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Extended Audio Sample The Reluctant Suitor Audiobook, by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.47 out of 53.47 out of 53.47 out of 53.47 out of 53.47 out of 5 3.47 (32 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kathleen E. Woodiwiss Narrator: Lynn Redgrave Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2005 ISBN: 9780060884222
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Lady Adriana Sutton has long adored Colton Wyndham, to whom she has been promised by an agreement of courtship and betrothal since childhood. As a young girl, she was wounded by Colton's stubborn refusal to comply with his father's wishes and by his angry departure for a life of adventure and danger in the British army.

No longer the plain tomboy Colton had spurned, Lady Adriana has blossomed into a much desired beauty. Yet the only man she desires is the decorated hero who has finally come home to his rightful title. Arrogant and seductive as ever, he remains averse to the idea of their betrothal, in spite of his growing desire for her.

Forced into a courtship with this spirited woman, Colton's heroic heart is moved by her charm, grace and sensuality. But a secret from his past may doom their burgeoning love ... even as the treacherous schemes of a sinister rival threaten to steal the remarkable lady from his arms forever.

Performed by Lynn Redgrave.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The racy escapades are as entertaining as ever…The introduction of a poisoning expert; a baby switching; and Colton’s lowborn first wife, thought to be dead, keeps the plot lively.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “[Woodiwiss] makes her hardcover debut without sacrificing the elements her many fans adore, including an arrogantly handsome hero, a beautiful naive heroine, a nicely developed cast of scheming secondary characters, and, unlike most current historicals, distinctively ornate and leisurely prose.”

    Booklist

  • “The perfect Victorian swoon.”

    Night Owl Reviews

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 2/12/2014

    " Historical romance. Sexy but not skanky, sometimes cheesy, but entertaining. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Patricia | 2/12/2014

    " Ohhhh...my! Having cut my historical romance teeth on Putney and Balough, If she is the "first lady," it must not refer to her skill. I'd suggest you skip the first 150 pages(you'll figure it out). The repetition is monotonous and her fixation on "orbs" whether they are his eyes or her breasts becomes OH SO tiresome. It was better at the end! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Donna | 2/11/2014

    " I love Woodiwiss books. They are all very entertaining and fun to read. The first few chapters of this book repeated certain memories and story plots too many times, almost as if to fill the pages. I'm not sure why she had done that. There was no need for it. Still, I liked it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melissa | 1/25/2014

    " Historical romance. Woodiwiss is always a good, reliable read when I want an escape into a naughty romance. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ruth | 1/22/2014

    " ok. first KW. I don't know if this is representative -- but i thought it would be better. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liz | 1/13/2014

    " IT's slow at the beginning but in the end it was a good book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joanne | 1/10/2014

    " It was a sweet story, but way over written. This book could easily be 50 pages shorter by describing things a bit less. The interactions between the characters is nice, and you believe the love story, but I can't see keeping a copy around to reread. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 R*beth*h Hart | 1/8/2014

    " This was a great story but took place in the mind and memory flash backs way too much for me. I love the entire storyline this is one of my favorite era's to read about I just didn't enjoy the flow. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Christie | 12/28/2013

    " Forsooth, there is a sentence in this book that will be forever and unhappily embedded in my brain. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Morgan Colleen | 12/18/2013

    " I loved this book. I actually listened to the audiobook read by Lynn Redgrave. It was a great story which I finished in two days! Loved it and would recommend it to anyone for a good read. May not be the best of Woodiwiss's books but still quite enjoyable. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Karen Hogan | 12/17/2013

    " A man refuses to marry the woman he was promised to when he was a youth. This is not the author's best. Do yourself a favor and read author's "The Flame and the Flower". It's one of her best books... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sarah S | 12/17/2013

    " Hard to believe this was a favored author in high school. This book was a mess to try and read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rebecca Clyburn | 10/13/2013

    " The first one I read of her's. And my favourite. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Valerie | 9/24/2013

    " I've actually bought this book twice. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 5/2/2013

    " Not my favorite story of Woodiwiss', but still a good one. Too many secondary characters and sub-plots that became hard to follow. But it's Woodiwiss- she could do whatever she wanted and still have a fantastic story on the page. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carol | 9/14/2012

    " Good romance. Took awhile to get into, but once I got about 75 pages in I was hooked. Totally dug the male character. Didn't always like the female. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gretchen | 9/11/2012

    " One of my absolute favorites! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carol More | 8/23/2012

    " I used to love these books. Not so much these days. Too wordy for my current preferences. Guess I'm moving to more modern romances "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 6/15/2012

