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The Reluctant Suitor [Hardcover]

Kathleen E Woodiwiss
1.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 38.95
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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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2.0 out of 5 stars heavy, in more ways than one Jan. 28 2007
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. Woodiwiss writes with some humour and I enjoyed some of the various plots, to an extent (once I got past the aforementionned annoying features). Colton and Adrianna's wedding? Totally unexpected and really quite amusing if you think about it.

There are some spooky and also extremely brutal elements (say, drab-delivered babe? BDSM? Yes, it does get heavy) so I wouldn't say this is a bad book. I guess the author just forgot that simpler prose could be very readable, and that neverending description could sometimes kill a story. Other than that, don't put the book down too fast, you might miss some pretty neat stuff.
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1.0 out of 5 stars more fun reading the reviews than the book July 7 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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. I didn't finish it and
It made me downright mad! How could this author have written Ashes in the Wind? A Rose in Winter? My personal favorites, but I love Shanna and The Flame and the Flower and The Wolf and the Dove.
I will probably still try to read any more that come out in hopes that the grandeur will appear again but really, WHAT has happened to her?
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1.0 out of 5 stars disappointment July 4 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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. Woodiwiss to elaborate on were casually dismissed in 5 sentences. Plots to new events were explained later on, as an afterthought. At first I thought it was due to the translator that I got discouraged (English -> Dutch) who pleasantly mixed up names and family lines (throughout the book, Adriana was called Samantha or Felicity and Colton was involved in a small bout of multiple personality disorder when he was Roger or Riordan at one time or another) but I must agree with most reviewers. Do not buy this book! If you like Ms Woodiwiss' books, reread any book you have of her. It will keep you satisfied till something better comes along.... Although I do doubt I will buy any book of Ms Woodiwiss any time soon.
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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 Will the real Miss Woodiwiss please stand up? June 27 2004
By Anita
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
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. She had passion, strength and the ability to craft a story so incredible...This novel, I struggled through the first few chapters and couldn't force myself to continue it. I really wanted to get into the story, but the overdone language was a huge barrier. The characters were a bit flighty and I couldn't seem to muster up enough emotion to care about them. As sad as it is, this is not the Kathleen Woodiwiss of old and I will think twice before automatically picking up another of her books. :(
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1.0 out of 5 stars Former Reader of Kathleen Woodiwiss June 15 2004
By A Customer
I read Kathleen Woodiwiss's earlier books -- Wolf and the Dove, Flame and the Flower, Shanna. Those were her best. The last two books that she has put out have been horrible, and this book was the worst. I thought after her last book, this would be much better. I could not get over the fact that she kept going over how "Colton acted when he left home and how horrible Adrianna felt." That line went on throughout half the book." "Adrianna couldn't have been that devastated -- she couldn't wait to marry him. If it was that bad -- she should have married someone else." After reading this book, which I took out from the library (Thank God), I have given up reading anything that Ms. Woodiwiss puts out.
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