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A Rose in Winter [Mass Market Paperback]

Shana Abe
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 5 1998
A deeply enthralling, richly romantic novel of passion and adventure by a stunning new voice in historical romance. . .

At sixteen, Lady Solange had pledged her love to Damon Wolf, had dreamed they would be together forever. But when her ruthless father threatened Damon's life unless she agreed to marry another, Solange did the only thing she could: she scorned her true love and sent him away. . . never imagining the fate that awaited her, never knowing that one day her destiny would be entwined with Damon's once more.

For nine long years, Solange has lived a nightmare, wed to a wealthy lord whose handsome face hides a soul of darkest evil. Yet now, just as she is poised to finally make good her escape, Damon suddenly appears at the castle gate. Gone is the gentle hero of her childhood, replaced by a fiercely attractive, thunderously angry knight, who makes it clear he has never forgiven her betrayal. Convincing Damon to escort her to safety will take all Solange's ingenuity--but the real challenge lies in breaching the walls that Damon has built between them, to win back his trust. . . and his hardened heart.

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From the Publisher

"A powerfully moving love story from a fresh, exciting voice.
Ms. Abé will leave you longing for more."
--Elizabeth Thornton, nationally bestselling author of The Bride's Bodyguard

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

"Damon?" She came up behind him and pieced her hand lightly on his arm.

The simple touch jerked him back to the present.  He pulled away from her and fumed, baring his teeth in a resemblance of a smile.

"Day versus night, you ask? It doesn't matter now.  We are close to the conclusion of this little sojourn, aren't we?"

Her eyes grew wide, even a little fearful.  He almost hated her for that, hated that she could feel fear of him, when all he had ever wanted to do was protect her, take care of her, love her.

Damon took a menacing step in her direction.  "Now, what's amiss with you, Countess? You do not look yourself."

Solange shook her head in bewilderment.  "I don't understand you.  You are angry.  Have I done something wrong?"

"Something recently, you mean? I don't know, you tell me." He was stalking her now, steadily matching each step she took to put space between them.  One hand was raised as if to push him away; the other was grasping the folds of the tunic together.  The fear in her eyes became stronger.

"Stop it! Why are you behaving in this odd manner? Are you feverish?" She halted defiantly, daring him to come closer.  Brave, foolish little Solange, and so he caught her up easily.  She crashed into his chest, helpless because her arms were pinned and he would not let her put her feet down firmly to the earth.  He held her tightly against him until she stopped struggling, until she only stared up at him in almost comical disbelief.

"Yes, my lady," he drawled.  "I think I must be feverish.  It is the only reason I can think of to do this." He covered her lips with his own.

She didn't fight him.  She didn't do anything but hang there in his arms and let him kiss her.  It didn't matter.  He was beyond caring about any objections she had.

Nine years he had dreamed of these lips, nine years of longing for one more chance, just one more, to savor her again.  No man should have had to live like that.  He would not spend the rest of his life regretting a passed opportunity.

For a heartbeat all he felt was the closeness of her.  Her lips were warm and succulent, and completely still under his.  It was too much like that fateful kiss they had last shared on her wedding morning, and his heart cried out with anger and despair.

But then she moved.  He instinctively tightened his arms to prevent her from escaping, but she wasn't trying to back away.  She was attempting to move higher in his arms, to match herself more equally to his height.

She was kissing him back.

The last remnants of reason retreated into the roaring hunger that gripped him.  A part of him knew this was the moment he had been waiting for all this time, her response to him, proof she was not immune to the desire that flamed to life between them.

Sweet Lord, she was not.  Her hands inched out from between their bodies to hold on to his shoulders enabling him to pull her closer, his fantasy becoming reality faster than he could take it in.  His body knew what to do, however.  It answered hers with a surging heat.  He bent her almost backward over his arm, bracing her against his legs.  She was light, so light he barely noticed her weight.  Her hair slid silkily under his palms as they traveled up her back, down to cradle her thighs, then up again.

