Winter Garden

Winter Garden

3.9 21
by Adele Ashworth

View All Available Formats & Editions

“Exquisitely written and brimming with emotion.”
—Julia Quinn

“Adele Ashworth is certain to become one of romance’s most beloved writers.”
—Lisa Kleypas

Adele Ashworth’s Winter Garden is a stunning historical romance classic reborn. The story of a beautiful French woman, a spy for the


“Exquisitely written and brimming with emotion.”
—Julia Quinn

“Adele Ashworth is certain to become one of romance’s most beloved writers.”
—Lisa Kleypas

Adele Ashworth’s Winter Garden is a stunning historical romance classic reborn. The story of a beautiful French woman, a spy for the British government, partnered with a breathtaking, intensely passionate man of mystery on perilous assignment in the south of England, Winter Garden is an early gem from RITA® Award winner Ashworth. A wonderfully creative love story filled with unforgettable characters and brimming with palpable sexual tension, Winter Garden is the romantic destination where true romance lovers—especially Ashworth’s many fans and admirers of the novels of Cathy Maxwell, Christina Dodd, and Lisa Kleypas—are going to want to spend quality time.

Editorial Reviews

Tina Engler
The task of summarizing the plot of Winter Garden is not an easy one. Usually when this is the case, it's because the novel in question has no plot to speak of, or a very weak and jumbled one at best. Reverse that observation in the extreme for Winter Garden. Adele Ashford has woven together a storyline so intricate and powerful, that it is difficult to give readers very many descriptions of it without giving away too much. Keeping that in mind, let me attempt to summarize the plot of Winter Garden.

Thomas Blackwood is an agent for the English government who has gone to the village of Winter Garden to bring to justice a nobly born gentleman dealing illegally in the opium trade. It is easy for Thomas to blend in with the Winter Garden locals without bringing undue attention to himself because he's known to them as a recluse and a scholar...a role that comes readily to him since he truly is both of those things.

Thomas has lived alone for years. He has isolated himself both physically and emotionally from the rest of society and has no one in his life that he is close to, save a son who is studying abroad. He wishes, however, that his fate were different. And from the first moment he laid eyes on Madeleine DuMais, he knows with all certainty where his destiny lay...

Madeleine DuMais is a French-born woman of lowly birth who was fathered illegitimately by an Englishman. She carries many deep, unhealed emotional scars as testament to her horrid childhood. Nevertheless, Madeleine has managed to carve out a place for herself in gentle society. To the French aristocracy, Madeleine is known merely as a celebrated beauty; to a select group of English government officials, she is known as one of Britain's most revered spies. Because of her gender, Madeleine is able to glean information in ways that are socially impossible for a gentleman in the mid 1800s to do. So when she is called from France to Winter Garden in England to aid in the capturing of an opium smuggler, she is prepared to give her all. What she isn't prepared for, however, is the giving away of her heart to a mysterious, reclusive man who makes her feel emotions she'd thought long dead...

Winter Garden is a sensuous, erotic and emotional tale that will leave readers fanning themselves one minute and reaching for a tissue the next. The sensuality level of this novel is very high and expertly woven throughout, while its erotic atmosphere is achieved through both character dialogue and (explicit) love scenes. The emotional intensity between the hero and the heroine only heightens the effect.

Although the plot itself is extremely engaging, the storyline's true power emulates from Adele Ashworth's character development. The author has penned a hero who, for lack of a better description, simply takes your breath away. You feel for him, root for him, and even cry for him. The heroine is just as intricately crafted and just as able to draw out your emotions. She's a woman readers can relate to, much more readily than the innocent, doe-eyed virgins most historicals are centered around.

Winter Garden is not a book to skim through during a time when you're anticipating possible interruptions; it's a novel to absorb yourself in while left in solitude. Although I haven't yet read this book's predecessor Stolen Charms, I definitely plan to pick up a copy of it this weekend. If it's even half as good as Winter Garden, it will be an enjoyable weekend indeed.
The Romance Reader

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Winter Garden Series , #2
Sold by:
Sales rank:
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

I've always loved to write, but after my first attempt at a novel (nine chapters of Plastic City, the story of underwater-dwelling orphans in the twenty-third century that I wrotein the sixth grade), I took some time to get my bachelor'sdegree and to try my hand at other careers before I returnedto my first passion: creative writing. After lots and lots of perseverance, hard work, and a bit of very good luck, My Darling Caroline went on to win the Romance Writers of America's RITA® Award for Best First Book of 1998.

I live in Texas with my family, exploring history as Idelve into the hearts of my characters.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Winter Garden 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read! Highly recommend. Couldn't put it down!
vanessasgram More than 1 year ago
This book must have taken a lot of diagraming and charts to keep track of everyone and all the events! BUT the result was incredible. I don't want to spoil it for you but the mystery, the "growing" of the main character who couldn't trust love and the hero that any woman could/would love--how great a read was this! Enjoy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was the sweetest book I have read in a long time! Unconditional love on every level. Great lesson for all of us! The book is truely of unconditional love! Love, Love, Loved it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Perfect combination of mystery, intrigue, and passion. Well crafted, hard to say for most romance novels, and well written.
harstan More than 1 year ago
For the past seven years, the French born Madeleine DuMais has spied for the English, helping them smash smuggling rings. However, for the first time, her superior asks Madeleine to use her skills to help stop a smuggling operation in England. Madeleine travels from her home in Marseilles, stopping in London, where she receives brief instructions from her employer. Madeleine continues her travels stopping at Winter Garden to begin her inquiries.

Thomas Blackwood suffered a crippling injury during the Opium Wars. He has been in Winter Garden for several weeks. He is Madeleine¿s partner trying to uncover the identity of the aristocrat stealing and selling opium, an expensive but legal drug. The two prime suspects are Lady Childress and Baron of Rothebury. As Madeleine and Thomas work in close proximity on their investigation, they fall in love with one another.

WINTER GARDENS is an exciting Victorian romance starring two charming lead protagonists. The story line reads like a combination historical mystery and romance that fully entertains the audience. Fans will understand why awesome Adele Ashworth is a RITA winner even as they search for her two previous novels (see MY DARLING CAROLINE and STOLEN CHARMS).

Harriet Klausner

2_PMVH More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed STOLEN CHARM and I wanted to read Madeleine's story. I just could not get past all the explaining and explaining everything. To much information. Thomas was an interesting character. His is a wounded ex-soldier and I pushed further into the story for him. I have enjoyed the rest of the Winter Garden series thou.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Her best
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DidYouSmellIt More than 1 year ago
A bit on the drawn out side, and the secondary plot lacked substance at times, but a good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All the way thru, I snarled at anyone who interrupted me. I didn't want to put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this book. I love the way Ashworth, ties in the whole trying to find out who is smuggling opium with the characters lovelorn for one another. I couldn't put it down and caught myself reading it at work, which as you know if i did this, it has to be good. So go out and get it and i know it will be worth the money. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought it because it was cheap and I wanted to explore the less expensive eBooks. It's the first book I haven't finished in many years. I forced myself to read half-way through before I gave up. The characters were two-dimensional and never engaged me. The mystery likewise was not engaging. Most romances I expect a plot of some sort to frame the characters. In this book, the sexual tension between characters framed the plot. A primary rule of writing is to show, not tell, to engage the reader's interest. I think there was more tell and less show.