Return of the Rose

Cat 243 Dover  by Mary Jo

I love when one of my books is reissued—it’s like having an old and dear friend return for a visit.  So welcome back, One Perfect Rose!  Step into my kitchen for some coffee and biscotti. 

A particularly nice aspect of historical novels is that the technology doesn’t change and mess up your plot.  With contemporaries, recent changes like the internet and cell phones can date a book really quickly.  With historicals, the biggest difference between what I’m writing now and what I wrote a dozen years ago is length. 

Granted, longer books allow more room for subplots and secondary characters, but ONEPERFECTROSEART for the romance at the heart of the story, what I’m writing now is exactly what I was writing a dozen years ago: strong women, tortured heroes, and healing love. 

Love is Better the Second Time Around

One Perfect Rose was the final book of the Fallen Angels series, though it stands alone just fine.  It was also my first book to reach the top fifteen of the New York Times List, which guarantees a special place in my heart. 

The hero of OPR, Stephen Kenyon, was originally intended as merely a wallpaper figure in the story of his brother, Lord Michael Kenyon.  Stephen represented Michael’s horrible family—but then the blasted man turned three dimensional and treacherousky interesting. 

Dukes only when necessary!

Like Jo, I seldom indulge in dukes, but every now and then I do a hero who needs to be nailed to the cross of the highest possible rank.  As Duke of Ashburton, Stephen Kenyon is just such a hero.  The quiet son of a difficult father, he has always taken the heavy responsibilities of his station seriously.  He navigated politics and managed the family estates and married the right woman, even though their relationship never moved much beyond polite duty. 

But in his mid-thirties, after his father and his wife have both died, Stephen finally sees a chance to have a more fulfilling life.  He can do what he wants and be what he wants.  Maybe even find another wife who is more loving than his first. 

One Perfect Rose So what’s the worst thing an author can do to a man who has just been given a real life?  She can take it away. <G>  When Stephen’s doctor gives him a life expectancy of months and not very many of them, it’s all too easy to believe the diagnosis.  The pain he’s suffering confirms that the end is near.  Which is when Stephen, the perfect gentleman, the dutiful duke, explodes into fury. 

Always the subtext

One Perfect Rose is what I fondly think of as my death and dying book, and while it has a happy ending (trust me, it really does!), what Stephen must confront are the issues everyone must face when the end is drawing near.  He experiences anger, acceptance, reconciliation.  How does he want to spend his last precious days?  What isn’t worth wasting time on?  Who does he love, who must he make peace with? 

A good part of the book is set in a traveling theater troop, and that setting came from a throwaway line toward the end of Michael's story, Shattered Rainbows.   Shattered Rainbows Stephen tells Michael not to enact any Shakespearean tragedies.  Ah, ha!  Stephen likes the theater!.

So when he runs away from home to come to terms with imminent death, he falls in with a company of players run by the exuberant, good-natured Fitzgerald family.  He loves them all for their warmth and easy acceptance.  Most of all, he loves daughter Rosalind, a foundling they had taken into their home and hearts.  But how can he offer his perfect Rose love when he has so little time left?

Widowed Rosalind Jordan is the calm, still center of her volatile and creative family.  Her marriage had been a mistake, so she is happy to be the Fitzgerald stage Covent Garden 1811 manager, organizer, and versatile player of secondary roles.  Then Stephen Ashe appears, quiet, helpful, and particularly gifted at playing dukes on stage.  <G>  He appeals to her as no man ever has, but he is obviously a gentleman, while actresses are not ladies. 

They can have no future.  But can there be a present for however long they have?  Since this is a romance, I’m sure you can guess the answer.  <G> 

Here are a couple of the original reviews.  (Yes, when a publisher reissues a book, they ask for this sort of thing.):

“In her superb, inimitable style, Putney takes a pair of magnetic, beautifully matched protagonists, places them in a dark, impossible situation, and makes it work.”
 Library Journal, which chose OPR as one of the five top romances of the year.

“Intelligent, passionate characters flow through this powerful love story . . . Putney delivers another superior story, beautifully written with her penchant for eloquently portraying her heroines as unique individuals filled with life."
Rendezvous

In honor of the old and new releases, I’ll give away two copies of the book: the original and very cute mini-hardcover of the first release, and the new Kensington release with the gorgeous cover.  Winners will be chosen from among those who leave a comment between now and midnight Thursday.

ONEPERFECTROSEART

If you've never read One Perfect Rose, here's an excerpt to sample.

If you missed this book before, or lost your copy, or wore your copy to pieces as some readers have–here's your chance to win a new one!

Mary Jo, showing off the luscious new Kensington cover.

 

155 thoughts on “Return of the Rose”

  1. ‘One Perfect Rose’ was the first romance novel I ever read, given to me by a romance writer friend. I love it so and have read it countless times. I always recommend it to friends who claim they don’t read romance; after all, I was one of them once upon a time! I’ve now been reading romance for almost a decade–thanks for opening a window into an amazing genre by writing such a lovely story.

    Reply
  2. ‘One Perfect Rose’ was the first romance novel I ever read, given to me by a romance writer friend. I love it so and have read it countless times. I always recommend it to friends who claim they don’t read romance; after all, I was one of them once upon a time! I’ve now been reading romance for almost a decade–thanks for opening a window into an amazing genre by writing such a lovely story.

    Reply
  3. ‘One Perfect Rose’ was the first romance novel I ever read, given to me by a romance writer friend. I love it so and have read it countless times. I always recommend it to friends who claim they don’t read romance; after all, I was one of them once upon a time! I’ve now been reading romance for almost a decade–thanks for opening a window into an amazing genre by writing such a lovely story.

    Reply
  4. ‘One Perfect Rose’ was the first romance novel I ever read, given to me by a romance writer friend. I love it so and have read it countless times. I always recommend it to friends who claim they don’t read romance; after all, I was one of them once upon a time! I’ve now been reading romance for almost a decade–thanks for opening a window into an amazing genre by writing such a lovely story.

