Release Date: February 6, 2011
More Info: Author website Amazon
Abandoned by his wife and left to raise a child alone, Caleb Reed falls short of the ideal work-from-home dad. He needs a woman to help him, in every sense of the word. At the suggestion of a friend, Caleb agrees to hire Ariel Lauren on a trial basis.
As an orphan, Ariel has more issues than just how to make it on her on. Yes, she needs the money that Caleb offers her, but more than anything she finds she desires his love. One calamity after another befalls her and jeopardizes her new job and her chance at having a family. But through it all, Caleb is by her side, his gruff exterior threatening to melt in the face of their shared attraction. Will they decide to continue life alone or will the magic of Valentine's Day bring them together?
"The Perfect Rose" is a sweet love story about two emotionally damaged people coming together. They learn to trust and to share. Caleb is divorced and a single father. His marriage and divorce left him bitter and wary of getting involved again. Ariel has never been able to be emotionally close with anyone, not family, friends, or significant others.
Ariel goes to work for Caleb as housekeeper and a babysitter for his eight year old son Joshua. Joshua is presented as being special, possibly a genius, and mildly autistic. Unfortunately, Rogers gives out those details and then forgets about them. Granted, this is a romance, not a story about the child, but I'd have liked to see those details be better integrated into the overall story. Though, that may just be the teacher in me reacting and not the reader. I am usually happy to see children, particularly those with special needs, as part of a story. Ok, got off track there, sorry.
Anyway, Ariel works for Caleb, which gives her some qualms. She's not at all certain that getting involved with her boss is smart (I'm inclined to agree) and it doesn't help that he gives mixed signals - kissing her, then avoiding her, etc. They go back and forth and dance around their attraction. I like that the attraction and their involvement built over time; so many books these days have it happen in such a short period of time and too often, that just doesn't work. Towards the end of the book, there's a complication involving the ex-wife. Honestly, I felt it was cliched but overall, the story was enjoyable. It's sweet and tender and worth reading.
A PDF was received from the author for review.