A Rose in Winter Mass Market Paperback – 31 Oct 1990
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About the Author
(1939 - 2007) Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, creator of the modern historical romance, died July 6, 2007 in Minnesota. She had just turned 68. Her attorney, William Messerlie, said that she died after a long illness.
Born on June 3, 1939 in Alexandria, Louisiana, Mrs. Woodiwiss was the youngest of eight siblings. She long relished creating original narratives, and by age six was telling herself stories at night to help herself fall asleep. At age 16, she met U.S. Air Force Second Lieutenant Ross Woodiwiss at a dance, and they married the following year. She wrote her first book in longhand while living at a military outpost in Japan.
Woodiwiss is credited with the invention of the modern historical romance novel: in 1972, she released The Flame and the Flower, an instant New York Times bestseller, creating literary precedent. The Flame and the Flower revolutionized mainstream publishing, featuring an epic historical romance with a strong heroine and impassioned sex scenes. "Kathleeen E. Woodiwiss is the founding mother of the historical romance genre," says Carrie Feron, vice president/editorial director of William Morrow and Avon Books, imprints of HarperCollins Publishers. Feron, who has been Woodiwiss's editor for 13 years, continues, "Avon Books is proud to have been Kathleen's sole publishing partner for her paperbacks and hardcover novels for more than three decades." Avon Books, a leader in the historical romance genre to this day, remains Mrs. Woodiwiss's original and only paperback publisher; William Morrow, Avon's sister company, publishes Mrs. Woodiwiss's hardcovers.
The Flame and the Flower was rejected by agents and hardcover publishers, who deemed it as "too long" at 600 pages. Rather than follow the advice of the rejection letters and rewrite the novel, Mrs. Woodiwiss instead submitted it to paperback publishers. The first publisher on her list, Avon, quickly purchased the novel and arranged an initial 500,000 print run. The novel sold over 2.3 million copies in its first four years of publication.
The success of this novel prompted a new style of writing romance, concentrating primarily on historical fiction tracking the monogamous relationship between a helpless heroines and the hero who rescued her, even if he had been the one to place her in danger. The romance novels which followed in her example featured longer plots, more controversial situations and characters, and more intimate and steamy sex scenes.
"Her words engendered an incredible passion among readers," notes Feron. Bestselling author Julia Quinn agrees, saying, "Woodiwiss made women want to read. She gave them an alternative to Westerns and hard-boiled police procedurals. When I was growing up, I saw my mother and grandmother reading and enjoying romances, and when I was old enough to read them myself, I felt as if I had been admitted into a special sisterhood of reading women."
New York Times bestselling author Susan Elizabeth Phillips, a leading voice in the women's fiction arena, says, "We all owe our careers to her. She opened the world of romance to us as readers. She created a career for us to go into."
The pioneering author has written 13 novels over the course of 35 years, all New York Times bestsellers. Kathleen E. Woodiwiss's final literary work, the upcoming Everlasing, will be published by William Morrow in October 2007. "Everlasting is Kathleen's final gift to her fans," notes Feron.
Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, who was predeceased by her husband and son Dorren, is survived by sons Sean and Heath, and numerous grandchildren.
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Top Customer Reviews
Unfortunately, as much fun as KEW's romances can be to read, this book has some major flaws. The big twist in the plot is pretty easy to figure out. In fact, almost everything in the book is pretty easy to figure out. The bad guys were inept and almost cartoonish in their bad deeds. Erienne is supposed to be intelligent and well educated, but her initial reactions to her disfigured husband just don't ring true, Stuart was nothing but kindness itself and a very gentle and loving husband. She was always running off and getting herself into a pickle so that Christopher could rescue her, and it got to be just a tad bit over the top that every man in the book was dying to jump her bones.
All in all, not the worst in the historical romance genre, but far from the best either and certainly not one of KEW's better efforts (which would be Ashes in the Wind), but well suited for a rainy Sunday afternoon easy on the brain type of fluff. I'm sorely torn between a two and three star rating, so I'm calling it at 2.5 stars rounded it up to three.
I recommend it to read it - you won't regret it.
The Flemings appear to lay the blame for their misfortunes at the feet of Christopher Seton, an American ship owner, he caught Avery cheating at cards, and subsequently was challenged to a duel by the foolish Farrell. With their financial situation becoming worse Avery resorts to auctioning off Erienne to the highest bidder. The winner of this public auction, is the crippled and disfigured Lord Saxon, Erienne is forced to marry him. Although she cannot help being very attracted to her family's enemy the handsome and dashing Christopher Seton. But the scarred and masked Lord Saxon shows Erienne nothing but kindness. Which leaves Erienne between a rock and a hard place.
This story was okay, but it was just too long and drawn out, the plot was a clever idea. Or at least it would have been if it was not so easy for the reader to easily guess what was happening. the characters were very one dimentional in particular the baddies who were almost pantomimeish. I would have enjoyed this better, if it had been a whole lot shorter, and the plot had been better thought out. This was no where near as good as Wolf and the Dove
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of my favourite romances that I have re-read several times over the years time and return to when I need a bit of light reading.Published 7 months ago by Sunshine433