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A romance fitting the best romantic love stories

Good read romance

'Finding Rose' and 'Rose: The Missing Years' fit perfectly into the genre of romantic literature where fate and fortune challenge - as well as cement - the relationship between two people.

But J S Morey is no Jane Austen and neither are quite on the level of Bronte's famous love story 'Wuthering Heights'. Nevertheless there are similarities.

Context and background add colour

As in all novels by this romantic author, the context and background are as important as the story-lines. Context comes through in placements and descriptions of the era within which events take place; background embraces and celebrates social values of the time as well as locations.
Books 3 and 4, above, of the 'Love Should Never Be This Hard' series are the same story told from slightly different perspectives. 

(For more on this, if you are a writer, read this article explaining how viewpoint can add colour to your creative writing.)

Why should you read both romance novels?

First and foremost, it is a good story. Ironically, Book 4 was written before Book 3. It was only on the insistence of the copy-editor that the idea of writing the same story twice, from a different perspective, emerged.

Another reason for the second book was an opportunity to build more substance and understanding into the main themes the main story. Not only does it provide a peep behind the scenes and reasons why certain things happened, but it enables you to explore the emotional issues behind relationships.

More than a Gypsy Romance Story

Romantic love stories tend to fall into a whole range of literary fiction categories - Romani being one of them.
In this instance, we examine the cultural differences between established society and an alternative; a gypsy way of life.

And here comes the context again. During the 1950's and '60's travelling communities provided valuable support to the British mainstream economy, especially our rural infrastructure.

Romani lifestyle

The casual work pattern suited both parties. The 'employers' - notably farmers and large-scale crop-growers - worked on seasonality. They took on labour at harvesting, when they needed it most. Outside of that - during the actual growing seasons - they managed on a scaled-down 'maintenance' work-force.

Harvesting seasons were short, but times of year varied crop-by-crop. This fitted the extended family culture of the gypsy communities perfectly. They didn't want permanent jobs and a guaranteed, regular wage. A week's work - even a days' in some cases - was all they wanted or expected. The only pressure for them was to be in the right place at the right time.

Gypsy labour supply - skilled and unskilled

Pea-picking, harvesting hops and apples, hay-making tasks all called for basic skills, and little reliance on heavy manual labour. For that reason, it advantaged the whole family - men, women, and children - with the latter able to contribute during school holidays (even though gypsy children's formal education may have been somewhat patchy.)

But there was more to their contribution. Romani communities of the day lived close to nature. This enabled them, in some cases, to rely on a deep knowledge and understanding of animals, farm animals, and animal welfare, for employment.


Again, this benefited the local farmer looking for such expertise but keen to reduce his costs, with payment in kind was often most agreeable to both parties.

Natural medicine - another area of expertise

Plant-based cures and remedies have become increasingly popular and fashionable of late but, for the Romani, they were forever thus.

Combined with the elders' deep-seated roots in spirituality, they represented a holistic approach to well-being, both mental and physical.

That's the essence of 'Finding Rose'

For part of the stories - the magical and mystical - we have to go to the grandmother, again relying on an extended family ideal. But such insights have always been regarded as generational and continuous. In our case they become an essential ingredient in the 'finding' of Rose by John, who shares with her the gift of intuition.

A romance novel and a good read

Romantic stories need realism

Within each novel there is a foundation of fact-based context and location. Although these romantic stories could hardly be considered historical romance, the settings and certain events can be traced to what was going on at the time in an emerging, prosperous British economy.

Sexual content is under-played

Readers of romance writers of today may consider this a glaring omission. It is certainly deliberate - a conscious move away from the over-played explicit content of many a TV series or cinema release, and away from the rather tired approach of a high proportion of Amazon-featured paperbacks - at least if you consider the impression given by titles and front covers of listings under the category 'a romance'.

The author's wish is to be ranked high in the list of 'romantic fiction' and even aspiring to be recognised as 'literary fiction', with at least some degree of gravitas running alongside an entertaining read.

The 'swinging sixties' - myth and reality?

'Finding Rose' and 'Rose: The Missing Years' take place at a time when - allegedly - promiscuity among teenagers was rife. This is not reflected in these romantic love stories for one good reason: it wasn't necessarily so.


Furthermore, even if - or where - that myth did turn out to be a reality, it would be unlikely if it was prevalent in the somewhat closed gypsy communities. It would probably be the last place for this 'loosening up of morals' after the war years to be tolerated. To thrive.

Whatever the truth is - and you could probably ask ten different people and get ten different answers - both novels feature a romance exploring the more spiritual and emotional journey taken by Rose and John.

As the author stated on the release of another romantic love story of his - 'Those Italian Girls', as well as 'Unresolved?' - the action stops at the bedroom door.

Getting to know the author

In conclusion, the above is intended for the reader to get to know the author better, although I guess the University Professor would claim that this should be confined to the author's creative writing, rather than by self-promotion.

If so, treat this as an apology but, hopefully not a barrier to your exploring the many sides of the romance novels and short stories by J S Morey.


Since completing the historical romance 'Love Should Never Be This Hard', romantic novelist J S Morey has extended his reach into the western novel - the revisionist anti-western to be exact.

More about these titles is here but, suffice to say they include a heavy dose of 'love interest', purveyed in the same - some would say serious - manner. Call them 'western romances' if you wish, although the love interest tends to be more incidental than central to the main theme.

Early western films and novels often included a love story woven into the plot but, latterly, the genre has taken on a more realistic, often brutal, approach to the story-line, covering other issues, such as the plight of the Native American Indian.

'Wild Hearts Roam Free' and 'Wild Hearts Come Home' are not exactly Sam Peckinpah material (The Wild Bunch), nor do they venture into Sergio Leone territory with his 'Spaghetti Western'/Clint Eastwood movies.

But they do explore the culture and values of the Lakota Sioux, being set just south of the site of The Battle of Greasy Grass (Little Bighorn) some hundred years earlier. And they do introduce characters reminiscent of the pioneers of the latter period.

As always with the author, they harness a mixture of fact and reality, fictionalize events and characters to ensure that, whilst they may inform and spark interest in the subject, they still entertain. 

For the full romantic story...

you need to begin with Book 1 - 'The Sign of the Rose', set in the late-1800's to early 1900's, after which the saga continues inBook 2 - 'The Black Rose of Blaby', taking you to the post-war years in the Leicestershire village of the same name.

A romance combined with revisionist western
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