Jewel of Winter

Kirsten S.

VICTORIAN:  Jess is a widow running a country inn with the help of her sister when a trio of noblemen trots in the door evading a search party. She soon learns the handsome Lord is a thief.  Jess is forced into pretending to be his wife, and gets even by stealing from the arrogant gentleman thief. When she won’t reveal the hiding place of the bounty, Jess is taken hostage and whisked away to London by Edmund. Treated like a lady, she’s wooed by his courtly manners and ignores his rough edges. It’s all new and exciting to Jess until Edmund desires her body as well as her presence.


“Jewel of Winter” opens with a hook and interesting characters. The first doorway which vaults Jess into the plot is weak and doesn’t really compute. She maintains she loves her inn, but instead of returning the jewels, she allows Edmund to toss her into a carriage and whisk her away to London. Questions arise as to his intentions, and why he’s stolen the jewels, and these are never explained. This is the first book in a series, but too many plot points are left hanging at the end. The hero and heroine are charismatic, and the settings are placed nicely throughout the story, but it’s not very clear as to what time period the tale occurs. The dialogue is written for the most part as contemporary, not Victorian, but the sizzle between Edmund and Jesse ignites and keeps the pages turning.


Sloane Austen