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Winter's Heat by Denise Domning

  • Author: Denise Domning
  • Book title: Winter's Heat
  • Category: Romance
  • Subcategory: Historical
  • Publisher: Berkley (February 1, 1994)
  • ISBN: 0451404386
  • ISBN13: 978-0451404381
  • Rating: 4.8
  • Votes: 588
  • Other formats: lit mobi mbr azw

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Winter's Heat - Denise Domning
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Rowena of Benfield's hopes for a life as a powerful churchwoman are dashed when she's forced into a marriage to a rich and powerful lord. Embittered by his second wife's betrayal, Rannulf of Graistan wants nothing from his new wife except an heir. Then a tide of treachery rises around them and their only hope is to trust, to cherish and to love unconditionally.

7 Reviews
3.5 stars. I wanted to love this book, but it fell short for me. I love medieval romances, they are my absolute favorite, but I wanted more passion between the hero and heroine.
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.
I enjoyed the writing and dialogue between the main characters, but man oh man I could not stand the H and in some moments the h. He was just to much in the way of pride and unchanged attitude, clear to the end. And I know, the day and age of how they treated people, but I just couldn’t see this H that his people loved and respected one moment and then he refuses to listen to council, supremely prideful, wasteful in money, it’s all about people not leaving him not about how he treats them (selfish turd is what I kept saying in my mind), and finally that last scene it talks about cutting simple men and women down so he can escape faster. He would just kill women and men who had nothing to do with his capture so he could eventually turn around and run back upstairs? Ugh these were his people he professed to care for and serve as much as they serve him. I liked the h better then the H, but even still her actions and personality had huge gapes in moments. So yes I disliked the characters in general, but the author did great on flow and descriptions in her story so it flowed nicely. Plot was predictable but still written well enough to read to the end.
Almost passed on this because I was looking for Regency mystery but I'm so glad I read enough of the sample to become intrigued. Sure it's the obligatory abruptly married couple who has a lot of sex and only then manages to fall in love because they have such wonderful orgasms together (that's like cupcake frosting: I don't respect it, but sometimes I crave it anyway). BUT the twelve years of research the author apparently did to make the history come alive is exceptionally successful. I found myself remembering snippets of things thrown at me in middle school world history class and saying, "Oh! NOW I get it!" And Wren' s story is gripping and heartwrenching and somehow manages to be both a snapshot of a woman's lot in time and an encouragement to (me, at least) in facing real modern issues. I even highlighted a passage (first time ever) that spoke to me about spiritual matters (and it wasn't any of the ones relating to the former nun' s faith or the Catholicism of the time.) Even the somewhat explicit sex refrains from being simple mommy-porn and served to both satisfy curiosity on matters of sexuality in history and demonstrate the changes in the relationship. If I were shelving a physical copy of this book, I would put it on my shelf of things I would lend to friends instead of hidden away on my embarrassed-about-it shelf.
I would give it 0 stars if possible. The H/h do nothing but bicker and fight. The story line is mediocre at best and very predictable. The hero has no self control over his self like a Lord and knight should. The heroine is immature and has no control over herself. Emotions explode, but not in a good way. I was at 70% and the incessant bickering was still going on. None of the main characters could be rational and mature adults. I almost gave up reading it. If you like at least a dose of humor and a slight bit of happiness in between the normal angst in your romance, I would skip this one. It is depressing.
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