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 ta...more
What I love about the book I think is the sweeping saga of it all. And Woodiwiss' writing....more
The ending was the only blemish on my experience with this wonderful story.
(view spoiler)[It couldn't get much more tidy or corn-venient. (hide spoiler)]
I am the perfect reader for this book though, I must admit. I loved the flowery, lavender-hued prose and the abundance of detail in this rather lighthearted, adventure tale.
That's not to say there wasn't a fair amount of conflict, but it was the good kind in which an awful, naughty villainess-type character slowly comes undone by a wily an...more
I found this to be true-this was my second Kathleen E.Woodiwiss novel-My first being The Flame and the Flower-which i loved, so i decided to tackle this 672 paged book-the largest amo...more
It is also the only historical romance book my husband ever listened to, against his will and with strong protestations, as read by me. We were going snow skiing, back in the days when we couldn’t afford to fly, and it was a 14 hour...more
That of course was f...more
Moreover, Shanna was very annoying and shallow, and you think, all beauty and no brain, makes sense. And you don't think too highly of the h...more
The plot twists and turns and twists again! Ruark, the hero, is awesome. Very alpha...more
I am much older n...more
Ruark quickly becomes the most valued of bondsmen much to Shanna's chagrin. She cheated Ruark of his wedding night and he's determined she should pay him his due.
It is the first novel I read written by Kathleen Woodiwiss, and, boy, am I not glad that this is the case! I loved this book completely and from every aspect. The novel is cleverly poetic, heartbreakingly romantic, pleasantly mysterious, rightly sophisticated, and beautifully embellished.
It is written for events taking place during the mid 18th century, and so the writing is older English style....more
It follows the adventures of strong-willed and brave but immature and shallow Shanna (who, to give her credit, does mature over the course of the book) and the sexy as hell Ruark. Shanna marries Ruark when he is about to be executed because for various plotty reasons she needs to be a widow. Only Ruark gets tr...more
Yes, it w...more
It will be kept in my heart forever...
how I truly enjoy its beautiful romance ....
its high adventure...
I love this book, love and love it always...
While this was a great book, I felt it could have been at least 200 pages shorter. There was just too much going on. We go from a priso...more
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"I would have followed you," Ruark assured with a flash of white teeth. "You have my heart and my baby. You would not have escaped.”
His humor fled, and the smile left her lips as she continued, "You said it before, too. When the storm struck, I asked you to love me, and you said you did." Her voice was the barest of whispers.
Ruark's gaze turned away from her, and he rubbed the bandage on his leg before he spoke. "Strange that madness should speak the truth, but truth it is." He met her questioning eyes directly. "Aye, I love you." The pain of longing marked his face with a momentary sadness. "And that is madness, in all truth."
Shanna raised herself form his side and sat on her heels, staring down at him. "Why do you love me?" Her tone was wondrous. "I beset you at every turn. I deny you as a fit mate. I have betrayed you into slavery and worse. There is no sanity in your plea at all. How can you love me?"
"Shanna! Shanna! Shanna!" he sighed, placing his fingers on her hand and gently tracing the lines of her finely boned fingers. "What man would boast the wisdom of his love? How many time has this world heard, 'I don't care, I love.' Do I count your faults and sins to tote them in a book?"
"I dream of unbelievable softness. I remember warmth at my side the likes of which can set my heart afire. I see in the dark before me softly glowing eyes of aqua, once tender in a moment of love, then flashing with defiance and anger, now dark and blue with some stirring I know I have caused, now green and gay with laughter spilling from them. There is a form within my arms that I tenderly held and touched. There is that one who has met my passion with her own and left me gasping."
Ruark caressed Shanna's arm and turned her face to him, making her look into his eyes and willing her to see the truth in them as he spoke.
"My beloved Shanna. I cannot think of betrayal when I think of love. I can count no denials when I hold you close. I only wait for that day when you will say, 'I love."
Shanna raised her hands as if to plead her case then let them fall dejectedly on her knees. Tears coursed down her cheeks, and she begged helplessly, "But I do not want to love you." She began to sob. "You are a colonial. You are untitled, a murderer condemned, a rogue, a slave. I want a name for my children. I want so much more of my husband." She rolled her eyes in sudden confusion. "And I do not want to hurt you more."
Ruark sighed and gave up for the moment. He reached out and gently wiped away the tears as they fell. "Shanna, love," he whispered tenderly, "I cannot bear to see you cry. I will not press the matter for a while. I only beg you remember the longest journey is taken a step at a time. My love can wait, but it will neither yield nor change.”