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The Wolf and the Dove

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The Wolf
Noble Aislinn grieves as the Iron Wolf and his minions storm through her beloved Darkenwald. And she burns with malice for the handsome Norman savage who would enslave her. . .even as she aches to know the rapture of the conqueror's kiss.

The Dove
For the first time ever, mighty Wulfgar has been vanquished — and by a bold and beautiful princess of Saxon blood. He must have the chaste, sensuous enchantress who is sworn to his destruction. And he will risk life itself to nurture with tender passion a glorious union born in the blistering heat of hatred and war.

512 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published January 1, 1974

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About the author

Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

64 books1,674 followers
Kathleen Erin Hogg was born on June 3, 1939, in Alexandria, Louisiana, she was the youngest of eight siblings by Gladys (Coker) and Charles Wingrove Hogg, a disabled World War I veteran. She long relished creating original narratives, and by age 6 was telling herself stories at night to help herself fall asleep. At age 16, she met U.S. Air Force Second Lieutenant Ross Eugene 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.

She 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 that created a literary precedent. The novel revolutionized mainstream publishing, featuring an epic historical romance with a strong heroine and impassioned sex scenes. 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, she 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 The Flame and the Flower 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.

She was an avid horse rider who at one time lived in a large home on 55 acres (220,000 m2) in Minnesota. After her husband's death in 1996, she moved back to Louisiana. She died in a hospital on July 6, 2007 in Princeton, Minnesota, aged 68, from cancer. She was survived by two sons, Sean and Heath, their wives, and numerous grandchildren. Her third son, Dorren, predeceased her.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 847 reviews
Profile Image for Misfit.
1,637 reviews278 followers
August 20, 2008
Appalling! The worst medieval romance I have ever read. The Wolf and the Dove starts in 1066 as William has invaded England and the conquering Normans take control of the Saxons and their lands. I'd go into the plot in detail, but so many other reviewers have already done so I don't see the need to rehash it again. What I want to address are the many many things I found wrong with this book,

* I'm not a history major but I thought that after conquering England William inter-married the Norman and Saxon nobility to ensure a harmonious transition, but Lady Aislinn is turned into a slave to be used at Wolfgar's whim? Not only that, but when he brings his "slave/mistress" to London he takes her to court and presents her to William!!??
* Aislinn is eighteen years old, that's right eighteen years old, beautiful, educated, intelligent and unmarried. Eighteen years old and unmarried when girls were married at fourteen and fifteen, and a spinster at 16. Righto.
* I know the heroine always has to be beautiful and all the guys desire her, but come on! By page 200 I've lost count of how many times her bodice has been ripped and she's been groped. Maybe this was where the term bodice ripper came from!
* Well bred women in medieval times kept their hair braided and covered, yet Aislinn's glorious tresses are always flowing free, for all to see and no one is shocked. Worse yet, not once, but twice she's so carried away to hurry to greet new arrivals that she forgets to put her shoes on!!?? Helloooooooo...
* While I don't expect historical accuracy in a romance, there was just one too many outright boners in this book that just had me rolling my eyes. Potatoes and Velvet in the 11C? I don't think so.

Worst of all, at least for this reader, was no chemistry at all between Aislinn and Wolfgar, a death knell for a romance novel. Aislinn was a spineless twit and Wolfgar was a pompous overbearing macho male chauvinist p.....well you know what. The book was long winded and I found myself skipping many pages on my way to the final and painful ending. I have read other books by Woodiwiss and while not high fiction I've found them a pleasant way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon. However, this book is not one of them, and I strongly urge other potential readers to consider all the opinions carefully before making this your reading choice. For those looking for well written, historically accurate tales of England at the time of the Conquest, I would recommend Elizabeth Chadwick's The Winter Mantle or THE CONQUEST. As quoted on some of her book jackets, the next best thing to time travel.
Profile Image for KatLynne.
547 reviews559 followers
March 10, 2013
3/6/2013 - Re-read with my local book group

The Wolf and the Dove is Kathleen Woodiwiss’s second novel written. It’s a rather lengthy Viking Historical with over 500 pages, all of which I devoured as I enjoyed a re-read with my local book peeps. While I was happy to find it’s still among my all time favorites, I realize this book may not work for others.

Woodiwiss is well known for taking the romance genre into the bedroom in 1972. Still you will not find explicit sex scenes. The Wolf and the Dove was first published in 1974, two years after ... “The modern romance genre was born with Avon’s publication of Kathleen Woodiwiss’s, The Flame and the Flower.... the first romance novel "to [follow] the principals into the bedroom."

The year is 1066 and Saxon England is being invaded by the Normans who have taken up the cause of the soon to be King William. Eighteen year old Aislinn of Darkenwald becomes an object of the spoils of war and now belongs to Wulfgar, the Iron Wolf of Normandy. While he’s a fierce alpha warrior, he’s also fair to those under his rule. And even though he may be the enemy, Aislinn is intrigued by this handsome stranger.

Woodiwiss completely captures my attention within the first few pages and I enjoyed every minute of the tempestuous journey of Wulfgar and his Aislinn, captor and slave. There’s angst, jealousy, treachery, passion, and sizzling chemistry. There’s a miraculous HEA ending where everything is wrapped up in a neat little bundle. It’s totally unbelievable, but I loved it and it worked for me.

Also, you’ll find things that aren’t historically correct. Again, not a problem for me. When I read romance, I’m looking more for the relationship aspects rather than a high percentage of historical accurate detail.

What I did find on my re-read is one of the sexiest warriors I’ve read. Woodiwiss gives great insight into Wulfgar’s feelings concerning love and marriage. I found Aislinn to be a heroine that I loved. She falls hard for this sexy warrior, and while he may be satisfied with their relationship as it is, she wants commitment.