    Reply
  5. ‘One Perfect Rose’ was the first romance novel I ever read, given to me by a romance writer friend. I love it so and have read it countless times. I always recommend it to friends who claim they don’t read romance; after all, I was one of them once upon a time! I’ve now been reading romance for almost a decade–thanks for opening a window into an amazing genre by writing such a lovely story.

    Reply
  6. I have not yet read this one. I do, however, have boxes of older books that I plan on reading “someday” and there could be one hiding there. It sounds like a good story. It deals with difficult issues and that is a plus for me. The Cover Gods have been good to you with this new cover. I look forward to reading this book.

    Reply
  7. I have not yet read this one. I do, however, have boxes of older books that I plan on reading “someday” and there could be one hiding there. It sounds like a good story. It deals with difficult issues and that is a plus for me. The Cover Gods have been good to you with this new cover. I look forward to reading this book.

    Reply
  8. I have not yet read this one. I do, however, have boxes of older books that I plan on reading “someday” and there could be one hiding there. It sounds like a good story. It deals with difficult issues and that is a plus for me. The Cover Gods have been good to you with this new cover. I look forward to reading this book.

    Reply
  9. I have not yet read this one. I do, however, have boxes of older books that I plan on reading “someday” and there could be one hiding there. It sounds like a good story. It deals with difficult issues and that is a plus for me. The Cover Gods have been good to you with this new cover. I look forward to reading this book.

    Reply
  10. I have not yet read this one. I do, however, have boxes of older books that I plan on reading “someday” and there could be one hiding there. It sounds like a good story. It deals with difficult issues and that is a plus for me. The Cover Gods have been good to you with this new cover. I look forward to reading this book.

    Reply
  11. Hello, Mary Jo! The cover for “One Perfect Rose” is perfectly lovely! I am both intrigued and made wary by the story line, so I read quite a few different reviews. Since the reviews are overwhelmingly of the highest praise, I must read “One Perfect Rose”. You have touched many hearts with Stephen’s story!

    Reply
  12. Hello, Mary Jo! The cover for “One Perfect Rose” is perfectly lovely! I am both intrigued and made wary by the story line, so I read quite a few different reviews. Since the reviews are overwhelmingly of the highest praise, I must read “One Perfect Rose”. You have touched many hearts with Stephen’s story!

    Reply
  13. Hello, Mary Jo! The cover for “One Perfect Rose” is perfectly lovely! I am both intrigued and made wary by the story line, so I read quite a few different reviews. Since the reviews are overwhelmingly of the highest praise, I must read “One Perfect Rose”. You have touched many hearts with Stephen’s story!

    Reply
  14. Hello, Mary Jo! The cover for “One Perfect Rose” is perfectly lovely! I am both intrigued and made wary by the story line, so I read quite a few different reviews. Since the reviews are overwhelmingly of the highest praise, I must read “One Perfect Rose”. You have touched many hearts with Stephen’s story!

    Reply
  15. Hello, Mary Jo! The cover for “One Perfect Rose” is perfectly lovely! I am both intrigued and made wary by the story line, so I read quite a few different reviews. Since the reviews are overwhelmingly of the highest praise, I must read “One Perfect Rose”. You have touched many hearts with Stephen’s story!

    Reply
  16. I love books set in the theatre – I wrote one myself (Tempting Fortune). My hero, like yours, was stepping out of his background to become a ‘Walking Gentleman’, that is, an aspiring actor who has his own formal evening clothes (touring theatres couldn’t possibly afford such things). I’m sure life in the theatre was a culture shock for your Stephen with everyone being expected to muck in where necessary. He sounds a terrific hero; I’ve always liked quiet types with hidden depths!

    Reply
  17. I love books set in the theatre – I wrote one myself (Tempting Fortune). My hero, like yours, was stepping out of his background to become a ‘Walking Gentleman’, that is, an aspiring actor who has his own formal evening clothes (touring theatres couldn’t possibly afford such things). I’m sure life in the theatre was a culture shock for your Stephen with everyone being expected to muck in where necessary. He sounds a terrific hero; I’ve always liked quiet types with hidden depths!

    Reply
  18. I love books set in the theatre – I wrote one myself (Tempting Fortune). My hero, like yours, was stepping out of his background to become a ‘Walking Gentleman’, that is, an aspiring actor who has his own formal evening clothes (touring theatres couldn’t possibly afford such things). I’m sure life in the theatre was a culture shock for your Stephen with everyone being expected to muck in where necessary. He sounds a terrific hero; I’ve always liked quiet types with hidden depths!

    Reply
  19. I love books set in the theatre – I wrote one myself (Tempting Fortune). My hero, like yours, was stepping out of his background to become a ‘Walking Gentleman’, that is, an aspiring actor who has his own formal evening clothes (touring theatres couldn’t possibly afford such things). I’m sure life in the theatre was a culture shock for your Stephen with everyone being expected to muck in where necessary. He sounds a terrific hero; I’ve always liked quiet types with hidden depths!

    Reply
  20. I love books set in the theatre – I wrote one myself (Tempting Fortune). My hero, like yours, was stepping out of his background to become a ‘Walking Gentleman’, that is, an aspiring actor who has his own formal evening clothes (touring theatres couldn’t possibly afford such things). I’m sure life in the theatre was a culture shock for your Stephen with everyone being expected to muck in where necessary. He sounds a terrific hero; I’ve always liked quiet types with hidden depths!

    Reply
  21. Hi Mary Jo, I can’t tell you how happy I am that One Perfect Rose is being reissued! My copy has basically disintegrated. The new cover is absolutely gorgeous, and I can’t wait to read it again! OPF is very special book for me because, while difficult to read at the time, it has helped me finally come to terms with losing my father. Besides that, it’s a wonderful story!

