Rose Lerner is a total rock star and her new novel, Sweet Disorder, is fabulous. The book is original, heart-warming and an absolute must-read as far as I am concerned. Nick Dymond and Phoebe Sparks are thrown together for complicated reasons, but once they meet, they cannot get enough of each other. Questions raised in the novel have to do with the nature of love: is love selfish and a matter of possessing the object of one’s desire? Or is love defined by selflessness, requiring self-sacrifice (if not all-out martyrdom)? Nick and Phoebe both struggle with love – and lack thereof – in their lives. Both want to be seen, heard, and truly known. When these exceptionally well-drawn characters find each other and meet those needs for one another, it’s simply a matter of time before they find their answer: love is both selfish and selfless, and very important to them both.
Rose Lerner is so talented. I loved her second novel A Lily Among Thorns every bit as much as her first (In for a Penny). In an attempt to find some stolen jewelry, Solomon Hathaway seeks the help of Lady Serena, also known as the Black Thorn, who he has been told knows every rogue in the city by name. Serena turns out to be a former prostitute he helped years before. She agrees to help him, feeling she owes him a debt. The story quickly becomes very complicated and has a fast-moving, engrossing plot. The characters are interesting, loveable and not at all run-of-the-mill. Serena is tough and really abrasive but secretly a softy. Solomon is gentle, sweet, easy-going, has a ‘womanish’ set of accomplishments yet is all man and is full of integrity and strength. Serena and Solomon are wonderfully complementary and their romance is very satisfying. If you haven’t read Ms. Lerner’s work yet you’re really missing out – add A Lily Among Thorns to your to-be-read pile at once!
Rose Lerner’s debut novel In for a Penny must not be judged by its dreary little cover. The novel tells a classic romance tale with grace and style. I was hooked immediately, read it straight through, and didn’t want the book to end. Penelope Brown is an heiress and ‘cit’ who marries a penniless aristocrat. The marriage of convenience turns into a bona fide love match. While the story is nothing new in terms of plot, Ms. Lerner’s voice is fresh and charming, she has clearly done her research and the novel is engrossing. I will definitely be reading her second novel A Lily Among Thorns when it comes out in September.