Kathleen Woodiwiss was an amazingly talented author who has given me many hours of pleasure within the pages she’s penned. I’m delighted to find she still sits among my favorites after all these years.
Profile Image for Inara.
539 reviews200 followers
August 4, 2007
Title in German:
Der Wolf und die Taube

This was the first book I ever read by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss and it´s still my most loved one. The story between Aislinn the daughter of a Saxon baron and Wulfgar a Norman and how they came to love each other in a time of war, conquest and upheaval makes me still sighing happily and my eyes suspiciously bright. Wulgar is my epitome of a noble knight, kind and strong, tender and yet a great warrior and I almost fell instantly in love with him at the age of 17 when I read this novel for the first time. This book is in my opinion a "classic" in the medieval romance genre and a balm for my romantic heart.
Profile Image for Christine.
6,605 reviews478 followers
August 23, 2009
I think there is a point in most women's lives where they have read trashy romance novels. For me, it was my junior and senior years in high school and my freshmen year of college. I had a friend in high school who actually had to hide such books in her underwear drawer. Her mother would've flipped out. We pretty much read them because of the trashy romance novel sex scenes. Except for the Guardian Angel. He read Harlequin Romances; I'm not sure why.

And then.

And then I read one too many where the heroine was raped by the "romantic" lead. Admittedly these were books published in the late 70s and early 80s (used bookstores sold them cheap). There was one called The Pirate's Doxy (or something like that). Poor Miss Virgin gets mistaken for a prostitute when she is really a seamstress, gets taken aboard a ship because the captain needs a hooker to get over his ex. He rapes Miss Virgin, believing that she was playacting. He's really sorry, and they fall in love. SAY WHAT?

It's amazing how that can just turn your stomach. You can no doubt see why I stopped reading trashy romance novels. The fact that I minored in history also undoubtedly had something to do with it. Who wants to read a trashy romance about Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon (or Anne Boleyn) when you know how the relationship ends? Except, I didn't really stop reading them. I just call it urban fantasy, and the heroine can turn into werewolf (or a demon or whatever), so it has fantastic elements, though sometimes less sex scenes. The women tend to kick butt, however. I also re-read Outlander this summer.

There has to be something about romance books that speak to women (and at least one male). Maybe it is the sex scenes, especially with the younger readers. Maybe it is the prefect guy, the romantic lead, though I doubt this last considering how many rapes seem to occur. I understand the whole "rape fantasy" psyche idea, but that is different than describing a real rape, isn't it? Even in UF you can see this rape fantasy being overplayed and never really examined, for instance, in the later Anita Blake novels, though who is the victim and who is the rapist is sometimes unclear. Maybe these types of rape-romance books are written by men for men. (This would also explain Lifetime, the channel of women in trouble needing rescuing).

Maybe women dig romance books because such books are our version of James Bond. This theory would also apply to soap operas. Think about it. Is James Bond really that realistic? Can he really drink and shot straight? Would all those women really want him (and remember he wasn't always played by Connery or Craig)? Would a bad guy really reveal his plan before trying to kill Bond, and walk out without making sure the super-spy is dead? All those women and no STDs or screaming babies?

Maybe romance books are a female version of Bond. Here is, the books say, a man who is tamed by the love of a good women. He becomes more understanding and sympathetic as the love story progresses. He's really good in bed. He pleasures her, not the other way around. They are the perfect match, at first sexually and then mentally and emotionally. In romance books, at least in some, the woman does change the man; she does have some power to do this. Even in the Doxy book I cited above, the rapist became "nicer", more "emotional". She changes him by simply being who she is. Sovereignty, the Wife of Bath says, is what women want, maybe romance books offer a picture of that.

It's true that there are books that play with the standard cliches of romantic fiction. Outlander, for instance, inverts the standard virgin and experienced roles, as well the ages, which is why I still like it. While The Wolf and the Dove doesn't do this exactly, I still have my copy. I liked this book because there is no character rape. There is a near rape, and how this is not a rape is absolutely wonderfully explained. (It sounds weird, but if you read the book, you'll see). The would be rapist is not the romantic lead, but the villain. There really is romance in the book and not simply sex. I suppose to even call this book a trashy romance novel is doing it a slight injustice. It is a romance novel, a woman's story. And for whatever reason, something women like. If you are thinking of reading a romance book, this is a good one. It doesn’t insult women and is charming told. The female character is also strong emotionally, as is her mother. Woodiwiss deals with the theme of the conquered and the conqueror very well. The book is something of an examination of these roles, and, therefore, not a typical romance.
Profile Image for Pepa.
937 reviews236 followers
October 31, 2019
Si esta novela fuera actual no se llevaría ni 1
pero teniendo en cuenta que se publicó en el año 1974, no le voy a quitar el mérito de ser una de las que dio un giro a la novela romántica
Aún así, creo que le sobran muchas páginas y no me gusta la temática
Odio las novelas con violaciones, aquí el tema está sutilmente disfrazado y he terminado más que harta con la moraleja del anillo
él como protagonista me ha parecido bastante coherente, es la imagen que tengo de aquellos dçías, en los que la mujer sería eso, un medio de placer masculino y engendrar hijos
con ella tengo mis más y mis menos, porque la autora quiere darle valentía pero no lo consigue y en muchas ocasiones me parece hasta tonta, lo siento
Muy bien ambientada, aunque muchas de las descripciones me sobran. pero entiendo que en aquella época la autora dio un salto
Profile Image for Dagmara Pageturner .
201 reviews32 followers
January 23, 2022

Set in 1066 and written in 1972 and still in print after almost five decades, this book is a masterpiece of historical romance.

Magnificent, intense, emotional, bloody, and exciting with a hard won HEA that will make your heart soar with the beauty of it. This unforgettable story with characters to love and loathe shook me to the core.

