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Review: For The Roses by Julie Garwood
Friday July 29, 2011 at 12:00 am |

fortheroses-jgPublisher: Pocket Star Books
Copyright: 1995
Published: February 5, 1996
Pages: 561
Form: Paperback
Author: Julie Garwood
Buy The Book: B&N | Book Depository

In Blue Belle, Montana, everyone knew better than to mess with the Claybornes. The brothers had once been a mismatched gang of street urchins — until they found an abandoned baby girl in a New York city alley, named her Mary Rose, and headed west to raise her to be a lady. They became a family — held together by loyalty and love if not by blood — when suddenly they faced a crisis that threatened to tear them apart….

Trouble came to town with one Lord Harrison Stanford MacDonald. Armed with a swagger and six-shooter, he cut a striking figure — but it soon became apparent to Mary Rose that he was too much of a gentleman to make it in her rough-and-tumble town. She asked her brothers to teach him the basics of frontier survival, which he acquired with ease. And soon he possessed a deep and desperate love for Mary Rose. She returned his affection wholeheartedly… until MacDonald revealed a secret that challenged everything she believed about herself, her life, and her new found love. Now her search for identity and meaning would begin, raising questions that could only be answered if she listened to the truth within her heart….

My Thoughts:

This book is by far one of the best historical romance novels I’ve read thus far.  Julie Garwood takes love and family to the next level in this enchanting tale of four brothers who come together to love and care for a baby girl who had been tossed away just like them.

In 1860, four street urchins have formed a gang to survive on the streets of New York.  Tossed away by their parents, these boys decided to ban together to look out for each other.  The oldest, Adam, a runaway slave, has been deemed the leader since he’s the oldest at thirteen years old.  Adam promised his mother, who is still in captivity, that he would head far west so as not to be recaptured.  But his life and the lives of the other three boys are turned upside down when he discovers a baby thrown away in the trash can.  The baby immediately captures all of their hearts and they decide to become a family, head west, and raise her as a respectable young lady.  But when a stranger comes looking for his employer’s long lost daughter, he threatens to tear their world and their family apart.

I cannot say enough how much I adored this book!  As children these kids made me smile with pride that they would have the fortitude to take on the responsibility of raising a baby when they were just children themselves.  And how they made me laugh when they decided the baby had to be a boy because it was bald.

The Claybornes are one of the most unique families I’ve ever read about.  I love that each brother has a different strength and they each bring some unique skill to the family.  Adam is the scholar who is constantly learning, loves to debate, and taught the rest of them to read and write.  Cole is the hot tempered one.  He’s the fastest gunfighter in Blue Belle and he don’t take any crap, especially when it comes to his family.  But he’s also a skilled architect and a sound businessman.  Douglas is great with animals and exceptionally excellent with horses.  People come from miles around to get his advice about their livestock and pets.  And Travis, the youngest brother, is compassionate and protective, and has a mind for the law.  Mary Rose, who they named after Cole’s and Adam’s mothers, embodies the best and worst qualities of all her brothers.

When they meet a stranger in town, Mary Rose deems him gentle and insists he stays with them.  I really liked Harrison MacDonald.  Although I didn’t like his purpose for coming to Blue Belle, he was a real swoon-worthy gent.  He’s kind, protective, and very intelligent.  He’s also ruthless in a courtroom.  And I love that he accepted the Claybornes for what they were, although they drove him crazy at times.  I also enjoyed that he fit easily into their lives.  I could see how Mary Rose fell for him because he reminded me so much of her brothers.  And being that she loved them with everything she was, I completely understood why Harrison was the guy for her.  I will admit to being frustrated by them both once they went to England.  But it was a pivotal part of the story that was necessary for the progression of the novel and their own self discoveries.

The most amazing thing to me was how they all adopted each other.  They all even accepted Adam’s mother as their own even though none of them, besides Adam, had ever laid eyes on her.  Each chapter is ended with a letter written to their mother Rose when they were children.  And some of the letters brought tears of laughter to my eyes.  They were too cute.  The love this makeshift family had for one another was adorable and touching.  Overall, this was such a beautiful story about love and family and I look forward to reading more from Julie Garwood.

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Filed in: Fiction, Historicals, Reviews, Romance Tags: , , , , ,


Written by Jade

Jade is a book blogger from NC. In her spare time she loves to read and build and maintain websites. She has been reading since she was four and building websites since she was 16. SortofBeautiful.com was born on March 8, 2011 and is a fantastic merging of her two favorite hobbies. Enjoy your stay!

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8 Responses to “Review: For The Roses by Julie Garwood”

  1. Brie says:

    Julie Garwood is my favorite historical romance author! I also love her contemporaries but her historicals have a special place in my heart because she was the second romance author I discovered and I devoured them all (back then I thought that romance only came in historical form and it wasn’t until later that I discovered the other sub-genres). I think I have read over 25 books by her and I have enjoyed every single one of them.

    If you are into series where each brother has its own book you should read Nora Roberts’ Quinn Brothers series and the MacKade series, they are contemporary though, but I think you are going to love them (I just want everyone to read my favorite books so I can talk about them with someone else).

    I’m overly excited that you are reading Julie Garwood, each day you are getting closer to the dark side! Once you start reading Nora Roberts and Linda Howard my job will be done!

  2. Jade Jade says:

    Brie Brie! Thanks for stopping by and sharing that. I adored thi book by Julie Garwood, and therefore will definitely be picking up and reading more from here. I especially can’t wait to read the rest of the Claybornes stories. I think there are three more books. And I’m sure I will eventually get around to reading Nora Roberts and trying out Linda Howard. I’ll have to keep the story of the Quinn brothers in mind. Knowing my mother she has them laying around the house somewhere and I can grab them from her. She’s a huge NR’s fan.

  3. Missie says:

    A family full of incredible brothers! I’m sold. LOL

    Wow, I just saw that this book was published back in the 90’s. It is nice to know that it’s still holding up. I’ve heard of this author before but have yet to read anything by her. I must try her out soon.

  4. I lOVED this book!! I’m glad you reminded me 🙂

    I loved how they adopted each other too! Happy you stumbled upon this awesome read.

  5. Jade Jade says:

    @ Missie, yes read it! This one excellent! And you’ll fall in love with the brothers!

    @ Alexis, I’m so glad I found this book! It was probably my favorite so far this month.

  6. Lynette says:

    I read this book when it was first released and it has become one of my all time favorite romances. It was made into a Hallmark movie starring Jennifer Garner that totally sucked. Please don’t see it it will make you mad. The plot was nothing like the book. As an example, Harrison becomes Mary Rose’s brother and Cole dies. UGGHH.

    Another great old historical that still stands up to time is Morning Glory by Lavryle Spencer and Daniel’s Bride by Linda Lael Miller.

  7. Jade Jade says:

    @ Lynette, thanks for stopping by. I saw that it was made into a movie but am dissappointed to know they didn’t stick with the book. I think I’ll not be watching that. Nothing could compare to the book anyway. And thanks for the suggestions, I’ll have to check those out.

  8. Rebecca says:

    It definitely sounds like a great read! I actually have two of her novels waiting to read and have read one of her shorter ones, which I really love. Can’t wait to get to try out some more of her work! 🙂 Great review, Jade!