A novel and figures you will either love or hate. I am somewhere in between. What I like a lot about this story is, you can tell that it is definitely written by Geneva Lee. Her very own style shines through every sentence and page. The only thing I don´t like is the design of the cover. I would have rather preferred the English cover *sigh*

Black Roses*
by Geneva Lee
The Rivals #1
Translation Charlotte Seydel
Original Title Blacklist
Publisher Blanvalet on January 17, 2022
Genre Novel
Pages 425
Format Paperback
Source Blanvalet

Adair MacLaine and Sterling Ford couldn't be more different: She, the pretty college girl and spoiled daughter of a millionaire, he, the brilliant but poor scholarship holder. And yet fate brings the two together. But Sterling isn't good enough for Adair's father, so he gives his daughter an ultimatum: Sterling or the family business. Adair decides to go for the fortune. Five years later, Adair meets the company's new investor - the last person Adair ever wanted to see again: Sterling Ford. And he's out for revenge. But feelings can't be turned off that easily... (Personal translation by ©Vi at Inkvotary).
Adair wants nothing more but her personal freedom. No man will ever again tell her what she has to do, when, and how. But when she learns about her father's last will, she knows instantly that things might not go the way she would like them to go. And with Sterling back in her life, things turn out differently.

The tone of voice is often delightfully caustic, especially when it comes to scenes in which Adair has an appearance. I´ve often had a huge grin on my face while enjoying various scenes with Sterling. The action itself sometimes takes place in the past of the two main characters, sometimes in the present. In this way, the reader gets a nice insight into the characters and their lives. And the differences couldn´t be greater.

The gentle writing style of the author, which also has one or the other dialogue where things get verbal with verve, gives some scenes that seem to be stylistically outdated really pep.

The author is a master at showing her characters with a wealth of facets, ranging from superficial and spoiled to down-to-earth and profound. Geneva Lee concentrates mainly on her two protagonists.

At first glance, Adair is a rich, young woman who doesn´t seem to think much of others and only cares about appearances. But there is much more to her. With her, the reader is presented with a young woman who does not have an easy time in her family and fulfills many a cliché that readers associate with the southern states. She has to function, do what her male family members, especially her father, want, and otherwise be invisible and silent.

A novel that, apart from a few flaws, could easily be considered a relaxing afternoon read. And with the included preview of the second part, a seamless plot transition is guaranteed.

Happy reading

*This book was kindly provided to me by Blanvalet in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Thank you. Therefore, the cover of the German edition is shown first in this review.

Deutsche Rezension

Der Tonfall ist oftmals herrlich bissig, besonders wenn es sich um Szenen handelt, in denen Adair einen Auftritt hat. Ich hab oft ein breites Grinsen im Gesicht gehabt, während ich diverse Szenen mit Sterling genossen habe. Die Handlung selbst findet mal in der Vergangenheit der beiden Hauptfiguren statt, mal in der Handlungsgegenwart. Auf diese Weise bekommt man als Leser einen schönen Einblick in die Figuren und deren Leben. Und die Unterschiede könnten nicht größer sein.

Der sanfte Schreibstil der Autorin, der auch mal den einen oder anderen Dialog hat, wo es mit Schwung verbal zur Sache geht, gibt so mancher Szene, die stilistisch aus der Zeit gefallen zu sein scheint, so richtig Pep.

Die Autorin versteht es meisterhaft, ihre Figuren mit einem Facettenreichtum zu zeigen, der von oberflächlich und verwöhnt bis bodenständig und tiefgründig reicht. Dabei konzentriert sich Geneva Lee hauptsächlich auf ihre beiden Protagonisten.

Adair ist auf den ersten Blick eine reiche, junge Frau, die scheinbar nicht viel von anderen hält und nur auf den äußeren Schein bedacht ist. Doch in ihr steckt viel mehr. Mit ihr wird dem Leser eine junge Frau präsentiert, die in ihrer Familie keinen leichten Stand hat und so manches Klischee erfüllt, das man als Leser mit den Südstaaten verbindet. Sie hat zu funktionieren, zu tun, was ihre männlichen Familienmitglieder, insbesondere ihr Vater, wollen und sonst unsichtbar und still zu sein.

Ein Roman, der, abgesehen von ein paar Schwachstellen, gut als entspannende Nachmittagslektüre angesehen werden kann. Und mit der enthaltenen Vorschau auf den zweiten Teil ist ein nahtloser Handlungsübergang garantiert.

*This book was originally published by Ivy Estate Publishing on June 30, 2020 

Geneva Lee
Geneva Lee ©Derek Henthorn

Geneva Lee was since always a hopeless romantic, who prefers fantasy to reality – especially fantasies involving powerful, dangerous, and sexy men. With her Royals Saga, the love story between the English crown prince Alexander and commoner Clara, she hit into the heart of the reader and took the international bestseller lists by storm. Geneva Lee lives with her family in Kansas City.


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