The Wolf & the Dove

By Kathleen Woodiwiss, 1974 (1996 reissue), Medieval Romance
Avon, $6.99, ISBN #0-380-00778-9

Sensuality:Hot

The Wolf & the Dove challenges the very boundaries of love and war and proves there lays but a fine line between conquered and conqueror.

Norman knight and victor, Wulfgar easily ousts cruel Ragnor and takes authority over Darkenwald and the beauty who possesses a provocative courage. Courage, he believes, that is rarely matched by even a man. To become the true lord of Darkenwald, he must win the respect of the townspeople, but in order to do so, he learns he must rely on Aislinn's strength and wisdom.

Lady Aislinn knows that for Darkenwald to survive the ravages of war, then she must intercede for her people against their Norman victor. Their common cause begins to unite them. But when it looks as if peace might wend its way to Darkenwald, Wulfgar's half-sister, Gwynneth, and her father arrive on the scene. It is the presence of these two that brings light to the soul-shattering secret that has tainted Wulfgar for most of his life and yet gives Aislinn the tools to possibly conquer his heart.

To add to the problems besetting the two, cruel Ragnor challenges Wulfgar for the Lady Aislinn and the lands of Darkenwald. Once Wulfgar bests Ragnor, the couple return to Darkenwald and begin the struggle to form a life. . .together. But jealousy is a cruel master and there are those who envy the two for their love and spirit.

Together, they conquer the evil in order to find happiness for themselves as well as for their people.

Wulfgar is a superb blend of all that exasperates women, yet fascinates us as well. Strong, sure, ruggedly handsome despite the scar tracking down his cheek, he is lustingly arrogant, although never cruel and always is he just. Wulfgar is a man made from women's dreams.

Aislinn of Darkenwald fears only one thing. . .God himself. Until that is, she meets Wulfgar and finds her heart in jeopardy.

As quick as one steps from light into death, Aislinn becomes one of the spoils of war and finds it fits her not. Proud and beautiful with red-gold hair that coils about her waist, she is undeniably drawn to Wulfgar's integrity and his darkly handsome visage. And Wulfgar, base-born as he is, is attracted to the beauty and spirit of the noble lady. Aislinn is the woman we'd all like to be. Not because of her beauty, but because of the spirit she possesses.

The relationship between the two is all that we love to explore while reading romances. By day, intrigue and problems hinder their tumultous courtship. And by night, passion and intimacy lend light to their paths.

The Wolf & the Dove kept me enthralled from page one to the very last page. There is no doubt in my mind that when Kathleen Woodiwiss wrote this story, she paved the way for other historical romance authors to explore this genre. I think this is due to her ingenious way of painting her characters vibrantly alive. Perhaps of equal importance is that the poetic twist to her writing soothes the modern world away and holds the reader a willing captive of the past. I was only sixteen when I first read this story, too young for me to know I wanted to write. But later on, when I did begin to write, this book sprang into thought. We all have our hopes and dreams. Mine is to someday equal Ms. Woodiwiss' ability to paint a story and perhaps to become, like her, a pioneer writer of a different era in time.

-- Lynn Errick

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Read Desert Isle Keeper and AAR reviews of Kathleen Woodiwiss' The Flame & the Flower
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Read an AAR review of Kathleen Woodiwiss' A Season Beyond a Kiss
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