According to David Laurence Wilson's excellent (as usual) intro to the Stark House triple decker that contains Winter Girl, Harry Whittington wrote the novel for Gold Medal. It was rejected, and he put the manuscript away, only to resurrect it and rework it as Taste of Desire one of the soft porn novels he did as "Curt Colman." The Stark House version is as close to the original as we will get. I have the Colman book, but I'm not going to do a comparison.
Winter Girl is one of Whittington's backwoods book, about a good-looking young man named Calder, who trains a bird dog that's coveted by the man (Berlinger) his father works for. I'm not going to kid you -- bad things happen to the dog, so consider yourself warned. Calder gets involved with Berlinger's daughter, who's rich and wild, and he can't seem to learn that true love doesn't fit in her plans. He'd be much better off with another girl, Willi Ruth, but he's too stubborn and proud to see that. At first, anyway, and that leads him into a lot of trouble.
Wilson says if Winter Girl isn't Whittington's best book, "he never wrote a better one." High praise, indeed.