Author: Nancy Holder.
Published: January 4th 2011 by Simon Pulse
Sort: Part of the ‘Once upon a time’ series.
When Rose's mother dies, her only comfort is the exquisite rose garden her mother left behind. The purple blossoms serve as an assurance of her mother's love. But Rose is dealt a second blow when her father dies and his greedy widow, Ombrine, and her daughter, Desirée, move in and take over the manor in true Cinderella fashion. Fate has been cruel to Ombrine and Desirée, too. So despite their harsh ways, Rose has compassion. But these feelings are bitterly tested when, in a rage, Ombrine tears out the garden. Rose nearly gives up all hope -- until a chance meeting with the king. Happiness might be within her reach, but first she must prevail over Ombrine. And then she must determine if she has the courage to love.
I’m almost done with this series. I believe I need to read 2 more stories and then I’ve finished all the Once upon a time books. Are you guys interested in a recap where I show the best and worst books? This one definitely belongs to the last category. The writing-style wasn't that bad, but the story felt too stretched.
I actually haven’t read the original story, which is ‘The white bride and the black bride’, so that might be part of the reason I didn’t fall in love with it. It all started interesting. Rose’s father is always gone to work, because he feels like it’s important to provide enough money for his family. Rose misses him and her mother makes a wish to her Goddess: she wants prove for Rose that her mother loves her. Upon that wish, her mother dies and a beautiful bush with purple roses starts to grow. The roses always talk to her, telling her that “she is loved” Yeah, great. I think she’d rather have her mother around. When Roses father remarries and dies, Rose needs to survive under the regime of Ombrine and Desirée. This has a Cinderella vibe, where Rose still manages to stay sweet and innocent.
There is also another story, where the King loses his wife and their son during the child-birth. The King is sick with sadness until he sees Rose: she looks exactly like his wife (and I still don’t get why.) He wants to marry her (because it’s all about looks after all), but Rose is transformed into a deer by her Goddess. Desirée takes of Rose appearance with black magic and she marries the King.
The whole Goddess aspect didn’t seem to fit into the story. I found it rather strange and the choices from the Goddess were weird. Killing of her mother and transforming her into a deer? Oh well.. The part where Rose is a deer is extremely slow-paced and stretched. She meets the King, they become friends and in the end we have a happily-ever-after. I did like the idea of them becoming friends and how they bond once Rose is human again. There is no insta-love between them, but I also didn’t feel any connection.