5 Minutes for Books: Rose House

I enjoyed re-reading my review of Tina Ann Forkner’s first novel, Ruby Among Us, in preparation for writing this review.

Rose House features a little more mystery and a little more romance. But it also had what I appreciated about her first novel: clear, vivid, evocative writing following broken people making connections with other people who help them get to where they need to go.

Rose HouseLillian Diamon is still dealing with the tragic loss of her family in an accident five years earlier when she unexpectedly comes across a painting that features her in a gallery in La Rosaleda. The painting features her in a private moment of grief that she had on her first visit to the Rose House in La Rosaleda four years earlier.

Who painted the picture that was donated anonymously to the gallery? Has someone been watching her? Is any of this connected to the accident that killed her family all those years ago?

These questions and more drive the storyline. I enjoyed meeting each of these characters and soaking in the lush setting as created by Tina Ann Forkner — both the beauty of the California wine country setting, and the tasty food writing (much of the story is set at a Bed and Breakfast, and Lillian is a chef!).

Rose House is the story of how one woman remakes herself — finding a new vocation, a new home, and working to restore her relationship with her estranged sister, while testing the waters to see if she’s ready to accept a new romantic interest in her life.

The story builds to an exciting climax. I read the last several chapters quite quickly. This book also has an Epilogue, which I LOVE to see in a novel — to find out where the characters are a few months or years down the road. It gives it great culture.

If you’d like to win one of THREE copies (U.S. and Canadian shipping addresses) of Rose House, please leave a comment. We’ll announce the winners in next week’s column.

Post written by 5 Minutes for Books managing editor Jennifer Donovan, who also blogs at Snapshot.

The winners of the Hachette Books Mother’s Day Book Giveaway are
#89 Sara
#144 Karen L
#109 Renee
#126 Willowsprite
#49 Jinii

You have one week to claim your prize. You should have received an email from me, but if you didn’t, send your address to 5minutesforbooksATgmail(dot)com.


  1. Donna says

    I can not wait to read your book. Please enter me into the contest. Have a great remainder of the week!

  2. Renee Concolino says

    I love books where the heroine who is on a journey whether caused by loss or growth or any major change. Journey’s are real and I feel honored to vicariously experience emotions as I go along for the ride.

  3. Mary Ward says

    It sounds like a book you can just sink your teeth into. I live near the Napa Valley so I’d love to read how it’s described in the book.

  4. Sandra K321 says

    From your description, this sounds like the type of book I would pick up at the bookstore, read the back cover and put it on my to read list. (I don’t like paying full price for books so I probably would look for it after it goes on sale or wait for a coupon!)

  5. Mary says

    After reading your review, I am really anticipating reading Rose House! Would so love to win this – am an avid reader and this sounds like a terrific late night read!

  6. Cindy Armstrong says

    Tina Ann Forkner is an artist with words. She can capture you immediately with the pictures she paints. Rose House is the kind of book that you want to savor. I do want to know what happens next, yet, I want to absorb all the pictures that were just painted.

  7. Sheri says

    I have been very interested in reading Tina Ann Forkner books, just haven’t been out to pick one up. I would love to be entered into the drawing. Thanks for the great review.

  8. barbara wright says

    Ooh – book sounds good. Never heard of the author. I’m always looking to find new authors that write good books!

  9. Victoria says

    My local library is closing so I’m hoping to stockpile some books to get me thru until I can find a job.

  10. Sherri B. says

    Sounds like a super read! Romance and suspense rolled into one! Thanks for the chance!

    sherri419 at gmail dot com

  11. Melanie D says

    I would love to enter this!
    I agree with you about epilogues, I enjoy them as well. Its interesting to know how characters end up.

  12. Lorie J. Shewbridge says

    This looks like a good book, we all could use a little intrigue and romance! Thanks for the chance to win.

  13. sarah woods says

    This sounds like a winner; especially with this being pool reading time this summer!!!! Thanks SW

  14. says

    I got this book from Paperback Swap based on this review. I am really glad I didn’t pay for it! I thought the book was awful!

    It never fully develops the mystery of the story.

    Where does she get her money that she’s able to have a driver???

    There were no conclusions to the mystery of the story except that they arrested one person for doing what???? and why was he doing it? The author never says.

    I found the story to be stilted and boring and I didn’t think it developed the characters at all.

    Just thought I’d share in case anyone considers getting the book!!


  1. […] be a little bit different as well — a little more romance and a little more mystery (I posted a full review of Rose House on Monday at our weekly column at 5 Minutes for Mom, so please click on over to get the full […]

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