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Search tags: Kathleen-Woodiwiss
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text 2018-01-02 22:11
Was this really the beginning? No!
The Flame and the Flower - Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

Kathleen E. Woodiwiss's The Flame and the Flower began the flood of paperback historical romances written by and for women readers in 1972, but it wasn't the first historical romance by any means.

 

We can go back to the swashbucklers of the 19th and early 20th centuries, by Dumas and Hugo and Sabatini, as well as the historical adventures of the mid-20th century by Yerby and Shellabarger and others.  These were the books I and my fellow historical romance writers of the 1980s had grown up reading.  We watched the movies of Errol Flynn and Tyrone Power, Cornel Wilde and Burt Lancaster.  We weren't into the polite comedies of manners from Georgette Heyer the way we were into the swords and daggers of Edison Marshall.

 

As I detailed in my analysis of Leslie Turner White's Lord Johnnie, there was a subtle feminism in many of these pre-Woodiwiss novels.  Not in all of them, of course, but it's important to remember that women read these books, too, and they watched the movies that were made from them in the 1930s, 1940s, and on.  The books, and the authors, had to keep those women in mind.

 

It was on that foundation that Kathleen Woodiwiss built, to be followed by Rosemary Rogers, Laurie McBain, Jude Deveraux, Rebecca Brandewyne, Julie Garwood, Candace Camp, LaVyrle Spencer, Jo Beverley, Julia Quinn, and so many more.

 

In the spring of 2000, I wrote my undergraduate honors thesis at Arizona State University West on the feminist potential in romance novels.  Eventually I published a digital edition on Amazon, not expecting very much but just to have it easily available.

 

 

 

The changes that have occurred in the romance fiction world since 2000 really warrant another examination of the causes and effects, the actions and reactions.  I stated at the beginning of Half Heaven, Half Heartache that I wasn't going to look at gay and lesbian romances because my focus was on the straight romance and how it affected as well as mirrored real life straight romance.  Seventeen years later, however, there is now a valid and valuable interaction.  The same is true of romances featuring people of color, interracial romances, and all the other "new" forms of romantic fiction, both historical and contemporary, paranormal and fantasy.

 

My collection of romance novels has grown since 2000, and there has been more non-fiction about romance fiction written and published.  Imagine what I could do with that.

 

Watch this space.

 

 

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text 2015-12-23 22:26
The Flame and the Flower (Birmingham Book 1) By Kathleen E. Woodiwiss $1.99
The Flame and the Flower - Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

The Flower

Doomed to a life of unending toil, Heather Simmons fears for her innocence—until a shocking, desperate act forces her to flee. . . and to seek refuge in the arms of a virile and dangerous stranger.

 

The Flame

A lusty adventurer married to the sea, Captain Brandon Birmingham courts scorn and peril when he abducts the beautiful fugitive from the tumultuous London dockside. But no power on Earth can compel him to relinquish his exquisite prize. For he is determined to make the sapphire-eyed prize. For he is determined to make the sapphire-eyed lovely his woman. . .and to carry her off to far, uncharted realms of sensuous, passionate love.

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text 2015-11-10 16:42
Saved from the Noose Romance
Shanna - Kathleen E. Woodiwiss
The Texan's Wager - Jodi Thomas
The Marriage Debt - Louise Allen
Seduction of the Phoenix - Michelle M. Pillow
The Wives of Bowie Stone - Maggie Osborne
The Lassoed by Marriage Romance Collection: 9 Historical Romances Begin After Saying "I Do" - Rebecca Jepson,Gina Welborn,Amy Lillard,Angela Breidenbach,Rose Ross Zediker,Angela Bell,Kathleen Y'Barbo,Mary Connealy,Lisa Carter
Beauty's Beast - Amanda Ashley
Shadow's Stand - Sarah McCarty
Wild West Brides - Cathy Maxwell,Ruth Langan,Carolyn Davidson
Border Wedding - Amanda Scott

I adore Marriage of Convenience tropes. Love all that forced proxmity with a stranger you have to build a life with....yeah... so gooood.

 

One of my very favorite sub tropes is Save From The Noose Marriage of Convenience. This is a plot where the hero or heroine is about to be hung or imprisoned for a very long time and gets out of it by marrrying. Yep. Love it. 

