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3.1 out of 5 stars
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3.1 out of 5 stars
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on 28 January 2003
I have read almost all of mrs woodiwiss`s books, with the exception of The elusive flame. Having read other reviews, I felt a strong need to add my own views. I would agree this is not her best, however, I feel it to be as good as her others.
It is somewhat different in the sense that the main characters dont fight and bicker before ending up together, but I personally found this quite refreshing. The passion was still there, without the harshness. The characters were very likeable, and I felt the book moved at a fluid exciting pace. Woodiwiss is one of the few romance authors I read, not being a fan of wishy washy romance, her writing is detailed, intelligent and often exciting.
Being a fan of shakespeare, marlowe etc, I find her verbal representation, very true to those historical times. I understand not everyone can appreciate this, in which case, they shouldn`t really be reading her books, M&B would probably be more suitable.
The appearance of the beauchamps in this book was heartwarming. I think interconnecting characters and sequels are a positive way forward for this author.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
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on 4 December 1997
Twenty-five years ago I was given The Flame and The Flower by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss...and I fell in love !!Such descriptive writing..you could almost be there. Each successive book was eagerly awaited, and Ms. Woodiwiss became my scale upon which all other authors were compared.Her new book, Petals on the River, has renewed my faith in this authors writing. She is back, and back on track with the style, the characters and the story line that all her true admirers will relate to. Shemaine and Gage are delicious characters, both caught in a situation that leads to interesting conclusions. Throughout the story there are elements of suspense, romance and humor. There is also a very enjoyable and surprising "visit" from characters from one of Ms.Woodiwiss' previous books. Do yourself a favor..READ THIS BOOK..it's terrific!
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on 27 May 1998
Ms. Woodiwiss is a talented author who has the ability to write thoroughly entertaining, romantic books. When a friend gave me A Rose In Winter several years ago, I liked the book so much that I went on to read several other Kathleen Woodiwiss novels. What I'm wondering after reading Petals On The River is, WHAT HAPPENED? This book was very disappointing. It contained too much whining and too little romance. Also, it was very tedious to hear Shemaine continually referred to as a bond slave, and there was way too much baby talk. The story was predictable and trite, and lacking in humor and suspense. It was difficult to finish the book, but I kept hoping that the story would improve. Unfortunately, even the ending wasn't a surprise. Altogether, this book was a big disappointment. I hope Ms. Woodiwiss's next offering has more going for it.
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on 10 September 2014
I think someone else mentioned that this is a different type of book from her normal writing, whereby they are actually in love rather than fighting each other for most of the book!!! that said I enjoy all of her books, especially Shanna and Ashes in the Wind. I would definitely read this book if you are a fan.
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on 21 February 2001
I have read a lot of woodiwiss's books and have just finished Shanna. I had heard that Ruark would be in this book too so i went back to check and sure enough he is in the last few chapters... It was so nice to read of him again!! I thought that this book however was a bit bland and predictable
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on 16 November 1998
As others have mentioned, Woodiwiss' earlier books (Shanna, Ashes in the Wind, The Wolf and the Dove, The Flame & The Flower and A Rose in Winter) keep me hoping for the rich and sensuous sagas we know her to be capable of. I think the problem is that Woodiwiss is deviating from an earlier and very successful formula - boy meets girl, something keeps them apart and heightens the tension-filled attraction between them, and then they truly and fully fall in love. It may sound hackneyed, but it works for those five mentioned, incredibly wonderful novels (although The Flame and the Flower would be the lowest rated on that list). At the end of Petals On the River, too many "rich and powerful" people started crowding things a bit too much, until it was like a circus. The characters in Woodiwiss' early work are not just physically beautiful, they have a complexity of emotions and motivations; Shemaine & Gage could be engaging if Shemaine had a bit more fire and wasn't so "saintly." I preferred Shanna's bitchiness and Alaina's rough & tumble tomboy to such a smarmy miss. Gage, while no doubt physically perfect, could have been more masterly (Brandon Birmingham at his most wicked still oozed masterful appeal). All in all another disappointing work.
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on 8 October 1998
I am so very disappointed! I can not understand how the writer of my all time favorite historical romances, Ashes in the Wind, The Flame and The Flower, Shanna, and A Rose in Winter could fall to authoring novels as poorly conceived and excecuted as Petals on the River and the recently released The Elusive Flame. While there are many romance writers whom I have outgrown since I started reading the genre in high school, I never thought I would tire of Woodiwiss' powerful plots, complex multi-deminsional characters, and sensual love stories. Unfortunately Woodiwiss' last novels are predictable, slowly paced, and weighed down by weary dialogue and one dimensional character development. Has my favorite romance author simply passed her prime? Does she have more Alaina's or Shanna's in her? Will she return to her storytelling roots to craft new plots of heightened tension and intrigue? I sincerely hope so but until she proves herself again I will simply reread her classics and borrow all her new books from the library. I can only suggest you do the same.
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on 5 February 1998
If you want to hear nothing but bad people heaping insults on good people, who stupidly stand there and take it (because they are so wonderfully good), this book is for you. I was shocked that someone who wrote A Rose In Winter and Ashes in the Wind could turn out such a crushing bore. I'm listening on cassette (which is well done, by the way), and it's better than the radio, but if I were reading the book, I would have set it aside unfinished long before now. I still reread A Rose in Winter. Where is the humor in this one? Ms Woodiwiss should read some Amanda Quick, and get her heriones back to being real people. Shemain is ridiculous. Good grief! I roll my eyes every time I hear how "comely" she is. BORING is the only word for this book. I wish I could get my money back. Not just because it was a bad book (you take your chances), but because I expected better. If I help anyone else save their money, it will be worth the time to write this review. I agree with one of the other reviewers..... go to the library if you MUST read it!
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on 11 January 1998
instead of the gifted author. I was very disappointed in this latest book compared to earlier ones written. Everything was a little too perfect for the heroine Shemaine. She was just too perfect as a character. (I guess she wouldn't know what a bad hair day was...) The most believable scenes were ones that involved Gage's young son Andrew. Since she dedicated this book to her young grandson Seth then we at least understand why Andrew's words and behavior were realistic although predictable. The book left a bad taste in my mouth, everything fell together too neatly, as though it was wrapped up like a nice clean package. There was absolutely no suspense or guessing or tantalizing chemistry and sex scenes between the characters. I had a hard time visualizing the characters and if that happens it is a sign that the book isn't worth the read. A huge disappointment when compared to what I feel to be her best book "A Rose in Winter".
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on 11 February 1998
I've read every novel of Ms Woodiwiss; I have been waiting for years for her new ones and kept looking around for her books whenever I was in a bookshop. And finally, here comes the new novel. But ...
I have to agree with the reveiws before me that this one is the least good (I don't want to describe it as the worst) of her works : the story is predictable; nevermind if the story is predictable, but the characters are boring and one-dimensional; I thought there might be more enlightening scenes involving Andrew, the son, but he just played a minor role; the whole plot is just too easy for the characters and not much development. I've to put it down and go to sleep in between the story ('cos I didn't want to fall asleep while reading it : Woodiwiss is my favorite author and I hate doing this to her).

Just keep hoping better novels that at least compares to her usual standard would come soon.
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