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Blue Dahlia: In the Garden, Book 1 | [Nora Roberts]

Blue Dahlia: In the Garden, Book 1

Trying to escape the ghosts of the past, young widow Stella Rothchild, along with her two energetic little boys, has moved back to her roots in southern Tennessee - and into her new life at Harper House and In the Garden nursery. She isn't intimidated by the house - nor its mistress, local legend Roz Harper.
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Publisher's Summary

A Harper has always lived at Harper House, the centuries-old mansion just outside of Memphis. And for as long as anyone alive remembers, the ghostly Harper Bride has walked the halls, singing lullabies at night.

Trying to escape the ghosts of the past, young widow Stella Rothchild, along with her two energetic little boys, has moved back to her roots in southern Tennessee - and into her new life at Harper House and In the Garden nursery. She isn't intimidated by the house - nor its mistress, local legend Roz Harper. Despite a reputation for being difficult, Roz has been nothing but kind to Stella, offering her a comfortable new place to live and a challenging new job as manager of the flourishing nursery.

As Stella settles comfortably into her new life, she finds a nurturing friendship with Roz and with expectant mother Hayley. And she discovers a fierce attraction with ruggedly handsome landscaper Logan Kitridge.

But someone isn't happy about the budding romance...the Harper Bride. As the women dig into the history of Harper House, they discover that grief and rage have kept the Bride's spirit alive long past her death. And now, she will do anything to destroy the passion that Logan and Stella share.

©2004 Nora Roberts; (P)2004 Brilliance Audio

What the Critics Say

"Roberts, the queen of romance, launches a new trilogy with a captivating tale in which her considerable talents at creating richly compelling characters and witty, spellbinding stories come into full bloom in a paranormal-tinged romance." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (1076 )
5 star
 (512)
4 star
 (358)
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 (152)
2 star
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Overall
4.3 (784 )
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Story
4.4 (785 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (8)
Performance
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  •  
    bluebelle Cache Valley, UT USA 10-31-12
    bluebelle Cache Valley, UT USA 10-31-12 Member Since 2008

    When I clean, drive or exercise I listen to romance. The steamier the better but it must have a great story as well!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    810
    ratings
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    Story
    "Wonderful!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Blue Dahlia to be better than the print version?

    I've never read the printed version of Blue Dahlia. I did however love the audio version!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I liked Luke and the children. Luke is charming and has his own style.


    What about Susie Breck’s performance did you like?

    She was fabulous! I thought she did a brilliant job with the different characters voices.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I listened to this book every chance I got for 2 days. Its Halloween and this book was a wonderful way to get into the spirit!


    Any additional comments?

    Loved it! I can't wait to listen to the next ones in the series. Usually Nora Roberts can be a little tame in the sex scenes but this book has some detail but not enough to be offensive. Wonderful!

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie Ohio, USA 03-30-09
    Julie Ohio, USA 03-30-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    46
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    22
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    "Totally enjoyable"

    It has been so lovely listening to this story. So much so I am downloading the second in this trilogy. Well spoken, lovely characters. Hope you enjoy it too.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CatBookMom Los Angeles area, CA, USA 06-09-11
    CatBookMom Los Angeles area, CA, USA 06-09-11 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    137
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    61
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    "Great Story, Excellent Narrator"

    This series is one of my favorites from Nora Roberts, and Susie Breck makes listening a major treat! Within the range of western Tennessee accents, she gives each character a distinctly different voice, and even the laughs and giggles stay true to the age and voice of the characters.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rachel Cardiff, NSW, Australia 01-17-10
    Rachel Cardiff, NSW, Australia 01-17-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very Enjoyable!"

    Loved loved loved this audiobook - the story, the characters, the narration, all of it. The following two in the series are just as good, and I couldn't wait to get to them. A must!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heidi CENTURION, South Africa 01-17-09
    Heidi CENTURION, South Africa 01-17-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "I want to grow a garden"

    It grips you from the get go and gets you into the lives of the characters.

    The Harper bride is a bit scary but you do get to feel for her and want to assist the characters to find her past!

    good read, good listen - always the best.

    Thank you Nora!

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 06-15-13
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 06-15-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    357
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    Story
    "2 ½ stars. Not enough story. Not enough plot."


