Rose By Another Name – Book Review
Title: Rose by Another Name
Genre: Historical Romance
Author and Bio:
Melanie received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from the University of Maine Augusta in 2014 before deciding to pursue a career in writing. As the seventh of nine children, and an avid storyteller from an early age, Melanie has never lacked for inspiration. She lives in her family’s country home in Maine.
Melanie finds the time to write in between being a full-time, homeschooling mom of one and working part-time as a administrative assistant.
Oh, and she enjoys long walks on sandy beaches, and tea. Lots of tea.
Follow her below!
Her worth decided over a game of cards, Lady Rosalyn Hayes has accepted her future. She will marry a duke she doesn’t know to protect her sisters’ reputations. But when a year of preparation for her debut vanishes in the blink of an eye, Rose flees her gilded cage in search of unrestrained adventure.
Lord Robert Phillip Clarence, Duke of Brighton, lives a life of debauchery far from his country estate, and even farther from the lady he must marry in order to restore his family’s ancestral lands. But when he is summoned home to meet his future wife, he realizes he hasn’t lived at all.
Rose and Robert do not meet when their eyes lock across a ballroom swathed in candlelight. They do not meet amid fine clothes, genteel manners, debonair charm, and chaperones. They meet, alone, upon Rose’s near death. It is this near-death experience that catapults the two nobles, disguised as servants, towards a romance that seems destined for failure.
They think they know each other. But when their true identities are revealed at a house party, will they live happily ever after or will the ton be shocked to see a lady run?
Rating: 4 out of 5
I’ll start by saying that Historical Romance is not something that I often read, or may have ever read, so keep that in mind. But the lovely Melanie Thurlow was releasing her debut novel and I wanted to give it a shot! Turns out, I fell in love with her character’s Rose and Robert. They are better known to their respective public as Lady Rosalyn Hayes and Lord Brighton.
I found this was a great regency novel and I was flipping the pages eager to learn more hoping that nothing would interrupt my reading time!
Rose and Robert were arranged for marriage before Rose was even born. With very little memory of each person, they both hate the idea of giving their life away to someone they don’t know and even have misguided memories of them. Rose believes that Lord Brighton will mistreat her like her family does and Robert believes that Lady Rosalyn will be a spoiled lady who is “like a piece of wood. All the personality is squeezed out by their corsets.” (Quote from Rose by Another Name.)
Just a couple days prior to a massive party her mother is throwing for the arranged marriage, Rose runs away on her one last adventure. Dressed in her servants clothing, she meets Robert out in the woods, who is also out clearing his own head before this party. As they meet in disguise, they learn more about each other than they would have at the party. It isn’t until the party, when Robert recognizes Rose as Lady Rosalyn that the conflict really begins and he starts putting the pieces together.
Melanie has written the conflict that Robert has upon seeing Rose as a Lady and how a proper lady should act. He replays what happened between the two of them in disguise and has to figure out whether or not that is behavior he can tolerate from her–despite her breaking her manners and upbringing for him.
It’s fascinating to read about this era in the terms of how we live in a completely different time period and what the role a woman plays now in a relationship. But also interesting to see what hasn’t changed in the terms of women’s rights and how they should be “pure” and “respectable” for a man, regardless of what the man has done in the past.
I loved the back and forth between Rose and Robert. This book is written in both of their point of views, which I think is incredibly important. Especially because of the era. It’s important to see both sides of the story and how each of them are treated in this arranged marriage.
My one compliant was I did feel it was a bit repetitive. There were times when the reader would already know the information and wouldn’t need to be told. While there’s a lot of information and story, I feel the readers should be trusted a little more to be able to follow along.
But it is a difficult task too, especially when writing inside a character’s head who is stressing and worrying about their future. It is something that we do as humans, even if it isn’t helpful. So I’m a bit torn.
Overall, I’m glad I didn’t let the era this is written in stop me from reading, like I have in the past. Rose and Robert’s story is still one you’re able to connect to. And it’s wonderful to get out of this year for a moment and jump into someone else’s world entirely. I think I need to do it more often.
I definitely cannot wait to see what else Melanie has up her sleeve!