All submissions in these formats please: .pdf , Kindle, or print copy. If in print copy, I would appreciate it if the book was autographed by the author. I am not doing books that have a deadline at this time, unless the author wants to use my review to appear on the book itself. Please send all requests to: . If sending through snail mail, email me for my home address. Thank you!

November 12, 2011

Roses in Winter by Leslie Stuart

~~  Forever isn't long enough... not for their love ~~

 “Come over here, Riley. We’re adults. Let’s talk.” But that burly furious man just stood there, as far away as humanly possible, for a full five minutes. She counted. She had become good at counting precious seconds.
       “Talk?” He finally spat, “you left me Savannah! You walked away and never looked back! I didn’t exist anymore. Not to you! We have nothing to discuss!”
       “I’m sorry. For everything. Really I am.”
       Breathing slow and deep to keep from crying, she leaned weakly against the oak headboard that Riley had once lovingly hand carved with trailing ivy and their initials, underscored by the mantra they lived by since childhood:
        "Forever Isn’t Long Enough"
        Words he’d etched into her heart.
        Four years older, Riley worked at Graystone afterschool and weekends since he was fourteen. Savannah was a pesky little heathen running wild; ignored by parents, and too high strung to politely play with guest children. She clattered and pestered, following Riley around, making his workload seem lighter.
        That’s when it began. She was ten. He was fourteen. They fed horses and smiled. They raked leaves and laughed. They washed dishes and shared secrets. 

In truth, romance blossomed years earlier. Their mothers were friends and when Riley first saw that tiny baby with lush dark chocolate hair, unique violet-blue eyes, and pouty rosebud lips, he boldly proclaimed that someday he would marry Savannah.
        He meant it. Savannah only had one boyfriend. Riley. Ever. No other boys even tried.
        She was claimed at birth. No man dared challenge Riley Rosemont for what was rightfully his. But he gave her plenty of time for innocence. Although they loved each other fiercely, Riley never even kissed her until the summer she turned fifteen. He was nineteen, becoming a man, but he wisely didn’t take things any further for another two years.
        He was her first, in every way possible. Savannah liked to think she was his first, too. Riley was her truest friend. He always solemnly swore that someday, when they were old enough for adult commitments, she’d become Savannah Janine Rosemont.
It had a nice sound. Soothing. Hopeful. Like walking through a sun-drenched wildflower meadow with a gentle verdant breeze tenderly stirring the sublime scent of wild roses.
       Mountains of roses. Red roses gleaming in the golden sunlight.
       She loved Riley her entire life.
       Then one day, Savannah just couldn’t anymore. 
My Review:

Roses in Winter
Leslie D. Stuart

I have fallen absolutely in love with this wonderful masterpiece by Leslie Stuart! Roses in Winter takes you on a journey between two people who were destined to be together since birth. The day Savannah was born, Riley knew he was going to marry her, being a few years older than her. Their journey is not an easy one, filled with love, passion, grief, anger, and inner soul turmoil each feeling blame for different things that have happened in their lives. But fate works in mysterious ways, and when all is said and done, fate and destiny usually win over all obstacles life can put in your path.

It was very hard to put this book down and I truly enjoyed putting myself into the story as a third person, standing in the shadows, just out of sight as their lives played out. I could feel the pain and anguish they dealt with in light of a tragedy they both had to live and deal with in their own way.

I hope to be able to read more work by Leslie and I highly recommend this book and give it five stars *****

Reviewed by
Nora Chipley Barteau

About the author, taken from her site

I live in Tucson, Arizona with my husband, son, three spoiled cats, and a bird who likes to watch TV. I also have a step-son and step-daughter who live nearby and our family was recently blessed with a beautiful smiling granddaughter! :-)
       I moved frequently as a child and saw amazing places. I've lived in Oregon, Montana, Minnesota, and several locations in Arizona. While married, we also lived in Monterey, California. (Loved it!!) 

       Many of my books are fictional twists of real places I've visited.
       I LOVE ROSES :-) 

       I grow them, share them, and collect beautiful pictures. Our house is surrounded by 100+ rose bushes; all highly fragrant and thriving, in colors ranging from buttery yellow, delicate pink, vibrant orange, rare purple, and of course deep red.
       When I'm not  writing the Destiny Whispers Collection, I enjoy hiking in the mountains, exploring new places, and walking beside the sea. 

       My favorite beach is Silver Strand on Coronado Island, California. My favorite mountain is Mt. Hood in Oregon, and my favorite city is Boston.

       I believe in the power of love. Love changes lives. People are not perfect. We make mistakes, choose unwisely, and we suffer the consequences. But real love picks us up when we are down, dusts us off, and set us on the right path again. 

       I am grateful to be married to a wonderful man; my best friend. We do everything together. We love to travel and explore new places together. We share so many beautiful memories. Even ordinary days feel special when spent with someone who knows you by heart. After 13+ years of marriage, we are closer now than I ever dreamed possible! 
       Love is a gift that I truly cherish.
       I began writing the Destiny Whispers Collection after developing the autoimmune disease, Lupus. What a life changer! Fortunately, I'm in remission now and I live a fairly normal life. (No more suntans for me! LOL) 

       Your health is a gift we often taken for granted. Every day I take handfuls of vitamins, faithfully take my prescriptions, and focus on staying positive and strong. Lupus was awful, so painful, mentally and physically debilitating. But as I gained control over the symptoms, I gained new emotional clarity. I saw life differently. 
       Lupus changed me as a person. I am a better woman today, because I was forced to stop and re-evaluate life. I discovered how strong my spirit can be. I learned humility and gratitude, appreciation for little joys, and discovered first-hand that my attitude makes all the difference. I can make today beautiful, or awful. 
       I choose to make this moment beautiful :-)
       Life deserves and exclamation point!!! (Yeah, I know... not proper literary form...) 
       But <!!!> I think proper is for my book pages and :-) & !!! is for REALITY.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you sooo much for reviewing my book, Nora! Your honest opinion is priceless. I am thrilled that you loved it! Another 5-star review! WhooHoo! I am adding your review to my website, so everyone can see how much you loved it :-)

    "Roses in Winter" is written from the heart. Riley & Savannah's journey through heartache and loss to embracing their powerful love, then overcoming adversity to move forward in life together made me cry as often as I smiled. But its a triumphant journey, one that makes you believe in happily-ever-after.

    I love Riley and Savannah. To me, they are extraordinary people. I hope when readers close that last page, they sigh and smile, feeling they've shared something special with two new friends. Then... I hope they loved "Roses in Winter" so much, they read it again!

    Best Wishes to you always for Health, Happiness, Success, and of course... LOVE!!

    Leslie D. Stuart, Author