    Reply
  22. Hi Mary Jo, I can’t tell you how happy I am that One Perfect Rose is being reissued! My copy has basically disintegrated. The new cover is absolutely gorgeous, and I can’t wait to read it again! OPF is very special book for me because, while difficult to read at the time, it has helped me finally come to terms with losing my father. Besides that, it’s a wonderful story!

    Reply
  23. Hi Mary Jo, I can’t tell you how happy I am that One Perfect Rose is being reissued! My copy has basically disintegrated. The new cover is absolutely gorgeous, and I can’t wait to read it again! OPF is very special book for me because, while difficult to read at the time, it has helped me finally come to terms with losing my father. Besides that, it’s a wonderful story!

    Reply
  24. Hi Mary Jo, I can’t tell you how happy I am that One Perfect Rose is being reissued! My copy has basically disintegrated. The new cover is absolutely gorgeous, and I can’t wait to read it again! OPF is very special book for me because, while difficult to read at the time, it has helped me finally come to terms with losing my father. Besides that, it’s a wonderful story!

    Reply
  25. Hi Mary Jo, I can’t tell you how happy I am that One Perfect Rose is being reissued! My copy has basically disintegrated. The new cover is absolutely gorgeous, and I can’t wait to read it again! OPF is very special book for me because, while difficult to read at the time, it has helped me finally come to terms with losing my father. Besides that, it’s a wonderful story!

    Reply
  26. I read ONE PERFECT ROSE when it came out, and loved it.
    I’m not a fan of dukes–as you said, there are way too many of them populating Regency romanceland. And 99.9% of them are the rich, powerful, arrogant males who hop in and out of lots of women’s beds. Ugh. They’ve had the world handed to them on a silver platter, and I have no sympathy for them, even when the author tells me what a lousy childhood they had. Whatever their misery, they were certainly compensated for whatever they suffered.
    Stephen is different. Whatever his privileges, he earned every single one of them. He did his duty and suffered his unhappiness without broadcasting his misery. He didn’t rebel against his mistreatment by turning into the whining and wenching overage adolescent so many book dukes are. But, finally, he had enough. Even then, he didn’t go on a binge and run roughshod over others. He helped that theater troupe. Maybe I can forgive his money and power because we all die.
    OK, I found one duke I like. *g* Too bad there aren’t more like Stephen out there.

    Reply
  27. I read ONE PERFECT ROSE when it came out, and loved it.
    I’m not a fan of dukes–as you said, there are way too many of them populating Regency romanceland. And 99.9% of them are the rich, powerful, arrogant males who hop in and out of lots of women’s beds. Ugh. They’ve had the world handed to them on a silver platter, and I have no sympathy for them, even when the author tells me what a lousy childhood they had. Whatever their misery, they were certainly compensated for whatever they suffered.
    Stephen is different. Whatever his privileges, he earned every single one of them. He did his duty and suffered his unhappiness without broadcasting his misery. He didn’t rebel against his mistreatment by turning into the whining and wenching overage adolescent so many book dukes are. But, finally, he had enough. Even then, he didn’t go on a binge and run roughshod over others. He helped that theater troupe. Maybe I can forgive his money and power because we all die.
    OK, I found one duke I like. *g* Too bad there aren’t more like Stephen out there.

    Reply
  28. I read ONE PERFECT ROSE when it came out, and loved it.
    I’m not a fan of dukes–as you said, there are way too many of them populating Regency romanceland. And 99.9% of them are the rich, powerful, arrogant males who hop in and out of lots of women’s beds. Ugh. They’ve had the world handed to them on a silver platter, and I have no sympathy for them, even when the author tells me what a lousy childhood they had. Whatever their misery, they were certainly compensated for whatever they suffered.
    Stephen is different. Whatever his privileges, he earned every single one of them. He did his duty and suffered his unhappiness without broadcasting his misery. He didn’t rebel against his mistreatment by turning into the whining and wenching overage adolescent so many book dukes are. But, finally, he had enough. Even then, he didn’t go on a binge and run roughshod over others. He helped that theater troupe. Maybe I can forgive his money and power because we all die.
    OK, I found one duke I like. *g* Too bad there aren’t more like Stephen out there.

    Reply
  29. I read ONE PERFECT ROSE when it came out, and loved it.
    I’m not a fan of dukes–as you said, there are way too many of them populating Regency romanceland. And 99.9% of them are the rich, powerful, arrogant males who hop in and out of lots of women’s beds. Ugh. They’ve had the world handed to them on a silver platter, and I have no sympathy for them, even when the author tells me what a lousy childhood they had. Whatever their misery, they were certainly compensated for whatever they suffered.
    Stephen is different. Whatever his privileges, he earned every single one of them. He did his duty and suffered his unhappiness without broadcasting his misery. He didn’t rebel against his mistreatment by turning into the whining and wenching overage adolescent so many book dukes are. But, finally, he had enough. Even then, he didn’t go on a binge and run roughshod over others. He helped that theater troupe. Maybe I can forgive his money and power because we all die.
    OK, I found one duke I like. *g* Too bad there aren’t more like Stephen out there.

    Reply
  30. I read ONE PERFECT ROSE when it came out, and loved it.
    I’m not a fan of dukes–as you said, there are way too many of them populating Regency romanceland. And 99.9% of them are the rich, powerful, arrogant males who hop in and out of lots of women’s beds. Ugh. They’ve had the world handed to them on a silver platter, and I have no sympathy for them, even when the author tells me what a lousy childhood they had. Whatever their misery, they were certainly compensated for whatever they suffered.
    Stephen is different. Whatever his privileges, he earned every single one of them. He did his duty and suffered his unhappiness without broadcasting his misery. He didn’t rebel against his mistreatment by turning into the whining and wenching overage adolescent so many book dukes are. But, finally, he had enough. Even then, he didn’t go on a binge and run roughshod over others. He helped that theater troupe. Maybe I can forgive his money and power because we all die.
    OK, I found one duke I like. *g* Too bad there aren’t more like Stephen out there.