Their lips meshed and parted, sharing the same breath.  The maidenly shyness she had been treating him with had vanished as if it had never been.  Before him now was a woman, a siren, arousing him with a bold lushness he wanted to drown in.  He kissed her jaw, her neck, straightening to lift her higher to reach the hidden softness beneath her ear.  Her head tilted back, helping him.

Slowly he released her, allowing her body to slide over every muscled plane of his own.  Her tunic caught on his and rose to her waist.  He slipped his hands under it and felt the satin of her skin beneath his palms.  They traveled up to cup her full breasts, softly squeezing their roundness.  Solange gave a startled gasp and then moaned in pleasure, arching farther into his hands.  Her reaction was like a thunderbolt running through him.

Damon was intent on getting her to the ground.  He had to find a good place to lay her down, anywhere without the stubble of cut hay.  She was panting for him, ready for him, and he was more than ready for her.  He would toss her onto the haystack, it didn't matter, he had to be inside her soon or risk losing his thin grasp on the resolution not to make love to her in the dirt.

She stiffened suddenly, trying to pull away from him with a muted cry.  He held her immobile against him, confused--she couldn't want to stop now, she wanted him, he knew it--but Solange braced her arms against his shoulders and shoved, looking wide-eyed at something behind him.

"Damon! Thieves!"

The agitation in her tone penetrated the haze of passion fogging his mind.  Immediately he released her and fumed, reaching to his waist for the stiletto he always carried there.  His fingers groped at the empty sheath--the dagger lay on the ground next to that morning's breakfast of pigeon pie, much too far to reach in time.

Close behind him, right next to the haystack, were a half-circle of four mounted men dressed in rough, dirty clothing.  Two of them were leering at the couple, but the others just stared at them blankly.

The man closest to them, a bearded fellow with a long scar down one cheek, followed Damon's glance to the stiletto and back again to his empty hands.  And then the thief gave a wicked smile.


Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rose Indeed! June 6 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This was my first book by Shana Abe, and after this introduction, it will NOT be my last. This was a wonderful story of Lady Solange and Damon her childhood hero and love. She was the daughter of the Marquess and he the ward of a neighboring estate. They were brought up together and were kindred spirits at best. It was unspoken between them but Lady Solange knew that someday they would be together.
One day, at the age of 16, it came as a shock from her father the announcement that she would be wed the next day to the Earl Redmond. Knowing that Damon would fight for her, it was a test of her love for Damon to make him believe that she would wed the Earl of her own free will, otherwise Damon would be killed. What no one knew was the depravities which she would face once she left as the bride to the handsome and evil Earl of Redmond.
This was a very well written book with just the right blend of mystery and romance to keep one interested. I had trouble putting it down... definitely a gauge to rate this a 5* read!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great debut April 20 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Young, orphaned, Damon is taken in as a ward by the heroine's father and the two grow up together. They become as close as two souls can be and can't fathom the thought of life without the other. Unfortunately, this is medieval times and greedy men rule their daughters, so the two are torn apart and Solange is forced to marry a depraved man or else risk the life of her dear Damon.

After almost a decade of abuse Solange finds the means to escape the hellish man who's kept her prisoner and is reunited with Damon. Because they've both been hurt their reconciliation isn't an easy one and it's a long road before they're able to find bliss because they've got to confront, admit to, and get past their misconceptions and heartache.

