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The Reluctant Suitor [Hardcover]

Kathleen E Woodiwiss
1.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 6 2003

For as long as she can remember, Lady Adriana Sutton has adored Colton Wyndham, to whom she has been promised by an agreement of courtship and betrothal since childhood. As a young girl, she was wounded by Colton's stubborn refusal to comply with his father's wishes and by his angry departure. He was too proud and too stubborn to accept a future not of his own choosing. Rather than submit, he fled from his ancestral home for a life of adventure and danger as an officer in the British army.

The years have been immensely kind to Lady Adriana. No longer the plain, thin tomboy Colton had spurned, she has blossomed into an uncommon beauty desired by nearly every eligible bachelor in the land. Yet the only man she desires is the decorated hero who has finally come home to claim his rightful title. Arrogant, unmoved, and seductive as ever, he remains averse to the idea of their betrothal in spite of his growing desire for her.

To demonstrate his belief that love cannot be forced, Colton agrees to court Lady Adriana for ninety days, after which time he will be allowed to keep his precious freedom if he so wishes. But much has changed since he balked at his father's plans. Forced into a courtship with this stunning, spirited woman, who is as different today from the young chit he left behind as spring is to winter, the heroic heart that was once closed to Adriana is moved by her charm, her grace, and her sensuality ... and begins to yield. But a secret from Colton's past may doom their burgeoning love ... even as the treacherous schemes of a sinister rival threaten to steal the remarkable lady from his arms forever.

A lush and spellbinding story of passion and betrayal that grandly sweeps the reader into the magnificent ballrooms and intimate boudoirs of Regency England, The Reluctant Suitor is romance as only the incomparable Kathleen Woodiwiss can deliver it -- a love story that will dwell in the reader's heart and memory forever and stand proudly as one of the author's very best.

Product Details

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

The hardcover debut of historical romance doyenne Woodiwiss (The Flame and the Flower) recalls the era of romance writing when a hero could be said to sport his "fleshly horn" or "bold blade of passion" with no trace of irony. Some readers may find the prose a bit overblown ("she strove to unmount the iron-thewed thigh"), but the racy escapades are as entertaining as ever. Prodigal son Colton Wyndham returns to his home in England after fighting in the Napoleonic wars. His father, with whom he had a contentious relationship, has recently died, and Colton is the new Marquess of Randwulf. He enjoys flashing his "dark, shining orbs" at his beauteous neighbor, Lady Adriana Sutton, while in the throes of "manly imagination," "manly awareness" and "manly cravings." Upon discovering that his late father signed a betrothal agreement linking him to Adriana, Colton is torn between rebelling against his father's dictates and succumbing to his desire for Adriana. Adriana, still wounded by Colton's vehement declaration years ago that he would not wed her, fears that Colton will break her heart again and is determined not to fall prey to his charm. The mating dance starts slowly, but the introduction of a poisoning expert; a baby switching; and Colton's lowborn first wife, thought to be dead, keeps the plot lively. The prose is overwrought even by Woodiwiss's standards, but there's plenty here to amuse fans.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Colton would rather fight Napoleon than acquiesce to an arranged marriage, but upon returning he discovers that his intended is quite the gorgeous young woman. Woodiwiss's first original hardcover.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
LADY Adriana Sutton whirled through the gracefully arched portico of Randwulf Manor, spilling effervescent laughter over her shoulder as she deftly avoided the reaching hand of an eager young swain. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull March 28 2003
By A Customer
I have to agree with other reviewers. This book was horrable. I too am a big fan having started with 'So worthy my love' and bacame a fan. But since A season beyond a kiss, was beyond boring, I've been hoping that her writting might improve. I have been let down. I think that KW has run out of ideas for her books and just falls back on flowery prose.
Another thing, every time I have seen a Good review for her, it sounds more like a person form PR trying to convice the unaware public that the book is worth the money. Trust me it is not. Buy some of her other books and see for your self that this once great auther did have some talent.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Like swimming through mud.... June 30 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Trying to read this book was like trying to swim through mud for me. Ms. Woodiwiss's prose has always been a challenge - in Shanna for instance, "Shanna presented her back," got on my nerves after reading this statement over and over and over again but in The Reluctant Suitor I barely got past the first 100 pages without being sickened of the words "orbs," "brows," and my favorite one to hate, "the beauty." I could swear that someone else wrote this stuff. It is hard to believe that someone would desert his family for 16 years over a disagreement over a 6 year old girl. If Colton could be such a hero in battle, surely he could confront his father on the issue of his betrothal to Adriana rather than run away. Colton isn't very impressive. He is attracted to Adriana initially only because of her looks - he has the usual women in his past too, actresses, widows, camp followers. Yuck. Ms. Woodiwiss has never been my favorite author but her first books were much better than this one. I believe I have purchased my last book by this author.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Atrocious! June 1 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"He could only marvel at her willingness to offer her virginity upon the fleshly horn of passion so that they could complete their union, and yet, she had done just that in her sacrificial desire to be one with him." I am seriously considering the possibility that this book is really meant to be a spoof. At the very least it has to be a one who has written well in the past could produce such wretched prose accidentally. And the tediousness of it! The character's first meeting goes something like this: 1. He says something. 2. She reflects back on a similar thing he said as a child. 3. She remembers what how much she adored him as a child. 4. Some other suitor looks on angrily. 5. We learn what this other suitor was like at a child, what he's doing now, and what he ate for breakfast. 6. The dogs bristle at the other suitor's response, and we learn the life story, eating habits, favorite chew-toys, and position of every hair on the head of these dogs who on one page are 8 and 10 years old respectively and on the next page remember the man who has been away for 16 years. 7. He looks at her and muses about her slammin' body, in sentences containing twelve verbs, fifteen adjectives, and the word "orbs" used at least twice per page to describe both breasts and eyeballs, sometimes so interchangeably you don't know which is which. 8. She responds to his original comment with a warbling laugh or trilling rejoinder, while you've totally forgotten what he even said because it was twelve pages ago and you've been trying to decide whether you should laugh in derision or cry in despair or simply slap the author upside the head review-wise on Amazon. Guess which one I chose. :-)
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1.0 out of 5 stars The Reluctant Reader May 24 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I was surprised and pleased to see this book on a store shelf recently, and grabbed it immediately, having just re-read, for the nth time, my three most favorite romance novels of all time, "The Flame and the Flower", "The Wolf and the Dove" and the best of the three, "Shanna". I have also read Ms. Woodiwiss's other books and although they can't compare to those first three, they were all enjoyable to read. After the first few pages I wondered what had happened to the wonderful story telling that in the past would reel me in with the first few pages. This book is not just wordy, it is downright tedious and I had serious doubts about being able to continue. Trying to find some redeeming value in the main characters, I decided to flip ahead a little, hoping to give myself some incentive to continue. Unfortunately, there was nothing to endear me to these characters, and the sex scenes, handled so well in previous books, were simply laughable. "I have a horn but no saddle"? Puleease! I'll stick with re-reading her first three when I need a "romance novel fix".
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1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth my time May 21 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I absolutely love a good romance. I will even suffer through slow starts in the hopes that a book will improve. I put this book down and returned to it FOUR times, each time hoping that I would not get lost in the scenes that went on and on, FOREVER. Sadly, it was not to be.
I didn't make it past page 100, nor will I attempt to do so again.
My complaints? The prose that was stilted, the lack of character development, and the almost immediate fixation that Colton had for Adrianna's beauty and NOTHING else.
My biggest complaint? There were a thousand and one references in those first 100 pages back to the when Colton knew Adrianna before he took off. The continuous references to the type person she was and her feelings for Colton and how his rejection affected her was simply ridiculous. She was SIX years old!!!!! True, there were hints at the person she would become, but not nearly to the extent that Ms. Woodiwiss dwells on this. It was tedious and very unbelievable.
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars heavy, in more ways than one
Okay, this book is slow. And the prose goes on forever. And the myriad references to Adriana's beauty are somewhat annoying. But all in all there is hope yet.

