Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Where the Last Rose Blooms by Ashley Clark: Book Review

 ** I received a complimentary copy for consideration. All thoughts are my own. 

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 handsome yet irritating man who comes to her 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 known to be a rule follower--but the war has changed her. Unbeknownst to her father, who is heavily involved with the Confederacy, she is an abolitionist and is prepared to sacrifice everything for the cause. With assistance from a dashing Union spy, she attempts to help an enslaved woman reunite with her daughter. But things go very wrong when Clara agrees to aid the Northern cause by ferrying secret information about her father's associates.

Faced with the unknown, both women will have to dig deep to let their courage bloom.

Ashley Clark (www.ashleyclarkbooks.com) writes romantic women's fiction set in the South. With a master's degree in creative writing, Ashley teaches literature and writing courses at the University of West Florida. Ashley has been an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers for almost a decade. She lives with her husband, son, and two rescued Cocker Spaniels off Florida's Gulf Coast. When she's not writing, she's rescuing stray animals, dreaming of Charleston, and drinking all the English breakfast tea she can get her hands on.

Where the Last Rose Blooms is the third and final installment in the Heirloom Secrets series. While I do think this could be enjoyed okay as a standalone, I would definitely recommend reading the series in order. 

I must admit that while I enjoy historical fiction, I find that personally stories set during the Civil War don't tend to be my favorite, and I often struggle to get into them. Likewise, I can be rather picky about dual timeline novels as well. Had I not fallen in love with the previous books in this series, I might have skipped over this one for those reasons alone... Still, I didn't expect to enjoy it nearly as much as I did, but I found myself unable to put it down. Ashley Clark does such a wonderful job of weaving together past and present to create a heartwarming story that you cannot help but be drawn into. It offers just the right amount of mystery with bits of the story being revealed slowly throughout to keep me wanting more and more. History, faith, mystery and romance... this story truly does have it all. 

If you enjoy historical fiction, this is absolutely one not to be missed.


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