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I ve just re read this one for the first time in recent memory it still my all time favourite historical romance BUTI can sure see why so many people don t like Shanna She s a spoiled b ch and I would have slapped her silly before the end of part 1 And I don t quite understand why Ruark fell so deeply in love with her she doesn t show many redeeming qualities until the last quarter of the book.What I love about the book I think is the sweeping saga of it all And Woodiwiss writing What s that phrase evocative prose It fits From the opening pages I could visualize everything she was describing like it was a movie the carriage travelling over the cobblestones through the foggy, wet streets of London on the way to Newgate gaol I was in the carriage And when she meets Ruark for the first time in his cell, I was there too It remains that way for me through the entire book I love the descriptions, the language, the detail, even the dialogue I consider most KEW s books Georgian than Regency mid to late 1700s with powdered hair, shoes with buckles and ruffles on men s shirts so I don t mind the flowery turns of phrase It s all part of the way KEW takes you into the story.Shanna takes you from London, across the Atlantic to Los Camellos, on a pirate ship bound for a hidden island in the Caribbean to the untamed wilderness of Virginia The descriptions are vivid and her characters fully fleshed out and well drawn for me, anyway so that by the end of the book you feel as though you know them all You certainly get to know Shanna and Ruark KEW shows us each of their POV so that you know how much Ruark loves Shanna although unfortunately not why and you can see how much Shanna struggles with recognizing and admitting her love for Ruark that love being the only good thing about her through much of the book.The book takes place over the course of a year or so following Shanna s return from London to Los Camellos It felt realistic to me there are stretches of time where Shanna tries to stay away from him and there are other happenings on the island that keep them apart mostly due to Shanna s unrealistic expectations of Ruark and what she wants from him but their arguments are realistic and their assignations very sigh worthy Lots of sneaking into each other s rooms at night Except for Shanna s stubbornness, which is much apparent reading this as an adult.I would recommend this book for anyone who loves a chunky 666 pages , historical romance The prose is descriptive, oh all right, PURPLE the story is epic in scale and hero is to die for I fell in love with Ruark Deverell Beauchamp when I was 11 years old His book is still my all time favourite. DNF While the idea behind Shanna Ruark s saga is a good one, I can t drum up enough interest to make it through the next 400 pages It s just plain slow Really, really slow Also really, really wordy The plot was puttering along in the background and it should ve been a plot I cared about, because the proper ingredients were there but my interest was obscured by the tedium of endless minutia I don t need to hear how people step down from a carriage Stare at each other Walk to the inn Open the door Stare at each other Close the door Stare at each other Meanwhile, the plot slowed to a crawl as block paragraphs were devoted to descriptions of gestures, expressions, fabrics, clothing, furniture, temperature, weather conditionsYup Pretty much.I thought I d prepared myself for a sluggish read, but this went above beyond expectations Setting the stage creating a vivid backdrop is great but too much detail drowns the story beneath an onslaught of typeface It s called overwriting, KEW s prose was a epic success in terms of padding a 350 400 page story into 650 pages of Grand Dame romantic legend From pg 171 His eyes aflame and lusting, Ruark lowered his weight upon her, parting her thighs, and pressed deep with in her Shanna moved to welcome the hard thrust, her woman s body reacting instinctively to this new, indescribable, budding, splintering feeling that built with pulsing leaps and bounds deep within her The pleasure mounted so intensely she wondered wildly if she could bear it.It was magic, a stunning, beautiful, expanding bloom of ravaging rapture that made her arch against him with a fierce ardor matching his The wild, soaring ecstasy burst upon them, fusing them together in the all consuming caldron of pleasure.I understand that romance needs to include feels, but c mon That blurb is out of control There s a fine line between enjoyable purple prose an orgy of extraneous modifiers Why use 10 words when 80 will do Preach it, Shat. One day in 2027 Shanna will officially become a true classic in lieu of just a bodice ripper or historical romance Until then, I will just have to refrain from tagging it as such for my personal GoodReads bookshelf But, just so you know, it is one A classic.