Month: September 2021

Covers of the Week #25: Ken Otsuka

For over 40 years Ken Otsuka has worked in commercial and then fine arts. For the week of Monday, September 27, 2021, to Sunday, October 3, let’s take delight in the beauty of Ken Otsuka’s romance covers!

swan bride otsuka

Category Romance Review: Never a Bride by JoAnn Ross

This review is for Never a Bride, book #4 in the “Bachelor Arms” series published in May 1995 by Harlequin Temptation and written by JoAnn Ross. In the first 3 books in the series, Kate Hoffmann wrote about 3 male friends who find love. In the next 3 books in the series, written by JoAnn Ross, three female friends come together for one of the ladies’ weddings. 4 stars

never a bride joann ross

The Accidental Romance? Books From Other Genres Can Be Romances, Too!

What defines a romance novel? Romance Writer’s of America has stated the definition of romance is essentially a love story which concludes on an optimistic note for the protagonists. Either a “Happily Ever After” or “Happy For Now” ending will suffice. But labels can be limiting or deceptive. A single work of fiction can belong to multiple categories. Literature can be mystery or romance, just as romance can be fantasy, erotica, science fiction, suspense… And just about everything else.

accidental romance

Historical Romance Review: Tender is the Storm by Johanna Lindsey

So… Johanna Lindsey’s Tender Is the Storm. If you’re familiar with your romance history, then you must know of this book, even if you haven’t read it. The cover is the infamous one designed by Robert McGinnis with the naked hero standing tall as the heroine kneels before him, her ample breasts pressed firmly against his–er…dongle. 3 stars

tender is the storm

Covers of the Week #24

For the week of September 20 to Monday, September 26, 2021, let’s appreciate these clinch poses on romance covers featuring hot air balloons. From afar, what a magical sight to witness those colorful inverted teardrops float through the air!


Historical Romance Review: Hearts of Fire by Anita Mills

Hearts of Fire is a more satisfying sequel to the first installment of Anita Mills’ medieval romance series, Lady of Fire, than its second outing, Fire and Steel was. The forbidden romance between Richard and Gilliane de Lacey is stellar. 4 stars

hearts of fire gulbronson

A Closer Look At Sharon Spiak

Illustrator and fine-art painter Sharon Spiak has made a name for herself in the romance industry for producing various gorgeous covers for many bestselling authors. She also had the privilege to paint Fabio almost as much as the Duillo ladies did.

the hawk and the dove

15 Old School Historical Romances That Revolutionized the Genre

These 15 Historical Romances published before 2000 either caused radical changes in the romance novel industry or they are so pivotal and unforgettable, they are must-reads. Please note, we at Sweet Savage Flame may not have read all books ourselves, but recognize their importance to the genre. Our aim is to review all books on this list if we haven’t already.

old school historicals thumbnail

Category Romance Review: Tonight and Forever by Brenda Jackson

Brenda Jackson’s Tonight and Forever is her first published book and the first in her long-running series of the Madaris family. It’s a Pinnacle Arabesque romance from 1995, which are category romances but are not numbered, at least not to my knowledge. What propels Tonight and Forever into a “better than good” zone is that it isn’t just a romance about the healing power of love, it’s a book about the power of love itself. 3 1/2 stars

Free Vintage or Old School Romance Books on Amazon #2

There are so many books listed on Amazon for free to read, that we had to post some more freebies! If you have an Amazon Prime account you can borrow up to 10 books for free at a time. If you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, there are many books you can read for a fixed monthly fee. Enjoy more old school and classical romances available on Amazon.

mansfield park

Covers of the Week #23

For Mary Anne Landers’ first Covers of the Week post, she wants to honor the late, great Elaine Duillo (1928 to 2021). Elaine left us on July 30 of this year, and had been retired for some time. But her wonderful illustrations live on.

fire blossom

Category Romance Review: Driving Force by Sally Wentworth

Driving Force, a Sally Wentworth Harlequin Presents, offers few surprises but is a satisfactory read regardless. West Marriot– our hero, not a 3-star hotel but a famous race car driver–was terribly injured in a race several months ago. Madeleine French, a nurse and physiotherapist, had been married to West for four years. 3 1/2 stars

Historical Romance Review: An Offer of Marriage by Jo Ann Ferguson Review

Books like Jo Ann Ferguson’s An Offer of Marriage suffer from being published during a time of change. When Kensington’s Zebra historical romances died, they didn’t go quickly (actually, Zebras are still around, but they’re not the same as they used to be in the 1980s and 1990s). 1 star

An Offer of Marriage
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