The Soul of the Rose
After the tragic death of her closest friend, 20-year-old Celia Thatcher is sent to work in the bookstore of family friends. Hoping the new surroundings in Massachusetts will help her regain a happy outlook on life, Celia catches the eye of not one, but two men: the elite, but unkempt Bostonian-turned-hermit, Edward Lyons, who is clearly trying to run from his past and from God, and Charles Harrod, a charming Harvard law student who promotes a religious belief Celia has never before considered. With both men vying for her attention, Celia s world is again turned upside down when one of her beaus is accused of murder. Suddenly realizing where her heart lies, Celia is now challenged with a choice bigger than man: should she follow her heart or her God?
If you're looking for action, adventure, and mysterious plot twists, then The Soul of the Rose probably won't be what you're looking for. A fairly simple, straightforward love story, it nevertheless enveloped me in its quiet but interesting world, introducing me to characters I really did care about.
What I loved most about this book was that it focused more on the "heart connection" between the two characters, rather than sensual desire. Celia really seemed to care about keeping God in her relationships (there are so many "Christian" romances where it seems like all that's to the romantic relationship is the characters desiring each other physically and barely keeping themselves under control because of their religious beliefs) and I really liked the apologetics aspect to the book as well. There are certain common Biblical themes that are rehashed in a lot of Christian fiction, but this particular theme was different, and it was so refreshing to read a novel where I agreed with nearly everything theologically.
Even though The Soul of The Rose was a bit more, shall we say, intellectual, than most romances. it also had heart and emotion- a fitting combination, given the main point of the story- that we should know God not only with our heads, but with our hearts as well.