Valentine’s Day Romance
With Valentine's Day just a few days away, I thought it would be a perfect time to highlight what I consider one of the best romantic trilogies I have read in a long time, The Rosewood Trilogy by Laura Moore. I read the first of the trilogy, Remember Me, last summer. The first book introduces you to the Radcliffe sisters, Margot, Jordan, and Jade, with the focus on Margot. At 18 years of age, Margot leaves home to become a model after her father refuses to let her help manage Rosewood, the family horse-breeding farm in Virginia -- and the man she loves has cast her aside. She does become a world-famous model, but then her father and step-mother are killed in an airplane crash, and she becomes guardian of her half-sister, Jade, who is more than a handful. To make matters worse, her father has left Rosewood millions of dollars in debt. Margot's heart was broken by hunky horse trainer Travis before she left, and now she finds herself returning home eight years later, leaving behind her successful modeling career, and asking Travis for help. The relationships between the sisters is so real, and readers will empathize with Margot who still loves Travis; but root for him because to this day feels he did the right thing for both of them when he rejected her.
The second book, Believe in Me, continues the family saga but focuses on Jordan, the elder sister of Margot, who is trying to start her life again after her nine year marriage ends in divorce. She has three young children to care for and she moves back to her childhood home to Rosewood. She has to learn to stand on her own two feet, while caring for her children, coming to terms with her ex-husband's new marriage to the woman he had an affair with, and facing the trust issues she has developed due to her experience. Help arrives in the form of the handsome architect Owen Gage, a gorgeous and successful man who is interviewing for a designing job that Jordan wants. She is trying to launch her own interior decorating business to help with expenses at Rosewood. Owen is a confirmed bachelor, and how he reacts to Margot's children makes the story both funny and heartwarming. I especially enjoyed the developing relationship between Owen and Jordan's youngest daughter Olivia. Owen, who has zero experience with children, is mortified when Olivia latches on to him and he becomes her hero.
The third book, Trouble Me, focuses on Jade, who was a rebellious teenager when we first met her. Now, in the third and final book, Jade has just graduated from college. Her plans are to teach elementary school and start a riding school. Jade hopes to prove to everyone that she's left her wild and troubled past behind and grown into a more mature and responsible person. Caught in a rainstorm on her way home, she takes a hotel room for the night. There in the hotel bar, Jade meets a familiar yet mysterious stranger, gives in to passion, and takes one more walk-on-the-wild-side. Little does she know that this stranger is none other than Officer Rob Cooper, the police officer she loved to torment in her rebellious teen years. Rob is struggling to raise his young daughter after losing his wife five years ago. Sparks fly when Rob's daughter becomes a student at Jade's riding school and Rob and Jade come face to face.
Laura Moore mixes real life situations with humor and passion in a believable and interesting way in this romantic trilogy. I especially enjoyed that the author went into the details of the everyday operation of the horse farm and the time and patience that goes in to training show horses. In many ways this trilogy reminded me of the Bride Quartet by Nora Roberts.