I really liked the way the author avoided creating the stereotypical wronged and bitter hero. Damon was a dream hero, he was a lovely blend of contradictions; a powerful warrior and leader but also a tender healer, he was strong but not too strong and arrogant to admit to his love for Solange, even after all of the hell he'd been through. He didn't spend the book denying his feelings and striking out at the heroine. What a breath of fresh air! And I empathized with Solange who was courageous and never let her tortured past overwhelm her. She was abused and understandably scarred and scared but she didn't use her past as an excuse to keep Damon at arms length. Her gradual opening up to Damon's people was real and touching. In a nutshell I liked this book so much because the characters acted like adults who weren't afraid to admit what they felt in their hearts. It was refreshing and I definitely recommend this one, especially if you like strong relationship-based books and terrific character growth.
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3.0 out of 5 stars AN OK BOOK! Dec 1 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read this book and although there was a good story line, the sexual parts were over done. I belive that an author can realate the depth of love between two people without going to such lengths. ..And If you want to read another book that goes straight to your heart, read Stolen Moments by Barbara Jeanne Fisher. . .It is a beautiful story of unrequited love. . .for certain the love story of the nineties. I intended to give the book a quick read, but I got so caught up in the story that I couldn't put the book down. From the very beginning, I was fully caught up in the heart-wrenching account of Julie Hunter's battle with lupus and her growing love for Don Lipton. This love, in the face of Julie's impending death, makes for a story that covers the range of human emotions. The touches of humor are great, too, they add some nice contrast and lighten things a bit when emotions are running high. I've never read a book more deserving of being published. It has rare depth. Julie's story will remind your readers that life and love are precious and not to be taken for granted. It has had an impact on me, and for that I'm grateful. Stolen Moments is written with so much sensitivity that it made me want to cry. It is a spellbinder. What terrific writing. Barbara does have an exceptional gift! This book was edited by Lupus specialist Dr. Matt Morrow too, and has the latest information on that disease. ..A perfect gift for someone who started college late in life, fell in love too late in life, is living with any illness, or trying to understand a loved one who is. . .A gift to be cherished forever.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A book that could have been better. Aug. 23 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A Rose in Winter is a study in contrasts. Good, even brilliant lines of writing stand out like gems amongst an ocean of "telling" and backstory. Every good author, even a new one, should know how to "show" a story, rather than giving us endless pages of interior monologue and reflection. Lines that read like: He "was" in love with her, He "was the world to her" (for example--these aren't direct quotes) just don't ring a whole lot of response chimes within the reader. Principally, this book suffers from an appalling lack of emotion due to these problems. I consistently felt like a third party throughout the novel. When the love scene finally came--not after any particular buildup of sexual tension, by the way--I felt like a voyeur! It was almost embarassing to read. And hey, I'm not shy! I love a good, steamy romance. But only if the sex scenes are the result of heart-pattering, loving passion. These certainly were not that. The book shows nothing more than a cursory familiarity with the medieval era. Indeed, a conversation where one female explains to another that her marriage was "arranged" is laughable. This was news?? In spite of everything, I think this author has a well of potential, if only she'd study her craft some more, and really get inside her characters instead of just parading them before us. Examples of lovely description abound, and lines of glittering beauty promise a greater talent waiting in the wings.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Storytelling
Ms. Abe spins a wonderful world all her own, drawing the reader well into the romance. It's true that reading her stories are like visiting a place you've never been before. Read more
Published on April 6 2000 by M. Noland
4.0 out of 5 stars A nice romance worth reading although somewhat lacking.
I thought that Shana Abe's book was fairly well written. I really like the characters and the general plot, although, I think Abe could have enhanced them. Read more
Published on April 5 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful romance!
Lady Solange of Ironstag and Damon Wolf are childhood companions who, upon pledging their undying love for each other, are cruelly torn apart by the whims of the Marquess of... Read more
Published on Jan. 29 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
Ms. Abe's A Rose in Winter is deep and dark and thoroughly enjoyable. A fabulous example of romance writing at its best.
Published on Jan. 10 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Story
First off, that review below is so inappropriate! What kind of person puts a review of another book on one book's page? I mean, who was that, anyway>? Very strange! Read more
Published on Dec 29 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Keeper!!!
Got this at the RWA conf. What a great surprise! It is _fabulous_. Deep. Thoughtful. Intense characters, veeerrry sexy, real. Read more
Published on Nov. 3 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVED IT!
I have read all three of Shana Abe's books and they are all wonderful. I think this was her first one and it is so touching and deep. Read more
Published on July 3 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome
wonderful story. i could not put it down until i read the last line. this book was written with much more depth than her "Promise of Rain" book which I sold back to the... Read more
Published on Jan. 19 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm in love with this book!
A Rose in Winter is a beautiful love story. I fell in love with Damon and Solange, I couldn't put this book down. Read more
Published on March 10 1998
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