Month: December 2021

Category Romance Review: For the Love of Sara by Anne Mather

For the Love of Sara isn’t one of Anne Mather’s bests. It features a rather unlikeable hero, which is par for the course for Mather. It doesn’t help that he’s a functioning alcoholic who keeps cans of beer in his glove compartment to help him deal with stress. The heroine isn’t any better. She’s a professional martyr who’s made a lot of poor life decisions. When the book opens, she’s about to embark on another bad choice, but in this case, she’s doing it to save someone she cares for. 2 stars

for the love of sara don sinclair

What Matters in Marriage: Wealth, Looks, Age, or Status?

Besides talking about romance in fiction, at Sweet Savage Flame, we’re touching on romance in real life. In this latest entry to our “Real Life Romance” discussion, we’re addressing the issue of what men and women search for in life partners. As members of two sexes, are we hard-wired to seek out mates for different reasons? What does the role of society and government play in relationships? Is love impossible in real life and merely a game of giving and taking?

Historical Romance Review: Angel in Scarlet by Jennifer Wilde

Angel In Scarlet isn’t a bodice ripper. It’s a Georgian-Era chick-lit. This is a hard one to categorize. It’s not just a romance, but more of a heroine’s journey through life and her relationships with several men she meets along the way. 4 stars

Angel In Scarlet duillo

Covers of the Week #38

2021 has been one heck of a ride. Thank you so much to you for making this a special year. For the week of Monday, December 27, 2021, to Sunday, January 2, 2022, we’re greeting the new year in style with fireworks on romance covers!

vows made in wine

Historical Romance Review: Through the Storm by Beverly Jenkins

Beverly Jenkins’ Through the Storm is a romance about a former slave finding love during the American Civil War and Reconstruction Era with a man from a proud and established Louisiana family of Haitian descent. Through the Storm has gained high marks and positive reviews. For my part, I found it engaging, although I couldn’t help but think it needed tightening up in some areas. 3 stars

A Closer Look At Pino

Giuseppi Dangelico Daeni, better known as Pino Daeni–or simply Pino–was a romance industry icon who created over 3,000 book covers in about 15 years. He spent almost the last twenty years of his life working as a fine artist of great acclaim. More than a mere illustrator, Pino is celebrated as a master painter of the 20th century.

pino at work

Historical Romance Review: The Present by Johanna Lindsey

Over 22 years and under two different publishers, Johanna Lindsey wrote 12 romances about the Malory & Anderson clans. These books were massive hits with her many fans. Her novel, The Present, is moderately short at just over 300 pages. It tells two parallel love stories set in different eras in England, portraying the Malory clan in the past and the “present.” For no matter how time changes, the love lives of the family remain the same. 3 1/2 stars

the present

Category Romance Review: Marriage on the Rebound by Michelle Reid

Michelle Reid’s Marriage on The Rebound is about keeping it all in the family. Shaan Saketa is unique for a Harlequin Presents circa 1998 heroine, as she’s of mixed ethnic heritage: English and Lebanese. It’s her wedding day. Unfortunately for Shaan, she’s about to be dumped at the altar. 4 stars

marriage on the rebound

Free Vintage & Old School Romance Books on Amazon #3

You can find great deals for vintage books on Kindle at Amazon. If you have a Prime account you can borrow up to 10 books at a time for no extra cost. Additionally, there are many books available on the Kindle Unlimited program, where you pay a monthly or annual fee for borrowing as many books as you want.

amazon free books

Historical Romance Review: Midnight Princess by Jo Goodman

This review is of Midnight Princess, book #1 in the “Marshall Brothers” series by Jo Goodman, a pseudonym used by Joanne Dobrzanski. Published by Zebra/Kensington, November 1989, the book was later reissued as Her Defiant Heart. This review is of the original print book. 4.14 stars

midnight princess jo goodman

Covers of the Week #37

For the week of Monday, December 20 to Sunday, December 26, 2021, let’s take delight in some icy covers featuring snow. Have a Jolly Winter Solstice, Happy Festivus, and a Merry Christmas!

ice and rapture

Why Did They Do That? Romances That Broke The HEA Rule

To be considered a romance, a book romance must have a happy ending, just as every detective novel must include a mystery to solve. There’s an expectation of a committed relationship that will stand the test of time. But what about those romances that broke the HEA rule? Let’s look at some pre-2000s novels that did the unthinkable.

broke the hea rule

Historical Romance Review: Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas

Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas features one of her most beloved characters, Derek Craven. Derek was previously seen in Then Came You, whose reserved hero, Alex Raiford, was more to my liking. This is a wonderful romance by the talented Kleypas where two people from contrasting social classes come together in love. 4 stars

dreaming of you lisa kleypas

Category Romance Review: Too Many Husbands by Elise Title

There are Christmas tales that inspire, ones that make us cry, and others that make us laugh with the joy of being alive. Too Many Husbands by Elise Title falls into the latter category. It’s a zany romp of a romance that could have been an old-fashioned screwball comedy on the live screen. 4 1/2 stars

too many husbands

Age Differences In Romance

Today, the age difference in romantic couples is between 2-3 years, with men mostly older and women younger. Romance novels love to play around with age gaps. One of the most common themes in these books is a significant age difference between the hero and heroine. Let’s take a look at some romances that have employed this trope.

age differences in romanxw

Category Romance Review: Timeless Love by Judith Arnold

This review is of Timeless Love, book #11, and the final book in the “Bachelor Arms” series. It is the second of two written by Judith Arnold, a pseudonym for Barbara Keiler. (Harlequin Temptation #565, published December 1995)

timeless love

Covers of the Week #36

For the week of Monday, December 13, 2021, to Sunday, December 19, 2021, we’re spreading some cheer and giving our loyal readers an early gift. Please enjoy some Christmas-themed romance covers!

a christmas charade

Let’s Play Romance B-I-N-G-O

There are lots of fun things you can do while reading romances. You can read by author or trope, or even make a game of it. We’ve designed a game of BINGO for you to play while enjoying your books. Use our ready-made BINGO card. Play alone or compete with friends. What you win is up to you!


Historical Romance Review: When Lightning Strikes by Kristin Hannah

Kristin Hannah is a successful author of women’s fiction. It’s fortunate she found success in that genre because her romances I’ve encountered are–sad to say–lacking in excitement. When Lightning Strikes is a time travel romance that starts out promisingly but takes a boring turn into snoozeville with its drawn-out plot. This should have been a category-length romance of 190 pages not 400 pages long!

when lightning strikes
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