Sweet Savage Flame: Old School Romance from Avon to Zebra


Sweet Savage Flame is all about loving old-school romance novels.

You know, those trashy, campy sex romps your mother, grandmother, or older uncle read? Perhaps you might have read one or two yourself!

From vintage books to bodice rippers and from epic historicals to short-length category romances, we unashamedly love them all! The plots were sometimes shocking, even not politically correct. These are books that had their day, and we look back at the past with fondness, not scorn.

Besides, we can’t get enough of the great retro-romance covers! Many talented artists illustrated gorgeous clinch images, so we show off stunning artwork every Sunday with our Covers of the Week feature.

past covers of the week

Book Reviews

Easy access to the latest Sweet Savage Flame reviews of retro-romance novels is available below for your convenience.

Is This Your First Time Here?

We have a vast inventory of references, with thousands of images, plus over 500 pages, blog posts, and book reviews.

Don’t know where to start? Below are a few quick links to some popular Sweet Savage Flame pages and articles.

Our Mission for Old-School Romance

Sweet Savage Flame cherishes the old-school era of the romance genre. Specifically, our focus is on books published from 1972–the year Avon released Kathleen E. Woodiwiss The Flame and the Flower–to the beginnings of the 21st century.

We’re serious about documenting the history of modern English-language romance novels. In addition, we’re happy to provide a wide variety of readers’ perspectives.

At Sweet Savage Flame we discuss everything about the authors (including our personal favorites), the publishers, and the cover artists who made it all happen. Our blog explores a range of genre-relevant topics. Best of all, we review lots of retro-reads from crazy bodice rippers to sweet vintage romances.

sweet savage flame old school romance from avon to zebra

FAQ Section

Do You Provide Trigger Warnings For Off-Putting Subjects?

These retro romance books we review are not always politically correct. Many readers born 30 or 20 years may be shocked by what we read and find entertaining. In some extreme cases, we do add “content” alerts. However, this is rare.

We try to add tags that identify tropes or plot points of the reviews near the bottom of the page.

Sweet Savage Flame is not a site for young children, so it’s up to the reader to determine if they want to read any of our reviews.

Do Your Reviews Contain Spoilers?

Short answer: Yes. Sometimes a book needs to be spoiled to properly review it.

Plus, as these are older works of fiction, not too many sites discuss them. For that reason, we like to go as in-depth as possible.

We provide spoiler warnings for every review, whether “spoiler-free,” “mild spoilers,” or a “full spoiler alert.”

Does Sweet Savage Flame Review New Books Or ARCS?

We don’t accept ARCs as we’re not a book blog for new books.

Since we focus on romance novels published up to around 2000, the books reviewed here have been published for decades, are often out-of-print, and are copies we already own.

Introvert Reader has a separate blog where she discusses and critiques books from a wide variety of genres. Please contact her through that site if you would like your book to be reviewed.

Do You Accept Guest Reviewers Or Bloggers?

Yes! Sweet Savage Flame is always looking for new voices to express their thoughts on old-school and vintage romance.

If you’d like to guest blog or even review/ post on a regular basis, we’d be more than willing to work with you.

All we ask is that you provide your own books and limit your reviews to books published from 1970 to 2000–although we do accept classic romances or post-World War II vintage reads and books up to 2004.

Please see our CONTACT page and submit a comment. We’ll be in touch!

sweet savage flame old school romance from avon to zebra

Sweet Savage Flame on Social Media

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