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The Rose of Winslow Street by Elizabeth Camden
Bethany House, 01 January 2012

Book Summary taken from: http://elizabethcamden.com/books

The last thing Libby Sawyer and her father expected upon their return from their summer home was to find strangers inhabiting a house that had been in their family for twenty years. Widower Michael Dobrescu brought his family from Romania to the town of Colden, Massachusetts, with a singular purpose: to claim the house willed to his father. Since neither party has any intention of giving up their claim, a fierce legal battle ensues between the two families.
When Libby’s father’s most important and sensitive documents go missing, Michael and his family are the likely culprits. Determined to discover the truth behind the stolen papers, Libby investigates, only to find herself unconvinced that Michael’s to blame and at risk of developing feelings for this man with the mysterious past.


When it seems the papers have indeed made it into the wrong hands and a decision about the house is pending in the courts, Libby must weigh the risks of choosing a side and giving her heart to a man whose intentions and affections are less than certain.


I was eagerly awaiting Elizabeth’s latest book after having read The Lady of Bolton Hill. So when it came out I downloaded it on my phone. I got through the first chapter and had to put the book down. I didn’t like Michael Dobrescu, the male lead, at all. To put it a better way, I got a very bad first impression of him. I wasn’t able to pick up the book again until two weeks later. I couldn’t give up on the book because what I had read in the first chapter was so well written and engaging – I just didn’t like Michael. This book deserved to be read and Michael deserved another chance.


So two weeks later, I picked up where I left off and the next day I was finished and I had been completely won over by Michael! There is so much to love about this book. From Michael’s sheer size and his “gentle giant” nature to his innate desire and ability to protect those he loves through sheer force and determination. Libby herself is a strong woman who faces her own insecurities and doubts about herself. Circumstances lead Michael and Libby to move past stereotypes and to forge a deeper bond and understanding of each other. Through Michael’s love and affirmation, Libby begins to accept herself as a child loved by God for exactly who is she, and nothing else.


Besides these two, Elizabeth has given us a whole host of intriguing characters who add so much to this already beautiful story. Lady Mirela’s story weaves so beautifully through the book and my heart broke for her and all that she has suffered. Libby’s tenuous relationship with her father, Professor Sawyer, is pushed to the limits when a secret is revealed from another section of Libby’s family.
I really enjoyed this book and was very gratified to know that my first impression of Michael was just that – a first impression! A quote from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice says it all: “…but that from knowing him better, his disposition was better understood.”