Month: October 2021

Covers of the Week #30

One of our favorite style of covers is the combination of a lone heroine and beneath that, a smaller image of an embracing couple. For the week of Monday, November 1, 2021, to Sunday, November 7, please enjoy these lovely “pose and clinch” covers.

once and always mcnaught

Category Romance Review: A> Loverboy by Judith Arnold

Published in 1991, Judith Arnold’s A> Loverboy is the final installment in the Harlequin American Romance line “A Century of Romance” series. A> Loverboy is a humorous romance about two coworkers falling in for each other in an unusual way. Before there was “You’ve Got Mail” with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, there was this book. 4 stars

A> Loverboy

Historical Romance Review: Paradise and More by Shirl Henke

Paradise & More by Shirl Henke is memorable to me for having one of the most eye-catching covers in romance. A dazzling beauty by Pino Daeni, it features a fully naked couple in a glorious clinch, their nudity covered by some strategically placed flowers and the book’s title. Lamentably, I have a later reissue, the stepback version, where their nakedness is hidden under a respectable-looking cover. This is the first book in the House of Torres duo that takes place in late 1400s Spain. 3 & 1/2 stars

Paradise and More

What Reading Romance Novels Can Teach Us

Love is eternal and no fiction does this theme more justice than romance. But romance novels are more than love stories. There are numerous life lessons we can learn from reading these wonderful books.

8 lessons to learn from romance

Category Romance Review: Stranger in the Night by Charlotte Lamb

Charlotte Lamb’s Stranger in the Night deals with a sensitive topic she’s approached several times: rape. No, it does not employ the controversial trope of “dubious consent” found in many Harlequins from the 1970s and 1980s. This is a healing love story about a traumatic assault that upended a woman’s life and affected her relationships with men. 5 Stars

stranger in the night

Covers of the Week #29

Gothic romances hold an important place in the annals of the romance genre, with dark brooding heroes, strong-willed heroines, and gorgeous covers illustrated by the master artists. For the week of Monday, October 25, 2021, culminating on Halloween Day, Sunday 31, 2021, let’s delight and take fright in these creepy Gothic romance covers!

Witch

A Brief Look at Category (aka Series) Romance

Category lines, or series romance, 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.

brief look

Category Romance Review: Seduced and Betrayed by Candace Schuler

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

seduced and betrayed

Historical Romance Review: Sarina by Francine Rivers

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

Sarina by Francine Rivers

Covers of the Week #28

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.

prince of wolves

Dorchester Publishing

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.

dorchester

Category Romance Review: A Love to Last Forever by Linda Randall Wisdom

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

a-love-to-last-forever-voyajolu

Sweet Savage Flame on YouTube and Anchor Podcast Streaming

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).

6 Horrifying Villainous Heroes in Harlequin Presents

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.

6 Harlequin Presents Villains

Category Romance Review: Tabitha in Moonlight by Betty Neels

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

tabitha in the moonlight

Historical Romance Review: Passions Wild and Free by Janelle Taylor

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

passion wild and free duillo

Covers of the Week #27

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?)

caressa

The Male Authors of Vintage Romance

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.

male authors
Scroll to Top