Ashes in the Wind

( 143 )

Overview

A woman burdened by war...A doctor torn between passion and duty...A sweeping tale of love in the face of dishonor from the incomparable storyteller—Kathleen Woodiwiss.

Alaina MacGaren is forced to flee the devastation of her homeland in the guise of a young boy, only to find sanctuary in the arms of an enemy. Cole Latimer is a dashing Yankee surgeon who has served the Union faithfully, and his tender heart compels him to help a ragged, ...

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Overview

A woman burdened by war...A doctor torn between passion and duty...A sweeping tale of love in the face of dishonor from the incomparable storyteller—Kathleen Woodiwiss.

Alaina MacGaren is forced to flee the devastation of her homeland in the guise of a young boy, only to find sanctuary in the arms of an enemy. Cole Latimer is a dashing Yankee surgeon who has served the Union faithfully, and his tender heart compels him to help a ragged, innocent "lad" in need—never suspecting the rags conceal a bewitching belle suspected of being a rebel spy.

But Alaina's masquerade does not fool Cole for long. And the strength, courage, and breathtaking sensuality of this woman whom it would be treasonous to love sets duty and desire at war within him. Yet Destiny has joined them for good or ill—and they both must follow where their hearts would lead them, if they are to build a glorious new life together out of the ashes of the old.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

From 1979. A rebel spy and a Yankee doctor find love against all odds in this poignant Civil War romance.


—Kristin Ramsdell
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380769841
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/28/1981
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 672
  • Sales rank: 129,120
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 1.34 (d)

Meet the 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.

Biography

Kathleen E. Woodiwiss always indulged her flair for the romantic. As a child, she devoured fairy tales. When she was just 16 years old, she met and fell in love with her future husband, 21-year-old Air Force Second Lieutenant Ross Woodiwiss, at a sock hop. They eloped a year later, and he often helped her work out the plots to her bestselling novels.

But fame and fortune didn't come as easily. On writing her first romance novel, Woodiwiss told People magazine, "It was something I was embarrassed to admit. Writing a novel seemed farfetched." Lucky for her readers, Woodiwiss persisted, with encouragement from friends and family. Even though her groundbreaking first novel, The Flame and the Flower, was ignored by eight publishers, it was eventually picked up by Avon Books and quickly became a bestseller.

The Flame and the Flower is credited with being the first historical romance novel, a subgenre that now accounts for a huge percentage of all paperback romances. Released in 1972, it opened a world of passionate fantasies and paved the way for subsequent romance writers to indulge in longer plots, historical fiction, controversial characters, and steamy scenes of sexual tension. According to bestselling romance novelist Julia Quinn, "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."

Despite her long career, Woodiwiss was not one of those book-a-year romance writers. In an interview with Germany's Bertelsmann Club, she attributed the long breaks between books to the intervention of real life: raising a family, marital problems, and medical issues. But through her ups and downs, she always focused on creating escapist, hopelessly romantic worlds for her readers. There is no "message," just the entertaining page-turners her fans know and love.

Good To Know

Taking inspiration from her favorite fairy tale, "Beauty and the Beast," Woodiwiss penned A Rose in Winter, the bestselling story of a fair maiden who is promised to a horribly disfigured, misunderstood recluse. There's a happy ending, of course.

Long before she was a bestselling novelist, Woodiwiss worked as a fashion model. Beauty and brains -- just like many of her strong-willed leading ladies.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Kathleen Erin Hogg (birth name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 3, 1939
    2. Place of Birth:
      Alexandria, Louisiana
    1. Date of Death:
      July 6, 2007
    2. Place of Death:
      Princeton, Minnesota

Read an Excerpt

Intrepid young Alaina already knows the handsome Yankee captain, but in her disguise as a boy, she cannot allow her womanly reaction to the virile army surgeon to betray her. But one tempestuous night Cole finds himself in a Southern plantation, with a beautiful woman he does not recognize, and Alaina's defenses are bombarded in ways she had never thought possible.

