Where the Last Rose Blooms by Ashley Clark
Sometimes, you just need a book where you know that at the end of the story, everything is going to be okay. That’s the strength of historical Christian romance novels like Where The Last Rose Blooms. Within the first chapter, you know who the main characters love interests are and are reasonably certain who they’ll eventually end up with. But none of that takes away from the story, because it’s all a part of the journey — and this journey was such a sweet one.
Where the Last Rose Blooms transported me to the city of New Orleans. The writing was charming and the setting wonderful. In the modern timeline, the main character, Alice, owns a flower shop that I would love to visit. It was vividly and delightfully described. I also had to google “beignets” and immediately added them to my list of things to one day try.
The historical timeline follows Clara, a young woman who joins the abolitionist movement. For most of the book, her character is really young and naïve, with very flawed attempts at helping. This felt like an accurate picture of someone awakening to the truth of the world in which she lives, and I thought this was excellent character growth. I appreciated her desire to seek truth and justice no matter the cost, and I only wish that we would have gotten a little bit more of this timeline at the ending!
Jumping into this series in book three meant that it took me a bit to figure out the cast of characters. It was clear that some of them had been introduced before and I was missing the backstory. Being unfamiliar with the characters, I also felt that some of the modern day “reveals” were a bit of a stretch. However, I’m assuming this might not be the case for those who’ve read the entirety of the series and are more familiar with the characters’ past.
Both timelines include very sweet romance plots. I’m torn which one I liked more. Alice’s meet cute was my favorite, but the relationship between Clara and her love-interest held me captivated from the beginning.
Where the Last Rose Blooms is a quick read, woven together with a beautiful floral theme. The book touches upon subjects like grief, slavery, and mental health, but leaves readers in a place of hope. Although it can be read as a standalone, I would certainly recommend starting with book one. (Which I’m off to track down now!)
Readers who enjoy sweet, easy-to-read stories of hope and faith.
This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Book provided courtesy of the author. All opinions expressed are my own.
About the book:
(From the publisher) Alice runs a New Orleans flower shop alongside her aunt, but thoughts of her mother, who went missing during Hurricane Katrina, are never far from her mind. After getting off on the wrong foot with a man who comes to the shop, Alice soon realizes their worlds overlap–and the answers they both seek can be found in the same place.
In 1861 Charleston, Clara is an abolitionist, unbeknownst to her father, who is heavily involved with the Confederacy. She attempts to assist an enslaved woman reunite with her daughter, and a dashing Union spy is just the person to help them. But things go very wrong when Clara agrees to aid the Northern cause by ferrying information about her father’s associates–and her own fiancé.
Faced with the unknown, both women across the years will have to dig deep to let their courage bloom.