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Black Rose
Cover of Black Rose
Black Rose
In the Garden Trilogy, Book 2
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#1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts presents the second novel of her In the Garden trilogy, as three women must discover the secrets from the past contained within their historic home...
A Harper has always lived at Harper House, the centuries-old mansion just outside of Memphis. And for as long as anyone alive remembers, the ghostly Harper Bride has walked the halls, singing lullabies at night...
At forty-seven, Rosalind Harper is a woman whose experiences have made her strong enough to bend without breaking—and to weather any storm. A widow with three grown sons, she survived a disastrous second marriage and built her In the Garden nursery from the ground up. Through the years, In the Garden has become more than just a thriving business—it is a symbol of hope and independence to Roz, and to the two women she shares it with. Newlywed Stella and new mother Hayley are the sisters of her heart, and together, the three of them are the future of In the Garden.
Hired to investigate Roz's Harper ancestors, Dr. Mitchell Carnegie finds himself just as intrigued by Roz herself. And as they begin to resurrect old secrets, Roz is shocked to find herself falling for the fascinating genealogist—even when he learns more about her than anyone has before...
Previously in the In the Garden trilogy
Blue Dahlia
And don't miss the final In the Garden book
Red Lily
#1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts presents the second novel of her In the Garden trilogy, as three women must discover the secrets from the past contained within their historic home...
A Harper has always lived at Harper House, the centuries-old mansion just outside of Memphis. And for as long as anyone alive remembers, the ghostly Harper Bride has walked the halls, singing lullabies at night...
At forty-seven, Rosalind Harper is a woman whose experiences have made her strong enough to bend without breaking—and to weather any storm. A widow with three grown sons, she survived a disastrous second marriage and built her In the Garden nursery from the ground up. Through the years, In the Garden has become more than just a thriving business—it is a symbol of hope and independence to Roz, and to the two women she shares it with. Newlywed Stella and new mother Hayley are the sisters of her heart, and together, the three of them are the future of In the Garden.
Hired to investigate Roz's Harper ancestors, Dr. Mitchell Carnegie finds himself just as intrigued by Roz herself. And as they begin to resurrect old secrets, Roz is shocked to find herself falling for the fascinating genealogist—even when he learns more about her than anyone has before...
Previously in the In the Garden trilogy
Blue Dahlia
And don't miss the final In the Garden book
Red Lily
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Excerpts-
  • From the book One

    Harper House
    December 2004

    Dawn, the awakening promise of it, was her favorite time to run. The running itself was just something that had to be done, three days a week, like any other chore or responsibility. Rosalind Harper did what had to be done.

    She ran for her health. A woman who'd just had—she could hardly say "celebrated" at this stage of her life—her forty-seventh birthday had to mind her health. She ran to keep strong, as she desired and needed strength. And she ran for vanity. Her body would never again be what it had been at twenty, or even thirty, but, by God, it would be the best body she could manage at forty-seven.

    She had no husband, no lover, but she did have an image to uphold. She was a Harper, and Harpers had their pride.

    But, Jesus, maintenance was a bitch.

    Wearing sweats against the dawn chill, she slipped out of her bedroom by the terrace door. The house was sleeping still. Her house that had been too empty was now occupied again, and rarely completely quiet any longer.

    There was David, her surrogate son, who kept her house in order, kept her entertained when she needed entertaining, and stayed out of her way when she needed solitude.No one knew her moods quite like David.

    And there was Stella, and her two precious boys. It had been a good day, Roz thought as she limbered up on the terrace, when she'd hired Stella Rothchild to manage her nursery.Of course, Stella would be moving before much longer and taking those sweet boys with her. Still, once she was married to Logan—and wasn't that a fine match—they'd only be a few miles away.

    Hayley would still be here, infusing the house with all that youth and energy. It had been another stroke of luck, and a vague and distant family connection, that had Hayley, then six-months pregnant, landing on her doorstep. In Hayley she had the daughter she'd secretly longed for, and the bonus of an honorary grandchild with the darling little Lily.She hadn't realized how lonely she'd been, Roz thought, until those girls had come along to fill the void. With two of her own three sons moved away, the house had become too big, too quiet. And a part of her dreaded the day when Harper, her firstborn, her rock, would leave the guesthouse a stone's throw from the main.

    But that was life. No one knew better than a gardener that life never stayed static. Cycles were necessary, for without them there was no bloom.

    She took the stairs down at an easy jog, enjoying the way the early mists shrouded her winter gardens. Look how pretty her lambs ear was with its soft silvery foliage covered in dew. And the birds had yet to bother the bright fruit on her red chokeberry.

    Walking to give her muscles time to warm, and to give herself the pleasure of the gardens, she skirted around the side of the house to the front.

    She increased to a jog on the way down the drive, a tall, willowy woman with a short, careless cap of black hair. Her eyes, a honeyed whiskey brown, scanned the grounds—the towering magnolias, the delicate dogwoods, the placement of ornamental shrubs, the flood of pansies she'd planted only weeks before, and the beds that would wait a bit longer to break into bloom.

    To her mind, there were no grounds in western Tennessee that could compete with Harper House. Just as there was no house that could compare with its dignified elegance.Out of habit, she turned at the end of the drive, jogged in place to study it in the pearly mists.

    It stood grandly, she thought, with its melding of Greek Revival and Gothic styles, the warm yellow stone mellow against the clean white trim. Its double staircase rose up to the balcony wrapping the second level, and served as a crown...

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from May 16, 2005
    Book two of Roberts's In the Garden trilogy (following Blue Dahlia
    ) ably showcases the author's many strengths, from her creation of appealing characters to her melding of the eerily paranormal with the delightfully down-to-earth. Rosalind Harper is the owner of a historic Tennessee mansion and the force behind the thriving garden business on its grounds. Widowed young and then scarred by an unwise second marriage, Roz has sworn off dating, instead inviting a collection of family, friends and their children to share her home. Unfortunately, the house is also inhabited by a mysterious ghost, known as the Harper Bride. Roz hires genealogist Dr. Mitchell Carnagie to track the Bride's identity, but the unpredictable and passionate relationship that develops between the two sets off still more malignant displays from the ghost. Roberts postpones the ghost story's resolution for the trilogy's end, but brings Roz and Mitch to a satisfying commitment complete with realistic power struggles and peace treaties among their various children. Roz's inherited privilege is off-putting at times, and her calm in the face of ghostly attacks seems far-fetched. Yet she remains a warmly appealing heroine, resolutely finding her path through a midlife romance that is more complex and hard-fought than 20-something love. Agent, Amy Berkower
    .

  • Library Journal

    Starred review from June 1, 2005
    In an effort to discover the origins of Amelia, the ghost who haunts Harper House, no-nonsense Rosalind Harper hires genealogist Mitch Carnagie and finds passion and unexpected love as well as a few more pieces of the puzzle. A beautifully described setting, well-depicted secondary characters, just enough botanical detail to intrigue amateur gardeners, and a plot that skillfully unfolds to reveal current answers while keeping some secrets are highlights of this engrossing, emotionally involving story. Roberts here continues the "In the Garden" trilogy begun in "Blue Dahlia". "Red Lily" follows in December. Roberts lives in Keedysville, MD.

    Copyright 2005 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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