Bright moonlight streamed in through the parted curtains, lightening the room until all was visible. Though the lingering essence of intoxicants still clouded his brain, Cole became aware of the woman who leaned against the door. His mind felt slow and listless, and he could find no reason for what he saw, nor could he explain his presence in a strange bedroom. His situation struck him as extremely precarious. For all he knew he might momentarily find himself confronted by an outraged husband or an irate father bent on restoring his daughter's honor.

"Ma'am," he began, sorely chafed at the thickness of his tongue. "I fear I have intruded."

Alaina realized escape was impossible, and knew she would have to brazen it out.

Her soft laughter broke the silence of the room. "Surely you haven't decided to leave us after you vowed to stay the night, Captain. Can it be that you have forgotten so soon?" She mimicked the relaxed familiarity of the most successful courtesan and her voice was as honey, smooth and cultured. The deception seemed simple enough; she could play this part as successfully as that of ragged urchin. Yet she was thankful for the shadow that shrouded Cole's nakedness, for the game might have dissolved in her own embarrassment and flight.

Alaina remembered her uncle had kept a decanter of brandyhidden away in the guest room, and she went to search the bureau for it. This was no time for the captain to sober up. If he would just drink enough and go back to bed, she was sure he would sleep the night through.

As she passed before the window, a shaft of silvery moonlight penetrated her garments. The slim but well-curved figure whet Cole's appetite and imagination no small amount. The lust flared through his starved senses, and he felt a familiar tightening in his loins.

"Here, Captain," the silky voice urged as the woman came back. "Have another drink." Alaina pressed a water glass, liberally filled with brandy, into his hand, then slipped quickly away as he reached for her. Her soft laughter teased him. "Drink first, Captain."

Cole lifted the glass and tasted deeply of its contents. He was rather pleased at its quality but accepted that too as logical. In the captive city, brothels were the only establishments that continued to operate affluently, and it was evident that this one was a step above the others he had seen.

"Now really, Captain." She rested a hand on his furred chest and pushed him back lightly. "You should return to bed. There's a chill in the air, and you'll surely catch your death." Cole tried to focus on her face, but it was only a vague blur. "I've an errand to do downstairs, but it won't take long, then I'll be back."

The idea was not to Cole's liking. He finished the brandy in an impatient gulp, hardly feeling its warmth with the heat that already throbbed through his veins, and set the glass aside.

"You rest yourself a moment, Captain," Alaina coaxed softly, moving away. "I really must be about my errand."

Cole cursed his stumbling gait but caught her arm as she reached the door. Alaina looked up at him in surprise, not daring to speak. Her heart pounded turbulently within her bosom. He seemed so tall and immense as he loomed over her like a threatening dark avenger.

"A kiss I would have," he murmured thickly, "lest I grow weary of the wait. Come." He pulled her hard against his chest. "Give me a sampling of your wares that I might better anticipate your return."

She found her lips entrapped with his, and though they were soft and gentle, they flamed with a fiery heat that warmed her whole body. Her eyes closed and the strength of his embrace, the brandy taste of his mouth, the hard pressure of his loins made her all too aware that this was a strong, living, healthy man, that he was treating her like a woman, indeed desiring her. Her head swam as he drew back slightly, and she wondered vaguely if she might swoon. In the quiet moment that passed between them, she tried to still the violent tremor that had seized her.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 143 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(106)

4 Star

(16)

3 Star

(10)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 143 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Amazing Book!

    I am only 17 and totally in love with this book. I was reluctant at first to read it, and The Flame and The Flower, but my mom told me she would read my Twilight books if i read her books. Well im absolutely glad i agreed because all i can think about is this book and love between Cole and Alaina. I didnt want it to end, and when i finished it i felt lost. There was never a dull moment in reading it, and i will definately be reading it over and over!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2011

    My favorite book

    I read this book back in the 1980's when I was just a teen. I loved the characters and the plot. I've read many books since then, but find them lacking in depth. If you are undecided regarding this book, purchase it! You won't regret it!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 15, 2011

    Love this book and love this author

    My mother had told me to read this book often,I never did read it ,until she picked it up and gave it to me!
    Wow this is a fantasic book one of my favorites ever ! It is a must read! The characters are so well written and the adventure they go through. Again it is a must read, all of her books are great!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2011

    Simply Breathtaking in all its Splendor

    There are no words or enough stars to rate this book, it is just splendid! It is so very well written and every character is well rounded with purpose. The storyline is magnificent and it has that Gone with the Wind feel to it. The heroine, Alaina, is just so admirable for all her fortitude and bravery especially at such a young age. The hero, Captain Cole Latimer, is positively a true hero and I could only imagine him to be Rhett Butler.

