by Lauren Royal

October 2003
ISBN: 0-451-20988-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Signet Books
Mass Market Paperback

Rose is the last of the Ashcroft sisters, and the one who seems convinced she’ll never wed. Determined to maintain the family tradition of choosing her own husband, and equally determined that he should be the possessor of a title, Rose sets her sights on the Court of Charles II and all the noblemen who frequent it.

Kit Martyn, commoner and architect, is also at Court, working on projects for His Majesty. Rose finds herself strangely drawn to this quiet man, and his kisses. Well, they surpass any other she receives.

This is an intricate story, as detailed and embellished as the gowns and the jewelry of the time. Lauren Royal certainly paints a skillful picture of what life would have been like for a young woman of good birth at the licentious Court of King Charles, and it’s very evident that Ms. Royal loves this time period. Her settings are superb, her discussion of the homes and gardens betrays a familiarity and ease with the subject, and this is truly a well-researched and enjoyable tale.

Only one problem stopped me from giving this book a higher rating – and that was Rose. She was, on one hand, very intelligent – speaking several languages – able to comprehend a variety of philosophical concepts, and although naïve in many ways, not a fool. So why was she so dead-set on marrying a title? Surely the merest glimpse at the superficialities of Court life would have given such a bright young woman a distaste for that kind of aristocratic game. Especially when looked at next to Kit, who was just delicious in so many ways. For me, it was the only drawback to an otherwise charming tale, and if you’ve read Violet and Lily, the first two in the series, then I certainly urge you to read this one as well. Perhaps it would be best to read these in order – I wish I had done so - to have acquired a slightly better look into Rose’s family life. But for a glimpse through a window in time back to the Restoration, you can’t do much better than Lauren Royal’s Rose

Reviewed in November 2003 by Celia.

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