 

Can't seem to find out if this was actually ever a law but in Romanceland it is and my guess is there is some truth to the practice. 

 

Here are some wonderful Romances with this Theme. 

 

1. Shanna by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

 

A pact is sealed in secret behind the foreboding walls of Newgate Prison. In return for a night of unparalleled pleasure, a dashing condemned criminal consents to wed a beautiful heiress, thereby rescuing her with his name from an impending and abhorred arranged union. But in the fading echoes of hollow wedding vows, a solemn promise is broken, as a sensuous free spirit takes flight to a lush Caribbean paradise, abandoning the stranger she married to face the gallows unfulfilled.

 

But Ruark Beauchamp's destiny is now eternally intertwined with that of the tempestuous, intoxicating Shanna. He will be free . . . and he will find her. For no iron ever forged can imprison his resolute passion. And no hangman's noose will deny Ruark the ecstasy that is rightfully his. 

 

2. The Texan's Wager by Jodi Thomas

 

Thrown off a wagon train with two other women and trying to avoid jail for a murder they committed, Bailee Moore agrees to enter a “Wife Lottery”—a ploy concocted by the Cedar Point sheriff to secure wives for the men in the small Texas town. For the sensible Bailee, however, marrying Carter McKoy is like exchanging one life sentence for another—especially since her new husband hasn’t even seen fit to utter a single word in her presence. But still, she can’t help thinking that something about this strong, silent farmer could be the key to leaving her troubled past behind…and making a worthy wager with her heart.

 

3. The Marriage Debt by Louise Allen

 

Marrying a highwayman awaiting execution is Katherine Cunningham's only hope - for that way her debts will die with him. But it turns out that her husband, Nicholas Lydgate, is innocent - and the son of a duke! Katherine is determined to save his life, as she is attracted to Nicholas, but she won't hold him to a union until he shows he cares for her...

 

4. Seduction of the Phoenix by Michelle M. Pillow

 

A prince raised in honor and tradition, a woman raised with nothing at all. She wants to steal their most sacred treasure. He’ll do anything to protect it, even if it means marrying a thief. 

Prince Zhang Jin is a man raised in honor and tradition, so it is a great surprise when he is compelled to claim a stranger as his bride who has neither. Francesca La Rosa is hardly a match fit for a prince. Though beautiful, she is a thief with one thing on her mind--stealing the sacred Jade Phoenix of his people. But the mystery doesn't end there. With the aid of the spirits of his ancestors he must discover who this woman is, why she would destroy the Zhang Empire and most of all, if she could ever return the love that is growing in his heart.

 

5. The Wives of Bowie Stone by Maggie Osborne

 

Knowing that she can save the life of a condemned man by offering to marry him, Rosie Mulvehey opts for a marriage of convenience to ex-cavalry man Bowie Stone, who promises to save her rundown farm as his part of the agreement.

 

6. The Lassoed by Marriage Romance Collection by Angela BellAngela BreidenbachLisa CarterMary Connealy, Rebecca Jepson Amy LillardGina WelbornKathleen Y'Barbo, and Rose Ross Zediker  

 

Come along on a romantic journey jam-packed with all the angst of marriages founded upon practical choices as well as coercion. Meet nine couples who barely know each other before they find themselves suddenly married—to please family, to stem the tide of gossip, to save the land—and joined for life. But can love grow when duty comes before romance? 

 

7. Beauty's Beast by Amanda Ashley

 

Beauty

Fair of face and figure, Kristine is young, innocent, pure. Yet she has been condemned to the gallows for killing a man. The only one who can save her is a lord so infamous that some say he is the son of the Devil himself. . .

And the Beast

Erik Trevayne is called the Demon Lord of Hawksbridge Castle, but few know of the curse he lives under. Or the terrifying changes slowly gnawing away at his humanity. When he weds her, all he wants of Kristine is a son. But when he beds her, a wild hope is born--that love that can tame even the most monstrous of beasts. . .