    The book is in two parts. Part one explains Alaina's background and how the story begins by meeting Cole. Part two is where the reader begins to learn about Cole's background and his story a little more in-depth.

    Wow, Wow, Wow... All I can say is that I wish I hadn't finished the novel so quickly, I miss it. I can't express how much I encourage reading this novel, it really is one of a kind.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 19, 2012

    I read several of these books many years ago and now that I have

    I read several of these books many years ago and now that I have my nook, I have ordered several books to read agin. My favorite is SHANNA. Can;t put these books down. I find I cook with her book in my hand and one of these days I will have the book in my food. GREAT

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 18, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Cannot wait to read it again.

    When I was a teenager, my mother gave me this book. She read it many times, in fact... It is her favorite novel. I have also read it many times. So many that the binding began to come apart and I had to buy a new copy. I gave the original copy back to my mother, she still reads it even though the front cover has fallen off and the book is rather tattered. Looks like I will be buying her a new copy too very soon. I would highly recommend this book to anyone that has a passion for romance and the written word.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 16, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    This is one of the best Historical Fiction books I've read in a very long time. Its difficult to put the book down.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 20, 2011

    One of my all time faves!

    'Al' is unforgettable... I have loved this book for years. All of the characters are well rounded and brought to life vividly. There are a handful of books good enough and memorable enough to make my keeper list of re-reads and this isone of them. Cole and Alaina wont dissappoint!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 22, 2012

    excellent romance

    I always enjoy reading a book by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, I have all the paperbacks, but truly enjoy reading it on my Nook Color. I have been able to get the books easily.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2012

    Amazing!!

    This book was amazing from start to finish. This book and its characters were captivating. You must purchase this book you wont be disappointed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 16, 2011

    My Absolute Favorite Book

    No other book can compare to this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 22, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Dare you to read it JUST once

    This book has been a part of my permanent library for over 10 years! To me the sign of a great book is when you know the ending and it still doesn't take away from the read. I have read it multiple times and I'm sure that I will still read it many more. Thank you Kathleen!, another great book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Classic

    I believe this may be my favorite book of Ms Woodiwiss. I was reminded of the classic Gone with the Wind because of the era of the story. While reading I constantly visualized the characters and scenery. This story is full of drama, comedy & romance with a plot that unfolds at the very end. I could not put this book down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2003

    Uneven

    I really enjoyed the first part of this book while it was based in New Orleans. When the characters moved to Minnesota, they seemed to have a complete personality change. Cole, who was so likeable in the beginning, became totally unsympathetic. Alaina started out fiesty then became annoying. It was almost as if Kathleen Woodiwiss stuck a completely different story onto the second half of the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2014

    |Forest|

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2014

    Love this book!

    I am a sucker for romance and this book is on my top 5 favorite! I loved the characters, especially the timeline. I love reading about history and this time period is probably my favorite to learn about. Great story, looking forward to reading more of her stories.

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  • Posted January 24, 2014

    Loved it!

    Kathleen Woodiwiss' writing is masterful for historical romances. She does not disappoint with "Ashes in the Wind." I missed many hours of sleep, because i couldn't put the book down. If you like historical romances, read this book, by the woman who created the historical romance genre.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2013

    Have the hardcopy and a digital copy, have loved this book for y

    Have the hardcopy and a digital copy, have loved this book for years!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2013

    Great read every time

    I read this book years ago and loved it then. Makes a great read for those who like some action and mystery with their historical romance. This author was one of my first to get me reading and keep me coming back for more of her novels.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2013

    To firepaw

    Blazingstar and rowanpaw are goig to start battle training without you!! Go to penny result nine!

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 143 Customer Reviews

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