    Reply
  31. Love! Love! Love! This book, it is the first book by Mary Jo I ever read. Loved it so much I got my hands on all her other book. When I read this book for the first time my husband was going through cancer treatment, so I had a lot in common with the story. But my husband like the duke did recover.

    Reply
  32. Love! Love! Love! This book, it is the first book by Mary Jo I ever read. Loved it so much I got my hands on all her other book. When I read this book for the first time my husband was going through cancer treatment, so I had a lot in common with the story. But my husband like the duke did recover.

    Reply
  33. Love! Love! Love! This book, it is the first book by Mary Jo I ever read. Loved it so much I got my hands on all her other book. When I read this book for the first time my husband was going through cancer treatment, so I had a lot in common with the story. But my husband like the duke did recover.

    Reply
  34. Love! Love! Love! This book, it is the first book by Mary Jo I ever read. Loved it so much I got my hands on all her other book. When I read this book for the first time my husband was going through cancer treatment, so I had a lot in common with the story. But my husband like the duke did recover.

    Reply
  35. Love! Love! Love! This book, it is the first book by Mary Jo I ever read. Loved it so much I got my hands on all her other book. When I read this book for the first time my husband was going through cancer treatment, so I had a lot in common with the story. But my husband like the duke did recover.

    Reply
  36. You like Stephen and Rosalinde are requested to make an encore. How appropriate. I hope you hit the NYT bestseller list again.
    As for theater troupes in books, Margaret Fraser’s medieval mysteries about Jolliffe are a great series. It is surprising how similar the life and status of players were between 1450s and 1810s.

    Reply
  37. You like Stephen and Rosalinde are requested to make an encore. How appropriate. I hope you hit the NYT bestseller list again.
    As for theater troupes in books, Margaret Fraser’s medieval mysteries about Jolliffe are a great series. It is surprising how similar the life and status of players were between 1450s and 1810s.

    Reply
  38. You like Stephen and Rosalinde are requested to make an encore. How appropriate. I hope you hit the NYT bestseller list again.
    As for theater troupes in books, Margaret Fraser’s medieval mysteries about Jolliffe are a great series. It is surprising how similar the life and status of players were between 1450s and 1810s.

    Reply
  39. You like Stephen and Rosalinde are requested to make an encore. How appropriate. I hope you hit the NYT bestseller list again.
    As for theater troupes in books, Margaret Fraser’s medieval mysteries about Jolliffe are a great series. It is surprising how similar the life and status of players were between 1450s and 1810s.

    Reply
  40. You like Stephen and Rosalinde are requested to make an encore. How appropriate. I hope you hit the NYT bestseller list again.
    As for theater troupes in books, Margaret Fraser’s medieval mysteries about Jolliffe are a great series. It is surprising how similar the life and status of players were between 1450s and 1810s.

    Reply
  41. I can haz red dress?
    WOW! What a gorgeous cover! And isn’t it interesting how the cardboard cutouts can suddenly inflate and develop a life of their own? I think sometimes they make the best, most unforgettable heroes.

    Reply
  42. I can haz red dress?
    WOW! What a gorgeous cover! And isn’t it interesting how the cardboard cutouts can suddenly inflate and develop a life of their own? I think sometimes they make the best, most unforgettable heroes.

    Reply
  43. I can haz red dress?
    WOW! What a gorgeous cover! And isn’t it interesting how the cardboard cutouts can suddenly inflate and develop a life of their own? I think sometimes they make the best, most unforgettable heroes.

    Reply
  44. I can haz red dress?
    WOW! What a gorgeous cover! And isn’t it interesting how the cardboard cutouts can suddenly inflate and develop a life of their own? I think sometimes they make the best, most unforgettable heroes.

    Reply
  45. I can haz red dress?
    WOW! What a gorgeous cover! And isn’t it interesting how the cardboard cutouts can suddenly inflate and develop a life of their own? I think sometimes they make the best, most unforgettable heroes.

    Reply
  46. From MJP:
    Thanks to all for the lovely comments! While I try to make every book the best I know how, some stories have an extra resonance. It’s not something that can be planned for in advance–it’s just there.
    It’s nice to know that OPR was the gateway drug that turned some of you into romance readers. *g*
    Elizabeth, Stephen definitely found the theater life different, but he was in a mood to embrace change, and he loved it. It was his first chance ever to be accepted for exactly who he was rather than seen through the lens of his rank. Isn’t the theater as marvelous background? As Lyn S. says, the players life (and reputations) really didn’t change much over the centuries. A lot of that freeness and drama are still present even today.
    Cynthia, I’m so glad that OPR helped you deal with the loss of your father. I did a fair amount of research, including talking to a man who was struggling with a high probability of death, so I could make Stephen’s experience as authentic as probably.
    Luckily, my research subject, like Tracey’s husband, recovered.
    Linda, I’m glad Stephen is a duke you can like! I never really thought of him in relation to other fictional dukes–he just was who he was. In my stories, high rank and great beauty often carry a heavy price.
    Sorry, Theo, you cannot haz red dress. *G* I assume it belongs to a costume rental house in NYC. The style is more Victorian than Regency, but it’s so gorgeous that I don’t care!

