The Rarest Rose

The Rarest Rose - I. Beacham I picked this up on the strength of the author's previous work, Sanctuary, which is one of my all-time favorite reads.

In Rarest Rose, two women, a photographer and her subject, are drawn together by a haunting. As they attempt to delve deeper into the mystery, they start to develop feelings for one another. However, both are hampered by their respective pasts--one, a failed love and the other, a terrible loss. As their feelings escalate, so do the hauntings.

I liked the very British feel of the entire book. Everything from the gentle countryside setting, to the dialogue, to all the nicely drawn characters, and even the weather! I could almost hear the accents. But I feel the very Britishness of the whole book also holds back the passion. The two women are very reserved, as in stiff-upper-lip reserved. Too civil, too polite and a bit too dispassionate. There is chemistry, but not enough spark and not enough sexual tension to sizzle the pages.

There is an interesting mystery attached to the ghost story. I enjoyed the way it played out though TV addicts may find it rather cliche. The ending was a bit weird and cheesy, but it gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling.

Overall, the book is typical BSB quality--well-plotted, well-edited and no obvious typos.

Highly recommended if you like ghost stories (its not too creepy, but just enough that it doesn't overwhelm the romance) and gentle British romances.

4.4 stars