Jennifer Donnelly does it again! She is definitely at the top of my favorite authors list.One of the main things that kept me from being 100% in love with Tea Rose was Joe Bristow. His character was very well portrayed, don't get me wrong--I just didn't have much use for the guy. He did a couple of things in this book that really pissed me off. Then I finally realized...Donnelly is just so bloody brilliant with characterization that Joe was just being a man! Stupid, bull-headed and...wrong! He could have been a real person. Once I made that revelation, I liked him better, not his fault after all :) Plus...he did a couple of really cool things in this book. He decided to run for Parliament and he didn't even think he had a shot at winning-he just wanted to corner his opposition into making promises to help the poor that Joe was dead set on making sure they followed through with post-election. I thought that was so amazing and selfless."Sid" was the tortured hero. Here again is Donnelly's talent shining through. Normally, these types of characters have to be taken with a grain of salt. Not Sid. She takes you straight into his head and you see what he is going through. We saw him in the background of Tea Rose, and he comes forward in this and steals the show. He is one of the most truly portrayed characters I have ever read about. Every single thought she puts in his head was a MILLION percent dead-on.The plots of these books are very edge-of-your-seat/hard to read at times/beautiful on their own...but when you put in her gorgeous lyrical writing and unparalleled talent for creating real and magnificent characters...she can't be beat.