Review: The Tears of the Rose by Jeffe Kennedy

Reviewed by Jen

It was the love story between Ami and Ash that made me jump in to the backlist of this series. They were the couple featured in the anthology Amid the Winter Snow, set much later in the series. I was so taken with them and with the world building in that novella that I went back to start the series from the beginning. Overall, I found the book captivating and I read it all in one sitting much like the first in the series. It wasn’t exactly like I expected, though.

Obviously, the novella meant massive spoilers. I feel like I would have enjoyed the surprises of this book much more if I didn’t know what was going to happen. That is not the book’s fault, so I won’t complain about that, but I will give my small gripe that I wish there was more time devoted to the romance that made me read the series in the first place. I understand it; there are reasons it takes so long for the love story to get off the ground, but that doesn’t change the fact that I wanted more of it… and much like book one, this ended too abruptly for my taste. Even though the larger arc will continue in the next book, this romance won’t.

This story follows the youngest princess, Amelia, who is trying to move forward after the death of her beloved husband, Hugh. I get that she can’t just fall instantly in love with someone else, but I struggled with the first half of this book –one– because I was waiting with baited breath for her to get with Ash, but also because, let’s be real, the Ami at the beginning of this story isn’t very likable. She’s 18, cossetted, and spoiled. Add that to her grief over Hugh and I kind wanted to set her on fire. She was mourning and unexpectedly pregnant and both her father and father-in-law want to steal her baby to become High King. She’s also dealing with the betrayal of her sister who ran off to another land and presumably killed her man.

Then, here comes Ash, a monk in service to Amelia’s goddess who is more than he seems. He’s scarred and has a brutal past, and he wants Ami desperately, despite himself. Alas, they don’t have a lot of time for loving, but the time they do have is awesome. Like, really awesome. The bulk of the book, though, is about Amelia’s evolution, about the politics of her land, and the relationships she has with her sisters. That stuff is all good too. The world building here is great and it’s such an easy read. It’s just barely a romance. I can see why the author revisited these characters. (I was robbed.)

Anyway, it says a lot that I want more… because believe me, I do. I’m moving on to Ursula’s book now. Looking forward to the poor girl finally getting her own HEA.

Rating: B/B+

Click to purchase: Amazon

Tears of the Rose
by Jeffe Kennedy
Release Date: November 25, 2014
Publisher: Kensington


  1. I’ve also been wanting to go back and read this series after Amid the Winter Snow. Now I’m not sure? Great review. I love that you wanted to set her on fire. I relate to that. I think if I start at the very beginning it should be fine though. Anne.

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