Fiery Lady Aislinn and protective stern, soft on the inside knight, Wulfgar, follow a very rocky road to happiness and his metamorphosis into emotionally available knight in shining armour. Witty banter, a battle of minds, blossoming lust and enduring love.

A treasure of historical romance that likely had far reaching influence onto other genres. What a pity they don't write HR on this scale anymore, so let's cherish this one.

Read, escape, enjoy...it is amazing🐺⚔🕊
Profile Image for Alba Turunen.
659 reviews208 followers
October 30, 2019
1 Estrella. Lo siento por la señora Woodiwiss, pero mentiría si dijera que éste libro me ha gustado, no lo ha hecho nada. Lo cierto es que me ha parecido un bodrio y un culebrón infumable. Quizás si hubiese sido una de mis primeras lecturas de novela romántica, habría sido más permisible con él, y por más que he intentado recordarme que fue su segundo libro y lo publicó en 1974 habría pensado de otra manera, pero no.

“El lobo y la paloma” imagino que en su momento debió ser un boom, novedoso allá donde la novela romántica como hoy la conocemos se estaba gestando, el problema que he tenido con éste libro es que no ha envejecido bien y he leído montones de libros de ésta misma temática y pocos me impresionan.

¿Qué historia nos cuenta? La de Aislinn y Wulfgar. Estamos en la Inglaterra de 1066 cuando Guillermo el Conquistador se hace con el país. Aislinn es la hija de un noble sajón, que ve invadido su hogar por saqueadores normandos que no dudan en ningún momento en matar o esclavizar a las gentes que allí moran. Se presentará en escena Ragnor de Marte, un noble normando, cabecilla de todo el pillaje y el malo malísimo de la novela, que no descansará en hacerles la vida imposible a los protagonistas hasta que consiga hacer suya a Aislinn.

Wulfgar es un caballero normando, un bastardo que se ha ganado los favores del duque y posteriormente rey Guillermo. Las ordenes del rey son que Wulfgar asegure los terrenos de Darkenwald para la corona y pacifique la zona. El problema radicará cuando Wulfgar llegue a Darkenwald y vea el pillaje al que Ragnor ha sometido a la población, y la vejación de encontrar a la hija del anterior dueño convertida en una esclava.

La historia de Aislinn y Wulfgar comenzará desde el principio, ambos son guapos, atractivos, se atraen etc., pero Wulfgar es un hombre que no confía en las mujeres, y Aislinn no quiere enamorarse de un enemigo que nunca la verá como algo más que una mascota, incapaz de confiar en ella, y mucho menos en desposarla.

¿Qué ha tenido de mal este libro? Todo, el planteamiento de la novela debió ser novedoso en la época, y sé que otras novelas que he leído y sí me han gustado se habrán basado en éste libro, pero tenemos una historia trillada y mala, absurda e inverosímil.

Los personajes, aunque hasta cierto punto bien logrados, no han logrado hacer mella en mí, Aislinn me ha parecido estúpida y cargante en toda la novela, la autora la pintaba de una manera que luego no era para nada así. Wulfgar el protagonista quizás es el único al que se le ha visto como un hombre de su época, y pese a sus muchas incoherencias, creo que es el único personaje que evoluciona. Pero ¿Qué hay de los demás? ¡Horrorosos! Empezando por los malos malísimos, Ragnor de Marte y Gwyneth, la medio hermana de Wulfgar, son un chiste absurdo, ambos son tan malos, rastreros y odiosos, que acabas odiando la novela por su sola presencia. Sí, ésta es de ese tipo de historias donde los protagonistas son muy buenos, y los malos son muy malos; pero luego la autora encontrará justificación en su manera de actuar, los redimirá y luego hará cosas tan inconexas con ellos, que como lectora eres incapaz de creerte.

Por otro lado y para añadirle más leña al fuego, este libro ha sido horriblemente largo, le sobraban más de doscientas páginas, ha sido muy, muy cargante y pesado; he llegado a más de un punto en el que me negaba a leer más o me dormía. Me parece una auténtica lástima, pero creo que por las críticas esperaba mucho más de ésta novela, y lo único que ha conseguido ha sido frustrarme. Creo que sólo destacaría el capítulo final, al que he visto mucha chicha, para que luego la autora lo estropee añadiéndole un azúcar que no le hacía falta a la novela, pues ya empachaba.

En el futuro creo que volveré a reconsiderar lo de leer clásicos y creerme que son la repanocha porque fueron los primeros. He quedado totalmente decepcionada y desencantada. He leído otros libros de Kathleen Woodiwiss que me han gustado bastante, el anterior a éste que leí no me gustó nada, y éste no sé si me ha gustado menos. Lo único que sé es que tengo otro libro suyo esperando para ser leído, y me da un miedo tremendo pensar en qué tendrá dentro. Lo que sí sé, es que tardaré en leerlo, porque no me veo capaz de soportar otro libro de ésta escritora en mucho tiempo.
Profile Image for Tutti Dolci.
223 reviews36 followers
September 17, 2019
This one had so much potential for greatness, but it dragged on for what seemed like FOREVER, going from one conflict to another and another. And in the end, the main/original conflict was resolved almost too easily. Presented like a gift with a nice little bow, which (after the long, drawn out story) felt unrealistic and hastily put together, merely because the story had to end. The way I see it, the story was unnecessarily lengthy and a lot of the word count could've been better used to create a more reasonable, natural, organic ending.

