Heroine: Rose Wilson – Suicidal, Waitress
Hero: Jack Falcon – Bar Owner, Broken Heart
Note to reader: I highly recommend reading the novella, Seduce, before you read this book.
Let me start by saying that I really like Missy Johnson’s debut story Seduce. It was one of my favorite summer reads. I had high hopes for this book, but unfortunately the execution of this story did not work for me.
Beautiful Rose opens up with Jack Falcon living in New York. Three years ago, he lost someone that he loved deeply and that loss left him broken hearted. He’s managed to move on from the tragedy and is finally feeling settled in his life once again. He’s opened a bar, lives closer to his brother, and has formed a great group of friends. Jack has changed and is not the same man as before. He can’t undo his wrongs, but he can keep himself from making the same mistakes again. Which means falling in love is absolutely out of the question. So he dates Harmony, a superficial, crazy woman that made my skin crawl. But she works as a shield for Jack to keep him from forming emotional attachments .Things become complicated for Jack when he meets Rose Wilson at the mental institution, where his brother works as a counselor. She is a troubled woman with emotional issues that go deep – so deep she’ s tried to commit suicide several times. Rose has never felt normal or like she fits in anywhere. To her, life has no meaning and she feels this overwhelming desire to end it.
When Jack asks Alex to help him find a new waitress, he sends Rose his way. This makes Jack uneasy. Rose makes him feel too much; feelings he has successfully been able to avoid until now. Rose, in turn, may be even more broken than Jack. There is more to Rose’s past than even she realized. There is heartbreak and tragedy that has shaped her life, which makes it hard for her to give her heart to Jack. These two go back and forth between wanting to be with each other and doing their very best to ignore the other. It doesn’t take long before they give into the undeniable desire between them. It’s whether they can move on from their past issues to be together is the question.
Jack has managed to move on and heal marginally, but he still carries around a lot of emotional baggage. I know what he went through in the past which is why I could understand his pain and reservations about falling in love again. I’m very glad that he found happiness in this story. However, the charming Jack that I fell hard for was missing. His personality felt lacking. There were some moments in the story where I saw a little bit of the old Jack and that made me smile and laugh. I just wish there were more of those moments.
I’m going to go ahead and say it - I didn’t care for Rose. Rose started off strong and likeable, but then I found myself unable to connect with her as her story is revealed. What happened to Rose was sad and painful, but I just couldn’t understand her reasons for wanting to commit suicide. So that made it hard for me to have empathy for her. As the story continues, Rose doesn’t have a whole lot of character growth and, by the end, I still never felt like she was a good match for Jack.
The fact that I had a hard time liking Rose made it even harder for me to get on board with this relationship. Though Rose wasn’t the only reason I didn’t connect with this relationship. Jack and Rose barely spent any time together, and the time they did spend together, it felt rushed. The relationship is underdeveloped and the chemistry between them felt forced. I wasn’t convinced they loved each other at the end.
I honestly went back and forth with my rating but, what it came down to, there were too many problems with the execution of this story. There needed to be more development in all aspects of the story and everything was wrapped up way too easily. Plus, this book had some severe issues with the editing. I know it’s not easy to write a book, but I do recognize when a book has been rushed and not well developed before it’s published. So, sadly, Beautiful Rose left me feeling very disappointed and unfulfilled.