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Shanna Hardcover – Jan 1 1991

4.6 out of 5 stars 98 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 666 pages
  • Publisher: Piatkus Books (Jan. 1 1991)
  • ISBN-10: 0861883861
  • ISBN-13: 978-0861883868
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 19.8 x 3.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 98 customer reviews
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Product Description


"A legend . . . The queen of historical romance." -- -- Alanta Journal-Constitution

"A phenomenon." -- -- New York Times --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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.

--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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NIGHT GRIPPED THE CITY with cold, misty darkness. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I LOVE this book...i think i must have read it over 50 times in the past 10 years. This is my favorite book by far. I even have a copy of this book on my iphone. Shanna and Ruark story is so different from other romance novels theres more depth to this story than most. Shanna is beautifull rebelious, spoiled but caring toward others. While Ruark is handsome mysterious and bent on getting what he was promised. I loved the chemistry between these two characters. This is definetly K Woodiwiss best book. If you like books from Judith McNaught and Johanna Lindsey you'll definetley like Shanna. I urge you to try this book, i promise you wont regret it.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I admit when I first started reading this book I just wanted to quit because it's so long, but I'm glad I stuck with it because it's one of those books that you'll never forget. What's so great about this book is that Woodiwiss really takes you through a journey of growing up and finding love. When we first meet Shanna she's spoiled and headstrong but as the novel progresses, she goes through a maturing process and you really see that when she realizes she's fallen in love with Ruark..."I'm afraid you will touch me and I will crumble. I am afraid you will say, "I love you," and I will melt at your feet. I am afraid I cannot stand against you anymore. Don't you understand? I am defenseless now. You have known me too closely, and I have known you too dearly..." And Ruark, he is absolutely divine, a true hero who will stay with you through thick and thin, and it doesn't hurt that he is sexy and gorgeous. He's really the glue that holds the novel together because he's the one that fights for Shanna's love. So, if you want a quick, lighthearted romance to read in one sitting, this isn't the novel for you. But if you want something that will leave an impact in your heart, and if you're willing to stick with it, this novel is definitely worth it.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Shanna is a willfull girl who prides herself on being so, but is also selfish and used to getting what she wants. She is past the age where a nice lady usually gets hitched, and her father, bent on making sure she has little heirs lined up, sets up a deadline for her to marry of her own will. If she fails, he will pick a suitor for her.
Shanna comes up with the ingenius plan of picking out a man on deathrow, and the one she picks just so happens to be Ruark, innocent of his crime, quite handsome, honorable, and all the other dreamy attributes. She figures her bargain will be enough, he gets a few luxuries for the last days of his life, and she can go home a widow. But he ends up matching her will for will.
After she leaves him hanging and heads home after the nuptials, he, by a twist of fate, is put into bondage and -gasp- is heading towards the island Shanna's father owns! Once there, he is a common bondslave and ends up practically stalking her, because they are man and wife and she didn't follow through with the deal. She, obviously, doesn't seem to mind really after all her complaining. What follows is a struggle between Shanna and her heart and brain, and then the forces of fate.
I'm used to the cliched romances, where the man is selfish and denying, and the woman sacrifices and chases after him. But in this story, the roles almost seemed reverse, and in the end Shanna was the one to prove herself. I didn't find her too bad, but sometimes I wanted to slap her when Ruark was being open and loving. I found this book thrilling, beautiful, and well-thought. I don't usually have romance novels in my favorites, but this one surpasses the others.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I don't think I've ever read a book wherein the author has woven her words together so magically. KW is an exceptionally gifted writer. This story begins on a cold misty night in London when a desperate young woman enters into a bargain with a man who is destined to hang. Believing him a total wretch she sees this bargain serves her own good and she believes it will only hold her until he dies, yet she will receive all she could want from it. But as fate would have it, true love somehow endures and their beautiful tale really begins once we are spirited to Los Camellos, a tropical island owned by Shanna's father.
Slowly we see Shanna's cool disposition melt under Ruark's loving and tender care. I could go on and tell you all about the rest of this exotic love story, but I don't want to ruin it for you. I'll just say that I fell in love with the characters in this novel, and not just the main ones. I felt I knew each of them with their own distinct personalities, not only that... I cared for them. I laughed with them, cried with them and I truly felt as though I was watching it all unfold.
The plot was fasinating and the romance and sensuality in this book was steaming! This book could make you feel that true, eternal love really does exist! Plus, the writing was so beautiful, the descriptions so vivid... there were times tears just came to my eyes at the way their feelings were described for each other. I think I felt every possible emotion while reading this book and for that reason I have put it in the top 3 favourite books I have ever read! When a book can pull raw emotion out of you and leave you reeling with the feeling that you have experienced what the characters have... well then it is an extrordinary book! Shanna is worth a permanent spot on any readers bookshelf. A true classic.
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