    Reply
  47. From MJP:
    Thanks to all for the lovely comments! While I try to make every book the best I know how, some stories have an extra resonance. It’s not something that can be planned for in advance–it’s just there.
    It’s nice to know that OPR was the gateway drug that turned some of you into romance readers. *g*
    Elizabeth, Stephen definitely found the theater life different, but he was in a mood to embrace change, and he loved it. It was his first chance ever to be accepted for exactly who he was rather than seen through the lens of his rank. Isn’t the theater as marvelous background? As Lyn S. says, the players life (and reputations) really didn’t change much over the centuries. A lot of that freeness and drama are still present even today.
    Cynthia, I’m so glad that OPR helped you deal with the loss of your father. I did a fair amount of research, including talking to a man who was struggling with a high probability of death, so I could make Stephen’s experience as authentic as probably.
    Luckily, my research subject, like Tracey’s husband, recovered.
    Linda, I’m glad Stephen is a duke you can like! I never really thought of him in relation to other fictional dukes–he just was who he was. In my stories, high rank and great beauty often carry a heavy price.
    Sorry, Theo, you cannot haz red dress. *G* I assume it belongs to a costume rental house in NYC. The style is more Victorian than Regency, but it’s so gorgeous that I don’t care!

    Reply
  48. From MJP:
    Thanks to all for the lovely comments! While I try to make every book the best I know how, some stories have an extra resonance. It’s not something that can be planned for in advance–it’s just there.
    It’s nice to know that OPR was the gateway drug that turned some of you into romance readers. *g*
    Elizabeth, Stephen definitely found the theater life different, but he was in a mood to embrace change, and he loved it. It was his first chance ever to be accepted for exactly who he was rather than seen through the lens of his rank. Isn’t the theater as marvelous background? As Lyn S. says, the players life (and reputations) really didn’t change much over the centuries. A lot of that freeness and drama are still present even today.
    Cynthia, I’m so glad that OPR helped you deal with the loss of your father. I did a fair amount of research, including talking to a man who was struggling with a high probability of death, so I could make Stephen’s experience as authentic as probably.
    Luckily, my research subject, like Tracey’s husband, recovered.
    Linda, I’m glad Stephen is a duke you can like! I never really thought of him in relation to other fictional dukes–he just was who he was. In my stories, high rank and great beauty often carry a heavy price.
    Sorry, Theo, you cannot haz red dress. *G* I assume it belongs to a costume rental house in NYC. The style is more Victorian than Regency, but it’s so gorgeous that I don’t care!

    Reply
  49. From MJP:
    Thanks to all for the lovely comments! While I try to make every book the best I know how, some stories have an extra resonance. It’s not something that can be planned for in advance–it’s just there.
    It’s nice to know that OPR was the gateway drug that turned some of you into romance readers. *g*
    Elizabeth, Stephen definitely found the theater life different, but he was in a mood to embrace change, and he loved it. It was his first chance ever to be accepted for exactly who he was rather than seen through the lens of his rank. Isn’t the theater as marvelous background? As Lyn S. says, the players life (and reputations) really didn’t change much over the centuries. A lot of that freeness and drama are still present even today.
    Cynthia, I’m so glad that OPR helped you deal with the loss of your father. I did a fair amount of research, including talking to a man who was struggling with a high probability of death, so I could make Stephen’s experience as authentic as probably.
    Luckily, my research subject, like Tracey’s husband, recovered.
    Linda, I’m glad Stephen is a duke you can like! I never really thought of him in relation to other fictional dukes–he just was who he was. In my stories, high rank and great beauty often carry a heavy price.
    Sorry, Theo, you cannot haz red dress. *G* I assume it belongs to a costume rental house in NYC. The style is more Victorian than Regency, but it’s so gorgeous that I don’t care!

    Reply
  50. From MJP:
    Thanks to all for the lovely comments! While I try to make every book the best I know how, some stories have an extra resonance. It’s not something that can be planned for in advance–it’s just there.
    It’s nice to know that OPR was the gateway drug that turned some of you into romance readers. *g*
    Elizabeth, Stephen definitely found the theater life different, but he was in a mood to embrace change, and he loved it. It was his first chance ever to be accepted for exactly who he was rather than seen through the lens of his rank. Isn’t the theater as marvelous background? As Lyn S. says, the players life (and reputations) really didn’t change much over the centuries. A lot of that freeness and drama are still present even today.
    Cynthia, I’m so glad that OPR helped you deal with the loss of your father. I did a fair amount of research, including talking to a man who was struggling with a high probability of death, so I could make Stephen’s experience as authentic as probably.
    Luckily, my research subject, like Tracey’s husband, recovered.
    Linda, I’m glad Stephen is a duke you can like! I never really thought of him in relation to other fictional dukes–he just was who he was. In my stories, high rank and great beauty often carry a heavy price.
    Sorry, Theo, you cannot haz red dress. *G* I assume it belongs to a costume rental house in NYC. The style is more Victorian than Regency, but it’s so gorgeous that I don’t care!

    Reply
  51. I love this book. I loved the whole fallen angel series. But this book is wonderful no matter how many time I re-read it. I recommend it to everyone who has not read it, you will not be dissapointed.

    Reply
  52. I love this book. I loved the whole fallen angel series. But this book is wonderful no matter how many time I re-read it. I recommend it to everyone who has not read it, you will not be dissapointed.

    Reply
  53. I love this book. I loved the whole fallen angel series. But this book is wonderful no matter how many time I re-read it. I recommend it to everyone who has not read it, you will not be dissapointed.

    Reply
  54. I love this book. I loved the whole fallen angel series. But this book is wonderful no matter how many time I re-read it. I recommend it to everyone who has not read it, you will not be dissapointed.

    Reply
  55. I love this book. I loved the whole fallen angel series. But this book is wonderful no matter how many time I re-read it. I recommend it to everyone who has not read it, you will not be dissapointed.

