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So Worthy My Love Audio, Cassette – Audiobook, September 26, 1990

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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 Mass Market Paperback edition.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

The Marquess of Bradbury is a man used to taking what he wants. So when he loses his reputation, the life he has always known, and his fiancee, he is determined to win them all back, starting with the kid napping of his betrothed. But his men bungle the abduction, and instead of the haughty, aristocratic Arabella, they take her beautiful cousin, Elise. Here's what happens when the Marquess discovers the wrong woman in his castle, although he'll soon learn that she is the right one.

Maxim lifted the latch and pushed the door open.

"Arabella? Where are you?"

Elise had pressed herself against the wall behind the door and had been well-prepared to launch an attack upon this foolish mortal who had dared enter her chamber. She had frozen when the warm and vi brant voice stirred memories of a darkened stairway at Bradbury Hall, and she stepped from hiding, lowering the small hearthside stool she had intended to smote the visitor with. Though the man was now dressed in the manner of a wealthy lord and the beard was gone, there was no mistaking the handsome rogue.

"What the deuce . . . ?" A sharp frown quickly creased his brow as his eyes came upon her. "What are you doing here?" "'Twas you!" The sapphire-blue eyes fairly flashed with sparks of indignation." 'Twas you who bade them take me! And all the while I thought . . . aarrgh!"

In the next instant the stool was hauled back and swung with all the impetus of her outraged fury behind it. Maxim jerked back to avoid the clumsy weapon, and though he stared in utter amazement at the seething girl, the stool came around again with the same dire intent. The need to disarm the maid seemed of vital importance to his contin ued good health, and he reached up, plucking it easily from her grasp.

"Where is Arabella?" he demanded sharply. His eyes swept quickly to every corner of the chamber, but the one he sought was nowhere to be seen.

"Arabella, is it?" Elise snarled the question venomously. So! He had bade his men to fetch Arabella, and they had caught her instead. Her fair lips curled with contempt as she continued. "No doubt Arabella is wherever a good wife should be found . . . at her husband's side . . . most assuredly in England."

"In England?" The door of Maxim's understanding burst wide, ig niting the fires of his rage. He recalled this vixen all too well. When he would have rushed to Arabella's side to soften the shock of her abduction with an explanation, the meeting with this wench and her recognition of him had necessitated a change in plans. Now she was here, where his former betrothed should have been, a fact which he was certain the girl was somehow responsible for, whether by design or misfortune. "Why are you here?"

With a flippant shrug Elise flung a hand toward the door. "Ask your men. They were the ones who took me."

"They were instructed to bring Arabella here," he informed her brusquely. "What are you doing here instead?"

"You dim-witted buffoon!" Elise railed back. "Can you not hear me? If you would have the answer to that question, seek out your henchmen! That simple pair of dolts were waiting for me in Arabella's chambers. The next thing I knew I was being carried off!"

"I'll throttle them with my bare hands!" Maxim ground out. Spinning on a heel, he stormed from the room, flinging the door wide. His voice thundered ahead of him as he leapt down the stairs three at a time. "Fitch! Spence! Dammit, where are you?"

The two had left the hall and were about the same distance from the front portal when his shout halted them. Scrambling back, they hit the opening at the same time, somehow managing to wedge themselves into the narrow space. A cacophony of loud curses and clamor arose from the entrapped pair before they managed to extricate themselves. Gasping for breath, they hastened back to the Marquess who had paused in the middle of the hall. With fists braced firmly on his waist, he fixed them with a dark, ominous scowl that fairly sundered their feeble attempts to smile. His voice began as a low thundering rumble. "Do you know what you've done?"

The pair stumbled back as the last words were blared at them, and they looked at each other in was confusion. The soft whisper of foot steps compelled them to lift their worried gazes to the girl who slowly descended the stone stairs. The smile that curled her lips was one of sublime pleasure, as if she anticipated what was forthcoming. What venom had they stirred in the maid' s heart that she should countenance their comeuppance?

The two glanced between his lordship and the girl and were quick to note the absence of the blissful smiles of lovers reunited. The Marquess was genuinely enraged, there was no doubt. Those green orbs fairly burned with rage, while the muscles twitched tensely in his lean cheeks.

Glancing over his shoulder at the girl, Maxim made a request in a tightly controlled tone. "Would you be so kind, madam, as to tell us who you are."

Elise continued her leisurely descent with all the aloof dignity of a great queen. "I am Elise Madselle Radborne." Her voice, though soft, was given resonance by the echoing chamber. "Sole descendant of Sir Ramsey Radborne, only niece of Edward Stamford, and first cousin to his daughter, Arabella." --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.


