Paper Roses

Author: Joyce and Jim Laverne

Publisher: Awestruck Books

Release Date: September 2005

Blue Ribbon Rating: 4

Format: EBOOK

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Jenny spent years working toward her goal of becoming a doctor. She wanted desperately to escape the slum she had been brought up in by her drunk father. She’s achieved her career objective, and she’s dating fellow surgeon, Peter. It’s been ten years since she’s returned to her former home in Boughten, or to her family who still live there.

Riley runs a small clinic he’s opened in the former YMCA in Jenny’s hometown of Boughten. He’s trying desperately to get funding to help keep his clinic running. He’d love to make it a satellite clinic for the county hospital, in the hopes of having their interns doing rotations there. Even though Riley really doesn’t like Jenny personally, her name and influence would do wonders for his clinic. Jenny is a brilliant surgeon who was well on her way to becoming the new chief of microsurgery at Weller, until that fateful night almost a year ago when she was brutally attacked, raped, and had both of her hands crushed. Her boyfriend, Peter moved her into his apartment to care for her while she was recovering. Since the attack, both Jenny and Peter have changed, grown apart, and haven’t been intimate with each other in over a year. Jenny still loves Peter, but she feels stifled and pressure to do things she doesn’t feel ready to do yet. When Peter leaves on one of his many business trips, Jenny starts driving without any real destination in mind, only to find herself back in her old neighborhood, parked in front of her father’s house. While being welcomed into the bosom of her family, Jenny recognizes her brother’s friend, Riley, from the night of the attack. Since Jenny’s attackers had dumped her on the street in Boughten without any identification, she was taken to Riley’s clinic to be treated, until she was identified and then transferred to Weller. Jenny remembers returning from unconsciousness and a concerned man telling her that nobody was going to hurt her, and that she would live. That man was Riley. Seeing him brings back all the terror from that night. The police have closed Jenny’s case. It’s been a year and there are other cases that must take priority. Jenny needs help finding her attackers, and Riley needs Jenny’s help to get backing for his clinic. With a detective for a brother, Riley offers Jenny a deal. He’ll enlist his brother’s help finding her attackers in exchange for her time and influence with the local hospitals. I became enthralled in this story right from the start. Jenny’s attack is horrifying, but she’s such a strong character she is able to overcome her fears, and reinvent herself to become a better person. Even though the attack plays a major part of this story, Jenny’s return to her family, and the community she grew up in fascinates me. It is obvious how much they love Jenny, and respect how well she’s done for herself. She has achieved what she set out to do and no longer lives in Boughten, but it’s still home, and it’s wonderful to see that idea take hold of Jenny. I love that Riley refuses to allow Jenny to wallow in self-pity, she’s a doctor, even with mangled hands is still able to help others. Through helping at the clinic, Jenny rebuilds her confidence in herself and discovers a new purpose in life.

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Chrissy Dionne

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