    Characters were nice people but not compelling enough for a story.

    My mind kept wandering. A lot of conversation about ordinary things. Characters did not interest or intrigue me. Stella likes to organize and manage things. Logan is creative and artistic with his landscaping but appears disorganized in other things. I wasn’t drawn to the relationship. The sex scenes didn’t do anything for me.

    The plot surrounding the ghost was not well developed and not finished. They hired someone to go through old records to discover the story behind the ghost. He started, but the book ended before he worked on it.

    The narrator Susie Breck was ok.

    Genre: contemporary romance with a little paranormal

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessica Charleston, TN, United States 07-23-10
    Jessica Charleston, TN, United States 07-23-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "predictable but still very good"

    I really enjoyed Blue Dahlia. The story is about a woman who lost her husband at a young age and had to take care of her two children on her own. She moves to Tennessee where she was born to be closer to her dad and stepmom. The story is about her journey and the people she meets and learns to lean on. It took a little while to get going but it turned out to be really good. I enjoyed the narrator, since I am from Tennessee the accent is not perfect but close enough not to be annoying. This is only the third Nora Roberts series I have read/listened to the first two were the Key Trilogy and the Bride Quartet and I enjoyed both of those as well. I can see from these three series that Nora Roberts likes to write about strong independent women who have other strong independent women in their lives as support and family. The love parts are predictable but still very good and you don't seem to mind that you know what is going to happen because you get invested in the story and the people in the story. I have just downloaded the second book in this series Black Rose and cannot wait for my ride home from work to start it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tina elkton, MD, United States 01-16-10
    tina elkton, MD, United States 01-16-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "wow"

    you find yourself laughing and crying with the reader

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lia Sutton, Australia 09-05-13
    Lia Sutton, Australia 09-05-13 Member Since 2009

    I love all genres of books. However, when I listen to audio books as I clean, garden, drive they are better with a lot of heat!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Start To A new Series"

    The book starts out with a bang. Stella Rothchild is a wife and stay-at-home mother of two. When her husband dies quite suddenly, Stella feels uprooted and unsure of how she can move on. The only thing that gets her through the two years following her husband's death is her two sons, Gavin and Luke. With the intent of starting anew, Stella packs up her family and moves closer to her father and step-mother in Memphis.

    After finding the perfect job for her obsessive organizational personality, Stella is determined to make a place for herself at In the Garden nursery. The fact that she admires and likes her boss is an added bonus. Though at first leery of her boss, Roz Harper's request that her family live in Harper House, Stella soon finds herself and her boys fitting right in. Hired by Roz to take over the business aspect of In the Garden, Stella is eager and willing to implement a new system that will help business run smoother. The only thing that does not run smoothly is her relationship with Logan Kitridge, Roz's Landscape Designer who has an aversion to people who are as rigidly organized and uptight as Stella.

    Logan Kitridge had been happy working for Roz, until she hired Stella Rothchild. Stella was such his polar opposite that he was mystified by his attraction to her. Things that were at first annoying to him, he now found amusing. However, if he wants a future with Stella, there are several obstacles to overcome. One is her nervousness over committing; the other is the Harper Ghost.

    The Harper Ghost who has been known for generations as "The Bride" seems like a benign presence. When Stella first hears singing in her son's room, her analytical mind cannot comprehend the idea of a ghost. When she mentions it to the other people in the house, she is relieved to realize that she is not losing her mind, nor is she crazy. As Stella and Logan grow closer, The Bride reacts badly. Stella isn't about to let a ghost tell her how to live her life, nor is she going to let a ghost keep her from her children.

    The first book of the IN THE GARDEN trilogy shows great promise that this will be a great series. The dynamic between Logan and Stella is very amusing at times, and touching at others. Throw in a ghost and some family secrets and you have a great start to a new series.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cam Las Vegas, NV, United States 06-21-13
    Cam Las Vegas, NV, United States 06-21-13 Member Since 2010
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    "entertaining but doesn't captivate"
    Any additional comments?

    The male character is easily seduced with minimal encouragement and the love is found in an astoundingly quick time. I like the ghost in the story. Perhaps the most complicated character in the book. :)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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