Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Book Review: A Ring For Rosie by Maggie Wells

About the Book

Once burned, this father of twins is twice shy until he realizes the right woman is the charm . . .

James Harper is a great dad, but a lousy judge of women—as evidenced by his twin boys’ flighty mother, who walked out when the babies were just six weeks old. He’s got fatherhood down, but dating is another story—especially when the twins’ mom shows up any time she needs something. His office manager, Rosie Herrera, is the one woman he can count on, actually talk to, flirt with, and . . . come to think of it, has he been overlooking the perfect woman all this time?

Rosie’s been in love with James since her first day on the job, but she’s certain he only sees her as a reliable employee—until one heated kiss changes everything. And then James’s ex shows up, and walks right into his life again. Determined to move on, Rosie tries to forget everything she feels about James—by doing her best to fall for someone else. But James isn’t about to make the same mistake twice. To woo Rosie this time, he needs to prove they’re made for each other . . . forever.

My Thoughts

A RING FOR ROSIE by Maggie Wells is another book where my opinion is divided. This is happening more and more to me and I’ve come to the conclusion it’s because the romance books I’m reading are swaying more to the side of realism than ever before. I read romance primarily for escapism. I want to cheer the hero for acting like one, and congratulate the heroine for finally getting a man worthy of her. And here’s where I am struggling with this book: I am not convinced that the hero is worthy of the heroine.

James Harper is a single dad to 4 year old twin boys. His ex, Megan, left soon after their birth and has little interest in her children. Wells gives us the realism of a single parent stretched thin as he juggles a job and his kids. I believe he loves his kids but I understand him when he talks about his and Megan’s relationship being about the physical, with children not even entering the picture. I believe that he is attracted to Rosie and that at the time they first met, he was in no way capable of committing to a romantic relationship. I don’t even blame him for disregarding Rosie’s obvious crush on him. Frankly, he owes her nothing in this regard, and nor has he ever taken advantage of her feelings for him.

What I do blame him for is his utterly stupid decision to fake his feelings towards Megan to firstly, remove her from his life permanently and secondly, wield this fake relationship in Rosie’s face in an attempt to get her to fall out of love with him. Would a person do this in real life? Perhaps, and I can see the appeal of taking the easier way out. Should a hero in a romance novel do this? Hell no! From the outset it was clear the plan was manipulative and designed to hurt Rosie. I was not a happy reader.

I could argue that it was up to Rosie to stop mooning over James much sooner and there is an element in truth in that. Even though her decision to date other men came as a result of James’ rejection, I am glad she found several men who were able to appreciate her as a woman. To them she was not just the indispensable employee or the awkward crush to be placated from time to time. I felt for Rosie and was prepared to be happy for her, even if she did give James the flick and headed off into the sunset with another man. Yet as these things go in a romance novel, the heart wants what it wants. I am not going to give a summary but suffice it to say, after a few hiccups, Rosie does get the man she always wanted. James won’t be making it onto my book boyfriend list but the author convinced me that Rosie was happy at the end and that’s what matters.

About the Author

By day, Margaret Ethridge/Maggie Wells is buried in spreadsheets. 

At night she pens tales of people tangling up the sheets. This author of feminist, sex-positive romance is the product of a charming rogue and a shameless flirt. Trust us, you only have to scratch the surface of this mild-mannered married lady to find a naughty streak a mile wide.

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