Allison & Busby
Historical fiction, fantasy, romance
Part of a Series: No
Why I read it: Because Goodreads recommended it.
Summary: After the death of her beloved sister, Katrina,
Eva returns to the house where they spent their summers as girls. She is
reunited with their family friends and helps them to save their property, an old
Cornwall house with a famous rose garden. She starts to have strange experiences
with time and realizes she is going back in time. There, she meets a previous
owner of the house—Daniel Butler—and finds herself in the middle of an uprising
against Queen Anne. She is drawn to Daniel and finds herself more and more in
the 18th century. Does she belong there? Can she stay? Or is she going
Review: I’m not sure but I have a strong suspicion that
Kearsley was heavily influenced by “Outlander.” After all, there is time travel,
there is love and there is a Stuart revolution. Just not the same one from
“Outlander.” It’s even written in first person!
There are a few things that differentiate it from
“Outlander.” For starters, it takes place in modern times. Eva is also an
American visiting England, not a Brit visiting Scotland. She also goes between
the past and the present without any warning, whereas Claire stayed in the past
until she returned to Craig na Dun. So for a long time, Eva wonders if she’s
Let’s focus on Eva for a bit. She’s our narrator and is
an engaging one, which is good to keep the reader’s attention. And she’s lost
when we first meet her, having lost her sister and leaving her life in
California behind. She’s trying to find a new path for herself and then she ends
up being able to travel through time to the early 18th century. It’s there, with
Daniel and Fergus, that she starts to find where she belongs. It’s a well-done
journey that feels natural.
Moving onto Daniel Butler, our male lead. He’s not a
Jamie Fraser clone, much like Eva isn’t a Claire Randall Fraser clone. Yet he’s
still a traditional romantic lead. He’s dashing and kind and very understanding
of Eva’s situation. Maybe a too little understanding, accepting that Eva comes
and goes between the past and the present. (Or the present and the future to
him). He does everything he can to protect her and take care of her while she’s
with him, drawn to her by forces behind their control.
There are several supporting characters in this book and
it would take too long to discuss them all. So we’ll focus on two instead. The
first is Claire, the older woman who welcomes Eva back to Cornwall and who was
like a second mother during her childhood. She continues to advise and guide Eva
throughout the story and is a soothing presence in the story. There is a twist
with her at the end which is very well done. I commend Ms. Kearlsey for it.
The second supporting character is Fergal, Daniel’s
friend and aide. He also becomes Eva’s protector as much as Daniel does, keeping
her safe whenever she ends up in the 18th century. He’s a spitfire with a soft
center and it’s clear he cares about Daniel and Eva.
Onto the romance…It is an epic slow burn. What is a slow
burn romance, you ask? Glad to answer! It’s a romance that the author takes a
long time to build and to finally get the characters together. When done well,
it can entice the reader and make the romance all the more satisfying.
Kearsley’s is built up well but ran a bit too long in my opinion. I felt like
there was still more she could’ve built up before the ending and Eva’s ultimate
Bottom line: A good time traveling story for those who
thought Outlander was a little too intense.
Sex: Nope. So if you thought Outlander was too raunchy,
this is good for you too.
Do you like slow burn romances?