Ms. Read more
Published on Jan. 27 2007 by Alexina P.
1.0 out of 5 stars more fun reading the reviews than the book
When I saw this at the library I couldn't believe
I had missed the latest. Not that it mattered!
The previous reviews here are so funny and true.
This book is awful. Read more
Published on July 7 2004 by "beautifuldreamer"
1.0 out of 5 stars disappointment
Fortunately, I bought this book at a discount. I had read the reviews but couldn't believe it was all that bad. It was. Scenes that normally would have inspired Ms. Read more
Published on July 4 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars Will the real Miss Woodiwiss please stand up?
Has KW has franchised out her name? Who the heck has been writing these latest books??!! They're like winning entries in a romance novel spoofing contest.
Published on June 27 2004 by Anita
1.0 out of 5 stars God it pains me to say, but I couldn't even finish it.
I love Kathleen Woodiwiss of old - books like A Rose in Winter, Shanna, and Come Love A Stranger are some of the best in romance out there, I believe. Read more
Published on June 17 2004 by Jeannie Ruesch
1.0 out of 5 stars Former Reader of Kathleen Woodiwiss
I read Kathleen Woodiwiss's earlier books -- Wolf and the Dove, Flame and the Flower, Shanna. Those were her best. Read more
Published on June 15 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars Trite... Clicheed...
This is the WORST Kathleen Woodiwiss novel yet! Hackneyed and full of cliches, it is a chore to read this book. I do not know why I keep going back to it! Read more
Published on June 5 2004 by Jennifer
1.0 out of 5 stars Is this the same author that wrote Shana???
I normally read a book in a couple of days... this one took me almost a week. I kept reading and hoping it would get better but it kept getting worse. Read more
Published on May 19 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars What a huge disappointment
This is the first Kathleen Woodiwiss book I've read in about 20 years. I loved her earlier books so, I was looking forward to reading this one. What a huge disappointment. Read more
Published on May 13 2004 by Geek Girl
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