Review

Everlasting

by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

I
have no doubt that the long flowing hair and muscular physique of
Italian supermodel Fabio on the cover of many of Kathleen E.
Woodiwiss’s early books beckoned me to purchase my first
romance novel over 30 years ago. EVERLASTING is destined to be
cherished by Woodiwiss’s legions of fans worldwide and kept
in a place of honor alongside her earlier classics --- SHANNA, THE
FLAME AND THE FLOWER, ASHES IN THE WIND, SO WORTHY MY LOVE and
more. SHANNA remains one of my all-time favorite romance novels,
one I have re-read several times, and I was delighted to find out
that it was one of Woodiwiss’s favorites as well. My best
friend recently reminded me that I gave her my copy of A ROSE IN
WINTER with Fabio on the cover, thus introducing her to the romance
genre and the everlasting words of love between destined lovers
that earned Woodiwiss the honor as “the inventor of the
modern historical romance novel.”

“Yield to me now, love,” (SHANNA) “I canna
imagine my life without ye, lass,” (EVERLASTING). These words
of love that make a woman weak with desire were written by a young
housewife who had the foresight to know what women want to read ---
seductive scenes, steamy sex, dashing rogues, sexual tension and
happy endings. Woodiwiss had me and millions of women around the
world hooked on and entertained by a string of romance novels with
beguiling titles that would catapult her books to the top of the
New York Times bestseller list repeatedly. From her first
novel, THE FLAME AND THE FLOWER, to her last, EVERLASTING,
Woodiwiss wrote about mesmerizing, strong-minded heroines and sexy,
brave heroes who were drawn to each other with one look and bound
to each other through their everlasting love. EVERLASTING is the
final book she wrote before she passed away on July 6, 2007.

Raven Seabern is Scotland’s royal emissary and a knight in
shining armor with an intense blue gaze that steals Lady Abrielle
of Harrington’s breath away upon first sight. Through a twist
of fate, Abrielle must marry the lecherous Desmond de Marlé to
prevent her loving mother Lady Elspeth and her valiant husband
Vachel from financial disaster. Abrielle displays a noble loyalty
to family that rivals that of any knight. Loathe to leave
Abrielle’s red-gold hair and creamy beauty, Raven stays
protectively close by.

Repulsed by the thought of her wedding night with de Marlé,
Abrielle flees the bedchamber with a drunken de Marlé in raged
pursuit until Raven springs out of the darkness to protect her from
his wrath. In the darkness of night, de Marlé falls to his
death down the castle steps, the secret is kept, leaving Abrielle
the wealthiest widow in England with the freedom to pick her own
husband. Will she choose a knight in shining armor among the
“sea of men cheering her”? A formal event of physical
strength and a display of chivalry and dazzling horsemanship ensues
for Lady Abrielle.

The battle to win Abrielle is the hardest Raven faces. “Since
the first moment I saw ye, I’ve yearned to have ye as my very
own.” Going from bride to wealthy widow in one day wins
Abrielle the attentions of every knight and knave seeking her
fortune. Plagued by the witch Mordea and a group of scoundrels that
abduct her in the night, Abrielle is swept off her feet by
Raven’s protection and his unrelenting desire for her. But
can she trust Raven to want her for herself and not her
fortune? 

The dangers Abrielle and her best friend Cordelia face in medieval
England and Scotland are portrayed by Woodiwiss with an epic
cinematic elegance and a harsh reality that romances the knight in
shining armor’s bravado to all eternity. Raven’s father
Cedric is as dashing and brave as Raven and captures the heart of
Cordelia with valor as he defends the castle under fiery siege.
Abrielle cannot deny her relief when she sees “…Raven
striding into the hovel with sword clasped in hand; her relief made
her weak in both knees and her senses.” Raven is “a man
who did not hide what he was and what he wanted.”

Woodiwiss’s male characters filled women with
“smoldering intensity,” they made women love a
“rakish scoundrel who took his pleasure in bed whenever he
wanted to” and created a legacy of tempestuous romance novels
that women worldwide surrendered to. When a man loves a woman, he
does battle in the dark, jumps on horseback without aid and cuts
down the enemy with a swift angle of his sword. Kathleen E.
Woodiwiss, mistress of passion, the happy ending and everlasting
love, showed us why the knight in shining armor always wins the
heart of the damsel in distress.

Reviewed by Hillary Wagy on January 21, 2011

Everlasting
by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

  • Publication Date: October 30, 2007
  • Genres: Fiction, Romance
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow
  • ISBN-10: 0060545526
  • ISBN-13: 9780060545529