Historical Romance Review: Winter’s Heat by Denise Domning

Winter's Heat Rating: two-half-stars
Published: 1993
Illustrator: John Ennis
Book Series: The Graistan Chronicles #1
Genres: Historical Romance, Medieval Romance
Pages: 384
Format: eBook, Paperback
Buy on: Amazon
Historical Romance Review: Winter’s Heat by Denise Domning

Synopsis:

Her years in a nunnery taught Rowena of Benfield many things, but not how to be a wife to the powerful lord who claimed her as his bride. She vows never to submit to this aloof and ruthless man who claims her.

Rannulf of Graistan has been a woman’s fool once before and has sworn to never be again, but he cannot refuse the rich estate that this marriage brings him.

But a tide of treachery is rising around them and their only hope lays in daring to trust and to love unconditionally.

WINTER’S HEAT

Reviewed by: Introvert Reader

SPOILER-FREE REVIEW 🙂

“It may be that you will find my manner too straightforward for your tastes, but, my lord, it is just that – my manner. Would that I die before I give up that part of me.”

WINTER’S HEAT

The Book

A medieval romance that takes medieval life seriously is usually one I enjoy, but Denise Domning’s Winter’s Heat fell a bit flat for me.

The Plot

Rowena is forced into marriage with Lord Rannulf of Graistan. After a quick consummation, Rannulf leaves Rowena at his castle to deal with his surly servants, evil sister-in-law, Maeve, and his young son.

After I was more than 30% into the book, I realized that the hero was nowhere to be found. Strangely enough, I was ok with that. I enjoyed reading about Rowena’s attempts to turn Rannulf’s pigsty into a livable home.

Unfortunately once Rannulf re-enters the picture, the book doesn’t get better. Rannulf mistrusts his capable wife and only believes Maeve’s ridiculous lies. Winter’s Heat reminded me of the worst of the worst of Johanna Lindsey’s romances. The ones where we see the hero and heroine bickering for no real reason, refusing to engage in basic communication, and making lots of love even though they hate each other.

Final Analysis of Winter’s Heat

As this was Domning’s first book, I’m willing to forgive the unsatisfying romance and read on to the next book in the Graistan series, as I did appreciate the historical authenticity. Hopefully, the characterization and romance are better handled in her later works.

2.5 Stars

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