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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Random House Audio (September 26, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394586697
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394586694
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 4.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,978,675 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Tracy Talley on November 15, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A found this book pretty funny and I really enjoyed the heroine. It's hard to find a heroine so fiesty, yet as intelligent as Elise was.
~ Elise Radbourne has been abducted by accident and dragged from her somewhat comfortable home in England, despite the continuous fued between her family and her, but comfortable none-the-less across icy land and icy waters to Germany to await her fate by two bumbling kidnappers! When she discovers who her captor is, she is shocked! He is supposed to be dead! By the Queen's men!
Maxium Seymour has become a man without title and lands nor country since Queen Elizabeth had stripped him of his wealth for plotting against her. She had been informed by her agents that he had been trying to unsurp her of her throne. He isn't guilty and has escaped his own death and is now hiding in Germany until he can prove his innocence. In the meantime, he finds his fiance has remarried so soon after his reported death and he wants revenge! Revenge so badly, that he sends two of his men to kidnap his finace Arabella Stamford, also the daughter of the very man who has set him up for the plotting of the Queen's death! When he arrives in a rundown castle in Germany, where his men are holding his fiance, he is shocked to find Arabella's cousin instead!
A battle of wills immediately erupts and Maxium must keep his head before Elise uses her tricks and traps to completely drive him insane! He cannot let her go home since the waters are frozen now and the weather has trapped the battling pair in the crumbling, drafty, worn-out castle ad Elise will make sure he knows, JUST how mad she is.
The battle of wills soon turn from hate and sly planning to unnerve the other one in an effort to win points, to a battle of each losing their hearts.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Angelique Auzeby on September 22, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I almost did not read this book because of the spotlight reviews. After having read it, I believe the spotlight reviews need to be changed in order to not deter any more people from reading this book. I did not think the wait for Maxim was so horrible. In fact, I really felt the pages with Nicholas flew by. Once Maxim entered the story, things really began to cook though. Absolutely loved the pranks the two pulled on each other. I was almost sad to see them finally fall in love because I enjoyed their hilarious fighting so much. In this book, in particular, I felt that Woodiwiss did a fabulous job aquainting us with the characters. I felt as though I knew them. Please give the book a chance. If reading for fast romance is all you want, then perhaps this book is not for you. But if you enjoy a good story, complete with details on many different topics, I think you will enjoy.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 8, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't see how anyone could find Maxim lacking, or Elise for that matter. But I certainly didn't like having to read so far into the book before Maxim became involved in the story. I thought way too much time was devoted to Nicholas and Elise. Nicholas was okay, but certainly not hero material to me. In fact, I almost discarded it altogether for that very reason, but I stuck with it and I must say I'm glad I did. Maxim and Elise were great! Well-suited, truly in love. I realize men back then claimed to 'own' their wives, but I don't think readers need say anything about Maxim's respect for Elise. It was subtle, yet respectful in every way. And he was so handsome! The dialogue was great, a very interesting story. I don't think the author should change this writing style at all. She knows what she's doing. I read lots of books, and this one is one of the best (if you skip through the beginning).
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 13, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have been a fan for many years and have deeply loved all of her books. She is by far the best writer of our time.
This book was one of my favorites. It had everything you can want in a book; humor, suspense, passion and everything in between.
I especially loved the characters Fitch and Spence. They were absolutely hilarious. And, what can I say about Elise and Maxim. Simply said, they were both made for each other with thier firey tempers and determination for those they love. This is truly a must read book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Asia Coolota on April 28, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
So Worthy My Love..............

Elise Radborne has seen much turmoil and torture in her life by the hands of her family, Her father is missing and she is living with her money hungry uncle and sullen cursed cousin Arabella.
Elise is in no mood to be taken lightly .
Maxim Seymour had it all ..(Once).. Money ,Title,, Lands and a Country . But by a turn of deceitful events he has lost all including the Queens Favor.. He must make it right , He steels into his own home which now belongs to the Father of his once betrothed intending to steel his beloved Arabella before she can consummate her wedding vows to another ... In the sheer darkness of that fateful night his men take the wrong girl instead of the melancholy Arabella they take the bewitching Elise instead....

The book was good. The first 200 pages dragged a bit. KEW writes explosive descriptions to paint a picture in the readers mind, although at times it seemed endless it was worth the wait when finally Maxim and Elise are face to face. The sexual tension alone was so thick you could cut through it with a knife. The wily pranks , and witty banter between them was impressively funny .
It was wonderful watching them fall in love amidst the cold German winter and the drafty crumbled keep, and of course the attentions of another suitor would drive you to stop playing games and just say what you want to say, to the person who holds your heart.

All in all this book is captivating, you are drawn into a world of deceit, conspiracy , revenge and a love that has no bounds . In truth Maxim and Elise's love is worthy of your time~
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