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Winter's Heat (The Seasons Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
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"Splendid...A superstar in the making" ~Romantic Times Magazine
"Riveting...full of sizzling passion, tension and intrigue...you should not miss this one!"
"Enchanting...Vivid...Exciting!" ~Susan Wiggs
"Ms. Domning wields a powerful pen!" ~ Diane Potwin - Copyright © 1994-97 Literary Times, Inc. All rights reserved
From the Author
Then I started writing. A few years, several marriages and an international move followed before I one day sent the first seven chapters to Denise Marcil of the Denise Marcil Literary Agency. Much to my surprise, she requested more chapters to read. I sent the next five finished chapters to her. A few weeks later she requested more chapters. Yipes! They weren't done. With that I got serious and plowed my way through the rest of the book and got them off to her.
She responded with, "This is the first book in seven years to knock me off my chair." Wow! She went on to sell Winter to what was then the new Topaz Line of books. We were all astonished at how well it was received and I was honored and thrilled that Winter's Heat won the coveted Romantic Times award for "Best First Historical" of 1994.
And that, as they say, is history. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- Publication date : August 31, 2015
- File size : 1431 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 390 pages
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Language: : English
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- ASIN : B014S0W258
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #415,020 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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When Rowena and Rannulf first meet, it is on the day of their wedding, with Rannulf and Rowena's father have agreed upon and arranged. Given the time period and her father, Rowena has been given no say in the matter. Though being the younger of two girls (which typically would automatically mean a life for her in a convent), Rowena is surprised to learn that her father believes her older sister to be another man's child and so he has refused to claim her. This means that a great deal of property and wealth is Rowena's dowry. That wealth is what drew Rannulf into the arrangement, but it was sweet to see that concern for and genuine interest in Rowena is what secured it.
From the very beginning, sparks fly between this newlywed couple. Part of that is due to attraction, but a greater part, in my opinion, is from the natural reaction when you mix steel (Rannulf) and flint (Rowena). As they say, fire, when properly tended, can warm your home and enrich your life. If left to run wild, though, it can destroy all you've built and then some.
I have to admire the way that Rowena is written. This young woman has been ripped from all she's known, all that she's been trying to build for years, and thrust into a wholly new situation. She's married, but her husband all but abandons her before she even sets foot in her new home - off to the Crusades with him. There's unexpected opposition to her taking charge as mistress of the keep coming from several directions at once. Thankfully, years at a convent have taught Rowena many useful skills and she navigates the treacherous way fairly well, all things considered.
It's her relationship with Rannulf that is so frustrating. While Rowena is completely plainspoken with absolutely every other person she encounters, she is the exact opposite with her husband. Why?? It does make a certain amount of sense that she would be unsure of her footing with the only person she feels outranks her, but given her fiery nature and her bluntly honest way of speaking, at times it felt like I was reading a different character when the two were together.
As far as Rannulf goes, I could never get a real grasp of him as a character. At times, he's very sensitive and caring. He's completely devoted to his son. He's protective of Rowena. He strongly desires to keep his brothers near him. At times he's rigid to the point of senselessness. He argues that he would always listen to his people if they came to him with a care or a concern, but he's completely unwilling to give his new wife the same opportunity. He's at once unreasonable in his unwillingness to let the past hurts with his younger brother stay in the past. Then, seemingly seconds later, he mentally works through why he should let go of the past with astounding maturity and wisdom. Ultimately, he comes across as such a jumble.
I think part of the issue is that Rannulf does not get nearly as much "screen time" as Rowena does. This is really her story more than anything else (and I honestly quite liked that). But without more insight into Rannulf, it's very difficult to get a better idea of who he is as a complete, realized person.
The one thing that really, really bothered me, though, was the whole issue of Rowena's inheritance was just left hanging. These properties, her dowry, her inheritance, is the main reason that Rannulf married her in the first place. They've been challenged and he stands to lose a great deal. So an official is coming to the keep to hear the arguments of both sides, and he had just arrived towards the end of the book. But then nothing more is said on the issue! The book ends without this ever being resolved. It was very upsetting for me, as a reader.
Rowena is abruptly taken from the convent, that has been her home for years, by her father and forced to marry Rannulf later the same day. Rannulf is only marrying for the land she will inherit and the possibility of heirs in the future. Rannulf is not an easy character to like. He is suspicious, disagreeable and accusatory to Rowena; he believes that she will prove an adulteress like a previous wife and he doesn't trust her.
Rowena isn't happy about being married, but is happy to be the lady of her own castle. She is abandoned by Rannulf after her wedding night and works her fingers to the bone to make his home habitable. Unfortunately, he doesn't appreciate her efforts and continues to mistrust and belittle her whenever he gets the chance.
All of this negative could have been redeemed (I like a redeemable hero) except there really didn't seem to be any reason for them to care about each other or fall in love with each other. There was sex in the book, that lacked description, passion and steam - the sex certainly didn't set my Kindle on fire. I didn't really connect or care for either main character and their equally cold, mistrustful ways. I wish this would have been more to my taste, but it wasn't.
Top reviews from other countries
I have no idea how historically accurate this book is but the mere thought of how limited a female's options were was mind boggling. And for bastards (in the literal not derogatory sense) and second sons too.
It made the bizarre lengths a scorned female would go to just that bit more plausible. And I knew just much I had got sucked into this whole storyline when I realised I did so want a slow, painful death for Maeve.
Just not sure that I would pay £3 or more for more books in the series. And yet I so want to know what happens to Gilliam. Time will tell.
I love reading Kathleen Woodiwiss (Flame and the Flower - Wolf and the Dove, etc) and have just finished reading Kathryn Le Veque (The Wolfe) and both writers had me engrossed from the first page, but I'm afraid Denise Domning is not in the same class as these wonderful authors.
I found the main character of Rowena to be a bit of a control freak who liked to put the servants in their place. She also had such a miserable, prickly nature that if I'd been Rannulf I would have given up on her as a suitable mate because she was such hard work for little reward.
Rannulf also stuck me as a bit dim-witted. Everyone was telling him his sis-in-law was a bitch and Rowena told him that she'd swindled him out of money, yet he still went about with his head up his backside believing the bitch innocent and without blemish which later on caused everyone all sorts of problems, ( anyone with a half a brain would have seen this occurance)....stupid man???
Mind you, now I think about it...Rowena and Ranulf are a perfect match....I found Rowena, tetchy, domineering, and controlling, whilst Rannulf was stupid, easily manipulated, and a bore!
I struggled to read this book to the end and was sorry I persevered!
The ending was disappointing and depressing!