I also want to mention that the fade-to-black love scenes were snooze-worthy. There was one particular instance where I wasn't even sure that the H/h had even had sex! Reminded me a lot of the eyeroll-worthy fade-to-black love scene in that popular book where the dawn would be breaking. So, if you like a little more steam factor in your romance reads, you will be a bit disappointed with this one.
Profile Image for Antonella  M..
921 reviews82 followers
April 15, 2021
"Invece di rimuginare su quel che è stato, cerca di far sì che il domani sia migliore"

Che bello quando le chiacchiere sui libri ti portano a scoprire autentiche perle. “Il lupo e la colomba” è proprio una perla del romance storico soprattutto se si considera che l'anno di pubblicazione è il 1974.
Siamo nel 1066 e il duca di Normandia, Guglielmo, riesce a invadere l'Inghilterra e vincendo la battaglia di Hasting, diventa il re. Squadre di mercenari, sotto il vessillo di Guglielmo il conquistatore, ne approfittano per prendere possesso, con la forza e la violenza, di vari feudi. Fra questi c'è quello di Darkenwald, dove, dopo averne ucciso il legittimo Lord, i normanni fanno schiavi gli abitanti.
Aislinn è la giovane figlia del propriatario del feudo che, dopo una serie di eventi traumatici, diventa schiava personale di Wulfgar, il lupo, colui che viene scelto da Guglielmo, per le sue innumerevoli gesta, come nuovo signore del castello.

Questo è quanto basta sapere per immergersi in questa storia bellissima narrata dalla penna delicata, ma incisiva della Woodiwiss. Ho adorato i dettagli curatissimi dell'ambientazione, dell'atteggiamento e abbigliamento dei personaggi, tutto molto reale, tanto che sembrava di essere lì, in quel castello medievale e spiare gli avvenimenti; alcune descrizioni, addirittura, mi hanno ricordato “I pilastri della terra” di Follett. Le varie emozioni le senti addosso : l'umiliazione di Aislinn, la caparbietà di Wulfgar, il disprezzo di Gwyneth, la crescente pazzia di Maida, la sensualità di alcune scene, che pur essendo caste rispetto agli storici più attuali, viene fuori ugualmente. Spero di riuscire a recuperare altro di questa autrice perché merita davvero.
Profile Image for Ivy H.
855 reviews
November 11, 2017
I loved this novel. Wulfgar was a sexy brute of a man and sweet fiesty Aislinn was his ideal lover. Ragnor, the evil villain did get a deserved death. I can't recall all the details because I read this years ago but I do remember that I loved this story.
Profile Image for Melluvsbooks.
1,128 reviews
January 6, 2023
This was a reread. It has all the stuff I love. Innocent heroine, reluctant hero, OW drama, damsel in distress moments, torrid embraces, forced seduction, angst and a delicious HEA.

Profile Image for Ingela Hyatt.
Author 3 books29 followers
June 7, 2009
She was the daughter of the lord of Darkenwald, proud, wise, and uncommonly beautiful, but now Aislinn is but a slave to the conquering Normans, a plaything for the man who killed her father. Sitting in the hall with rope tied about her neck and forced at the feet of her captor, she watches helplessly as the Normans ransack her home and abuse her mother. But she will have her revenge—no Norman will ever conquer her, nor will she ever give up the only home she has ever known.

Born as a bastard and scorned by his mother, Wulfgar has come to hate women. Though dispised because of his birth, he is fair and just with all whom he meets. When he arrives at Darkenwald to discover the knight he sent, Ragnar, to secure the town has killed the old lord and most of his serfs, Wulfgar becomes furious and suspicious. But when he espies the courageous Aislinn struggling to bury her father—he wants her. Never has he met a more beautiful or bold wench with such a stout heart—and he will tame her by every gentle and seductive means necessary.

Aislinn shall never willingly submit to any Norman—her hatred for them knows no bounds—until she meets the handsome and formidable Wulfgar, who challenges her at every turn. Despite the fact he is a bastard and a Norman, he seems unusually honest and is more handsome than any man has a right to be. Why does his kiss make her insides quiver? Why does he prefer to chain her to the foot of the bed instead of raping her as Ragnar has done? He is kind and fair, but his justice is swift and terrible. How is she to resist this man who asks nothing of her, but seduces her into offering everything? Why is his heart so hard where women are concerned, yet his touch so gentle?

Wulfgar has always been able to love a woman and leave her without nary a thought to cloud his mind. Yet, when William the Conquer demands his presence in London for his coronation, it is Aislinn who haunts his every thought—the softness of her fiery hair, her womanly fragrance, the passion in her touch, the feel of her in his arms. The vixen must have bewitched him—it can be the only explination, for Wulfgar must have her at his side, no matter the cost.

Shocked by Wulfgar’s summons, Aislinn is only too eager to join her Norman knight in London. But how can she give herself to a man who will never wed her, who holds only pain and hatred for women in his heart? How can she ever turn his mind to the tenderness she would give, nay the love which has grown inside her? He told her no woman had ever tarried in his mind, yet he called for her. He swore never to waist his hard earned monies on a female, yet he lavishes her with gifts. But he refuses to give her the one thing she so desperately yearns for—his love. Will she ever soften this hardened warrior’s heart? Can she ever make him acknowledge the love burning within herself? Or will the enemies plotting against them succeed in ripping them apart and destroying them forever?

The Wolf and the Dove by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss is a classic epic tale of love, passion, and revenge. The historical detail beautifully enhances this sweeping story and pulls the reader into the turbulent time of the Norman Conquest. Aislinn and Wulfgar are such deep and complex you can’t help but yearn for the gentle dove to tame the wild wolf and show him the power of love. This novel has been on my keeper shelf for many years now, and after re-reading it, I have to say it is no wonder Kathleen Woodiwiss inspired a genre which has taken the world by storm. With elegant prose, deeply emotional characters, and exciting settings, Ms. Woodiwiss was a master of her craft. Whether a novice to the genre or an old fan, I highly recommend you read (or re-read as the case may be) The Wolf and the Dove and be prepared to be swept away into a world long past...
Profile Image for Jena .
1,878 reviews2 followers
February 28, 2023
Re-re- read 2022 - 3.5⭐️

I gave this 4/5 stars 10 plus years ago.
Now I just find this too long, dry, draggy, and boring. Even the love scenes are lacking in this compared to this authors other books.
Additionally, I felt like the MCs lacked chemistry.

