The gothic romance The House of Shadowed Roses by Carol Warburton is a paint-by-numbers dull experience that is neither romantic nor thrilling.
This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, Sweet Savage Flame earns a small percentage from qualifying purchases.The House of Shadowed Roses by Carol Warburton
Illustrator: Walter Popp
Imprint or Line: Zebra Gothic Romance
Published by: Kensington
Genres: Gothic Romance, Historical Romance
Buy on: Amazon, AbeBooks
Reviewed by: Blue Falcon
TOTAL SPOILER ALERT ⚠
The House of Shadowed Roses begins with death. After Edwin Ashley accuses his wife Vanessa of being unfaithful to him, they both die in an accidental fire.
Fast forward many years. Heather Peyton is hired by the Ashley family to act as a companion to Morgana Bassett at their family home, Rosemerryn. Morgana is an old woman who has health issues. As soon as Heather is hired, she is immediately plunged into the dysfunctional dynamics of the Ashley family.
Morgana lives at Rosemerryn with her nephews, Geoffrey and Clifford. Geoffrey is a bachelor, while Clifford is married. Clifford’s wife, Louise, went to the same school as Heather did. Now, Louise doesn’t miss a chance to flaunt her marriage to a rich man to the unmarried Heather.
Also in residence is Morgana’s niece, Delcine. Delcine is fearful that the ghost of her mother, Vanessa, is haunting Rosemerryn.
Geoffrey has physical scars from Vanessa’s death. His hands were burned when he tried to save Edwin and Vanessa from the fire which took their lives.
As Heather’s time at Rosemerryn goes on, she becomes the de facto governess for Delcine. Meanwhile, Clifford tries to seduce Heather. When that doesn’t work, he tries to rape her twice and also attempts to kill her.
Obviously, he doesn’t succeed. Eventually, Clifford and Louise are banished to Australia.
Heather falls in love with Geoffrey, and they become engaged, thinking their problems are over.
They’re wrong! A jilted suitor entombs Heather, but fortunately, Geoffrey rescues her just in time.
Then they get their Happily Ever After.
The upside here goes to… ME! For having the intestinal fortitude to get through yet another crappy book.
My philosophy: I’ve spent nearly five figures on books, I might as well read them all, no matter how bad they are!
There is NOTHING good in The House of Shadowed Roses. The characters are flat and uninteresting. I honestly didn’t care if Heather lived or died. Or anyone else, for that matter!
A few chaste kisses make up the “sex” in the book.
This book’s steam factor is non-existence. The House of Shadowed Roses is chaste, sweet, and boring.
Clifford tries to murder Heather by strangulation and then again with a falling rock. Edwin tries to kill Vanessa at the beginning of the book. Murder runs in the family.
The violence is not graphic and is mostly bloodless.
Bottom Line on The House of Shadowed Roses
Sad to say, but Carol Warburton’s The House of Shadowed Roses is a wilted, limp book.
|Rating Report Card|
Heather Peyton was thrilled when the Ashleys hired her as a companion and brought her to their Cornwall estate. Young, penniless, alone in the world, she was eager to call someplace home. And when Heather saw the magnificent rose-strewn grounds of Rosemerryn, she knew she had at last found a haven.
Perched upon the jagged rocks overlooking the violent sea, Rosemerryn almost seemed a part of the fearsome cliffs. Though the strong-willed elderly aunt didn’t want a companion, they soon become adversaries. Soon Heather learned that danger as well as beauty lurked in Rosemerryn–in ghosts long dead, in mysterie yet unsolved, and even in the arms of Geoffrey Ashley, the enigmatic master of Rosemerryn!The House of Shadowed Roses by Carol Warburton