Title: Southern Rose
Author: Mary Winter
Publisher: Pink Petal Books
Buy Link: Buy Southern Rose Here!
Rating: You Need to Read
Reviewer: Nerine Dorman
When Agnes' husband is killed in action during the Civil War, she's forced to reveal not only her sham marriage, but also her past and her feelings for her housemate Rose.
Rose is not the shy Southern flower Agnes believes her to be. She has to show Agnes how to act like a "proper" window, and the true extent of her feelings.
From the start Southern Rose swept me away and immersed me in Agnes’s and Rose’s world. Mary Winter has done a beautiful job illustrating the forbidden love felt by two women in an era where women were dominated in a largely patriarchal society.
Agnes has lived a full and somewhat scarlet past as a brothel owner and prostitute, and engaged in a marriage of convenience to a man who “preferred the colts to the fillies” as the Mary puts it. With her man away fighting in a war, Agnes is free to pursue the security offered by a respectable life as a seamstress as she enjoys the fruits of her labors. She can’t, however, escape that nagging sense of loneliness an empty bed brings. She misses the love offered by both men and women.
Rose tasted love with her best friend, Naomi, but society dictated that each marry, and they were separated. Although Rose’s husband had been understanding of her past, and love grew between them, he died tragically of an illness and left her a young widow. When Rose’s brother went further west, seeking his fortune, it seemed a good solution for Rose to take lodgings with Agnes, and take up a post as schoolmistress in their small town.
The two women drawn comfort from each other in their loneliness but it’s apparent very early on in the story that a simmering sexual tension likes just beneath the surface. Watching the two ladies give in to this mutual attraction is a real treat, the heat slowly ratcheting up, making Southern Rose a worthy addition to an erotica collection. Yes, it’s a quick read but hell, it made my breath catch in my throat.