A Rose in Winter Author:Kathleen E. Woodiwiss The fairest flower in Mawbry is Erienne Fleming, the enchanting, raven-haired daughter of the village mayor. Charming, spirited and exquisitely lovely, she is beset on all sides by suitors, any one of whom would pay a king's fortune for a place in her heart. But Erienne has eyes for only one: the dashing and witty young Yankee, Christopher Seton... more ».But marriage for love is not to be, for her irresponsible and unscrupulous father, crippled by gambling debts, is intent on auctioning off his beautiful daughter to the highest bidder. And in the end, Erienne is devastated to find it is the strange and secretive Lord Saxton who has purchased her--a mysterious, tragic figure who wears a mask and a cloak at all times to hide disfiguring scars gained in a terrible fire some years back.But in the passing days, Saxton's true nature is revealed to her. A gentle and adoring soul, he treats his new bride with warmth and abiding tenderness, yet appears to her only by daylight. She, in turn, vows to be a good and loyal wife to him. And then Christopher Seton reenters Erienne's worldConflicted by emotions she cannot suppress, Erienne valiantly attempts to remain honorable to her elusive, enigmatic husband but feels herself irresistibly drawn to Seton's passion, his fire, and his secrets. Entangled in intrigues she doesn't yet understand, Erienne Fleming will soon have to make a devastating choice: between love and honor...between her duty and her heart.« less
This novel was one of Woodiwiss' best! I enjoyed all of the characters she wrote and appreciated the depth that she gave to them all, even secondary and tertiary characters. One minor issue was that the novel was a tad too long.
The story and plot of this book was new to me, and I very much enjoyed it, although halfway through the book I had figured out the mystery of it. Once the outcome was revealed, I was bored however, with 100 pages left to read. I had a hard time holding my interest from then on and found myself skimming often.