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 road trip one in which, with his manically determination, he would only stop once and only for gas I used one hand to pack the cooler, while I kept the other hand holding the book, eyes glued on the pages of Shanna and Ruark s incredible story As I made it out to the car that night, I was already gripped by KEW s tale and half in love with Ruark and dying to know what happened next When it occurred to me there I was, with a captive audience I had to go back to the beginning so my husband would not be lost, but I didn t mind Midnight, November 18, 1749LondonNight gripped the city with cold, misty darkness The threat of winter was heavy in the air Acrid smoke stung the nostrils and throat, for in every home fires were stirred and stoked against the seaborne chill that pierced to the bone Low hanging clouds dribbled fine droplets of moisture which mixed with the soot spewed forth from London s towering chimneys before falling as a thin film that covered every surface.The miserable night masked the passage of a carriage that careened through the narrow streets as it it fled from some terrible disaster From that moment on, I wasinthat carriage, surrounded by that dark night, jolting over those cobblestones And so was my husband For this is not only a romance book, but a high adventure story My spouse has been always a sucker for swashbucklers like Sea Hawk and Captain Blood and this had all those elements prison, the threat of the gallows, escape to an exotic island, an ingenious and dashing hero, amazing secondary characters, rat infested dank holes, sailing ships and pirates And with the additional scenes in the untamed backwoods of a fledging country and a nice little mystery sub plot Plus, Shanna is a bitch For it is really the Taming of the Shrew only with tons sex so there was a lot he liked about it than I True, I stopped to ski, then went on to read while he continued his marathon hot dogging down those snowy slopes of Sun Valley, Idaho However, he didn t piss and moan again when I picked it back up for the ride home, to continue on from where I d left him in the story And I didn t mind re reading that part again either Maybe it s time for another re read First off to all of you who actually read this book and didn t skip, skim and go directly to the endyou must have the patience of a preacher and you deserve to win the lottery I really did try to give this novel a fair shot, it did start off great, but holy moly there was just to much information for my taste yes there is a such thing as too much plot It just went on and on and on and on much like this review , so I ll do what Woodiwiss couldn t or wouldn t do and stop while I m ahead. I m leaving it unrrated because I can t remember much I read it like four years ago. Update Edit 26 06 18 As I stated below, my mothers copy was so well loved that I couldn t resist buying my own copy for a whopping 27 I might add worth every cent I managed to get my hands on this BEAUTIFUL cover which I am sure is well known in the historical romance community so I just had to brag about it This was my mom s favorite book and since I was little she has always preached to me about how much I would love it and why it was brilliant She loved it so much that by the time it got into my hands, it was worn and tattered, broken in half, pages taped in and taped back togetherbut none of that took away from the magic and romance that is Shanna by Kathleen E Woodiwiss.I found my mother s view of this book to be true Here is the cover That isn t even attached to the book any, I wasn t joking about the condition I got the book in 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 amount of pages I had read at the time.It quickly become one of my favorite books I loved Ruark Beauchamp the hero and couldn t understand why he fell in love with Shanna When he could have been with me with her being a such a brat and only thinking about herself but somehow, he knew she could change and loved her for her good aspects instead of the bad I liked how he could forgive so easily even with all the pain she puts him through and he never gives up on her, Striving to show her how much he loves and cares for her through out the book.Though Shanna may be immature and self centered in wanting to live the dream of her childhood fantasy, Rurak moves heaven and earth for her love and becomes a dream grounded in reality of the book at least.I think many woman want the perfect suitor and I believe Ruark is just that He is simply perfect and so devoted to Shanna, it kills me My god, the way Woodiwiss writes Shanna was written as if it was meant to be poetry I love the dialogue, many of the scenes and have doggy eared my favorite pages.At the beginning, all I could describe Shanna as was selfish, naive and childish However, as a reader I felt myself grow