For my future self so I don’t try rerereading this years later.

- love scenes are basically 1 sentence long, or they’re fade to black. The almost rape scenes and the H trying to cheat on the h are more descriptive than the actual love scenes between the MCs.

-the h pesters the H to marry her constantly, when he didn’t want to marry her. It was pathetic and annoying. Then he finally marries her to make her happy (because she was being a total bitch because he wouldn’t marry her), and not because he wanted to.🙄. This marriage scene didn’t give me the warm fuzzy feelings.

-there is ow drama.
He made out with this widow after having sex with the h. (Kissing, heavy patting. No penetration).
Then she ends up living in their own home, and she stirs jealousies, because she flirts with the H and he seemingly looks at her lustfully.
Profile Image for Sombra.
325 reviews39 followers
October 30, 2019
Tal parece que me he encontrado con el mejor y el peor libro de la autora. Así como "Una rosa en invierno" me encantó desde el primer capítulo hasta el último; éste no lo ha logrado y ni siquiera se ha acercado.

Si algo le aplaudo a la autora acerca de esta autora es la ambientación. No soy experta en historia y menos en la medieval, pero creo que se ha adecuado bastante a lo que era la mentalidad de los señoríos y a cómo era la vida diaria de todos ellos, incluyendo la clase obrera.
Pero lo que no he podido soportar, ha sido la historia de amor de los protagonistas...si es que se la puede llamar historia de amor.

Aislinn es una joven de 18 años que siempre ha estado bastante protegida por sus padres y, tal parece que tiene toda su vida planeada. Un hogar, un prometido e incluso un papel dentro del castillo como dama y como curandera de sus súbditos. Pero todo cambia cuando su castillo es asaltado, su padre es asesinado y su prometido es relegado a esclavo, al igual que ella.
Y ahí es cuando empiezan mis problemas con la historia.

Entiendo que eran otras épocas y es más que probable que las mujeres pensaran que su papel era casarse y tener hijos con aquel a quienes la entregaran; pero suspirar por un protagonista que no hace sino tratarla como si fuera de usar y tirar... (por muy encantador que sea a veces y por muy justo que siempre haya sido con ella) no me convence, lo siento.
Sí que es cierto que nuestro protagonista, Wulfgan, es el que más se acerca a ese hombre medieval que creía que al ser el señor de un territorio le pertenecía todo..incluida la mujer del castillo.
Pero es que la autora me pretende vender una protagonista valiente que no se deja pisotear por nadie y con las ideas claras..y me he encontrado con una protagonista poco inteligente en cuanto a actuaciones (presionar a aquel que te trata medianamente bien cuando no toca, calentarle el oído para luego rechazarle y dejarte pisotear por todos no lo veo yo muy inteligente...) y que no estaba de acuerdo ni consigo misma.

Pero no es culpa de la protagonista.no. Es culpa de la historia. Una historia que tiene casi 700 páginas y de las que la sobran la mitad. Sobran escenas de batallas, sobran escenas de celos, sobran escenas de maldad..SOBRAN....Si no hubiera habido tantos tiras y aflojas, y la autora g¡se hubiera centrado en lo importante, me habría gustado muchísimo más, e incluso habría subido a las tres estrellas..pero así NO. (Para gustos los colores y he visto críticas muy positivas, así que seguramente sea yo la rara, pero es que no puedo mentir...)

Ahora sobre los secundarios...decir que he odiado a todos y cada uno de ellos (Vale, no a todos, se libran cuatro: la mano derecha de Wulfgan, su padre, el prometido de Aislinn y la dama de compañia de la misma; el resto... a la hoguera todos).
Ragnor - Desde su primera escena con Aislinn ya apuntaba maneras a ser una piedra en el zapato...y no me ha decepcionado.
Gwyneth - Es el típico personaje femenino que no soportas. Vengativa, envidiosa, venenosa y con poco cerebro. La pero combinación que podréis encontrar viviendo bajo el techo de la protagonista.
Pero la autora, no contenta con estos dos, nos pone a otra: Haylen. Una viuda que no hace más que seguir los pasos de Gwyneth (ahí vemos su inteligencia...) para que nuestra protagonista, que de por sí ya estaba asfixiada en veneno, ahora tenga ración doble de víboras (Viva!!!)

Pero no todo es malo. El final ha sido muy bonito. Sobre todo cuando he visto que acababa, porque menudo dramón más gratuito que me he comido durante más de una semana.
Profile Image for Pamela(AllHoney).
2,631 reviews360 followers
December 20, 2014
There was something about this one that keeps me coming back and rereading it over and over again. The story of a dove taming the big, bad wolf.

William, the Conqueror, has invaded England to claim his throne. A group of men are sent to Darkenwald to secure the land for Wulfgar. But instead of negotiating for a peaceful solution, Ragnor incites a battle. Aislinn's father and many others are killed and the rest taken prisoner as slaves.

I've just did a re-read of this book for a group challenge and I found that I still love this book after all these years. I know some people are critical of the style in which Ms Woodiwiss wrote, accusing it of being purple prose. But I personally enjoyed it. It had an almost poetic feel at times but it wasn't confusing to me at all. I will still recommend this book to Historical Romance lovers.
Profile Image for Ginnie Leiner.
253 reviews2 followers
July 16, 2009
One of the best bodice rippers I ever read as a young impressionable woman!
Profile Image for Ivie dan Glokta.
311 reviews204 followers
December 7, 2012

Argh! The conversation was so forced, it was like watching an old play, with, I shit you not a proper damsel in distress. And he is the classic mustache twisting villain.

The author has proven that she has the uncanny ability to overstate the obvious...

