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

MILD SPOILERS 😉

5 stars

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Usually, Carole 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 gently and lovingly. 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, macho, 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.

Eve is attracted to Bart, despite her instincts. Years ago, she had been “involved” with a man who raped her. Of course, this left a devastating mark upon her. Not only was she was of men for their physical nature, but she was s especially wary of wealthy men who thought they could have any woman they wanted with a snap of their fingers. Men like Bart Jordan.

While at first, it seems like Bart is a jerk in pursuit of the heroine because he lusts after her, upon getting closer to her and understanding her past, his perspective changes. He truly cares for Eve. But Bart courts Eve in an understanding and sweet manner, once he knows the facts of her past.

Mills and Boon Edition

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!

Another silly peeve was with Eve’s wardrobe. What was up with all those slinky black catsuits she wore? Sure it’s the 70’s, but that glam rock-star look was a wrong choice.

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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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