    Reply
  56. Ah, Mary Jo, how I love this book. I can still remember sitting in my room, cradling that mini-hardback in my hand, tears flowing and pages turning until the morning light. It is one of the few books I’ve read in a single sitting.
    To anyone who has not read One Perfect Rose, it is a powerful experience worth every minute of your time.
    Hugs,
    Nina

    Reply
  57. Ah, Mary Jo, how I love this book. I can still remember sitting in my room, cradling that mini-hardback in my hand, tears flowing and pages turning until the morning light. It is one of the few books I’ve read in a single sitting.
    To anyone who has not read One Perfect Rose, it is a powerful experience worth every minute of your time.
    Hugs,
    Nina

    Reply
  58. Ah, Mary Jo, how I love this book. I can still remember sitting in my room, cradling that mini-hardback in my hand, tears flowing and pages turning until the morning light. It is one of the few books I’ve read in a single sitting.
    To anyone who has not read One Perfect Rose, it is a powerful experience worth every minute of your time.
    Hugs,
    Nina

    Reply
  59. Ah, Mary Jo, how I love this book. I can still remember sitting in my room, cradling that mini-hardback in my hand, tears flowing and pages turning until the morning light. It is one of the few books I’ve read in a single sitting.
    To anyone who has not read One Perfect Rose, it is a powerful experience worth every minute of your time.
    Hugs,
    Nina

    Reply
  60. Ah, Mary Jo, how I love this book. I can still remember sitting in my room, cradling that mini-hardback in my hand, tears flowing and pages turning until the morning light. It is one of the few books I’ve read in a single sitting.
    To anyone who has not read One Perfect Rose, it is a powerful experience worth every minute of your time.
    Hugs,
    Nina

    Reply
  61. The new cover really is gorgeous, Mary Jo. I’m a big fan of reissues (as long as I know they’re reissues) because I reread favorites until they become the book equivalents of the Velveteen Rabbit. One Perfect Rose is one of those tattered favorites. The things that make me love it are too many to list, but two of them that may be mentioned less often than others are Claudia’s redemption and the epilogue set in the theater. All this remembering makes me want to reread now.

    Reply
  62. The new cover really is gorgeous, Mary Jo. I’m a big fan of reissues (as long as I know they’re reissues) because I reread favorites until they become the book equivalents of the Velveteen Rabbit. One Perfect Rose is one of those tattered favorites. The things that make me love it are too many to list, but two of them that may be mentioned less often than others are Claudia’s redemption and the epilogue set in the theater. All this remembering makes me want to reread now.

    Reply
  63. The new cover really is gorgeous, Mary Jo. I’m a big fan of reissues (as long as I know they’re reissues) because I reread favorites until they become the book equivalents of the Velveteen Rabbit. One Perfect Rose is one of those tattered favorites. The things that make me love it are too many to list, but two of them that may be mentioned less often than others are Claudia’s redemption and the epilogue set in the theater. All this remembering makes me want to reread now.

    Reply
  64. The new cover really is gorgeous, Mary Jo. I’m a big fan of reissues (as long as I know they’re reissues) because I reread favorites until they become the book equivalents of the Velveteen Rabbit. One Perfect Rose is one of those tattered favorites. The things that make me love it are too many to list, but two of them that may be mentioned less often than others are Claudia’s redemption and the epilogue set in the theater. All this remembering makes me want to reread now.

    Reply
  65. The new cover really is gorgeous, Mary Jo. I’m a big fan of reissues (as long as I know they’re reissues) because I reread favorites until they become the book equivalents of the Velveteen Rabbit. One Perfect Rose is one of those tattered favorites. The things that make me love it are too many to list, but two of them that may be mentioned less often than others are Claudia’s redemption and the epilogue set in the theater. All this remembering makes me want to reread now.

    Reply
  66. I love this book. I just started re-reading it again. I love the theater background–I went to a college with a large theater department and my roommate was a musical theater major, so reading about actors always makes me chuckle.
    And what a beautiful new cover!

    Reply
  67. I love this book. I just started re-reading it again. I love the theater background–I went to a college with a large theater department and my roommate was a musical theater major, so reading about actors always makes me chuckle.
    And what a beautiful new cover!

    Reply
  68. I love this book. I just started re-reading it again. I love the theater background–I went to a college with a large theater department and my roommate was a musical theater major, so reading about actors always makes me chuckle.
    And what a beautiful new cover!

    Reply
  69. I love this book. I just started re-reading it again. I love the theater background–I went to a college with a large theater department and my roommate was a musical theater major, so reading about actors always makes me chuckle.
    And what a beautiful new cover!

    Reply
  70. I love this book. I just started re-reading it again. I love the theater background–I went to a college with a large theater department and my roommate was a musical theater major, so reading about actors always makes me chuckle.
    And what a beautiful new cover!

    Reply
  71. From MJP:
    Samantha, Nina, and Annrei–thanks so much for the lovely compliments! It’s good to know that the the book stands up so well to repeated rereading. (Though not necessarily physically. *g*)
    Janga, no one else has ever mentioned Claudia, though it’s an element that works well with the other themes of the book. I needed the epilogue partly to show the characters after they’ve recovered from what I did to them *g*, and also because it was the last book of the Fallen Angels series, and I wanted to do some winding up.
    Annrei, one of the reasons I love the movie SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE is the way it nails actors, writers, and theater people in general. It’s hilarious, and sooooo accurate. *g*

    Reply
  72. From MJP:
    Samantha, Nina, and Annrei–thanks so much for the lovely compliments! It’s good to know that the the book stands up so well to repeated rereading. (Though not necessarily physically. *g*)
    Janga, no one else has ever mentioned Claudia, though it’s an element that works well with the other themes of the book. I needed the epilogue partly to show the characters after they’ve recovered from what I did to them *g*, and also because it was the last book of the Fallen Angels series, and I wanted to do some winding up.
    Annrei, one of the reasons I love the movie SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE is the way it nails actors, writers, and theater people in general. It’s hilarious, and sooooo accurate. *g*

