The Last of the Winter Roses is the re-release of Jeanne Saveryís debut release. It shows.
Lady Ardith managed to avoid St. John Worth, the Marquis of Rohampton, for years. Only to be stranded at his estate during a snowstorm. St. John is well pleased to have her finally under his roof and sets out to convince her sheís the only woman heís ever loved. She wonít believe him and forbids him to pay her any compliments.
I do like Jeanne Saveryís books, but this one just didnít work. Sure, in Lady Ardith she presents a heroine admirable for her resourcefulness and her care for others. She owns and runs her own estate. Shame that she is so insecure in her beauty and her skills, insecure enough to have turned down St. Johnís marriage proposal years ago. The circumstances might have been off, but to shun him for years because of a misunderstanding is not a character trait I like. And itís not a very compelling story thread either. After all, who wouldnít fall in love with St. John? Heís a wonderful hero. A man willing to wait a lifetime to marry the woman he loves. Although why he did wait so long makes no sense. Why couldnít he have searched her out before? They are neighbors and heíd had her family on his site.
One misunderstanding just isnít enough to keep a reader interested. Especially when the hero and heroine spend most of the book apart. The reader learns more about Lady Ardithís family than her relationship with St. John. Add to that a mystery plot thread, which is resolved too easily to allow for any suspense and one should only read The Last of the Winter Roses to appreciate how much the author has grown. How much her talents and skills as a writer have improved over the years. And still it makes no sense to release the book without a fair warning to the reader. It canít be in the authorís interest for an uninformed reader to believe that this wonderful and talented author has not more to offer than this not very well-written story.