by Jess Michaels
Published on July 12, 2016 by The Passionate Pen
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance, Romance
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Widow Rosalinde Wilde is on her way to her beloved sister’s wedding when an unexpected storm waylays her at an overcrowded inn. There she meets a tempting stranger who sweeps her into a night of unforgettable passion.
Grayson Danford never expected a night with the irresistible Mrs. Wilde, but she was a welcome distraction from the unpleasant duty of breaking up his brother’s impending nuptials. He’s shocked when he discovers his passionate lover is none other than the sister of his brother's intended.
Now Rosalinde and Gray will butt heads, even as their simmering desire for each other threatens to boil over. Who will win? And who might lose it all?
I began reading An Affair in Winter by starting the sequel.
Yes, I promise that makes sense. You see, I went to read the sequel which is described as a standalone but part of an overall series. I’ve read many romances like that before so didn’t really think anything of it until I started into that first chapter and realized that I was missing quite a bit from the first book.
So here we are.
An Affair in Winter has a little bit of insta-love going on mixed with deception and intrigue. Rosalinde’s on her way to where her sister is to be married when she’s forced to stay at an inn. Enter Gray who instantly notices her and feels a deep attraction. Cue what they thought was one night turned into their siblings engaged to be married. Late night encounters. Plenty of sex (yeah, this book went a bit heavy on that front). Happy ending.
I actually quite enjoyed this book. The plot itself involves more than just the main characters and they change throughout. The focus of the story isn’t, in fact, either of their problems but that of their siblings as they move closer to a loveless wedding. Both Rosalinde and Gray have a fierce love for their families and are willing to do whatever it takes to ensure their siblings’ happiness. I liked that each was on a different side of the wedding — one for, one against — and that it changed as they learned more about the other.
Rosalinde was the perfect lady, a widow from a loveless marriage herself who never knew anything more than her husband’s and grandfather’s cruelty. Gray had a slightly better past but watched both his siblings suffer and it took a toll.
Now this is a romance and these two had instant chemistry. Instant. Like, she walked into the room and he just knew he had to have her. Of all the aspects of this novel, the lusting from the first chapter was a bit of a turn-off that didn’t really go away. As the story progressed, it became watered down with true emotions and not just bodily lust but that took about half the book.
I just don’t think she quite sold the romance. Lust doesn’t equate to love and it was rare that they interacted without it involving some sort of explicit action. I wanted to see how they behaved when the physicality was taken out of the equation. I knew that Rosalinde cared for her sister and hated her grandfather, but you never really saw her developing love for Gray which seemed like the entire point of the story…. The same can be said about Gray which left their relationship somewhat lacking.
As a whole, I thought this was a good read though not the best I’ve read by any means. There’s definitely set-up for the sequel (which I’d already started into so not sure if I spoiled that particular bit for myself or not). I’ll be interested to see what part this book’s events play in A Spring Deception which centers around Celia, Rosalinde’s sister and one of the secondary characters of this novel.