Desert Rose

Romance in Blake's Folly

Romance - Contemporary
174 Pages
Reviewed on 02/26/2019
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Author Biography

Born in New York, raised in Toronto, J. Arlene Culiner set out young, to have a life of adventure and discovery, not one of security and comfort. She has since crossed much of Europe on foot, travelled, by bus, train, car, or truck throughout North and Central America, Europe, and the Sahara, has lived in a Hungarian mud house, a Bavarian castle, a Turkish cave dwelling, on a Dutch canal, and in a haunted stone house on the lonely English moors. Such a lifestyle has meant staying flexible and taking up any sort of work that presents itself: belly dancer, fortune teller, b-girl, translator, fashion model, storyteller, radio broadcaster, actress, social critical artist, photographer, and writer. She now resides in a 400-year-old former inn in a French village of no interest, and protects all creatures, especially spiders, earthworms, and snakes. She particularly loves incorporating into short stories, mysteries, narrative non-fiction works, and romances, her experiences in out-of-the-way communities with their strange characters, and very odd conversations.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lisa McCombs for Readers' Favorite

Self-assured, beautiful, funny Rose Badger is rarely caught off her game. All the boys in town know it and she knows they do. Rose is always in control, but when newcomer Jonah Livingstone enters her vintage boutique in Blake’s Folly, she senses a slip in her composure, a doubt in her stance. Who is this man and why is he in Second Hand Rose looking for a gift for a mysterious woman who evidently isn’t interested in anything remotely vintage. Rose is not lacking in male company. It is common knowledge that she is available for any number of casual dinner or lunch invitations. She just isn’t available for permanent relationships. So, why does Jonah’s presence unnerve her so? And, more importantly, why does she feel the need to bare her highly guarded secrets to him?

Desert Rose: Romance in Blake's Folly by J. Arlene Culiner is a fun, fast-moving romance unlike any other read by this reviewer. Rose Badger is a likable and oddly relatable character, especially to the free-spirited reader of the twenty-first century. Even the most independent woman will appreciate Rose’s style. Culiner’s use of contemporary language and laissez-faire attitude is refreshing, yet endearing. The vivid details bring the reader up close and personal with the town watering hole, the Mizpah Hotel. Town locals are realistic in their time-gone-by colorful entertainment. I can smell the dust of old fabric in Second Hand Rose. This is truly a story of mature love, gender respect, and classic story telling absent in so many books of today. Kudos to J. Arlene Culiner!