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A Rose in Winter by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss
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A Rose in Winter (1982)

by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

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8481816,440 (3.97)32
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. 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 world. Conflicted 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.… (more)

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» See also 32 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
I just reread this book after many years and again it was a "can't put it down until its finished" read. The characters are so well written. This book has a great storyline with enough adventure and humor to keep you engaged in continuing to read it. You want to know how the story ends and it is the true definition of historical romance that only Kathleen Woodiwiss could bring you. ( )
  TVNerd95 | Jul 6, 2019 |
This book was super romantic, and the connections to the Phantom of the Opera love story were evident. Loved it. ( )
  KaylaLowe | Jan 15, 2018 |
E' un romanzo, questo della Woodiwiss, che cerca di celebrare uno dei temi più ricorrenti della narrativa romantica: l'amore fra la Bella e la Bestia.

Indubbiamente come sempre questa tematica ha una forte attrattiva nell'anima romantica delle lettrici, la bella della situazione che si ritrova incastrata in un matrimonio combinato in cui lui è tutt'altro che avvenente. Nello specifico è un uomo gravemente ferito e deforme a causa di un vecchio incidente e questo lo costringe a nascondersi sotto un mantello che ne cela anche il viso. La donna per onore accetterà comunque di sposarlo e di dividere la sua vita con lui, nonostante lo temi in maniera quasi incontrollata.

Ovviamente di fronte a una vita di desolazione e solitudine la lettrice spera in una svolta, dopotutto si sa, le donne tendono ad innamorarsi di un'anima anche se non è racchiusa di un involucro perfetto. Forti di questa nostra capacità speriamo che anche Erienne riuscirà a superare il suo terrore per il marito e che, infine, finisca per volergli bene.

La storia, fino a qui, è tenera e divertente; è molto piacevole vedere come il marito finisce per stuzzicare dolcemente sua moglie pur rispettandone la paura.

Andando avanti, però, le cose cambiano.

Come in tutti i romanzi della Woodiwiss (o quantomeno la maggior parte) le fanciulle vengono sempre tenute all'oscuro di qualcosa e, solo grazie alla loro forza interiore, il loro coraggio o caparbietà, riusciranno a scoprire la verità e/o avere la meglio su "l'impedimento" che l'autrice ha congeniato.

Anche in questo caso la povera Erienne viene tirata in ballo in un gioco quasi perverso del marito che, giocando sulla sua ignoranza (voluta da lui, precisiamo), la tiene all'oscuro della sua vera identità e nel frattempo la corteggia sotto altre sembianze... Se all'inizio tutto questo grazioso "giochetto" poteva essere dolce e quasi sinonimo di insicurezza di Mr. Saxton - desideroso di far innamorare sua moglie indipendentemente dal vincolo matrimoniale a cui erano stai entrambi costretti dal precipitare degli eventi - dopo un po' diventa morboso e offensivo verso la stessa Erienne.

Erienne è una donna indipendente, intelligente ma con un grande senso dell'onore. E' proprio per quel senso dell'onore che accetta di sposarsi per salvare il collo al padre ed è sempre per onore che rispetta il vincolo del matrimonio che ha contratto, anche se controvoglia.

Per questo motivo nel momento in cui Chris, spingendo troppo "oltre" il suo gioco di seduzione, porta questa povera donna a sentirsi una traditrice verso il suo stesso marito confondendola con comportamenti e commenti equivoci, il romanzo scivola verso una certa fase di "irritazione". Quest'uomo cerca di spingere la sua stessa moglie a tradirlo con se stesso, e di fronte alla fedeltà della donna invece di esserne felice la tenta sempre di più fino a portala all'esasperazione!

Quello che inizialmente è risultato un piacevole espediente del protagonista per conquistare l'amore della moglie alla fine diventa una tortura psicologica piuttosto umiliante che la porta a fare e dire cose che, diversamente, forse non avrebbe fatto come cedere al marito senza averne mai visto il viso.

La complicità della servitù è quantomai irritante perché, da uno scontro alla pari fra i due protagonisti, diventa nuovamente un "complotto" alle spalle della donna.

Se a questo aggiungiamo che, nuovamente, è sempre la "donna" a dover passare oltre le apparenze e a lavorare sul suo intimo per accettare l'uomo, il romanzo assume dei toni decisamente troppo maschilisti per essere accettato da tutto il popolo femminile.

L'idea è buona ma è lo sviluppo che porta lettrici più indipendenti e forti a reagire con irritazione di fronte alla sfrontata manipolazione della Erienne il cui unico errore è stato, all'inizio, di rifiutare la corte sfrontata di Christopher - nonostante l'evidente attrazione che provava per lui - per rispetto all'antipatia provata dal padre e dal fratello nei confronti dell'uomo.

Se Christopher voleva punirla per la sua debolezza, onestamente, la pena è stata fin troppo meschina e, di certo, una volta scoperto l'inganno, la reazione di Erienne è stata veramente, veramente scialba e deludente.

In conclusione: bella l'idea, ottimo lo stile dell'autrice - come sempre! - ma la trama è stata sviluppata troppo in favore di Christopher e quindi in maniera maschilista. ( )
  Nasreen44 | Jun 8, 2017 |
With the passing of legendary Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, I wanted to give her books a try. I remember reading something by her as a wee one, but for the life of me can't recall what it was. Browsing online, a friend and I were intrigued to discover the synopsis boasted a scarred, tragic figure as the possible hero. Swooning over the though of a Phantom-of-the-opera type hunk, I quickly nabbed this baby up at the local bookstore during our usual Tuesday night outing, and then sped through the book I was reading to start this one.

