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Ashes in the Wind
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Ashes in the Wind

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  8,699 ratings  ·  403 reviews
Disguised as a boy, lovely Alaina MacGaren flees the Yankee troops ravaging her Virginia plantation. When the young orphan is accosted by a group of soldiers, Yankee surgeon Cole Latimer rescues the "lad"--never guessing that love for the rebel beauty will set duty against desire, ultimately testing his loyalties, his trust and his honor.
Paperback, 664 pages
Published (first published 1979)
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4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,699 ratings  ·  403 reviews

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Blacky *Romance Addict*
Apr 29, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommended to Blacky *Romance Addict* by: Glamdring

This one is tough for me to rate because there are some parts of this book I LOVED, and some I absolutely HATED!!

First I have to say that I really enjoy the author's writing style, it's so much different from the modern books that it's like in another universe. But that's OK cause it's still great.

What I didn't like here was the story, or how the author chose to develop it, and every major event that happened in the book.
Almost every potential good scene between the main characters was somehow
Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~*
I originally read Ashes In The Wind back in 1979.
I remember the date because I had just come home from the hospital with my first born Michael, who finally tied the knot this month with his partner and has given me two beautiful granddaughters.
Since this was another special moment in time, I decided to pick this "keeper" I had given five stars to back up to see if time had changed with how I felt then..and now.
Truthfully, I cant remember any of it a wonder between feeding's, diaper chang
Jul 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
This was a reread after many, many years--and it held up to my memory.

I originally read this as a young teen and loved it. Rereading it as an adult I was wondering if it was going to be as good as I remembered, and while it wandered far afield, but at over 600 pages you have room for a story to stretch time and space, it was entertaining. I definitely understand why I liked it as a young woman. Alaina was so much of what I identified with at that age and aspired to from the metamorphosis from t
Three Huge, Terrible Misunderstandings and still three quarters to get through? Knowing that I am going to hear h shout "you Damn YANKEEE" a thousand more times then proceed to smear dirt on her face and hair in some sort of bizarro reverse Mrs. Doubtfire scheme? I can't even.
This was one of the first romance books I read when I was twelve. I didn't have any triggers or any real opinions about romance and romance books back then. Somehow I made my way through this book. Thinking back, I don't know why I wasn't as shocked and angry about how some the events played out. It was a very enjoyable book I remember, but dang...some of the plot points in this really pisses me off. The main one concerning the hero and the heroine's cousin. Ugh. Why?! Not my favorite by her.
Carolyn F.
May 31, 2010 rated it it was ok
What a book! As I was reading it, parts started coming back to me and I used to read a lot of Woodiwiss in the early '80s so I must have read this book. The beginning was strange. The middle was horrible, I hated Alaina so much while reading this part. Could she never say anything nice to Cole?!? The last part of the novel was better and the ending was great.

Things that drove me crazy besides the above: Cole being rescued from the river - 2 times. Alaina literally running into Jacques - 4 times
*Buddy read with Blacky <3<3<3*

Over the last twenty years I read this book many times, this was my first time in English and it still is one of my all time favorites.

I just LOVE Al/Alaina & Cole. Al & Cole relationship is hilarious while Alaina & Cole together are beautiful, and most of all Al/Alaina & Cole relationship development throughout the book makes sense.

The first time I reached the 30 % mark or so I was devastated but then it makes sense in the conte
Feb 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first romance novel I ever read, and still the best. I all but gulped and breathed it in voraciously, reading while eating, getting up during the night to see what would happen next, only to end up reading all night long, and sighed with satisfaction and gratification, in the afterglow of the end. I read it all, in 3 days.
Regan Walker
Captivating Civil War Romance!

When Kathleen Woodiwiss did romance well, there was no one better--and such a novel is ASHES IN THE WIND. To my thinking, it's up there with her best (THE FLAME AND THE FLOWER, THE WOLF AND THE DOVE and SHANNA).

