Category lines are one of the cornerstones of the romance novel industry. As we document the genre’s past on Sweet Savage Flame, we’ll delve deeper into each individual line. Category romance, as their name implies, are sorted into category lines and defined by tropes.
This review is of “Seduced and Betrayed”, #8 in the “Bachelor Arms” series, and book #2 of 3 in the series written by Candace Schuler. The book begins in 1970. A woman finds her boyfriend, naked, in bed with another woman, who is also naked. Their relationship isn’t the only thing that ends that night. 4 & 1/2 stars
Sarina is a bodice ripper-lite written by Francine Rivers, the best-known and most successful author of Christian-centered, or “inspirational” romances. If you can read get your hands on this hard-to-find book, give it a chance. 4 stars
At Sweet Savage Flame, we’re getting into the Halloween spirit. For the week of Monday, October 18, 2021, to Sunday 24, let’s enjoy these paranormal romance covers featuring werewolves, psychics, vampires, and witches.
Dorchester Publishing was founded in 1971. In 1982, Dorchester Publishing purchased Leisure Books as an imprint, shifting the company’s focus away from fantasy and science fiction towards horror and romance.
A Love to Last Forever by Linda Randall Wisdom is a fine romance between two former high school classmates, Stacy McAllister and Clarence “Mike” Harper. It’s 1986 and a 20-year class reunion brings the protagonists together. While Stacy was a popular cheerleader and prom queen who dated the captain/ quarterback of the football team, Mike had been a chubby, pimple-faced nerd who’d been picked on by students like Stacy’s boyfriend. 3 1/2 stars
We are slowly converting articles to podcasts and Youtube videos. Sweet Savage Flame has an Anchor Podcast which can be heard on Spotify and other platforms. We also have a YouTube channel where you can hear and see us (sort of).
Since Halloween is just around the corner it’s time to take a look at the scary side of romance. The Harlequin Presents line was notorious for the cruelty some male protagonists could inflict upon their heroines. Some of these books are surprisingly well-written. Yet the horrific truth is that these heroes were villains.
Tabitha in Moonlight is a light romance about an efficient, capable nurse (aren’t they always in these books?) of an elderly men’s ward who falls for the new surgeon, Dr. Marius van Beek. Betty Neels wields the typical doctor-nurse romance into a Cinderella story, with Tabitha starring as the poor, down-trodden stepdaughter who gets no love from her wicked step-mother and equally wicked step-sister. Dr. van Beek plays the role of the prince, but fortunately, this Prince is far more astute than his fairy tale predecessor, not requiring a glass slipper to identify his true lady love. 4 stars
This review is of Passions Wild and Free, book #2 in the “Western Wind” series by Janelle Taylor. Randee Hollis, the heroine of the book, has plans to go after the Epson Gang, a ruthless band of killers who killed her aunt and uncle… 3 stars
We’ve highlighted quite a few romance covers here at Sweet Savage Flame. A common theme for many is to include animals, particularly horses, in the background to demonstrate passion and vitality. Some equines weren’t content to be cast as mere decoration, however. Neigh, these horses demanded a starring role with the couples engaged in their usual passionate clinches. (That sentence came off a bit odd, didn’t it?)
While women comprise most of the Romance genre readership and the vast majority of writers, there are many men who enjoy the genre, too. In fact, in the early years of romance, there were quite a few male authors, who had to use pseudonyms to publish their works. Men were a part of the romance revolution of the 1970s and they remain a part of the genre to this day, as writers and readers.
Secret Fire was, I think, the second Johanna Lindsey romance I read which cemented her works among my favorites. Published in 1987, this book was written during Lindsey’s peak years of output. 5 stars
It’s been a full six months that Sweet Savage Flame has been up and running. We started in early Spring, and now it’s Autumn, my favorite season! We’ve grown from a tiny website to a semi-respectable niche romance blog that has amassed almost 18,000 views in that time. Thank you to our readers for being with us, for commenting, and for spreading the word about us!
Margaret St. George’s The Pirate and His Lady isn’t a historical romance, but a time-traveling adventure published through Harlequin’s American Romance line. The romance here is bittersweet, as most time travels romances are. 4 stars
This review is of Lovers and Strangers, book #7 in the “Bachelor Arms” series by Candace Schuler. It’s a Harlequin Temptation, from August 1995. I don’t have a favorite books list, but if I did–and I may start one–Candace Schuler’s Lovers and Strangers would definitely be on it! 4.95 stars
We had a lot of fun a couple of months back doing Covers of the Week #12, where we posted images of when romance covers by talented artists go hilariously bad. So we’re doing it again! For the week of Monday, October 4 to Sunday, October 10, 2021 (which happens to be my birthday week), enjoy these silly or awful-looking covers that make us smile.
Sheila Holland nee Coates, known to most readers of romance as Harlequin/ Mills & Boon author Charlotte Lamb is one of my favorite writers, period. Although she wrote seemingly simple category romances, her books were much more than that. She wrote like few others in her field could: fully inhabiting her characters’ minds and giving them larger-than-life personalities.
At Dr. Maria DeBlassie’s blog Enchantment Learning she hosted a presentation by our Twitter pal Daily Clinch @Artof the Clinch. We recommend watching this informative video on the history of romance novel clinch covers. They touch upon the genre’s past as well as discussing pivotal cover artists, models, authors, and more.
In The Lord of Hawkfell Island by Catherine Coulter Mirana is a young, unmarried woman who lives with her brother in a massive fortress. When he’s away, their home is attacked by Viking raiders seeking vengeance against him, as the Viking leader Rorik blames him for the death of his wife and child. Usually, a hero grieving over his lost love is grounds for me to dislike a historical romance, but thanks to Rurik, I had plenty of other reasons to despise this “love story.” 2 1/2 stars