Wednesday, January 15, 2014

TBR Review: One White Rose (The Clayborne Brides, Book 2) by Julie Garwood

For my first post as part of the TBR Challenge 2014, I have chosen a book that fits the theme: short stories, novellas, category romance. I received One White Rose by Julie Garwood, along with the rest of The Clayborne Brides trilogy, over three years ago from Mariana, as part of our New Jersey Blogger's book swap in 2010.

From the prologue:
"Long ago there lived a remarkable family. They were the Clayborne brothers, and they were held together by bonds far stronger than blood.

They met when they were boys living on the streets in New York City. Runaway slave Adam, pickpocket Douglas, gunslinger Cole, and con man Travis survived by protecting one another from the older gangs roaming the city. When they found an abandoned baby girl in their alley, they vowed to make a better life for her and headed west. They eventually settled on a piece of land they named Rosehill, deep in the heart of Montana Territory."
One White Rose is the second novel of "The Clayborne Brides" trilogy, part of the Rosehill series than began with Julie Garwood's novel For the Roses. In this 150 page book, Douglas Clayborne finds happiness, but not before he encounters danger and lots of frustration.

Douglas goes to meet a man about a horse and instead finds his widow Isabel Grant at the other end of a shotgun believing that he is a hired goon sent by the wealthy man who killed her husband and keeping her from going into town. But there's more to the situation, Isabel is going into labor, and Douglas has to take charge of that situation immediately. However, soon he realizes that Isabel's isolation has placed her and now her baby in real danger. Douglas can't easily convince Isabel to leave and after she steals his heart, there is no way he will leave her behind.

This is a short and to the point western historical romance. Garwood eliminates all the extraneous scenes, places Douglas and Isabel in a cabin for about ten weeks with very little physical influence from secondary characters and lets the romance take off. Friendly intimacy is quickly established, which makes sense because of their first encounter, the birth. However, the rest takes longer as Garwood uses daily contact to build up sexual tension between the characters. For Douglas, protective, tender feelings for both Isabel and her baby slowly turn to a frustrated possessive love. Isabel takes longer to realize what is happening and seems to be confused about her longing, and frustrated bickering soon replaces all the friendly banter.

I enjoyed this quick romance. Released in 1997, it's now considered "old school," and yes it does have that feel with the over-protective hero and the damsel in distress. But, I must say that once Isabel has that baby, she is a strong-minded woman who knows what she wants and is not easily manipulated, and Douglas, a tender man, is in no way an overly alpha hero. On the contrary, he is a too honorable and honest man and of course, in the end that's where the real conflict lies between this couple.

The rest of the story is kept off the pages until almost the very end, with an interlude here and there maintaining tension and anxiety about upcoming danger alive for the reader. Fans of the series will enjoy appearances by all the Clayborne brothers. Ultimately, not overly sweet with tender moments and more sexual tension than bedroom scenes, this western historical romance was a tasty little morsel.

Category: Historical Romance/Western
Series: The Clayborne Brides, #2
Publisher/Release Date: Pocket Books/July 1997
Grade: B


  1. Oh, I heard of this series, but never gave it a try. I don't think I ever read Ms Garwood... Or perhaps just one novel or two. LOL, it's too old school for me ^_^; Did you read the other books?

    By the way, there should be a prize or a mention for the oldest book chosen on TBR Day :P

    1. Nath, I haven't read the other two books yet. All three are tiny and sound good, but I picked up this book first because I liked the blurb. And, I wanted to read something from my print shelf. One White Rose was the smallest book I could find!!! *g*

      LOL! You should suggest that to Wendy. ;P

  2. Hilcia, it seems you had an enjoyable read...
    I've read contemporaries by this author, but her style bored me...I think out of 5 books, only one really touched me. I still have one to read but I'm afraid it will be on the TBR for a long, long time yet...

    1. Sonia, I really did enjoy it. It's really small and bared to the bone, but it's a complete romance by Garwood.

      I've mostly read historical romances by Garwood. The old ones! I've only read one or two contemporaries and they were not for me… but, I have a shelf full of them that Mariana gave me. At some point, I will be giving them a try too. :)

    2. Well, I've read the first 5 from that romantic suspense series...only the second one was thrilling enough...the others were either boring or almost stupid, so...
      But I'll write down her name to check her historicals some

    3. Sonia, which RS series is it?
      And, lol, Garwood's diehard fans mourned when she changed from historical romance to contemporary RS. :)

  3. I love this series! Definitely prefer Garwood's historical romances over her contemporaries. Hope you enjoy the rest of the series Hils. :)

  4. Leslie, I'm just going to read the rest of those little books, then! I also prefer Garwood's historical romances to the few contemporaries I've read. I still have a few of them (historicals) I'm my TBR.

  5. Hey! Love all of Julie Garwood's old stuff. Her newer books aren't as fun or well written. This is a great series. Glad you enjoyed it :)

    1. Mariana, I have all those great books you gave me! I have a few slated to read this year. I loved this one. :)


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