I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Monster Among the Roses by Linda Kage
Series: Fairy Tale Quartet #1
Published by Linda Kage on July 25th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Fairy Tales
“Do you know how to get to the rose garden?”“No, you can’t go there. A monster lives there.”
Shaw Hollander is desperate.Broke, unemployed, and determined to help his ailing mother, he falls on the good graces of a wealthy benefactor who is willing to give Shaw a job at his mansion in order to pay off his mother’s debts. Suddenly finding himself surrounded by lavish riches, he has no idea what his duties truly entail until he’s sent to the rose garden and meets the tragically mutilated Isobel.
This Beauty and the Beast story holds true to the core of the fable while shaking off the element of fantasy and dragging it into present day reality. Shaw and Isobel are ready to let you climb into their four-wheel-drive pickup and take a ride with them into their version of happily ever after, but only if you first dare to gaze upon the monster among the roses.
In Monster Among The Roses we have a enchanting contemporary fairy tale romance with a unique twist on the tale “Beauty and the Beast”. In this book, there are many similarities with the original fairy tale. But there are also some distinct differences as well. What I found most unique was seeing the way this story unfolded.
Our beautiful love story begins with our hero, who has recently learned that his mother’s shop is falling behind, that his sister has stolen all of his mothers funds, and with her health in decline, and they owe many debts, and with Shaw selling off everything he owns and losing his job, he is desperate. So he goes to the man that can help, he offers his services in return of helping with their debts. Shaw knows he has basically sold his soul, but he will do anything to save his mother. He is then instructed to arrive at a certain address, and his job will be not what he is expecting. Shaw will work as the handyman, but most specifically work in the rose garden of his solicitors daughter. But what he isn’t expecting is to find a fire breathing, passionate woman who has suffered results from a fire. Some would call her a “monster” but Shaw is intrigued and fascinated by this woman who is fiercely protective of her rose garden and doesn’t want anything to do with him, or it only appears the way. Shaw soon realizes that his job is to bring challenge to Isobel’s life again.
Isobel, when she was only a teenager, made a reckless choice like all teenagers in love do, and the result was a fire in the house, a fire that scarred her for life, and where she lost her mother in the fire. Isobel has had numerous surgeries on her face and neck, which were quite painful. But Isobel lives isolated from the world, only existing in her garden and the library. Isobel’s father is desperate to find any way to bring her out, even had the inexperience but drop dead gorgeous man into his home. Little by Little Shaw is able to bring Isobel out, challenging her out, pushing her boundaries, and teaching her to live life again. Soon Isobel and Shaw discover a tender and powerful love that will be tested.
Love isn’t about deserving. Because who deserves love? We’re all miserable, imperfect idiots who probably need swift kicks in the ass more than anything. No, love is about connection and feelings, and I had that with you.
Monster Among The Roses is a story that is passionate, intense, heart felt emotions are vividly portrayed and a perfect portrayal of “Beauty and the Beast” with a few twists. Our hero is the beauty of the story, and our heroine is the beast per say. We have some charming characters that play the roles of Mrs. Pots, Cogsworth, and Chip too. Linda Kage has become a favorite author of mine over the past couple of years, and she really walloped me with this book because it was so fantastically well written and deep yet still had some great wit that really balanced out the story. The romance begins with two people who are completely different in some ways, but also have the same passion for certain subjects. They are both in love with books, and they connect in a library of all places. Yep if you are like me, then you will fall in love with seeing these two work side by side on a project while falling in love along the way. Isobel respects and admires Shaw for his talents and also his love of history and art.
This story brings together some unique dynamics that I enjoyed to the fullest. The way that Isobel and Shaw learn to love and accept each other flaws and all is so endearing. The complex dynamics to the story adds a flair of desire and love. Seeing the way they look past the faults and misconceptions and look beneath the surface, adds a unique emotional intimacy that vibrates through the whole story. And of course we have the villain of the story, who adds some tension and conflict when you least expect it. I will say that there are some moments in the story that get pretty heart wrenching at times. Both Shaw and Isobel learn some vital life lessons in this story, but we also see how their love sustains them through the most rough patches.
This book is raw and beautiful in a glorious way that rivals the “Beauty and the Beast” fairy tale….a story of pure love, redemption, inner healing! A MAJESTIC LOVE TALE
Great. I was lost. Shading my hand over my eyes, I decided the far right should take me in the general direction I wanted to go. So I went that way, only to end up at the edge of the house, but not where I’d started, and not close enough to the rose garden to get me inside.
Strangely enough, however, a boy played outside, using sidewalk chalk to color a picture of…what the hell was he drawing? Maybe some kind of dying animal with blood gushing from its side and an arrow sticking out of its back.
