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Everlasting Hardcover – October 30, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1st edition (October 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060545526
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060545529
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #440,336 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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 Audio CD edition.

From AudioFile

Xanthe Elbrick does an admirable job with Woodiwiss's final romance novel. Her voicing of heroine Abrielle is as crisp and sweet as Abrielle herself. Elbrick's bright British voice is well suited to the eleventh-century setting, and her treatment of the sometimes heavy-handed prose is tender enough to make the excessive summary of action seem just as engaging as the dialogue. Elbrick's only real weakness in this recording is her voicing of the male characters, especially that of the hero, Raven Seabern. Elbrick pulls off a decent Scots accent, but her performance is almost vaudevillian in its puffed-up exaggeration of the sound of a male voice. Despite the shortcomings of both prose and narrator, this volume is indeed satisfying (if a little predictable) to fans of the genre. A.A. 2008 Audies Finalist © AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

More About the Author

With more than thirty-six million copies of her bestselling novels already in print, Kathleen E. Woodiwiess remains one of America's most successful and beloved storytellers. She is the author of twelve enormously successful masterworks of romantic fiction, including The Flame and the Flower, Shanna, Ashes in the Wind, Petals on the River, and The Elusive Flame.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Kathy on November 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Kathleen Woodiwiss introduced me to romance novels 30 years ago with Flame and the Flower and Wolf and the Dove. She is my all time number one favorite author. My all time favorite book is Shanna. So my disappointment with Everlasting is extreme. I found this book boring and was skimming by page 30. There was no characterization. All the characters seemed one dimensional. The dialog was stilted and cumbersome. I was so looking forward to her last book so I hate to say these things since we will never get another book by this fabulous author. If you are new to her books stick with the early ones and skip this one.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By BOOK MAVEN on July 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Her carer began over thirty years ago with her first novel The Flame and the Flower and The Wolf and the Dove Woodiwiss passed away recently, but we have one last opportunity to enjoy a new novel from her, the beautiful and memorable Everlasting The heroine of Everlasting Lady Abrielle, is lovely, bright and well-bred--the toast of the English royal court. Every nobleman wants to marry her. Yet when her stepfather loses a chance at great wealth, Abrielle no longer has money or property to bring to a marriage. Now, the only man who'll have her is a wealthy but cruel and vulgar brute rumored to have murdered his first two wives. Abrielle resigns herself to her duty--remember, back in those days, women had little to no choice in whom they wed.

Yet, if Abrielle could choose her mate, it'd be Raven Seabern, the dashing Scottish ambassador who can't seem to keep his stunning blue gaze from hers. Raven is considerate, yet masterful and nobody's fool. He awakens in Abrielle new emotions and sensations with one intimate dance and a single, stolen kiss. But one fateful night, Abrielle's fortune changes. A gruesome occurrence forces her to become a competent woman instead of an uncertain young maiden. And now Abrielle has to decide if she's ready for everything that goes along with getting exactly what one wishes for.

Everlasting is a lovely and engaging novel. It entices the reader with a charming central love story surrounded by intrigue, action and plenty of heroines in dire straits.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Leah Lane on November 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Everlasting is a wonderful,old-fashioned historical romance by the late, great writing talent Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. If you're a long-time fan such as I, you'll enjoy this tale of loss, betrayal, redemption and true love set in 1135 England. Raven Seabern, the hero, is one of my favorites. He would do anything for his love, Lady Abrielle, whether she deserves it or not. Luckily, Abrielle doesn't spend too much time being stubborn and grows from an uncertain girl frightened of her circumstances to a strong, compassionate woman. This is a lovely parting gift to fans from this unique and exceptionally talented author. She will be greatly missed but I am so glad she has shared, one last time, the beauty of her written word with all of us, her readers.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By R. Persaud on November 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I can't believe this book was written by KEW! I have read and enjoyed her books for so long, I was excited to see a new one. This book reads like the outline of a book. The characters are flat, the details are skimped. One of the things I've always loved about her books is that I have felt transported in time reading them. For the most part, aside from a scant few historical references thrown in, I had no sense of the time setting. Someone gets sick, OH< all of a sudden the heroine is a healer...could this have been mentioned before? I am so sorry there won't be any new Woodiwiss books to look forward to. I wonder if this book was begun before the author's death, and put together by someone else after, if so, they have done her a grave disservice.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Helen Hancox on October 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
'Everlasting' follows the fortunes of Abrielle Harrington, a beautiful young woman whose fiancé died by falling down the stairs at his Keep a day before the wedding. Abrielle's mother Elspeth and stepfather Vachel have unfortunately fallen upon hard times and are virtually penniless. The heir to Abrielle's late fiancé, Desmond de Marlé, has conceived a passion for her and wants her - unfortunately Abrielle finds him repulsive. Since he inherited the de Marlé Keep the serfs have been badly treated and half starved.

The only person who interests Abrielle is Raven Seabern but he's a Scot so not appropriate for her, especially as he doesn't seem particularly interested in her, just seems to watch her. In the end, in order to save the family from penury, Abrielle agrees to marry Desmond de Marlé and counsels her stepfather to arrange the biggest payment possible for her - which he does.

Abrielle seems rather bad news as a potential wife. Her first fiancé died on the eve of the wedding, her second lasts slightly longer, but all too soon Abrielle is on her own again, this time with a great deal of money and with suitors flocking round her, as well as those who would do her evil trying to get at her. Throughout all this, Raven Seabern is a constant, often rescuing her or protecting her, and yet Abrielle doubts his motives. Can a Scotsman and a Saxon woman ever get along?

The writing style of this book is very simple with light descriptions of places and events, no very deep characterisation and a plot that was never very taxing. It's always easy to spot the 'baddies' as they smell or have rotting teeth or are fat; the 'goodies' are always attractive, clean, lean and with good teeth!
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