    Reply
  73. From MJP:
    Samantha, Nina, and Annrei–thanks so much for the lovely compliments! It’s good to know that the the book stands up so well to repeated rereading. (Though not necessarily physically. *g*)
    Janga, no one else has ever mentioned Claudia, though it’s an element that works well with the other themes of the book. I needed the epilogue partly to show the characters after they’ve recovered from what I did to them *g*, and also because it was the last book of the Fallen Angels series, and I wanted to do some winding up.
    Annrei, one of the reasons I love the movie SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE is the way it nails actors, writers, and theater people in general. It’s hilarious, and sooooo accurate. *g*

    Reply
  74. From MJP:
    Samantha, Nina, and Annrei–thanks so much for the lovely compliments! It’s good to know that the the book stands up so well to repeated rereading. (Though not necessarily physically. *g*)
    Janga, no one else has ever mentioned Claudia, though it’s an element that works well with the other themes of the book. I needed the epilogue partly to show the characters after they’ve recovered from what I did to them *g*, and also because it was the last book of the Fallen Angels series, and I wanted to do some winding up.
    Annrei, one of the reasons I love the movie SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE is the way it nails actors, writers, and theater people in general. It’s hilarious, and sooooo accurate. *g*

    Reply
  75. From MJP:
    Samantha, Nina, and Annrei–thanks so much for the lovely compliments! It’s good to know that the the book stands up so well to repeated rereading. (Though not necessarily physically. *g*)
    Janga, no one else has ever mentioned Claudia, though it’s an element that works well with the other themes of the book. I needed the epilogue partly to show the characters after they’ve recovered from what I did to them *g*, and also because it was the last book of the Fallen Angels series, and I wanted to do some winding up.
    Annrei, one of the reasons I love the movie SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE is the way it nails actors, writers, and theater people in general. It’s hilarious, and sooooo accurate. *g*

    Reply
  76. I love the new cover for One Perfect Rose. I enjoyed the story when it first came out, especially as we were able to glimpse other characters from the Fallen Angels family. In fact, I just finished re-reading A Bartered Bride — I had forgotten the connection of the heroine to the Kenyon family and was pleased to revisit the Kenyons.

    Reply
  77. I love the new cover for One Perfect Rose. I enjoyed the story when it first came out, especially as we were able to glimpse other characters from the Fallen Angels family. In fact, I just finished re-reading A Bartered Bride — I had forgotten the connection of the heroine to the Kenyon family and was pleased to revisit the Kenyons.

    Reply
  78. I love the new cover for One Perfect Rose. I enjoyed the story when it first came out, especially as we were able to glimpse other characters from the Fallen Angels family. In fact, I just finished re-reading A Bartered Bride — I had forgotten the connection of the heroine to the Kenyon family and was pleased to revisit the Kenyons.

    Reply
  79. I love the new cover for One Perfect Rose. I enjoyed the story when it first came out, especially as we were able to glimpse other characters from the Fallen Angels family. In fact, I just finished re-reading A Bartered Bride — I had forgotten the connection of the heroine to the Kenyon family and was pleased to revisit the Kenyons.

    Reply
  80. I love the new cover for One Perfect Rose. I enjoyed the story when it first came out, especially as we were able to glimpse other characters from the Fallen Angels family. In fact, I just finished re-reading A Bartered Bride — I had forgotten the connection of the heroine to the Kenyon family and was pleased to revisit the Kenyons.

    Reply
  81. I haven’t read this book, yet 😀
    hoping i could get the chance to win one of the books here !
    the new cover is so gorgeous, love the color.

    Reply
  82. I haven’t read this book, yet 😀
    hoping i could get the chance to win one of the books here !
    the new cover is so gorgeous, love the color.

    Reply
  83. I haven’t read this book, yet 😀
    hoping i could get the chance to win one of the books here !
    the new cover is so gorgeous, love the color.

    Reply
  84. I haven’t read this book, yet 😀
    hoping i could get the chance to win one of the books here !
    the new cover is so gorgeous, love the color.

    Reply
  85. I haven’t read this book, yet 😀
    hoping i could get the chance to win one of the books here !
    the new cover is so gorgeous, love the color.

    Reply
  86. I loved this book. The theatrical setting was wonderful. I don’t have it anymore so looks like I shall have to buy it again. Lucky the cover is so yummy!

    Reply
  87. I loved this book. The theatrical setting was wonderful. I don’t have it anymore so looks like I shall have to buy it again. Lucky the cover is so yummy!

    Reply
  88. I loved this book. The theatrical setting was wonderful. I don’t have it anymore so looks like I shall have to buy it again. Lucky the cover is so yummy!

    Reply
  89. I loved this book. The theatrical setting was wonderful. I don’t have it anymore so looks like I shall have to buy it again. Lucky the cover is so yummy!

    Reply
  90. I loved this book. The theatrical setting was wonderful. I don’t have it anymore so looks like I shall have to buy it again. Lucky the cover is so yummy!

    Reply
  91. From MJP:
    Jess. the reason my Bride trilogy took place when it did was so I could grow Catherine Kenyon’s daughter up to be a heroine. She was so intrepid that I had to send her around the world to get her into trouble. *g* It was fun to check into various Fallen Angel characters 20 years later.
    They really did a nice job on the OPR cover, Mariska, and the NEVER LESS THAN A LADY cover next month is just as lovely. I’m looking forward to a long series of women in gorgeous gowns. *g*
    Well, Miranda, you’ll just have to buy another book! I’m sure the new cover will look very fine on your bookshelf. *g*

    Reply
  92. From MJP:
    Jess. the reason my Bride trilogy took place when it did was so I could grow Catherine Kenyon’s daughter up to be a heroine. She was so intrepid that I had to send her around the world to get her into trouble. *g* It was fun to check into various Fallen Angel characters 20 years later.
    They really did a nice job on the OPR cover, Mariska, and the NEVER LESS THAN A LADY cover next month is just as lovely. I’m looking forward to a long series of women in gorgeous gowns. *g*
    Well, Miranda, you’ll just have to buy another book! I’m sure the new cover will look very fine on your bookshelf. *g*

