Friday, August 2, 2013

Friday Book Review - the Black Rose, end of a trilogy

The Black Rose, book 3 in the Empire in Pine series

By Naomi Musch

Desert Breeze Publishing
July 2012
ISBN: 9781612521923
$6.99 Kindle

From the publisher:

Despite the panic of 1893, logging reaches its golden era in the growing state of Wisconsin, and twins Jesilyn and Corianne Beaumont enjoy a comfortable life with family in the bursting Great Lake city of Superior. But when jealousy incites Jesi to seduce Cori's fiance, a flight and fall from grace lands her in a boomtown brothel, where a fresh start is denied her.

My review:

Naomi ends the Kade family saga, Empire in Pine, with the last of the trilogy in this story named for a rose in Lainey's garden in Superior WI. Grandma and Grandpa Kade have come to live with Lainey and Zane. At one point the whole family is called back when they wonder if Grandpa will make it. It's a too-brief family reunion of old friends mentioned in the other stories.

Lainey and Zane's twin daughters are eighteen and feeling it. They've let a man come between them, and everyone loses when Jesi confesses to Cori that she made the hugest mistake of her life out of desire for the man Cori thought she would marry. But just like the rose that is so dark-colored it's called black, it's still a rose, and eventually the girls must hit the blackest depths before crawling back into the light.

The first book of the series showcased the early years of Wisconsin's lumber barons; the second and third deal with the results of those years - the terrible fire that consumed Peshtigo in 1871, and the bawdy towns and services to the roughneck lumbermen: Hayward, Hurley, and Hell... Jesi runs away and finds herself in both Hurley and hell before a camp preacher and his sister pick her up and dust her off.

At home, Cori is reunited with a family friend who encourages her to make something of herself. She goes to college to become a teacher, but she isn't done re-creating herself yet. There's a lot of self-examination to be done, and Jamie painfully helps her do that.

While the first two books were pinned on defining events in Wisconsin history, The Black Rose brings to light some of the more tawdry aspects of history. A few formatting issues and editing glitches didn't detract much from my Kindle version. Told in the richest detail, period-perfect as always, beautifully written, The Black Rose is a fitting end to the series. I'm sad to see it go.

Highly recommended for Wisconsin history lovers.

About the author:

Naomi loves stories rich in American history, but writes in several other genres as well. Naomi's aim is to surprise and entertain readers while telling stories about imperfect people who are finding hope and faith to overcome their struggles, whether the setting is past, contemporary, or even fantastic.

She and husband Jeff have five adult children, and enjoy epic adventures with them around their home in the Wisconsin woods. She invites readers to say hello and find out more about her stories, passions, and other writing venues at or look her up on Facebook (Naomi Musch - Author) and Twitter (NMusch).
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