Estimated read time: 5 min read

One Sentence Summary

A young woman finds unexpected love when she is forced into a marriage of convenience with a brooding earl.


In the historical romance novel "A Rose in Winter" by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, readers are transported to the enchanting world of medieval England. With her signature blend of passion, adventure, and captivating storytelling, Woodiwiss weaves a tale that will keep readers hooked from beginning to end. Set against a backdrop of political intrigue, societal expectations, and a love that defies all odds, "A Rose in Winter" is a timeless story of love, redemption, and the power of the human spirit.

Brief Synopsis

The story of "A Rose in Winter" takes place in medieval England during the reign of King Stephen. Lady Erienne Fleming, a beautiful and spirited young woman, finds herself trapped in a loveless marriage to the cruel and manipulative Lord Saxton. Erienne's only solace comes from her love of animals and her secret friendship with her childhood companion, Christopher Seton.

As Lord Saxton's health deteriorates, he devises a plan to secure his wealth and power by forcing Erienne into a second marriage with a wealthy nobleman. However, fate intervenes when Erienne's path crosses with Lord Saxton's long-lost son, Lord Saxton (aka Christopher Seton). A fierce and passionate love blossoms between Erienne and Christopher, but they must navigate treacherous waters to be together.

Main Characters

Lady Erienne FlemingA beautiful and spirited young woman trapped in a loveless marriage.
Lord SaxtonErienne's cruel and manipulative husband.
Christopher SetonErienne's childhood companion and Lord Saxton's long-lost son. A nobleman with a mysterious past.

Summary of Story Points

Chapter 1-5: The story begins with the introduction of Lady Erienne Fleming and her miserable marriage to Lord Saxton. Erienne finds solace in her love for animals and her secret friendship with Christopher Seton.

Chapter 6-10: Lord Saxton's health deteriorates, and he devises a plan to secure his wealth and power by forcing Erienne into a second marriage. Erienne's path crosses with Christopher Seton, Lord Saxton's long-lost son, and a passionate love develops between them.

Chapter 11-15: Erienne and Christopher face numerous obstacles and challenges as they try to be together. They must navigate political intrigue, societal expectations, and the wrath of Lord Saxton to find happiness.

Chapter 16-20: Erienne and Christopher's love is put to the ultimate test as they struggle to overcome the forces that seek to tear them apart. They must make difficult choices and sacrifices to be together.

Main Events

  1. Lady Erienne Fleming's loveless marriage to Lord Saxton.
  2. Lord Saxton's deteriorating health and his plan to secure his wealth and power.
  3. Erienne's path crossing with Christopher Seton, Lord Saxton's long-lost son.
  4. The passionate love that develops between Erienne and Christopher.
  5. The obstacles and challenges they face to be together, including political intrigue and societal expectations.
  6. The ultimate test of their love as they confront the forces that seek to tear them apart.
  7. Difficult choices and sacrifices made by Erienne and Christopher to find happiness.

Themes and Insights

Love and Redemption: The novel explores the transformative power of love and the ability to find redemption through genuine connections. Erienne and Christopher's love for each other inspires them to overcome their pasts and strive for a better future.

Societal Expectations: Woodiwiss delves into the constraints of societal expectations and the limitations they place on individual freedom and happiness. Erienne's struggle to break free from the expectations placed upon her as a noblewoman is a central theme throughout the book.

Power and Manipulation: The novel explores the abuse of power and manipulation, particularly through the character of Lord Saxton. Woodiwiss sheds light on the devastating consequences of such behavior and the strength required to rise above it.

Forgiveness and Healing: The theme of forgiveness and healing is woven throughout the story. Characters must confront their pasts, confront their mistakes, and find the strength to forgive themselves and others in order to move forward.

Reader's Takeaway

"A Rose in Winter" is a captivating historical romance novel that transports readers to a world of love, passion, and redemption. Woodiwiss's vivid storytelling and well-developed characters keep readers engaged from start to finish. The themes of love, societal expectations, power, and forgiveness resonate with readers, leaving them with a sense of hope and a belief in the transformative power of love.


In "A Rose in Winter," Kathleen E. Woodiwiss creates a compelling tale of love and redemption set in medieval England. Through complex characters, intricate plots, and themes that resonate with readers, Woodiwiss crafts a story that stands the test of time. Whether you are a fan of historical romance or simply love a well-crafted tale, "A Rose in Winter" is sure to captivate and entertain.

A Rose in Winter FAQ

  1. What is the genre of 'A Rose in Winter'?

    The genre of 'A Rose in Winter' is historical romance.

  2. Who is the author of 'A Rose in Winter'?

    The author of 'A Rose in Winter' is Kathleen E. Woodiwiss.

  3. When was 'A Rose in Winter' first published?

    'A Rose in Winter' was first published in 1982.

  4. What is the setting of 'A Rose in Winter'?

    The story is set in medieval England.

  5. Who are the main characters in 'A Rose in Winter'?

    The main characters are Erienne Fleming and Christopher Seton.

  6. What is the plot of 'A Rose in Winter'?

    The story follows Erienne Fleming, a beautiful and spirited young woman who is forced into marriage by her father. She is wedded to Lord Saxton, a scarred and mysterious man. As Erienne struggles to find happiness in her loveless marriage, she becomes torn between the affections of her husband and Christopher Seton, a nobleman who seems to hold the key to her heart's desire.

  7. Is 'A Rose in Winter' a standalone novel or part of a series?

    'A Rose in Winter' is a standalone novel.

  8. Is 'A Rose in Winter' suitable for young adult readers?

    While 'A Rose in Winter' is a romance novel, it contains adult themes and is generally recommended for mature readers.

  9. Has 'A Rose in Winter' won any awards?

    As of now, 'A Rose in Winter' has not won any major awards.

  10. Is there a movie adaptation of 'A Rose in Winter'?

    No, there is no movie adaptation of 'A Rose in Winter' at this time.