Rose’s life has been hard for the past few years, after her husband’s sudden death leaves her a single parent rasing her son, she’s later stuck in a abusive relationship. Life becomes strange when she meets Stefan a man who she thinks is an angel from the heavens or a demon straight outta of hell, but one thing is clear to Rose, he’s about to change her life forever.... Crimson Rose story ties with the vampire lore of yesteryears, the traditional vampire romances from long ago, no emo-sparkly vampires here! But holds it own and creates something new with it’s dark and sometimes bittersweet romance between Rose and Stefan. Rose throughout is “human”, with very human emotions and flaws. In Crimson Rose, she’s stuck in a abusive relationship, with no way out, as she tries to raise her son in such a harsh environment. One night after shopping for some ice cream, she loses her locket only to have a beautiful, stunning man return it to her. And in a blink of an eye he’s gone, only to show up at her place of business, real estate, asking if she knew where he could find a huge place to live, oddly enough close to her own home. Shaken, Rose brushes off the encounter, only to have her own son tell her Stefan has been visiting him at times of night and scaring him out of his wits. And having a bloody roses been left at her window. Rose is unsure and very scared what to do, until she’s saved by Stefan after she’s being beaten by her boyfriend then forcefully taken away to a mansion where she comes face to face with many truths of not only her past but of the demons of Stefan. Stefan has been in love with Rose from the moment he first saw her, she’s like a ghost from his war torn past and he must have her at all costs. When the chance rises, he takes it with both hands, keeping her locked up and close to him, knowing she’s the only true light and bit of humanity he still has left in his cold soul. But when the demons from his past and his own selfish behavior forces him to choose, Stefan will do what it takes give all he has to have Rose by his side forever. A fan of dark romances, Crimson Rose was a true joy to read, A little slow on the start,it’s first chapters were foundation for the upcoming events in the story. The rich and beautiful details give it at times a dreamy tone. The bitterness Rose faces after losing her husband then being with a abusive boyfriend. Rose doesn’t lose her spirit or her hope for a better day, but her hope is running out fast. When Stefan comes into her life, she doesn’t know what to think as he forces her into his home and later forces himself on her. Rose is confused and with good reason and the animal vampire Stefan has become to what she starts to see deeper in his once cold heart. I liked Rose, she had very normal reactions to the events around her, and while at times I wanted to smack her upside the head for the choices she made and getting herself in unnecessary trouble, and her denial, it only showed the facts, that Rose was just human that would make very human mistakes. Rose strength and love were her strong points, she was steady rock in a rapid raging river, she always held on and her quiet strength is what helped Stefan face his own demons. Stefan was complex character, a cold blooded killer, he only cared for his hunger, but as his past is shown to the reader, what ever little bit of humanity was lost when he Jewish love died. Seeing the war torn Germany and having ben forced to become a Nazi solider, Stefan is disgusted and rater lay down and die then be apart of the horrors he sees, when his love Eva is killed, what little bit of life Stefan held onto died along with her. When he’s forced to become a vampire, Stefan becomes a cold shell of his formal self, only craving death and blood. Stefan’s love borders upon obsessive and passionate, he acts more like a rowdy teen, but at the same time start to feel emotions long buried. I really loved Stefan, as he reminded me of the old school vampires, that were cold and awaken with love. I don’t always agree with the choices and decisions Stefan makes, toward Rose and his old companion Gabriella. Many of the misunderstanding could have been avoided, but his fear that he would lose Rose’s love held him back from telling her the truth. Stefan’s past brought tears to my eyes, and when hidden truths come out, I quickly read hoping it wasn’t true! Stefan grew into being a human being again, and that was one of the greatness and brightest points in CR. Along with the misunderstandings (and the urge to smack the characters), CR pace was slow in the beginning, and did drag a little toward the middle of the book. This did take my overall rating down, but the book drew me in and held me until the very last page. CR held many great twist and turns and some surprises that knocked me for a loop, I had to keep reading to find out what happen next! The villains thankfully didn’t take away from the main couple and their struggle, I can’t want for Book 2 to see what happens to Rose and Stefan. Overall: a beautiful start to this promising new author, I look forward to reading more from R. Malone in the future!