    Reply
  93. From MJP:
    Jess. the reason my Bride trilogy took place when it did was so I could grow Catherine Kenyon’s daughter up to be a heroine. She was so intrepid that I had to send her around the world to get her into trouble. *g* It was fun to check into various Fallen Angel characters 20 years later.
    They really did a nice job on the OPR cover, Mariska, and the NEVER LESS THAN A LADY cover next month is just as lovely. I’m looking forward to a long series of women in gorgeous gowns. *g*
    Well, Miranda, you’ll just have to buy another book! I’m sure the new cover will look very fine on your bookshelf. *g*

    Reply
  94. From MJP:
    Jess. the reason my Bride trilogy took place when it did was so I could grow Catherine Kenyon’s daughter up to be a heroine. She was so intrepid that I had to send her around the world to get her into trouble. *g* It was fun to check into various Fallen Angel characters 20 years later.
    They really did a nice job on the OPR cover, Mariska, and the NEVER LESS THAN A LADY cover next month is just as lovely. I’m looking forward to a long series of women in gorgeous gowns. *g*
    Well, Miranda, you’ll just have to buy another book! I’m sure the new cover will look very fine on your bookshelf. *g*

    Reply
  95. From MJP:
    Jess. the reason my Bride trilogy took place when it did was so I could grow Catherine Kenyon’s daughter up to be a heroine. She was so intrepid that I had to send her around the world to get her into trouble. *g* It was fun to check into various Fallen Angel characters 20 years later.
    They really did a nice job on the OPR cover, Mariska, and the NEVER LESS THAN A LADY cover next month is just as lovely. I’m looking forward to a long series of women in gorgeous gowns. *g*
    Well, Miranda, you’ll just have to buy another book! I’m sure the new cover will look very fine on your bookshelf. *g*

    Reply
  96. This is definitely a book worth buying twice. (Won’t be the first time I’ve had to do that. I must be more careful when I weed my shelves. I got rid of a perfect rose)

    Reply
  97. This is definitely a book worth buying twice. (Won’t be the first time I’ve had to do that. I must be more careful when I weed my shelves. I got rid of a perfect rose)

    Reply
  98. This is definitely a book worth buying twice. (Won’t be the first time I’ve had to do that. I must be more careful when I weed my shelves. I got rid of a perfect rose)

    Reply
  99. This is definitely a book worth buying twice. (Won’t be the first time I’ve had to do that. I must be more careful when I weed my shelves. I got rid of a perfect rose)

    Reply
  100. This is definitely a book worth buying twice. (Won’t be the first time I’ve had to do that. I must be more careful when I weed my shelves. I got rid of a perfect rose)

    Reply
  101. Wow… i love this book sooo much and have read it many times in my 19 years!!!!! I think i first read it when i was 13 and have read every 1 of the fallen angels books my favourite has got to be thunder and roses though!!! 🙂 Mary jo putney… in my eyes you are an genius and im sure others will agree.
    Hugs and kisses
    Rachael
    xx

    Reply
  102. Wow… i love this book sooo much and have read it many times in my 19 years!!!!! I think i first read it when i was 13 and have read every 1 of the fallen angels books my favourite has got to be thunder and roses though!!! 🙂 Mary jo putney… in my eyes you are an genius and im sure others will agree.
    Hugs and kisses
    Rachael
    xx

    Reply
  103. Wow… i love this book sooo much and have read it many times in my 19 years!!!!! I think i first read it when i was 13 and have read every 1 of the fallen angels books my favourite has got to be thunder and roses though!!! 🙂 Mary jo putney… in my eyes you are an genius and im sure others will agree.
    Hugs and kisses
    Rachael
    xx

    Reply
  104. Wow… i love this book sooo much and have read it many times in my 19 years!!!!! I think i first read it when i was 13 and have read every 1 of the fallen angels books my favourite has got to be thunder and roses though!!! 🙂 Mary jo putney… in my eyes you are an genius and im sure others will agree.
    Hugs and kisses
    Rachael
    xx

    Reply
  105. Wow… i love this book sooo much and have read it many times in my 19 years!!!!! I think i first read it when i was 13 and have read every 1 of the fallen angels books my favourite has got to be thunder and roses though!!! 🙂 Mary jo putney… in my eyes you are an genius and im sure others will agree.
    Hugs and kisses
    Rachael
    xx

    Reply
  106. From MJP:
    Rachael, thank you for the lovely words! I am blushing, but very pleased. *g* I hope you continue to enjoy my stories.
    Miranda, isn’t it dreadful when we become efficient about weeding books, then come to regret it? There is never enough bookshelf space….

    Reply
  107. From MJP:
    Rachael, thank you for the lovely words! I am blushing, but very pleased. *g* I hope you continue to enjoy my stories.
    Miranda, isn’t it dreadful when we become efficient about weeding books, then come to regret it? There is never enough bookshelf space….

    Reply
  108. From MJP:
    Rachael, thank you for the lovely words! I am blushing, but very pleased. *g* I hope you continue to enjoy my stories.
    Miranda, isn’t it dreadful when we become efficient about weeding books, then come to regret it? There is never enough bookshelf space….

    Reply
  109. From MJP:
    Rachael, thank you for the lovely words! I am blushing, but very pleased. *g* I hope you continue to enjoy my stories.
    Miranda, isn’t it dreadful when we become efficient about weeding books, then come to regret it? There is never enough bookshelf space….

    Reply
  110. From MJP:
    Rachael, thank you for the lovely words! I am blushing, but very pleased. *g* I hope you continue to enjoy my stories.
    Miranda, isn’t it dreadful when we become efficient about weeding books, then come to regret it? There is never enough bookshelf space….

    Reply

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