up and mature with Shanna The characters notice and of course, the reader s notice including her father who was well aware of her faults and didn t put them aside like Ruark did Shanna grew to be a woman mature, grown up and radiant, having been strong willed the whole time nothing much changed there She became accepting and loving to Ruark who always deserved her love The Love scenes are intense the dialogue beautiful and as stated before written with poetic flare I will forever love this book.I think there is much to be enjoyed in watching Shanna, a headstrong young girl become a caring young woman, as well as falling in love with the irresistible, Ruark Beauchamp.5 STARS |Free Ebook ♫ Shanna ♌ Alternate Cover Edition Of ISBN ISBN Behind The Foreboding Walls Of Newgate Prison, A Pact Is Sealed In Secret As A Dashing And Doomed Criminal Consents To Wed A Beautiful Heiress In Return For One Night Of Unparalleled PleasureIn The Fading Echoes Of Hollow Wedding Vows, A Promise Is Broken As A Sensuous Free Spirit Flees To A Lush Caribbean Paradise, Abandoning The Handsome Stranger She Married To The Gallows But Ruark Beauchamp S Destiny Is Now Eternally Intertwined With His Exquisite, Tempestuous Shanna S And No Iron Ever Forged Can Imprison His Magnificent Passion And No Hangman S Noose Will Deny Him The Ecstasy That Is Rightfully His The Gold Standard for Historical Romance A Keeper This was my first by the queen of the modern historical romance novel, Kathleen Woodiwiss and I highly recommend it A wonderful Georgian romance.Set in mid 18th century London, the Caribbean and the Colony of Virginia, this is the story of the strong willed Shanna Trahern, the only daughter of a successful British merchant who has retired with his wealth to his Caribbean island, Los Cammellos There he is both governor and owner of a thriving plantation and trade business His much loved wife has died by the time the story begins and he wants grandchildren from Shanna and he wants them now Her father gives Shanna, who has rejected all her suitors, one year to find a suitable husband or he s picking one for her, preferably one with a title She has no interest in complying and spends that year in London enjoying herself Nearing the end of the year, she decides that in order to avoid her father s picking a man for her, she ll take a husband from among those in Newgate Prison facing the gallows Her goal is to be an instant widow with a good name She finds Ruark Beauchamp, a convicted murderer, and marries him When she first sees him, he is dirty, bearded and unkempt, living in the prison s squalor At the wedding, after her man has cleaned up Ruark, she discovers a handsome, intelligent and virile man who is a bit, well overwhelming His price for giving her his name is one night with her after they are wed a marriage in truth, however brief He manages to claim a bit of it just before her scheme is discovered With hatred and anger in his voice, as they drag him away, he vows to hold her to their bargain if God grants him mercy from the hangman s noose.Unbeknownst to Shanna, that mercy will be granted to him.This romance is worth your money At 666 pages of well told, detailed, historically accurate, page turning romance, it s a keeper The characters are brilliantly developed and the settings well described The hero s love for his woman never varied which I loved He is a man I d give up decades for Kathleen Woodiwiss, who unfortunately is no longer with us, could write This is on my Top 20 list Wonderful This is my first foray into the brilliance that is Kathleen E Woodiwiss s writing, even though I ve had some of her books on my shelves for years But when the publisher sent me a copy of Shanna I decided that there s no time like the present, and dove right in And oh, how glad I am that I did because this isn t just a historical romance, it s an epic love story There s mystery, romance, passion, sword fights, pirates, kidnapping, murderstart to finish it s one captivating, exciting adventure Needless to say but I ll say it anyway I ll be reading of this author s writing, very soon My thanks to Avon Books for providing me with a copy of this story In appreciation I m giving them an honest review So I decided to do a re read on this older gem of a book I originally read it back in the 1978 range and I was about 13 years old when I read No, my mother didn t know I read it Still has the original store price sticker on it Here is the deal, doing old re reads can be a tricky thing Some books don t hold up to the test of time and this one didn t for me I am leaving my rating as it stands But Shanna was so immature and bi polar, I don t know how Roark stood her I kept begging him in my head to drop kick her into the ocean and go find someone who would love him without all the drama I felt like this for 2 3s of the book The last 1 3 was as really as good as I remembered it.