 

8. Shadow's Stand by Sarah McCarty

 

Shadow Ochoa is lying low in the western Kansas Territory, waiting for his fellow Texas Rangers—the Hell's Eight brotherhood—to clear his name. That is, until he's unjustly strung up for horse thieving…and pretty Fei Yen intervenes. Invoking a seldom-used law, the exotic lady prospector claims Shadow as her husband and rides off with the bridegroom shackled to her buckboard.

Savvy, fearless Fei is single-mindedly devoted to her hidden claim and all it promises: wealth, security and freedom. A husband is just a necessary inconvenience and a name on paper to hold the claim she cannot.

Shadow isn't a man to take orders from anyone, especially from lovely Fei—except that the daily friction between them ignites into nightly blazes of all-consuming passion. Soon Shadow is dreaming a little himself: of the life they could have if only Fei could see past the lure of independence. If only bounty hunters weren't closing in on him. If only he's left standing when the impending showdown has ended….

 

9. Wild West Brides by Cathy Maxwell, Ruth Langan, and Carolyn Davidson 

 

Flanna and the Lawman by Cathy Maxwell

Desperate for someone to help her protect her land, a female con artist saves an ex-lawman from the hangman's noose by claiming him as her no-good husband, and finds herself wanting to turn their charade into a real marriage. 

 

This Side of Heaven by Ruth Langan

When a runaway and her young nephew find a safe haven with a solitary Montana rancher, three lonely people become a family, until their peace is threatened by the boy's father, bent on vengeance. 

 

Second Chance Bride by Carolyn Davidson

His mail-order bride's deceit had stung him to the quick, but the pregnant widow's care of his four-year-old daughter had Jebediah rethinking his vow to send her packing as soon as her baby was born.

 

10. Border Wedding by Amanda Scott

 

Captured in 1388 in the act of stealing back his own cattle, young Sir William Scott faces hanging, then gets one other choice--to marry immediately his captor's eldest daughter, the lady Margaret Murray, known by all as Muckle-Mouth Meggie. With the line between England and Scotland shifting daily, the Earl of Douglas wants to win back every inch of Scotland that the English have claimed; whereas the equally powerful English Percies (under Hotspur) want to win back the land between Northumberland and Edinburgh; and the Murray family is caught in the middle, shifting its alliances to try to survive. Uncertain whether she is English or Scottish and abruptly married to Sir William who is staunchly loyal to the cause of Scottish independence but who also has promised he'll never take up arms against her family, Meg Murray learns two things: first, Will's word is his bond; second, her favorite brother is spying on Douglas for Hotspur. As Sir Will faces the dilemma of honoring his word to the unscrupulous Murray without betraying Douglas, Meg must choose between betraying the husband with whom she is rapidly falling in love, or betraying her own family and best-loved brother.

 

Got more? Gimme! 

 

Vote for the best of the best on my Goodreads list: Saved from the Noose Romance 

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text 2015-06-04 16:51
#WhyIReadHistoricals
Wolf And The Dove - Kathleen E. Woodiwiss
Winter Garden - Adele Ashworth
The Wedding - Julie Garwood
To Desire a Devil - Elizabeth Hoyt
The Taming - Jude Deveraux
Sweetwood Bride - Pamela Morsi
A Scandalous Plan (Classic Regency Romances) - Donna Lea Simpson
Montana Magic (Zebra Lovegram) - René J. Garrod
Marrying The Royal Marine - Carla Kelly
Married By Morning - Lisa Kleypas

Why I read Historicals? The storytelling is amazing! Here are some more of my 5 Star Historical Romance Reads! 

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text 2015-06-02 17:10
#WhyIReadHistoricals
The Lion's Lady - Julie Garwood
Flowers from the Storm - Laura Kinsale
The Flame and the Flower - Kathleen E. Woodiwiss
The Famous Heroine - Mary Balogh
Fallen Angel - Charlotte Louise Dolan
Desire - Amanda Quick
Coming Home for Christmas: A Christmas in ParadiseO Christmas TreeNo Crib for a Bed - Carla Kelly
Bartered Bride - Anne Avery
Lady Sophia's Lover - Lisa Kleypas
Candle in the Window - Christina Dodd

Read Historical Romance! It lets you time travel without the dirt and lack of flush toliets.  

 

These are some of my five star reads in the genre. 

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