Month: July 2021

Contemporary Romance Review: A Violation by Charlotte Lamb

A Violation, a full-length novel by category author Charlotte Lamb, isn’t a straightforward romance, somewhere more between women’s fiction and romantic fiction. Like so many of her works, the major themes are the philosophy of love and what are the defined roles of being a man and a woman, especially when it comes to amorous relationships. 3 stars

A violation

Historical Romance Review: Savage Ecstasy by Janelle Taylor

This review is of Savage Ecstasy by Janelle Taylor. The year is 1776, and English expatriate Alisha Williams, 20, has journeyed west to find happiness with her only surviving relative. One day, the “men” in her settlement bring a captured Oglala Lakota Indian brave into their camp, named Gray Eagle. Gray Eagle and Alisha develop romantic feelings for each other. 3 stars

Savage Ecstasy Popp

Historical Romance Review: Highland Heather by Ruth Langan

Ruth Langan’s Highland Heather is the sequel to her previous Scottish romance, Highland Barbarian. I liked this Harlequin Historical much more than its predecessor. Why? I enjoyed the conflict between the hero and the heroine and the English setting, plus introducing Queen Elizabeth I to a story always makes things interesting. 4 1/2 stars

Highland Heather

What’s in a Name? Favorite Romance Novel Names

In the comment section of the review of Passion’s Treasure/Just Say Yes by Betina Krahn that I reviewed, our colleague Mary Ann Landers asked about the name of the heroine of the book, Treasure Barrett. That query got me thinking about romance novel names: do I have favorite ones? I certainly do!

wooden name tags arranged on table during wedding ceremony

Category Romance Review: Sunday Kind of Love By Lois Faye Dyer

Lois Faye Dyer, who would go on to produce numerous Special Edition romances for Silhouette Books, was one Kismet’s more prolific writers. Her romance Sunday Kind of Love is book #2 in a series about 4 siblings. 2 1/2 stars

Sunday kind of love

Category Romance Review: Dillon After Dark by Leandra Logan

Dillon After Dark, Harlequin Temptation #362, is a cute, fun romance by Leandra Logan. Dillon Danvers is a laid-back California DJ who airs a talk/ music show where he discusses many fun subjects to delight in. Dr. Kristina Jordan is a psychologist and single mother with no time for relaxation. Together these two opposites could make for an exciting couple. However, Kristina needs major convincing to be part of it. 3 stars

Dillon after dark

Why Romance? Why Vintage?

I love to read. I love stories. And right now, my kind of story is vintage romance fiction. By which, I mean romances published in the twentieth century. In particular certain varieties of the genre, with features that were once popular but have since gone out of style. That’s why I’m grateful for a blog like Sweet Savage Flame. Here I can get info and opinions about my favorite body of fiction. And share my own! Why romance? Why vintage? To answer both questions, I must start with who I am as a reader.

Ladies-Home-Journal

Historical Romance Review: The Forever Passion by Karen A. Bale

This review is of Karen A. Bale’s 1979 Zebra romance The Forever Passion. Lisa Jordan, 18, chafing under the demands placed on her in her native Boston, has decided to head west to live with her brother, Tom. She arranges to travel by wagon train and falls in love with the train scout, Josh Wade. Then things take a turn for the worst. 3 stars

Covers of the Week #16

Can you imagine relaxing at the beach like these lovers posing on the romance book covers? For the week of July 26 to August 1, here are some sexy embraces on sultry beaches for this week’s theme. Enjoy!

island enchantress

Historical Romance Review: Chance the Winds of Fortune by Laurie McBain

Chance the Winds of Fortune is the sequel to Laurie McBain’s Moonstruck Madness, a romance about a gender-bending highwayman (girl) who falls for an arrogant, scarred Duke, notorious for his dueling skills. I LOVED Moonstruck Madness… The follow-ups to that wonderful book about their daughter, Rhea Claire, Chance the Winds of Fortune & Dark Before the Rising Sun, though…ugh. 2 stars

chance winds of fortune

What Series of Category Romance Do You Read?

Sweet Savage Flame isn’t just a blog where we share our opinions of books. We are dedicated to providing as accurate information as possible about the history of Romance novels. It’s also a place where we encourage viewer feedback and input.

red petaled flower

Historical Romance Review: The Frost and the Flame by Drusilla Campbell

Drusilla Campbell’s The Frost and the Flame is one of those naughty bodice rippers where the heroine is separated for a long period of time from her true love, the dull, hero, and instead spends more time with the lusty, evil villain. This is the kind of bodice ripper I like: one that does not take itself seriously and knows how to throw crazy tropes at you, so you’ll keep the pages turning, even if the story is not really romantic. 4 1/2 stars

frost and flame

Category Romance Review: Cheap Thrills by Tiffany White

At the beginning of Tiffany White’s category romance Cheap Thrills, the hero Crew Harper is working this side gig as a window-washer when he becomes an accidental peeping Tom. A woman enters an office, she undresses… 4 stars

Cheap Thrills

My Romance Novel Journey

How I became a romance novel aficionado… My romance novel journey began in 1980. My late mother had a small collection of books and I picked one up and started reading it.

first love, wild love

Dueling Historical Romance Review #2: Desperado Dream by Karen A. Bale

In this new segment, we have two reviewers offering their opinions on a single romance. Blue Falcon gives Karen A. Bale’s Desperado Dream a positive review and found the book emotionally captivating. Introvert Reader, on the other hand, explains her negative perspective of the historical romance in her review. 4 1/2 stars

Desperado Dream sabin

Dueling Historical Romance Review #1: Desperado Dream by Karen A. Bale

In this new segment, we have two reviewers offering their opinions on a single romance. Here, Introvert Reader explains her negative perspective of Karen A. Bale’s historical romance, Desperado Dream. Blue Falcon, on the other hand, gave it a positive review and found the book emotionally captivating. 1 star

Desperado Dream sabin

Category Romance Review: Whisper to the Stars by Hettie Grimstead

Whisper to the Stars is a vintage-contemporary romance that revolves around a trope hard to find nowadays: unrequited love. It starts out strong, with the promise of a deeply moving emo story. And it delivers, up to a point. Then it falters. Somewhere in the middle, it loses sight of what a romance is supposed to do: to engage and enthrall the reader. 2 1/2 stars

Whisper to the Stars

Covers of the Week #15

In the 1980s – 1990s, Melissa Duillo, later Melissa Gallo after her marriage, was a prolific historical romance cover artist, creating works for publishers such as Avon, Dell, Warner, Zebra, and more. While she and her mother no longer illustrate romance covers, Melissa Duillo Gallo is still involved in the art field as a painter. For the week starting Monday, July 19 to Sunday, July, 25, here are some lovely romance covers created by Melissa Duillo-Gallo.

Bold Destiny

Author Spotlight: Penny Jordan

Penny Jordan was an immensely popular author for Mills and Boon/ Harlequin. She wrote romantic love stories that readers have enjoyed for 40 years. Penny Jordan was not her real identity but one of her many pseudonyms. Let’s take a look back at the career of this talented author.

Penny Jordan pic
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