    " I really enjoyed this book, but beware...it might not be for you. This is a good old fashion 'bodice ripping' romance novel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emmcquade | 5/5/2012

    " Probably my favorite romance novel, ever. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sherry | 6/11/2011

    " This is a long, lovely read. It begins predictably but really isn't. You have a lot of time for the characters to develop their story, drwing me in, as only Woodiwiss can do. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pinklushhh | 5/3/2011

    " Good book...but I found myself really rooting for Lord Riordan. I thought he deserved his own book instead of felicity.
    "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Laura | 2/16/2011

    " I did enjoy this book, but by the time the main characters were married I was ready for the happy ending & to be done with story. I didn't want any more drama for them & with another 100+ pages to go I was sure there was more drama to come so I called it quits. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ldlimes | 2/15/2011

    " Great love story I could not put it down, I was up all hours of the nite and going to work the next day. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Christie | 11/26/2010

    " Forsooth, there is a sentence in this book that will be forever and unhappily embedded in my brain. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol | 9/11/2010

    " Kathleen Woodiwiss wrote two of my favorite romance novels, "The Flame and the Flower" and "The Wolf and the Dove". This story is just as good as those two books. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carol | 8/25/2010

    " I used to love these books. Not so much these days. Too wordy for my current preferences. Guess I'm moving to more modern romances "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carrie | 6/24/2010

    " It was very hard for me to get into this book. But, I did finish and it found it to be both hard to get into and well written. <3 "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Donna | 5/20/2010

    " I love Woodiwiss books. They are all very entertaining and fun to read. The first few chapters of this book repeated certain memories and story plots too many times, almost as if to fill the pages. I'm not sure why she had done that. There was no need for it. Still, I liked it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 R*beth*h | 4/19/2010

    " This was a great story but took place in the mind and memory flash backs way too much for me. I love the entire storyline this is one of my favorite era's to read about I just didn't enjoy the flow. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ruth | 1/31/2010

    " ok. first KW. I don't know if this is representative -- but i thought it would be better. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 1/21/2010

    " Historical romance. Sexy but not skanky, sometimes cheesy, but entertaining. "

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About the Author
Author Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

(1939 - 2007) Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, creator of the modern historical romance, died July 6, 2007 in Minnesota. She had just turned 68. Her attorney, William Messerlie, said that she died after a long illness.

Born on June 3, 1939 in Alexandria, Louisiana, Mrs. Woodiwiss was the youngest of eight siblings. She long relished creating original narratives, and by age six was telling herself stories at night to help herself fall asleep. At age 16, she met U.S. Air Force Second Lieutenant Ross 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.

Woodiwiss 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, creating literary precedent. The Flame and the Flower revolutionized mainstream publishing, featuring an epic historical romance with a strong heroine and impassioned sex scenes. "Kathleeen E. Woodiwiss is the founding mother of the historical romance genre," says Carrie Feron, vice president/editorial director of William Morrow and Avon Books, imprints of HarperCollins Publishers. Feron, who has been Woodiwiss's editor for 13 years, continues, "Avon Books is proud to have been Kathleen's sole publishing partner for her paperbacks and hardcover novels for more than three decades." Avon Books, a leader in the historical romance genre to this day, remains Mrs. Woodiwiss's original and only paperback publisher; William Morrow, Avon's sister company, publishes Mrs. Woodiwiss's hardcovers.

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, Mrs. Woodiwiss 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 this novel 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.

"Her words engendered an incredible passion among readers," notes Feron. Bestselling author Julia Quinn agrees, saying, "Woodiwiss made women want to read. She gave them an alternative to Westerns and hard-boiled police procedurals. When I was growing up, I saw my mother and grandmother reading and enjoying romances, and when I was old enough to read them myself, I felt as if I had been admitted into a special sisterhood of reading women."

New York Times bestselling author Susan Elizabeth Phillips, a leading voice in the women's fiction arena, says, "We all owe our careers to her. She opened the world of romance to us as readers. She created a career for us to go into."

The pioneering author has written 13 novels over the course of 35 years, all New York Times bestsellers. Kathleen E. Woodiwiss's final literary work, the upcoming Everlasing, will be published by William Morrow in October 2007. "Everlasting is Kathleen's final gift to her fans," notes Feron.

Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, who was predeceased by her husband and son Dorren, is survived by sons Sean and Heath, and numerous grandchildren.

About the Narrator

Lynn Redgrave, a member of Britain’s greatest acting family, is internationally known for her work on stage, screen, and television. As narrator of the World of Philosophy series, she brings to life the timeless and vital themes of the world’s great philosophical traditions.