Wild Rose by Betsy Talbot #Review

Wild Rose by Betsy Talbot #ReviewWild Rose by Betsy Talbot

Series: #1 Late Bloomers
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Small Publisher on March 17, 2015
Pages: 367
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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I saw this book reviewed and recommended by Pat @ TBQ’s Book Palace blog.  The combination of an over 40 romance, Italy, food, and a chance for change and adventure sounded intriguing and I had to read it.

This book was the start of a series called Late Bloomers about mature women who are closer than sisters finding love during their travel ventures around the world.

Rose helps her friend Violet do a celebration of life for Violet’s mother and it starts her to accessing her own life, but it is the thought of her grown daughter making a huge mistake with an older man that has her jetting over to Italy to set Rachel straight.  Only when she arrives, bristling and hostile toward the mature Spanish restaurateur, she discovers that things were not what she thought.   Her friends and daughter encourage her to use this time in Italy to finally do something for herself- live, love, enjoy.  But Rose has been a responsible person and nurturer her whole life so this is easier said than done.

Mateo was wounded deeply by love and chose to leave his successful life as an architect in Madrid behind to manage the Italian restaurant on Lake Como that he and his friends own together.  Five years later, he is ready for something new.  Rose has the strong, fiery nature that matches his own, but he knows not to rush her.  It doesn’t take long for him to see they have a connection and there can be something special.  They enjoy sumptuous meals, local activities, and time baring their lives and a little of their souls, but neither want consider what will come at the end of their two weeks.

This story is a traveler and foodie- lover’s dream romance.  The descriptions during Rose’s time in Italy and actually her home in Arizona and her visit to London are equally colorful and sensual.  But the story was balanced with character and romantic development.

Rose is the homebody of her group of friends who have all scattered around the globe in their pursuits.  Her past and her personality have her to being one who is very grounded and who overthinks everything just so she avoids making mistakes.  Her determination to be responsible and care for others has left her in a bit of a quandary when she arrives at a point in life where there is no longer a need for her to be that person.  Rose has forgotten how to dream, to go for her dream, to be spontaneous and flexible.  She is cynical of love and struggles with the need to be in control.  This journey to Italy is a journey of the heart and soul along with an actual physical journey.  I enjoyed seeing her open and bloom especially this late in life.

Mateo is less developed in the story which focuses a tad more on Rose, but he, too, has been on a journey of healing during his self-imposed exile.  Unlike Rose, Mateo has every reason in the world to avoid the search for lasting love, but he is one special man who sees what he wants, sees the quality in Rose even when it is barely visible, and even after he makes mistakes, he goes for the prize.

The romance starts out rocky.  Rose has formed erroneous impressions and she doesn’t let them go that easily when it comes to Mateo.  She tends to jump to conclusions and isn’t as insightful as she would like to believe about herself.  Mateo is determined to do everything right this go around with love and he does for the most part though his late reticence almost sabotages it all.  This pair are passionate and match well.  I enjoyed all the romantic scenes with them.  That biking trip and their meal had me melting and envious.

The story is focused on Rose and Mateo, but there is a delightful circle of friends around them.  Rose is close to the other Late Bloomers and Mateo has his two best friends along with the people at the restaurant.  Their friends are quirky and quite the characters.  I look forward to further encounters with them.

On a side note, my eARC didn’t’ have them, but a regular copy has links for food, music, and travelogue to go with the story.  Also, there is a free prequel, The Unfolding, at Amazon.

In the end, this was a feast for the senses and emotions.  I can easily recommend this blend of spicy women’s fiction and contemporary romance to others who enjoy an Autumn romance.

I received this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met:

Romance Roundabout #221 CR
Mt. TBR #87
Blogger Shame #28

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • I am currently reading a romance book where the main character is almost 40. It’s fun to also see some character of that age in romances. This sounds like a good one with how they find love during their travels. And the descriptions of the country and the food sound great! Must be inspiring to see her open her heart and how this book is just as much an actual journey as a journey of the heart. Great review Sophia!

    • Oh that’s neat that you found one about a mature aged character, too.

      Yes, this whole reading experience was delightful. Left me hungry for the food and traveling. 😉

  • It is so nice to read a romance with characters that are a bit older. The setting of this one would really add to the appeal. Great review!

    • Yes, it is! The idea of the series about the group of friends finding love in their travels and lives in different places around the world had great appeal for me.

  • RO

    Mature love and travel? Yes! This sounds really good. Loved your review! Hugs…

    • Yes, exactly! Sounded great to me, too. Thanks, Ro!

  • OK, got me curious about this one…

    • Enough to tempt you away from Paris, Velvet? Haha!

      • Yes, it is the food calling… 😉

        • I don’t blame you. I was hungry constantly while reading the descriptions in this one.

  • Debbie Haupt

    Oh Sophia Rose i want this, it sounds wonderful and I’m all in for an over 40 romance since yup I’m over 40, 50 and 60 🙂 Great review!

    • It really hit all the right spots for me with the mature characters, food, and travel. 🙂 Thanks, Debbie!