Example: "Join me and we shall dine, so we quench our hunger!"

Really, you're hungry? OH MY GOD!!!! I thought you want to eat for a completely different reason.....

She tries to imitate the old way of speech and fails miserably, making the the entire book grate on your brain...

And she's all like:
"Oh, nay i beg of you sir!!!" *swoons* "You will never have my heart, you fiend!" *blushes maidenly*

And I'm all like:

I only got to about 20%, and could not for the life of me stomach more... I wanted to slap her silly...

The stuff that get's published.........jeez....
Profile Image for Myself.
218 reviews6 followers
March 24, 2018
#RitaWoodiwiss #RetoRita2
Pues también me ha gustado mucho como todos los de esta autora.
Es una historia muy previsible, la verdad, pero de la Woodiwiss lo compro todo.
También hay que pensar que se desarrolla sobre el 1.067 y no sacarlo de contexto temporal. Si lo haces posiblemente no te guste.
Lo que menos me ha gustado,No se si será la traducción, es el abuso de la palabra "zorra". Ya se hace cansino.
Profile Image for Badseedgirl.
1,258 reviews62 followers
November 7, 2017
A short plot summery of The Wolf and the Dove:

Rape (or was it)
More Rape
Marrying your rapist
Happily Ever After

And yet sometimes I want to read stuff like this anyway.
Profile Image for Missy.
649 reviews
April 26, 2021
The book is unnecessarily long, slow, and, unfortunately, boring. The heroine adjusts to her new life as a slave. The hero does his duty to William. The villain is vengeful and wants the heroine for his own. The hero's sister is a vain and selfish b*tch. The chapters are long, too. I'm the type of reader who likes to stop reading for the night after completing the chapter I'm currently reading. (For some reason, I'm not like this when I listen to audiobooks.) There's something about Kathleen E. Woodiwiss's writing style that I didn't like. She tries to make the dialogue true to its time, but it sounded like the characters were taking the first course in how to speak like Yoda. For instance, “Why came you here to my chamber at this hour, Ragnor?”

The book spans over a year or so and during that time, the hero and heroine do spend some time apart, which I dislike, but that's an element of a bodice ripper, so I'll just have to accept it. And speaking of bodice-ripping, our poor heroine had her bodice ripped so many times in the first couple of chapters by the villain, her former betrothed, and eventually the hero. I didn't reread the blurb for this book before going into chapter 1, and so I thought Ragnor (antagonist) was the hero, because Wulfgar (hero) didn't make his appearance until chapter 2.

I was aware there was going to be rape in this book, and I was not looking forward to reading that passage. I recalled clutching my chest, feeling absolutely horrified after reading my first rape scene in Stormfire by Christine Monson and so I kept bracing myself for the rape scene in this book. Fortunately, the author didn't go into detail during the rape scenes. In fact, I wasn't even confident what I read was indeed a rape scene. Read the end of the passage below.

Some of the sex scenes also suffer from a lack of details but I guess that could be due to the style back then (This book was first published in 1974). The hero almost sleeps with another woman while he and the heroine were apart.

There are quite a few of secondary characters. No one really interesting. Ugh, the hero's sister Gwyneth is so annoyingly cruel. I've never had a female character tried my patience this much before. I wish the hero, heroine, and Gwyneth's dad would stand up to her more than the amount they did do in the book.

There are a few more books by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss that I want to read. I just hope they're not unnecessarily long and slow.
Profile Image for Vivian.
2,839 reviews393 followers
September 24, 2018
My rating remains unchanged after this reread. I first read it when I was approx. eleven years old. While I like the medieval period enormously, the Norman invasion and the shifting politics, I still have parts of the story that don't quite work for me.

Aislinn is the daughter, only child, of the Lord of Darkenwald when Norman invaders take over, killing her father, and raping her. Yes, this is an old school bodice ripper, so it is problematic in many ways by today's standards. You could have many discussions about consent: rape, forced submission, abuse of power, and even pleasure's complication in understanding that it does not denote consent.

I'm not going to dissect or complain about that in the review. I guess my main grievance with the story is the version of miscommunication, here. To be fair, the power imbalance of conqueror and conquered creates a whole slew of issues from loyalty to honesty to trust that hinder communication. Add in stoicism and past abuse and you have limited characters abilities to interact in a healthy manner. And this is why this book rates three stars for me and not lower.

There is an intrinsic difference between tattling or failing to resolve your own problems and safety and welfare. Aislinn, even after being told directly and indirectly, refuses or is unable to address issues with Wulfgar regarding not only her own personal well being, but Darkenwald's as well. Frankly, the first failure I get. The second, which is Aislinn's main motivation for remaining after the invasion, to care for the inhabitants is an enormous fail. She fails personally and as a leader, and all the small individual triumphs of her actions are overshadowed. Ugh.

Wulfgar, a bastard son, raised by others as was the custom in training young men has understandable and formidable emotional issues. He has no ability to interact beyond contracted male/female roles. He has the emotional age of maybe nine years old, and compounded by abuse and abandonment means he's raw and has to learn not only how to behave with Aislinn beyond sexual congress, which he is surprisingly good at for someone with little regard for females, but also understand his own feelings.

Hampered protagonists trying to fight their way to love from an inauspicious start. Fine. This might be a bit belabored, but it is realistic in timescale. The part that made it feel really slow was all the countryside wandering, I guess there needs to be something going on while Wulfgar and Aislinn are trying to figure things out. The mismanagement of risk assessments I suppose is what really didn't work for me. It allowed problems to fester and grow and become huge and potentially catastrophic.

