I first came across Lark and Rose, the two authors who together write as Christina Rose Andrews, when reading their story The Best Worst Valentine's Day Ever in Red Hots: A Valentine Anthology. At the time I knew that this was a writer that was going places, someone to watch out for in years to come, and I am delighted to have been proven correct with their first novel-length release in The Language Of Flowers.
This isn't your everyday kind of romance. From the very beginning it is set apart by being told in first person from the male perspective, and a protagonist with a disability at that. Cole Visser came back from Afghanistan missing quite a lot of one of his legs, but he doesn't intend to allow that to define his life. He still has issues with it, and there was a particularly poignant scene where Zara shows him just how little the scars matter in her eyes. Cole is a very sympathetic character and riding along with him as he does his best to muddle through the confusing situation he finds himself in when he discovers he's a father, I really came to enjoy his character.
Zara, on the other hand, I thought spent a good deal of the book behaving like a petulant brat. HOWEVER, there was a huge reveal near the end that totally made sense of all her behaviour and suddenly had me feeling rather guilty for judging her without knowing all the facts. The moral of that story, of course, is that you really do have to walk a mile in someone else's shoes before you can truly say you know them.
The Language Of Flowers is so much more than just a love story; it's an inspiring tale of second chances and forgiven slights, of two people with major traumas in their pasts finally finding their peace in one another without some 'magical cure'. I especially loved the parts of the book where Cole and Zara go to couple's therapy; that is how relationships SHOULD be portrayed in fiction more often, with people talking out their issues and working together to find solutions because of their belief in a better future.
This is a beautiful debut novel and I look forward to many great things to come from Christina Rose Andrews. Five stars.
The Language Of Flowers is available now on Amazon.