Plot-wise, it's refreshing. A young, maltreated woman has been kept under the bristled thumb of her drunk, nescient father and irresponsibly daft brother. Deep in debt to the man who shot his son during a card-cheating war, the father decides to use his daughter to settle the deal. He refuses to wed her to his enemy, but has no problem putting her up for a hideous auction.

Terrified and grief-stricken, Erienne sadly accepts her fate, only to find her new husband-to-be is a scarred figure who covers his face with a menacing, black mask. Terrified of the wealthy figure who slightly resembles a BDSM enthusiast, she cannot master the courage to be his wife in all ways, but slowly finds herself falling for his sweet, caring manner. It's hard to accept her significant other completely, however, when in the back of her mind there's always the image of another, one she mentally calls an enemy, but who her heart calls something else entirely.

This sort of conflict was a delight to absorb. Torn between two men - one she must remain with through legal obligation, another she should despise but cannot. Brave Mrs. Woodiwiss! With an interesting ensemble of clever characters, this page-turner is filled with one bizarre situation after another.

It's not hard to admire the heroine, as she comes from the worst type of family situation, yet keeps her head high and strong throughout it all. Her devotion to her hubby is touching, while her attraction to the forbidden fruit undeniable. She's thankfully not the sort where her dashing beauty is spoken of in poetry prose every other page. She IS beautiful (naturally), but this is handled with expert tact not to be, well, tacky from the writer.

Christopher Seton is adorably fun, with a witty sense of humor, stylish presence, sweet personality that shines when it should, while not being downplayed as a "girley-man" (Insert giggle here please) The tragic husband aroused pity in me, as well as more than compassion, for beneath the mask and ensemble he's an interesting sort that's enchanting to read about. Swamped with villains, from the family to the town enemies, the young heroines doesn't have much time to relax.

The book length is generous, and it does take a bit of time for the heroine to finally become married to her scarred Romeo. In fact, I began to wonder if he would show up at all, or if the back cover was a misprint. Plenty of time is taken to reveal characterization and beginning spark between Erienne and Christopher. Speeding up the beginning a smudge certainly wouldn't have hurt, and overall the pacing is quick enough. Plenty of punch in the pages as one disaster after another befalls our main character. In short, I never grew bored with pacing, but the book was a leisurely thrill ride rather than an adrenaline-rushed race. Woodiwiss' writing style was smooth and flowing, enriched with realistic and at times comical dialogue, spruced further along by characters that were anything but three-dimensional shadows.

Us readers of romance enjoy a steamy scene time and again; this book doesn't disappoint. There's plenty of built-up sexual tension, of course, particularly in a carriage ride gone erotic. Lovemaking scenes didn't make me see fireworks, but still a delightfully lustrous spark. In scenes of 'trouble', suspense was adequately written with the what's-on-the-line situation being dire. Everything was handled in a realistic, happy go lucky fashion, nothing too far-fetched or silly. The only other troubling aspect is I guessed the ending and turned out right, but oh well, I can't blame Woodiwiss much for my psychic abilities.

Thankfully not a trivial book, A Rose in Winter left me grinning more than groaning. Characters embraced me from the start, emitting fierce passion. Pacing worked, although not as well as it could have, the writing style was painlessly addictive, and the end left the characters I had come to care about doing well. Another case of happily ever after, a fairy tale worth reading.

And remembering. ( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
1,5... j'ai longtemps hésité entre 1 et 2. Mais bon, pour le début et le fait que ce n'est pas mal écrit, on y va pour 2! ( )
  Moncoinlecture | Apr 4, 2013 |
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Een vuurrode bloem in het winterse wit, Misplaatst als de smart van een maagd die bidt, Bloeiend in een tijd als kille winden waaien. Men vindt haar op een beschutte plek, Felrood, zonder enige smettende plek, Rood als een druppel hartebloed. Van de Maagd die boven in de toren weent en wacht, Verlaten door de ridder in zijn zilveren pracht, Die tenn strijde trok, vol overmoedige kracht. Vrees niet, lief kind, thuis smachtend en teer, De winterroos belooft in de runen van weleer: Ware liefde, eens gevonden, keert altijd weer.
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Gewidmet den Lesern, deren anerkennende Briefe mir Mut machten.
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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. 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 world. Conflicted 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.… (more)

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blurb: The enchanting, raven haired daughter of the village mayor, Erienne Fleming is the fairest bloom in her English village. And of all who desire her, she would have only one: the dashing and witty young Yankee, Christopher Seton. But a marriage for love is not to be, as Erienne is auctioned off to the highest bidder to help pay off irresponsible father’s debts. And in the end, it is the enigmatic Lord Saxrton who purchases her hand - a tragic and secretive noble who hides his scars behind mask and cloak, and who only appears to her after nightfall.
Resigned to a solitary life in cold and rambling Saxton Hall, Erienne slowly learns the true nature of the stranger she calls ‘husband’. A gentle and adoring soul, he treats his new bride with warmth and abiding tenderness. But though she valiantly longs to remain true to her elusive, mysterious spouse, Erienne feels herself irresistibly drawn to Christopher Seton’s passion, his fire, and his intrigues. And soon she will have to make a devastating choice: between her duty and his heart.
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