It is a compelling tale of a young Southern woman from Louisiana who loses everything in the Civil War. The Yankees take her family and her home and finally, even her identity. Disguised as a boy for her safety, 17-year old Alaina MacGaren thinks to seek refu
Jun 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
"Ashes in the Wind" is set during the Civil War in the South and is about Alaina, a young Southern woman and a doctor who is a Union soldier. Alaina's life and home have been torn apart by the war and she is forced into disguising herself as a young boy "Al" to ward off unwanted attention and to work as a spy. This is a captivating saga that pulls you into the story and you will not want to put it down. You feel the aura of the Civil War around you as you read this book. Expect to experience a f ...more
Way too slow-paced. I like long setups, but the characters here didn't grab me to make the investment worthwhile. It went ok for about 250 pages and then became a long, boring slog until the last 50 pages or so, where the big reveal scene was so lopsidedly OTT WTF compared to the rather staid historical that came before it. Messy. I only was able to finish it by skimming.
It is scary sometimes doing re-reads, because sometimes story lines don't hold up to the test of time. But of course with the great dame KEW writing the story how could it now??? AITW did hold up and I loved the Civil War love story today just as much as I did when I was 14!
Dani "The REAL Cullens_Girl since 2002"
Jul 16, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Dani "The REAL Cullens_Girl since 2002" by: bodice ripper group
Shelves: reviewed
Okay I guess I am ready to write my review for this book. Reading it was definitely a labor of love for me. I feel as though now that I've read my first Woodiwiss novel I can officially label myself a fan of the bodice-ripper genre.

That said, never in all my years of reading have I encountered a heroine I wanted to slap more than Alaina "Al" MacGaren. Admittedly, one of my biggest pet peeves in a story is the whole "girl-in-pants" deal. I can't wrap my head around the idea of a woman passing of
Sep 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Okay so I read this book in Junoir High. Shyly and quietly because god forbide any of my friends find out that I was reading Romance!Oh the shame. Anyway it came in a box full of other books and I thought, well Ill just randomly pick one.
Then and there I fell in love with this book. It was such a fun book. It was exciting and totally new experience for me in reading. ( for fantasy is more my stlye)I recomend this book for people who really don't enjoy romances.Yes, it does follow some of the typ
Dec 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I read this a long time ago but I really enjoyed it
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: civil-war
I have read almost every single one of KEW’s books the Wolf and the Dove is my all-time favorite and I gave that five stars! I did a DNF on Come love a Stranger just could not get into that book. AITW, although the Civil War is not a favorite genre and the whole dressing as a boy trope isn’t either this was the only one of her vintage books I had not yet read and that’s why I had to read it. (After all it’s KEW....a great writer!) I am glad I did this is a really good book. In part two of the b ...more
Nov 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
This book was the starting of my book reading obsession. I was young and was not interested in reading and my grandmother handed me this book. I was on holiday with my family and I was bored, so I thought what the hell. I couldn't put it down. I have since read most of Kathleen Woodiwiss's books but this is by far one of her best!
Jul 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this several times when I was a teen and I absolutely cherished all of her work that I could get ahold of at the time.
Cheap and Lazy
Jan 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Kathleen Woodiwiss Classic. If you’re unable to set aside sensibilities for a romance of this age (first published in 1979), find bodice-rippers in general, or cross-dressing heroines particularly distasteful or implausible, your reading time will likely be spent more happily elsewhere. Typical of Kathleen Woodiwiss, this is a long—nearly epic—tale.

For the rest of us:
I’m a fan of this author for several reasons, not the least of which is that she’s the mother of historical romance as we know i
Rich Meyer
Dec 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
Boy, I really have to start thinking before I read books on a dare...

