The Last of the Winter Roses
by Jeanne Savery
Lady Ardith Winter is tall and dark; an ugly duckling amongst her smaller, blonde sisters. Each of her sisters has wed but Ardith has remained single, living independently with her aunt as a companion. After the birth of yet another granddaughter, her father offer his sons-in-law ten thousand pounds for a son. Disgusted, Ardith heads for home, knowing that if she doesn't, she knows she will argue with her father over his insensitivity. Unfortunately, they are caught by a snow storm and forced to take shelter at Rohampton Park. One can only hope that the owner will not be present.
St. John Worth, Marquess of Rohampton is indeed home, which puts Ardith in the position of speaking to the man for the first time since he humiliated her during her Season. As they spend time together, St. John dares to approach her again. He hadn't set out to humiliate her with his offer of marriage all those years ago. He has always loved Ardith and this more mature Ardith is even more alluring.
The courtship is anything but smooth since Ardith doesn't have any confidence in her beauty, and her family creates problems that will drive Ardith to the point of insanity. More and more, she finds herself drawn to St. John to help her deal with all these issues, depending on him to help her through the hard times.
This is a re-issue of a Walker hardcover and is the best Savery title I've ever read. I loved the characters of Ardith and St. John. It was a pleasure to see St. John deal with Ardith's father and his boorish behavior.
“Ardith will need a lot of convincing that she can attract the attention of an attractive man. ”
December 2004, 224 pages
Lady Ardith had sworn that she would never again set foot in the Marquis of Rohampton's abode. Then she found herself caught, miles from home, in a blinding snowstorm. Taking refuge at Rohampton Park was her only choice. But being stranded with the man whose long-ago betrayal still stings is bound to unleash all sorts of tempests. Obviously, the thing to do is to declare a truce. Yet Ardith soon discovers that maintaining a polite distance is easier said than done. If only St. John weren't so attractive. If only he didn't provoke in her the oddest yearnings. If only she knew a way to safeguard her heart… Wealthy, and rakishly handsome, St. John Worth, the Marquis of Rohampton, could have his pick of women, but only one has ever truly held his interest. Spirited, headstrong, delightful Ardith refuses to believe his professions of love are sincere. He knows that growing up in the shadow of The Winter Roses, as her three lovely sisters were proclaimed, has left her feeling she's the ugly duckling. So what's a man to do? Seize every opportunity, including inclement weather, to show Ardith just how tantalizing he finds her. Yet will it be enough to convince the lady that she is everything he's ever wanted in a woman…and more?