It didn’t look right, whatever it was.
I shook my head and jerked my gaze from the disturbingly morbid sketch. “Hey, kid.”
The boy jumped and looked up, hopping to his feet and backing away from me as I were the scary one.
No idea who he was; he looked too young to be Mr. Nash’s son from the photos I’d seen, plus he had white blond hair, the complete opposite shade of the young man in all the pictures in Mr. Nash’s office. But he was here, so he’d have to do.
Wanting to appear as non-threatening as possible, I smile and waved. “Hey. Sorry for bothering you, but do you know how to get to the rose garden?”
That must’ve been the wrong question to ask. His face drained of color. “No,” he said, shaking his head. “You can’t go there.”
What? “Why not?”
“A monster lives in there. Half her face is melted off. She eats the thorns from the roses so she can spit them at people, stabbing them in the neck to slice their throat open until they bleed out and die.”
Somehow, I’d stumbled across one of the children of the corn. Nice.
Lifting my eyebrows, I drew my own step in reverse. Time to retreat. “Dude, that’s gruesome.”
Please don’t kill me. Please don’t kill me. Please don’t kill me.
He gave a serious nod. “It’s true. My mom’ll tell you she’s real too.”
“Oh yeah?” Relieved he wasn’t claiming he’d sprouted from Satan’s cabbage patch but actually had a mother, I glanced around for this wise, all-knowing parent of his. Maybe she could tell me how to get to the conservatory. “Who’s your mom?”
“The cook,” he said, puffing up his chest as if that were the most important title in the house. “She’s worked here for fifteen years. She knows everything about this place there is to know. So…don’t go into the roses. You won’t come out alive. Lewis, the groundskeeper, doesn’t even go in there.”
Aha! So this place did have a gardener. I knew it.
I took a second to ponder why I was being sent to garden then, when Mr. Nash already paid someone to maintain the place. But if Lewis refused to go into the roses, as the kid had said, maybe it was rumored to be haunted or something, and that was where I came in. Then again, why wouldn’t Mr. Nash just hire a new groundskeeper who wasn’t so scared and superstitious? Then I stopped pondering the whys. It wasn’t my place to question strange, rich people and their strange, oddball orders. I was just here to do what I was told and save my mom.
Nodding gravely to the boy, I said, “Thanks for the warning, kid. But I think I’ll take my chances. Which way?”
He looked at me as if he’d never see me again because I was headed forth to my death, then he lifted his hand and quietly pointed toward another opening in the path of bushes.
“Thanks.” I nodded and got out of there before some of his creepiness started rubbing off.
Fortunately, he’d steered me in the right direction. I landed right at the outdoor entrance into the glass gazebo. Propping the door open, I carted my supplies inside and then paused to breathe deeply.
But fuck me, it smelled good in here. You didn’t have to be a flower enthusiast for this garden to amaze you. It was like the holy shrine of roses. A hallowed kind of reverence filled my chest. Haunted or not, I liked it. It felt peaceful and yet revitalizing.
Suddenly intimidated because I didn’t want to mess anything up in such a perfect place, my hands shook as I flipped back to the pages about rose care. The more I skimmed, however, the more confused I became.
These roses didn’t need a lick of my attention. They were all in excellent condition as if someone already tended to them. Maybe creepy kid had been wrong, and Lewis the groundskeeper came in here hourly to care for them.
Still…What the hell?
I frowned and slid my finger along the silken petals of a blood red rose. Perfectly pruned, weeded, and watered. It was as flawless as a thing could get.
But I couldn’t go tell Mr. Nash they didn’t need anything, could I? What if he fired me for lack of work to do, or because he thought I was lazy and lying about the roses not needing care?
I looked around again, searching for anything to water, or clip, or re-soil. It was crazy how thriving every single flower looked.
Maybe this was some kind of test, and Mr. Nash wanted me to fail. What if he’d never intended for me to work for him and the contract I’d signed to save my mom was being burned in the fireplace in this office as I stood here like a dumbass with nothing to weed.
Confused and worried, and growing a little angry, I scowled at a wall full of pink vine roses growing to my right. But they were honestly too pretty to be glared at, so my mood settled.
I bet Mom would love them. She was a fan of pink. And flowers. Plus, these were the good-smelling kind. I’d be a good son if I brought home such a flower to her. And it seemed as if they grew in abundance, not as if they were one of the rare breeds Mr. Nash had spoken of. So I reached for a bloom to pluck it from the vine without even thinking beyond how much it’d make my mother smile.
Behind me, a voice growled, “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
Jumping half out of my skin because I’d been certain no one had been in here with me, I whirled around only to gasp, “Shit!”
The creepy cook’s son hadn’t been lying.
In front of me stood an irate woman with half her face melted off.