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“Charlotte stood mesmerised. The piece was beautiful, not only sexual but conveying the deep love the man felt for this woman and the growing child in her belly. A tear slid silently down her cheek as she stared at the sculpture. She felt starkly alone for a moment, and then tensed as she felt Daniel move behind her.”
When Charlotte Ranleigh first laid eyes on Daniel Winterflood she was unprepared for the instantaneous jolt of lust that ran through her. Only a year had passed since the sudden death of her husband and since that terrible day, the beautiful and talented young widow had been in self-imposed exile at her marital estate in the Southern Highlands, trying to make sense of her loss and blaming herself for the part she’d played in it.
There were many things Charlotte believed were beyond her now – a happy, lasting marriage, children, and her dream of starting an art school at Ranleigh Park. Certainly, she’d never believed she’d desire anyone again, especially not the playboy art-dealer she’d only just met…
“Her hand was tiny but her grip was firm and he held it for as long as it took to deliver the best knockout million dollar smile he could muster. God, how was he going to keep his promise after her overwhelming onslaught of all his senses?”
Anna – April 5, 2016:
I’ve never really been one for the romance genre. It’s not to say I don’t like romance novels, it’s more that I’d never really found one that filled me with an urge to read more. Granted, until last year I had only ever read four romance novels, three of them being the Fifty Shades series, the other was a novel by Rachel Gibson, a book so bland I can remember neither the title nor the story.
It wasn’t until I read Winterflood’s Passion, the first novel by Diana Thompson, that I actually found a romance novel that I enjoyed. When I read the novel for the first time, what struck me the most was Diana’s ability to create such vivid imagery. Winterflood’s Passion is set in the Southern Highlands, a veritable cornucopia of scenery porn. Diana harnesses the natural Australian beauty of the Highlands and uses her beautifully emotive and rich descriptions to pull the reader deep into her story. Those of you who have read Fifty Shades of Grey will attest that artful descriptions of scenery were the farthest thing from E.L James’ mind when she wrote the series. It’s safe to say that Diana’s well-rounded approach to romance novel writing was a welcome surprise when I began reading. I think, like most of us who are unfamiliar with the romance genre, I had constructed an idea of what the novel would be in my head before I even picked up the book. I naively believed that all Romance had to follow that cringe-worthy mould of awkward sexual encounters and the over-use of the term ‘throbbing member’, but Diana’s novel surpassed all expectation.
For me, one of the most interesting aspects of this novel was the development of the protagonist, Charlotte Ranleigh. Charlotte is a young widow who is living in self-imposed exile in her marital estate in the Southern Highlands. Life for Charlotte has fallen into a rut after the unexpected death of her husband, Michael, one year earlier. After Michael’s death, Charlotte is overcome with guilt over their last parting. She closes herself off from everything around her, giving up her dreams of owning an art-school, punishing herself for something which was out of her control.
It’s not until Charlotte is introduced to the playboy, art-dealer Daniel Winterflood, that her life begins to blossom again. When Daniel enters the picture Charlotte is given the motivation to start living again. She begins painting once more, and slowly starts to return to her former self. To me, this book was as much about Charlotte’s personal development as it was about the love story between her and Daniel. Diana created an amazingly real and relatable character through her development of Charlotte. It’s almost impossible to not love Charlotte, and through the book I found myself sharing her joy as she began to rebuild her life.
I have never thought of myself as a romance reader, but after reading Winterflood’s Passion (and having a sneaky read of Diana’s next novel, a book which follows the story of the dreamy vet Nick Delaney) my mind has been changed. I can truly say that a love story has never interested me quite like this one, and I think that has to be attributed to the copious amount of thought and time that went into Diana’s first novel. Each character is so sincere and realistic, and you can really see the love and effort that Diana has put in to developing such intriguing and individual characters.
Winterflood’s Passion is a truly unique and beautiful novel that offered me a new perspective of the Romance genre.
Candace Chidiac – May 17, 2016:
Winterflood’s Passion is a unique romance novel. It’s rare to find a romance book that establishes its characters well and leads to a well-developed relationship – with a lot of well written sex. Many romance novels launch straight into the hot and steamy without any thought to their characters, or some have so much focus on the emotional that the physical is barely touched on (forgive the pun). Diana Thompson’s novel defies these types of novels with a well-balanced romance with intriguing characters, strong plot line and exciting scenes that have you violently flipping the pages. This is definitely worth the read if you’re looking for it all – love, sex, complexity – all set in the beautiful Southern Highlands in Australia.
Not that bad