With Love from Rose Bend
by Naima Simone
Rose Bend - Book 3
Release Date: March 29, 2022
Reviewed by PJ
Leontyne Dennison is on a love hiatus. And that’s just fine, because perfectionist Leo is hyperfocused on the success of her family’s Berkshires inn. Volunteering for Rose Bend’s annual spring festival is certain to boost business—and provide the perfect distraction from men—until Leo comes face-to-face with Owen Stafford, the hottest one-night stand of her life.
A retired professional football player, Owen came to Rose Bend to escape after a devastating car accident ended his career. Enter the woman he hasn’t forgotten in the year since their sizzling night together. When Owen’s parents arrive, threatening his low profile, Leo helps keep the peace by pretending to be Owen’s girlfriend. Rose Bend was never part of Owen’s long game, but Leo’s increasingly convincing TLC is starting to give Owen every reason to stay.
Naima Simone took me on another emotional roller coaster ride with this third book in her Rose Bend series and I am loving it. If you haven't discovered this series yet, now is a great time to jump in. Some characters from earlier books make brief appearances in this third story but you can absolutely start with Owen and Leo's story and not miss a beat.
There are so many things I enjoy about Simone's writing. Her complex characters are at the heart of her plots. The dialogue between Leo and Owen is sharp, witty, and insightful. The chemistry between them is off the charts and, yes, it plays out in some steamy scenes. But the feelings! Oh my gosh, there's so much emotion in this story and not only between the hero and heroine. There are complicated family dynamics at play for both Leo and Owen. I enjoy how Simone digs deep into those family relationships and the impact they have on our main characters.
I love how the characters in this book are so relatable. Yes, Owen may be a millionaire professional football player but the issues he's dealing with are ones any of us might face. The same holds true for Leo and the secrets she's spent a decade bearing on her own. I felt their fear, their insecurities, and their grief as if it was my own. And I also felt their hope and joy as their burdens were released and their hearts opened. They are my favorite couple of the series and that's saying something considering how much I loved Nessa and Wolf (Leo's brother) in book two, Christmas in Rose Bend.
Simone continues to up her game with each book she writes. I've fallen in love with Rose Bend. I've fallen in love with these characters. And, I can't wait to discover what Naima Simone has planned next.
If you're interested in visiting Rose Bend (and why wouldn't you be), here are the novellas and full-length books published so far in the series:
Slow Dance at Rose Bend - 0.5 / Novella
The Road to Rose Bend - Book 1
A Kiss to Remember - 1.5 / Novella
Christmas in Rose Bend - Book 2
The Love List - 2.5 Novella
With Love from Rose Bend - Book 3