I literally just learned that yesterday morning Kathleen Woodiwiss died after a long battle with cancer. What a true maverick in the romance industry. Hers was one of the first romance books I'd ever read. Up until then, it was mostly stuff like The Black Stallion and Misty of Chincoteague. Yup, lots of stories about animals and stuff like that. Then my mom handed me The Wolf and The Dove. I think I was about 13. I wasn't 100% sure of all the sexual references, but I got most of it. Mom figured it was about time she introduced me to the genre. And the history was incredible. I felt like I was living right alongside her characters. I followed that book quickly with The Flame and the Flower and never quite looked back. I read everything she wrote and even branched out to... yup, I admit it... Rosemary Rogers.
Hey, this was groundbreaking stuff given the time period. Let's face it. Up until then, we had Barbara Cartland, whose history was excellent, but her characters did seem to move from book to book without much change.
To this day, I still have a great love of history and it's because I felt like I could truly live in another time period in her books.
We will all miss her. She introduced and set the new standard for romance and wrote the kind of books I wish I could. The world will be a bit dimmer without her presence.