<<>> Reread with the fabulous Andrea. 2018-09
Profile Image for Jaime.
1,607 reviews293 followers
March 19, 2022
“Let the wolf howl at the moon. It will not come to him. Let him range the forests dark. He will not find what he seeks there. Only when that time comes when he admits to himself that he has need for love shall he find true happiness. Until then, be his in truth and kindness. If you hold any softness for him in your heart, Aislinn, give to him what his mother and I denied him. Cradle him in your love when he drops his aching heart at your feet.”

This is a tale of Norman/viking invasion under the command of William, Duke of Normandy, and the conquering of the Saxon’s who call Darkenwald or the village of Cregan in southern England their home. The story starts in the year of 1066 with Ragnor de Marte invading Darkenwald and murdering many of its inhabitants. This is not a pretty story the wreckage, ravages, plunders, and prisoners turned slave associated with war, are all very in your face during the story. This is my first book by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss and I have to say she is excellent at transporting the reader into the story, her vivid descriptions, imagery, along with her unique and intriguing characters captures the readers attention immediately.

Aislinn, she is a young gently bred maiden at the beginning of the story and her world changes when Ragnor seizes her father’s holdings, Darkenwald. Ragnor is immediately drawn to Aislinn and lusting after her, he claims her as his reward for the successful seize and plunder of Darkenwald, and he sets about claiming his dove. 🕊 Things change rapidly when the true alpha wolf, Wulfgar 🐺 arrives at Darkenwald.

I enjoyed this story, however I think probably 30% could be cut out to make the story less tedious & repetitive. There comes a point when there are too many battles or scuffles and too much back-stabbing and betrayal. They took over the romance aspect of the book and I found myself skimming pages 😔

overall a 4.5 Star Story ⭐️ | 5 Flames ❤️‍🔥🔥
Profile Image for Lisazj1.
2,072 reviews147 followers
June 14, 2020
Good grief, at some of these reviews. O.O Everyone is, of course, entitled to their own opinion. Yes, there is a great deal in this story I could be offended by, if I chose to be. But it's fiction, set in a time when many, many things then were completely unacceptable, yet people had to live with it. If you take this for what it is, it was still worth my time reading, and I still enjoyed it. Perhaps not as much as my sixteen year-old self did, LOL. But well enough to be entertained. : )
Profile Image for Becky (romantic_pursuing_feels).
727 reviews486 followers
September 12, 2019
If you are a fan of older style romance novels (pretty historically accurate behavior as in the good, the bad, and the ugly/not overly descriptive sex scenes/lower steam) I do recommend you give this a try. I think it's a great story. But it just wasn't my favorite.

The year is 1066. The Normans are invading the Saxon land in the name of the Duke of Normandy (William the Conqueror). I have never ever heard this book mentioned when people ask for vikings (although not strictly related but loosely), or knights, or medieval times, but it should be. It definitely got me curious about the history of these events.

Aislinn is the daughter of a Saxon nobleman, ruler of Darkenwald. Her father in slain by the conquering army and her and her people become slaves to the Normans. Wulfgar comes to assume leadership of Darkenwald. What follows is their struggle to love across all the suffering and differences between their people.

I'll also leave some safety issues here: outright sexual assault, questionable consent issues, violence

Okay, I'm just going to be super specific about this book so if you haven't read it yet, please pause here.

*spoilers ahead*

First of all, I didn't read the back of the book and was totally thinking Ragnor was the hero upon the, um, sexual assault that took place. I was like ooooo gonna be hard to come back from this and we're like 10 pages in....Thankfully, he was not our hero. Wulfgar I really enjoyed until about ¾ of the way through. I thought it was great seeing him handle Aislinn and protect her and continue giving her all he could, even though he acted like he never would. The thing that got me about Wulfgar was he didn't care AT ALL, that Aislinn was pregnant and would be having a bastard out of wedlock. In fact he expected it. He needed to be argued with by basically everyone in the castle before he chose to make an honest woman out of her so to me it felt more forced than real. I did really enjoy the surprise wedding and I know he meant it but still it would have been so much better coming from his own realization. Especially with his own history and supposed hurt from having no one.

Overall I liked Aislinn's character. Strong and she cared so much about her people and was able to charm most everyone she met. I did get rather annoyed with tantrums after awhile. I could understand them but I think reading that she as stomping her feet just changed the image in my head in to a spoiled little girl not getting her way. Which of course her situation was so much more than that, but still it's just what stuck with me after awhile.

It may have just been the style of an older novel but I found this book a liiiiittle hard to get through. The fact that it's over 500 pages and like size 5.8 font I just felt like it was a chore to read, literally, not the writing was bad but maybe my eyes need new glasses or something lol. I did find it rather dry in some parts and just so much unnecessary...stuff. There's so much description, yet I wasn't getting the best view of the scenery. There was character depth, but it could have been so much deeper. To me, it barely went beneath the surface. I should have had more feelings for both the main characters. I felt like there was just a lot that could have been cut down and the story would have had the same depth and feeling.

Now. For feels. Gwyneth. Wow. That lady had me feeling rage. But it also annoyed me because Wulfgar leaves and I'm left with basically a medieval episode of mean girls. It was just non stop. The fact that no one slapped Gwyneth, punched her, threw food at her, chased her out of the castle with spears just made me angry. You have to wait a long long time for any remorse from her. It did bring something to the story but I felt like so much of the story was Gwyneth fighting with Aislinn instead of Aislinn and Wulfgar's love.

Last thing I'd like to complain about is how the title has “the Dove” in it, which I would assume stands for Aislinn yet RAGNOR is the one that calls her that repeatedly. Just eww.

I don't recall ever reading this one by Woodiwiss. I think I have read 1-2 others of hers in high school but it's been so long I can't remember. I have most of them now though (except Shanna) so I will get to them sometime. I'm happy I tried it but it's not a keeper for me.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Mou.
545 reviews116 followers
December 19, 2020
This is my second book by this Author! Some of my observation regarding this Author-

1. She really likes rape or forced seduction stories and after that turn that into a very successful love story.
2. Her stories are dragged a little bit so that at some point you got used to that idea of a rape case.
3. Her heroes are dominating and heroes are strong in character. It's a combination that creates a spark into the stories.

