5 stars

Category Romance Review: Red Rose for Love by Carole Mortimer

Red Rose for Love, Carole Mortimer, Harlequin, 1979. Cover artist TBD

Harlequin Presents # 522

From the back of the book:

Love led only to heartbreak. Eve had survived the ordeal of Carl Prentiss, but the experience left her a sadly changed woman. Her trusting young heart was now safely buried. Never again would she love–least of all a rich man who thought his money could buy him everything, including her. So, despite his persistence, Bart Jordan didn’t stand a chance with Eve. She was allowing stubborn bitterness and fear to ruin her life, but if Bart were to treat her as Carl had done, the result would be the same anyway.

5 stars

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Usually, Mortimer’s heroes are cruel and overbearingly alpha. While in Red Rose for Love the hero-in-pursuit starts dominant and determined, when he realizes how hurt the heroine’s been in the past, he changes course and woos her in a gentle and loving manner. He’s a rarity in the Harlequin Presents line: a beautiful, green-eyed blond who’s not a man-ho and is a genuinely nice guy! Yes, he’s overbearing, alpha, all that jazz, but beneath, he’s sensitive to Eve’s needs. The only bad thing I can say about him is that his name is Bart.

Eve is a singing sensation. Her audience adores her, and quite frankly, so does Bart Jordan. He’s intrigued by Eve’s beauty, but once he gets to know her, it’s her delicate vulnerability that strikes a chord within him, forcing him to readjust his perspective and take a closer look at the women he admires.

Without a doubt this is the best book by Carole Mortimer I’ve ever read. There’s no love triangle, no creepy incest angle, no hateful ass-hat hero. Sure Bartholomew Jordan is overbearing and filthy rich, but he is one of the most decent Alpha heroes I’ve read in a long time. He was very understanding and caring for the obviously damaged heroine. What a great read!

My only caveat was with Eve’s wardrobe. What was up with all those slinky catsuits she wore? Sure it’s the 70’s, but that rock-star look was a bad choice.

2 replies »

  1. great review. And now I’m curious so I’ll need to re-read this, it’s been decades.
    Best guess on artist is Wes Lowe, the faces and medium violet in the background…though he usually manages to get his sig in the circle, and I don’t see it on the low res images I checked.

  2. Hi Iris, I didn’t see this before. (I set up e-mail notifications so I’ll now see every comment.)

    I appreciate for the information on the cover artist. You’re a treasure trove of knowledge! I’ve seen Lowe’s work before, but could never make out the name. So now I have that! I visited his website and it looks like he was a student of Will Davies. So many of these Harlequin cover artists come from the Toronto area.
    Thank you so much, and I hope you had nice weekend!

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