So Worthy My Love

( 47 )

Overview

Maxim

Proud and passionate, the Marquess of Bradbury swore vengeance on those who had stolen his title and lands. . .and branded him a traitor to the Crown.

Elise

Beautiful and spirited, she found herself the innocent prisoner of the marquess, her family's most hated foe.

So Worthy My Love

They were bitter ...

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Overview

Maxim

Proud and passionate, the Marquess of Bradbury swore vengeance on those who had stolen his title and lands. . .and branded him a traitor to the Crown.

Elise

Beautiful and spirited, she found herself the innocent prisoner of the marquess, her family's most hated foe.

So Worthy My Love

They were bitter enemies caught in a dangerous tide that swept through Elizabeth's England—And thus began a battle of wit and will between two people so perfectly matched that they could only fall in love.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380761487
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/1999
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 672
  • Sales rank: 268,694
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 1.68 (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

The Marquess of Bradbury is a man used to taking what he wants. So when he loses his reputation, the life he has always known, and his fiancee, he is determined to win them all back, starting with the kid napping of his betrothed. But his men bungle the abduction, and instead of the haughty, aristocratic Arabella, they take her beautiful cousin, Elise. Here's what happens when the Marquess discovers the wrong woman in his castle, although he'll soon learn that she is the right one.

Maxim lifted the latch and pushed the door open.

"Arabella? Where are you?"

Elise had pressed herself against the wall behind the door and had been well-prepared to launch an attack upon this foolish mortal who had dared enter her chamber. She had frozen when the warm and vi brant voice stirred memories of a darkened stairway at Bradbury Hall, and she stepped from hiding, lowering the small hearthside stool she had intended to smote the visitor with. Though the man was now dressed in the manner of a wealthy lord and the beard was gone, there was no mistaking the handsome rogue.

"What the deuce . . . ?" A sharp frown quickly creased his brow as his eyes came upon her. "What are you doing here?" "'Twas you!" The sapphire-blue eyes fairly flashed with sparks of indignation." 'Twas you who bade them take me! And all the while I thought . . . aarrgh!"

In the next instant the stool was hauled back and swung with all the impetus of her outraged fury behind it. Maxim jerked back to avoid the clumsy weapon, and though he stared in utter amazement at the seething girl, the stool came around again with the same dire intent. The need to disarm the maid seemed of vital importance to his contin ued goodhealth, and he reached up, plucking it easily from her grasp.

"Where is Arabella?" he demanded sharply. His eyes swept quickly to every corner of the chamber, but the one he sought was nowhere to be seen.

"Arabella, is it?" Elise snarled the question venomously. So! He had bade his men to fetch Arabella, and they had caught her instead. Her fair lips curled with contempt as she continued. "No doubt Arabella is wherever a good wife should be found . . . at her husband's side . . . most assuredly in England."

"In England?" The door of Maxim's understanding burst wide, ig niting the fires of his rage. He recalled this vixen all too well. When he would have rushed to Arabella's side to soften the shock of her abduction with an explanation, the meeting with this wench and her recognition of him had necessitated a change in plans. Now she was here, where his former betrothed should have been, a fact which he was certain the girl was somehow responsible for, whether by design or misfortune. "Why are you here?"

With a flippant shrug Elise flung a hand toward the door. "Ask your men. They were the ones who took me."

"They were instructed to bring Arabella here," he informed her brusquely. "What are you doing here instead?"

"You dim-witted buffoon!" Elise railed back. "Can you not hear me? If you would have the answer to that question, seek out your henchmen! That simple pair of dolts were waiting for me in Arabella's chambers. The next thing I knew I was being carried off!"

"I'll throttle them with my bare hands!" Maxim ground out. Spinning on a heel, he stormed from the room, flinging the door wide. His voice thundered ahead of him as he leapt down the stairs three at a time. "Fitch! Spence! Dammit, where are you?"

The two had left the hall and were about the same distance from the front portal when his shout halted them. Scrambling back, they hit the opening at the same time, somehow managing to wedge themselves into the narrow space. A cacophony of loud curses and clamor arose from the entrapped pair before they managed to extricate themselves. Gasping for breath, they hastened back to the Marquess who had paused in the middle of the hall. With fists braced firmly on his waist, he fixed them with a dark, ominous scowl that fairly sundered their feeble attempts to smile. His voice began as a low thundering rumble. "Do you know what you've done?"

The pair stumbled back as the last words were blared at them, and they looked at each other in was confusion. The soft whisper of foot steps compelled them to lift their worried gazes to the girl who slowly descended the stone stairs. The smile that curled her lips was one of sublime pleasure, as if she anticipated what was forthcoming. What venom had they stirred in the maid' s heart that she should countenance their comeuppance?

The two glanced between his lordship and the girl and were quick to note the absence of the blissful smiles of lovers reunited. The Marquess was genuinely enraged, there was no doubt. Those green orbs fairly burned with rage, while the muscles twitched tensely in his lean cheeks.