Oddly enough, Ashes in the Wind wasn't nearly as horrid as I thought it would be. Predictable, yes. Characters of the stoutest cardboard, true. But I didn't mind the writing style as much as I thought I would. There was a bit too much description at times. Anyone who's seen Gone With the Wind, and who would be reading this book if they hadn't, should've been able to easily imagine each scene with a little less than what we are
Cindy Hardwell
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I can honestly say, this is my most favorite book of all. Ms. Woodiwiss did a suburb job of developing this characters. Cole Latimer is a most intriguing hero while Alana is the brave, spirited, stubborn heroine, who is steadfast and long in determination and pride. The cast of secondary characters is colorful and full of surprises. The book is written in two parts, much like Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind. The similarities drop away after the southern setting and prewar life disappears ...more
Oct 31, 2013 marked it as never-to-read
The big age gap between hero and heroine, and the way it was depicted wasn't to my liking...
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
I still cannot believe I am giving a Woodiwiss book only 2 stars. It seemed to me that part one and part two were written at completely different times. Alaina jumps back and forth between really caring for Cole, to not at all. There seemed to be so many plot lines throughout the book, that the characters suffered for it. The unlikely events that happened to coincide with one another were unbelievable at best, and the villains in the story were not thought out. I never felt connected to Cole or ...more
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a tough one to review for me. I don’t typically read the romance genre and I also don’t read a lot of stories set in the Civil War but my book club chose it for this month and I’m always willing to try something different. I liked the author’s writing style as it felt very smooth. I wish the book had been quite a bit shorter - there were several slow parts (including much of the first part of the book). Most of the main characters were very well developed but I had a hard time rooting fo ...more
Apr 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
The beginning of this book was so fun to read with great characters and the setting during the Civil War. The female main character was a strong minded southerner and of course the main male character a yankee war doctor. I was loving this story and then 3/4 of the way through it felt like someone else started writing this book and it took a nosedive. Overall not a bad read.
Feb 15, 2019 rated it did not like it
Dnf at chapter 14. I tried but man it is boring and the heroine is infuriating so I’ll pass on this one.
May 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
Someone recommended Woodiwiss as the archetypal romance writer, as research for a novel I'm writing about a romance writer, so I gave this one a shot. It's a flawed novel but I loved the experience of reading it anyway.

This is like that SEP novel I read recently, only far better executed. Same basic premise: Southern girl disguised as a boy finds herself at the mercy of a handsome Yankee officer. It's a long book, clocking in at just over 660 pages. A lot of stuff happens. The writing is clunky
Sedoo Ashivor
Apr 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Length: I see her other works are also similarly long. I don't think it is necessary. This is a romance for goodness sake. She spent far too long a time on the narrative.
Language: I like Shakespeare as much as the next person but I'd prefer to have things much simpler. By the second half of the book, I was wondering why all the characters started to speak the same way. As interesting as her language style was, it became tedious and slightly annoying.
Plot: Excellent plot for suspenseful romance.
Dec 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
Lots of adventure, complicated & intertwining people & events, really horrid villains and all loose ends tiderly cleared up.

In Louisiana the two main charaters relationship was fiery & heated with one night of anonymous passion. When they were reunited in Missouri cold & remote unknowingly tricked into sexless marriage.

The heroine is smart, resourceful, compassionate, prideful & a camelian as she struggles to survive. The hero is thrown into circumstances that are quite dishe
Mar 31, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall I really good read. It had a really good storyline, good era, and good setting. It had a good balance of intrigue, suspense, drama, and comedy. It was packed full of emotion. The one thing it could have expressed more of was love and the emotion of love, it was a little too subtle. One other thing about the book is it was rather long (635 pgs). Not that there is anything wrong with a long book however around chapter 30-something I found myself getting bored with it despite the book being ...more
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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, ...more
“location. Alaina gave a last pat to the freshly made bed in the newly occupied room and sat down on it, facing Mindy. She smoothed the quilted bedspread beside her as she asked, “Will you sleep here now?” Mindy’s nod came without hesitation, but again there were no words, only the fleeting smile,” 2 likes
“She didn’t care to be reminded how starved she looked, but she could hardly bemoan the fact. It had lent well to her disguise. Though seventeen, she had masqueraded as a stripling lad beneath the very noses of the Yankees. Captain Latimer had not even been suspicious.” 1 likes
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