When India Selwyn Jones graduates from medical school and sets off for her first job in a Whitechapel clinic, she is full of ideas on how to educate London's poorest inhabitants to the dangers of malnutrition and poor hygiene, saving them from their own ignorance. When the rough and dashing Sid Malone - head of 'The Firm' and London's biggest criminal - becomes one of her patients, he begins to open her eyes to the realities of life in the East End, and how her simple ideas hold no water against the kind of grinding poverty that her clients face. India is torn in two, for she is engaged to the handsome, ambitious MP Freddy Lytton, and now the criminal Sid Malone has stolen her heart. But Freddy is very possessive when it comes to what he considers his, and will go to any length to keep India.
Sid Malone, however, is not all that he seems, for he has a hidden past, and a family that desperately wants him back. His sister Fiona Bristow, a successful business woman and happily married to her childhood sweetheart Joe, hires a private detective in a bid to win her brother back, and to get him away from a life of crime. But as she gets nearer to his world, the ugliness of it breaks into her own, dragging her family and her marriage into dreadful danger.
Just when it looks as though Sid might have a way out, and a chance at happiness with India, things go terribly, terribly wrong. The Winter Rose, second instalment of Jennifer Donnelly's acclaimed romance trilogy, is full of love, lust, and longing.
Jennifer Donnelly lives near New York. Her first book, A Gathering Light, won the Carnegie Medal and was one of the first Richard and Judy TV Book Club selected books.