Romance Book

Desert Rose
Published by Fire Star Press

A secret life is the best protection against love…
   Men love Rose Badger, and if the other inhabitants of dead-end Blake’s Folly, Nevada, don’t approve, she couldn’t care less. With a disastrous marriage far behind her, settling down is the last thing she intends to do. Isn’t life for fun? Doesn’t a stable relationship always mean predictability and boredom? Well… perhaps things might be different with Jonah Livingstone, but he is off-limits for anything other than friendship. He’s still entangled in a complicated past relationship. And Rose has another secret life—one that she’ll never give up for any man.

  The last person geologist Jonah Livingstone expected to meet in a semi-ghost town is Rose Badger. She’s easy-going, delightfully spontaneous, and Jonah is certain their attraction is mutual. But Rose is always surrounded by a crowd of admirers and doesn’t seem inclined to choose a favorite. And, isn't he too independent to settle into a permanent relationship again? He’s leading his own very private life…and secrets are excellent protection against love.

   When the bell above the shop door tinkled, Rose’s well-practiced welcome smile was almost in place. Almost… Then it stopped in mid-stretch. Stunned, she stared, blinked, stared some more. My goodness: wasn’t he gorgeous. Her interest increased, and her heart did a pitter-patter tippy-toe dance as she took him in: tallish — but anyone would be tall when compared to her tiny size — rangy, with tousled hair so dark it appeared blue under the lights, an explorer’s bone structure and weather honed skin, deep brown eyes. And, here she was, acting like a complete idiot, frozen into place, gawking at him as if he were of another species, or something totally new-fangled dropped down from a distant stretch of the Milky Way. 
  Not that he seemed to be faring any better than she, not moving, staring at her, his gaze unwavering, the wide-open door letting in frosty air and snowflakes. 
   What was that gaze of his telling her? That he was surprised? Pleased? Oh, yes. He liked what he saw, all right — men did like her, she knew that. She was used to their admiration. They liked naturally golden curls, slanting blue eyes, and the broad, flat cheekbones of the Russian steppe. But, wasn’t it especially nice to be admired by such a gorgeous specimen? Yes, indeed.
   Mentally, Rose shook herself, forced herself out of her stupor — somebody had to do something. This was a store, a business, not a blind date. If a man suddenly showed up in a ladies’ dress shop, that meant there was already a woman in his life. Unless he was a cross-dresser. Or was lost and needed directions out of this half-a-horse hellhole.

What people are saying about Desert Rose

This is truly a story of mature love, gender respect, and classic storytelling absent in so many books of today. Kudos to J. Arlene Culiner! 
Lisa McCombs, Readers' Favorite

Beautifully and concisely written with two fascinating lead characters. I was anxious to get back to the novel every time I had to put it down. 
Whispering Stories

The story was great fun, complex, and straightforward at the same time. I really liked the intimacy of Ms. Culiner’s writing. I highly recommend this book to romance readers.
 Judi Easley for Blue Cat Reviews 

This is a must-read book! I just finished reading Desert Rose and the first word that comes to my mind is: original. It’s not quite like any other book that I’ve read. 
LAS Reviewer

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