Maybe I am wrong but that is what I feel. it was a little bit troubling for me to read this one because of the writing language. But her first book ( The Flame and the Flower) I read was definitely easier to read.
Profile Image for Lydia's Romance.
466 reviews149 followers
March 6, 2023


Reread March 2023
This book is addictive. I keep coming back for more. Wulfgar. He's got all the right stuff. 🥰

Reread May 2021
This book keeps on giving. A bodice-ripper forever favorite.
A few updates to my review:
The hero's sister is the most insufferable villain I've ever read. It's rage-inducing. But I assume that was the author's' intention.

Original Review:
What an adventure. Woodiwiss weaved a spellbinding tale of brave knights—and dark knights—battlefields, castles and a beautiful princess with a strength of the heart & mind that was awe-inspiring. She proved to be wiser beyond her years. This is like a fairytale for adults, and like all fairytales, it has its villains. The story starts with these villains tearing the princess' castle and world apart. It was brutal and terrifying and it's from this moment that I began to root for the princess, Aislinn—our Dove. It seemed the only thing missing was a dragon, but we get something even more splendid here—we get Wulfgar, the Iron Wolf of Normandy! And He. Is. SPLENDID. And maddening as hell! He's the quintessential anti-hero with the sad backstory, vouching he'll never give his heart away. And so it goes...the Big Bad Wolf lost his heart to the Dove. He fought a good fight though, the arrogant fool.

Woodiwiss' tale bewitched me. I felt tethered to the world inside this book and could not pull away from it. This was beyond my usual lunacy with books, but who needs sleep anyway. I was living and breathing this fairytale. I was living within the walls of Darkenwald, sitting by a warming fireplace, listening closely to these characters tell their tales. My senses were operating on all cylinders. I pictured everything in vivid color.

And what of the sexy times?
The scenes aren’t explicit. Yet, these scenes are just as steamy as any detailed ones could be. In fact, this book gave me more feels than most erotica books I've read. Moments of incinerating passion were so beautifully depicted, they were breath-stealing <3 GAH

What did I love most?
So many things! But I'll go with the witticism. I obsessed over Aislinn and Wulfgar’s banter and verbal sparring. She had a sharp tongue she wielded when pushed to extreme measures which Wulfgar tested quite often. And his dry humor charmed my panties right off! I had to stop myself from endlessly highlighting their conversations.

"Beware, maid. I will tell you true. After you will come another and then another. There are no strings that can tether me to any woman. So guard your heart.”
“My lord, you greatly exaggerate your appeal,” she replied indignantly. “If I feel anything for you, ’tis hatred. You are the enemy and you are to be despised as such.”
“Indeed?” He smiled slowly into her eyes. “Then tell me, damoiselle, do you always kiss the enemy so warmly?”

Me: Ahhhhhh!!

Trigger Warnings:
Graphic violence, rape, dubious consent/forced seduction

REread November 2018
(moved to my) Top 10 Favorite Reads of All Time
Profile Image for Errolyn.
355 reviews9 followers
April 30, 2009
This was one of the first real romance novels I have every read---and I did it when I was in the 5th grade(hope my mother does not see this). But yes, my mother's friend gave her a bunch of books that she did not know what to do with anymore(they belonged to her mother who just died). Knowing that I was a serious books worm, my mother passed them to me.

Amoung them was this book, which was so old you could crush the pages into dust jusy by touching them. But I started reading it and loved it! I loved Aslinn who was very strong and fought back against the people who hurt her family, and Wulfgur, what can I say, he was very facinating. I loved how the two characters slowly came together....despite thier rather rocky beginning(frankly...I would have hated Wulfgur for life if that were me...but this is fantasy afterall). I especially loved Wulfgur's warming up due to Aislinn's influence. Despite their fantastic story..it was still enjoyable..and believeable.

While I was reading this book..I lost it at some time, and I looked for it for years until HS, when I found it in a bag way in the back of my closet in worse shape than I got it(if that's imagineable). But I finally got a chance to read it all the way though..and I enjoyed it even more..since I was older and more able to appreciate it's contents. lol I loved this book..I can't say that enough. I highly reccomend it. The day I finally had to throw it away because it was turing into a pile of dust, was a sad day indead. Maybe I'll by the new release and read it again(the last 2 pages or so fell out the last time I was reading it..so I kind of forgot the ending...I just made it up. LOL)
Profile Image for Naksed.
2,987 reviews
May 15, 2015
I discovered this book when it was mentioned in several people's reviews comparing it favorably to a more recent historical romance. Never heard of the author before, despite the fact that she was a prolific and immensely popular writer in the 70s. Don't remember seeing this title in any of the lists of historical fiction I perused on goodreads while looking for the next book I could sink my teeth into. Maybe because I was looking at historical fiction and this would fit more into the romance genre? Anyways, by the time I read the first sample page, I knew I was going to be a goner and quickly bought it. I was right. I devoured this tasty morsel in a few hours and I already know I will read it over and over in the future. This book will be very much liked by fans of Anya Seton's Katherine. It is a romance set during the Middle Ages with a lot of swashbuckling, a charismatic hero and heroine, scorching hot passionate scenes (literally a bodice ripper or rather in this case kirtle ripper), plenty of cartoonish villains you love to hate and secondary characters who bring humor and more subplots on their own. It will not please readers who are looking for a serious historical fiction fraught with meticulous, researched facts that can give the reader a realistic glimpse of the era. That did not bother me one bit. I read a lot of genres. I really love the more "serious" historical fiction as well as the more frothy ones and this time, I was in the mood for a light, escapist romp. This totally delivered.
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