Blue Dahlia

Author: Nora Roberts

Publisher: Jove Books

Release Date: December 2004

Blue Ribbon Rating: 5

Format: PRINT

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Most romance readers agree that Nora Roberts is a masterful storyteller. Her fans will tell you that her trilogies, those three interwoven stories that capture your heart and imagination, are among some of her best. With BLUE DAHLIA, the first in the new IN THE GARDEN TRILOGY, Ms. Roberts proves yet again why this is true.

Three women—Stella, Rosalind, and Hayley—come together at a time when what they each need and want is gone forever. For Stella, that would be her husband, Kevin, who died in a plane crash too young. The fact that she can never return her sons’ innocence to the way things were before their father’s death. It would also be the knowledge that she needs something—anything—to bring her back to life, to the land of the living, a reason for getting up each day that includes something besides the needs of her children.

And so, she comes to Harper House, a grand estate that could be a rival to Tara. Not just to the house, but also to the thriving nursery and landscaping business, In the Garden, that Rosalind Harper herself built from the ground up. Stella needs this job as manager, needs it more than she’s needed anything in a very, very long time. A new home, a new beginning, a new reason for being.

When she meets Logan Kiteridge, the landscape designer, her world is thrown into more chaos. As if the gay housekeeper/cook/babysitter, David, a quiet-as-a-mouse Harper heir who is more comfortable around plants than people; and a mysterious long-lost-relative to Rosalind on her dead husband’s side of the family tree, who just happens to be alone and pregnant—isn’t enough!

But what Stella learns most at Harper House is that new beginnings don’t always come easily. Learning to let go of one love and embrace another is hard work, and when you throw into the mix the Harper Bride, who just happens to be a ghost, things can get a little complicated. Desires long dormant, a young, pregnant woman who radiates joy, a mistress of an empire who lost one love and was deceived by another—these three women are the basis of a story you won’t soon forget.

As Stella learns to trust Logan, she opens herself and her sons to his love and devotion. The three women—now friends—delve into the mystery surrounding the ghost that haunts Harper House. Is it the ghost of a woman who once lived and died in the house? Was she a maid or a nanny? Perhaps, a mistress?

BLUE DAHLIA is a wonderful book on so many fronts. Although it’s the story of how Stella and Logan learn to love again, it’s also about the friendship of three women, all with the need of starting over. BLACK ROSE, the second installment, is set to debut June 2005, and is the story of Rosalind Harper, I can only imagine what Ms. Roberts has in store for us.

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Jennifer Wardrip

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