Second Bookses

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Blue Dahlia (In the Garden Trilogy 1)

Blue Dahlia - Nora Roberts Nora Roberts books are a not-so-guilty pleasure of mine. Sure, she technically writes romance novels, but her books are always so well-researched you feel like you are actually learning something. Blue Dahlia is the first novel in her In the Garden series, and the gardener in me LOVES all the references she weaves into the story.::: In the Garden :::Blue Dahlia is the introduction to the story of three women who all work at a gardening store called (you guessed it) In the Garden. Roz Harper Ashby is the Southern belle who came from an established family, was widowed at an early age, raised her three boys alone, and opened her own gardening business where she works with her eldest son, Harper. Tired of spending so much time on the nuts and bolts of her business, she hires a newcomer to the Memphis area, Stella, recently widowed herself, and raising two young boys. To get a better feel for whether or not she can trust her business to Stella, Roz has her move into the sprawling old home she lives in with her assistant (and Harper's best friend), David.Not long after Stella moves in, a distant cousin, Hailey, shows up pregnant and looking for a job. Roz takes her in as well and gives her a job at In the Garden as well.Soon after being hired, Stella begins to butt heads with Roz's landscaper, Logan Kittredge. Logan is everything Stella is not: abrasive, unorganized, and above all, resistant to change. Of course, you know the two will be attracted to each other; after all, this is a romance novel.Of course, there's more to the story than gardening and romance; Harper House, Roz's family home has a ghost. And the ghost's story is a mystery that the women are going to need to solve.::: Planting the Seed :::Once you get past the extreme set-up, what with the women sharing a house and all, Blue Dahlia is actually one of Roberts' better "first" books. Many times, the first books in her trilogies seem rushed, with too many characters and too much set-up information crowding out the relationship that's supposed to be the central point of the plot.Roberts does a good job balancing things here, introducing the players, yet still giving Stella and Logan enough attention so that you feel like the relationship is actually developing in a normal time frame. They aren't rushed, and their arguments and differences seem very natural in their interaction.Blue Dahlia is a good book on its own, and does an excellent job setting the reader up for the rest of the trilogy, which is one of the better ones.This review originally published on Epinions:

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