Glancing over his shoulder at the girl, Maxim made a request in a tightly controlled tone. "Would you be so kind, madam, as to tell us who you are."

Elise continued her leisurely descent with all the aloof dignity of a great queen. "I am Elise Madselle Radborne." Her voice, though soft, was given resonance by the echoing chamber. "Sole descendant of Sir Ramsey Radborne, only niece of Edward Stamford, and first cousin to his daughter, Arabella."

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 47 )
Rating Distribution

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(28)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 47 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2000

    As Powerful As The Flame And the Flower

    This was her most loving book ever. They do love each other and you can't put it down. The sidekicks are so great and your thrown into this heart clenching ride. I loved it. I read it four times cover to cover. So will you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2000

    So worthy of your time!

    The world of Woodiwiss is wonderful. She is by far my favorite historical romance writer. You feel like you are actually there sharing in all of history and romance. It's like you just stepped into a timecapsule. Once you start reading you won't want to put it down. This is one of my favorite the other being the Flame & the Flower. Maxim & Elise are so right for each other. The wit and humor are captivating. When you finish the book you yearn for more. To me, the sign of a brilliant writer. Keep up the great work. Read all of her novels. Next on my list is Shanna. Can't hardly wait until Feb for the new novel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2013

    V

    B

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2013

    Samantha

    Why didnt your last post dissapear?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2013

    Jonny

    Puts my hands on your chest

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 14, 2013

    Highly recommended

    Love the book from the beginning to the end, recommend to everyone.

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  • Posted May 8, 2013

    Good story, but not my favorite. Wish the ending had given a gl

    Good story, but not my favorite. Wish the ending had given a glimpse of the couple returning home again and becoming parents. After all we went through with them the ending stopped short.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2013

    Absolute Favorite

    This book is one of her thicker stories because SO MUCH happens but she makes everything tie together nicely. The ending is a surprise I did not see coming.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2013

    Starheart

    Age: 24 moons looks: cream colored with yellow speckles over his heart hence the name starheart mates/kits: none siblings: rosewhisker(mom) eagletalon(dad) bramblemess(brother) and fineheart(sister)

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2013

    Super slow beginning..

    Took all I had to get through the first 150 pages.. It was funny and entertaining in the middle, but this book took me over 4 days to read when I normally finish my books in 2 days tops..

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2012

    Swirltear

    I wish for love yet ne'er find,anything but hate and indifferennce. I look for frinedship and find only 1 kit and 1 wer who want to stay with me. I am doomed to wader friendless for my courage is so faint. I love someone but cant confess my love for fear. I wish live wasnt tooken so lightly or so hard. If it was taken kighter no one would laugh. Ig harder no one would cheat. I wish that all would get what they needed out of love and life and nit get laughrd or bullied.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2013

    Boring...

    Expected more from KEW. Didn't even bother reading the last 50 pgs

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2007

    slow begining....but worth it!

    An excellent book, I loved tha characters and the storyline, although it was a little slow in the begining, just after she was captured and Maxim hadn't been introduced to the story yet, but after that I was hooked!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2005

    I loved this book!!!!!

    My mom gave me this book because she dislikes romance novles. I was hooked form the very first page!! I didn't put it down until I was done. I loved the chatacters and the plot. I just loved the book!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2004

    Another Classic, But....

    I truly enjoyed the love story between Maxim and Elise. They are the type characters one never forgets. I did not, however, like how much time the author devoted to Elise's relationship with Maxim's friend, Nicholas. Here we have Elise and Nicholas traveling together by ship, which one already knows is going to be a long journey given the era. Day after day - after day - there was pointless conversation, endless dialogue, unnecessary attention given to dinner plans, the dinner menu, who was joining them for dinner, etc. And for what? This was in no way significant to the story that followed! Why on earth would I want to read that long about a secondary character? Honestly, I became so bored by this I felt like throwing the book through the window. But I kept reminding myself that the author was Kathleen Woodiwiss and stuck with it. Which was a good thing, because once the story began revolving around Maxim and Elise, I was captivated. I loved the rest of the book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2003

    Brilliant, Exciting, Addictive and Classic all rolled into one

    Absolutely, one of the two best love stories I've ever read. Kathleen sweeps you away and into every feeling imaginable. You ARE the characters. The romance was exciting, heartbeating and timeless. I could not put it down and kept on wanting more!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2002

    A book that gave me the same reactions as The Flame and the Flower

    I really, I mean really enjoyed this book. I fell in love with Maxim. I give a lot of credit to Elise. Together these two make an excellent romance. I started talking some of the lines they said for they were words that caught my book reading eye.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2001

    ...okay

    Good book, and I really enjoyed it, although I wish it would have had an epilogue of some sort.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2001

    slow beginning

    Overall, the story was enjoyable, however, I thought the whole beginning set up was a bit winded. It took too long to bring the two leads together - in physical contact. More time was spent on time in the boat, then the time it took for the two to get together. Once that happened, the book took off in true woodiwis form.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 47 Customer Reviews

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