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Shanna Mass Market Paperback – August 28, 2007
100 (Fiction) Books to Read in a Lifetime
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"A legend . . . The queen of historical romance."-- "Alanta Journal-Constitution"A phenomenon."-- "New York Times
From the Back Cover
One raging, irresistible yearning impels the bold adventurer, Ruark Beau Champ, to cross vast and buccanear-infested waters: a burning desire to hold the lovely Shanna once more...and to make her pay for her deceptions with her body, her soul and her heart.
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Top customer reviews
Since I've spent more than a month being sick with the sinus infection from hell, bronchitis, etc., I've spent a lot of time reading. One morning, I decided to go back and re-read the early romances that made me want to write in that genre. All of us romance novelists owe our careers to Ms. Woodiwiss.
Although I have all of Ms. Woodiwiss's books in print, I decided to buy the Kindle editions of the ones I love best. Since it had been years since I had read them, I wanted to see if I still found them captivating -- after I've published several books and have had success with my own romance novels. Of course, if you read my books, you know I write contemporary romance, not historical romance as she did.
In many of Woodiwiss's novels, there is a recurring theme of masquerade. In Shanna, Ruark dons the persona of a bondsman, a slave, as he woos his secret wife. Although highly improbable, Woodiwiss skillfully works this plot device which is used in some of her other books too.
After more than 30 years since I read her novels for the first time, what's my take on these books now? They are sweeping epics with larger than life characters. They are still page turners. You won't forget the hero and heroine nor the somewhat improbable -- to us in contemporary times -- story lines. They will captivate you, thrill you, and stir you even though they are tame compared to today's graphic depictions of sexuality.
When her books first were published, they were ground-breaking because they were the first "to [follow] the principals into the bedroom." Although they did that, there were no realistic descriptions of body parts or love making. Instead, the hero "warmed" when he saw a "rosy crest" revealed by a low neckline.
You might laugh at this, but if you read the books, you'll find yourself swept along by the passion of the hero and heroine. The euphemisms and formal language aren't off-putting. The long descriptions set the scenes perfectly without boring the reader.
Despite the flaws of the books -- heroines whose actions range from bratty tantrums to impassioned desire for the heroes they married -- the heroines don't invite your dislike or scorn. There is still something about them that makes you root for them. I see her heroines as cast in the mold of Margaret Mitchell's Scarlett O'Hara.
The heroes are supermen -- physically strong beyond belief -- and as handsome and intelligent as they are strong. Each is a masterful lover anxious to "take their ease" as is the phrase of bygone eras with the woman who attracts them more than any other woman of their acquaintance. The Woodiwiss hero is patient with the heroine's emotional storms and understanding. He is the kind of man every woman would welcome in her bedchamber.
Take everything together -- the good and the bad -- and you end up with a book greater than the sum of its parts. Reading these wonderful novels again, I found myself glued to the ebook page, turning each as swiftly as I could -- even though I knew exactly what was going to happen and how it would all work out in the end.
If you haven't read Shanna, remedy that immediately. Hie thee to Ye Olde Kindle Shoppe and download one of the book responsible for creating an entire genre for women.