Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Review: Kathleen Woodiwiss’ SHANNA – 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!


  1. Thank you Regan, for another book to put on my list, this sounds really awesome and your review has me intrigued. I'm looking this one up.

  2. So glad you plan to read this one. It's available on Kindle now, too.