Category: Harry Bennett

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

Frost and the Flame
Frost and the Flame
The Frost and the Flame, Drusilla Campbell, Pocket Books, 1980, Harry Bennett cover Art

Spoiler Alert ⚠

4 1/2 Stars

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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, twatwaffle of a hero, and instead spends more time sexing it up with the lusty, evil villain. For the record, this is just 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.

The Crazy Plot and Characters

I loved the Russian setting and liked the heroine’s growth as a character, but the hero, Alexei, is exciting as dry toast. It’s the villain who is the star here: charismatic, evil, and blond!

Eighteen-year-old Katiana Donova is a convent-bred naif. While traveling across the cold depths of Russia, she and her companions are attacked. The dashing blond Prince Oleg saves her. The Prince seems so sweet and kind at first, but he soon proves to be a lustful rogue.... Read more “Historical Romance Review: The Frost and the Flame by Drusilla Campbell”

Covers of the Week #10

For the week of June 14, 2021, to June 20, we’re looking back over our favorite Harry Bennett covers for Tapestry, Gallen, and, Pocket Books.

Historical Romance Review: Emmie’s Love by Janette Seymour

Emmie’s Love, Janette Seymour, Pocket Books, 1980, Harry Bennett cover art

3 1/2 Stars

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Janette Seymour’s Emmie’s Love is Purity’s Passion, redux. Just as in Purity’s Passion and Purity’s Ecstasy, the heroine is separated from her true love and must “find” her way back to him. “Find” being a euphemism for another four-letter word that starts with “f.”

The Plot

Again, the same terms and motifs are used: a violent opening involving near-rape and an alluded castration; frequent mentions of “handy-dandy”; dampened sheer muslin gowns; blond studs performing for an audience; a one night stand with a doomed soldier; a blue-eyed, scar-faced hero that is rarely seen; and a heroine with no personality save for being a busty, lusty wench.

Emmie Dashwood–granddaughter to an aged Marquess who pats her rump in a most loving fashion–lives in a moldy, decaying manor with her large, moochy family. After grandpa’s death, she is sold in marriage to an older man living another continent away. On her trip across the ocean, she falls in love with Captain Nathan Grant, the very married ship’s captain.

But love does not come easily to our dear Emmie.... Read more “Historical Romance Review: Emmie’s Love by Janette Seymour”

Historical Romance Review: Highland Velvet by Jude Deveraux

HIghland Velvet, Pocket Books, 1982, cover artist Harry Bennett

“You’ll regret that! Someday you’ll know that one drop of my blood is more precious than any angry feelings you carry!”

HIGHLAND VELVET
5 stars

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Plot

Forced into marriage to the English nobleman Stephen Montgomery, Scotswoman Brenna MacArran, the leader of her clan, vows to make his life miserable.

While Deveraux’s heroes in the Velvet Series had their bad moments, particularly Gavin, and to a lesser extent, Miles and Raine, in Highland Velvet, Stephen Montgomery was the stuff girlish dreams are made of.

Stephen was kind and loving to his sister-in-law, Judith, always taking her side whenever Gavin preferred his evil mistress. He stayed by her bedside during her painful miscarriage and supported her throughout.

When Stephen saw Bronwyn for the first time, he fell instantly in love with her. He worked his butt off to get the approval of the men in Bronwyn’s clan and had to fight that creepy Roger Chatworth for her hand in marriage, even though they were already betrothed. Heck, he even changed his last name so that her MacArran family name wouldn’t die out. And he was no wussy male, but a deadly soldier willing to work hard and rethink his value system when faced with contradictions.... Read more “Historical Romance Review: Highland Velvet by Jude Deveraux”

Historical Romance Review: Purity’s Ecstasy by Janette Seymour

Purity’s Ecstasy, Janette Seymour, Pocket Books, 1978, Harry Bennett cover art

Youth and beauty were her sole assets on Earth.

PURITY’S ECSTASY

3 1/2 stars

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

***Spoiler alert***

Like many other late 1970’s to early 1980’s bodice rippers, Michael Butterworth’s (aka Janette Seymour) second entry into his Purity trilogy, Purity’s Ecstasy, is a tawdry, rollicking ride filled with just about every ‘ripper trope and then some.

In the first book, Purity’s Passion, after beautiful Purity survived the French Revolution, she was made the ward of the enigmatic and barely-there Mark Landless, with whom she fell madly in love. However, she had numerous obstacles to overcome before getting her man (namely other men). The same is more or less the case with this sequel, as Mark is presumed dead after being captured by pirates. Purity knows in her heart Mark is still alive and she will do whatever whomever she has to do to find him.

Alas, after being kicked out into the streets by cruel in-laws, Purity has to search for employment. In her own words her “youth and beauty were her sole assets on Earth” so what’s a girl to do?... Read more “Historical Romance Review: Purity’s Ecstasy by Janette Seymour”

Updates #2

Hello, again! Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying life to the fullest. To anyone actually looking at this site and and interested in what there is to look and talk about, we have some more updates.

You can vote on a poll here:

POLL: FAVORITE OLD-SCHOOL AUTHOR

There are topics that can be easily accessed from the MENU bar that include:

AUTHOR PAGES:

Johanna Lindsey

Rebecca Brandewyne

Natasha Peters

Laurie McBain

Rosemary Rogers

Bertrice Small

Valerie Sherwood

COVERS:

Where you can look at our Covers the Week Page

And search for more:

COVER ARTISTS

Harry Bennett

Elaine Duillo

John Ennis

Elaine Gignilliat

Robert McGinnis

There are also more new:

BOOK REVIEWS

At least 15 more have been added, Just go the MENU to search the BOOK REVIEW by rating or in alphabetical order by title. You can also access reviews by clocking on LATEST TOPICS.

Plus, more

LINKS

I will be adding more information and pictures to current pages as well as uploading new ones. Please subscribe to SweetSavageFlame.com to keep updated on any changes or new blog posts. If you have any recommendations or requests for reviews, please comment or email me at jacquelinediazromance@gmail.com

Happy reading!

Historical Romance Review: While Passion Sleeps by Shirlee Busbee

While Passion Sleeps, Shirlee Busbee, Avon, 1983, cover artist Harry Bennett

[Women] had faces like angels and bodies to drive men wild, and yet they lied, cheated, and would merrily rip a man’s heart from his body for the sheer joy of watching him writhe.

WHILE PASSION SLEEPS

4 Stars

Rating: 4 out of 5.

While Passion Sleeps by Shirlee Busbee made me feel really old. It wasn’t the plot or the characters; it was the actual book itself. This just-under-500-pages of an epic is printed in a tiny font on yellowed paper (my edition is 38 years old). Reading it strained my eyes something awful. I’ve been nearsighted all my life, but now things up close are getting blurry. I’ll be going to the eye doctor this week for a new Rx because I need bifocals. *Sigh.* Damn you, the passage of time!

The Hero

Speaking of the passage of time, While Passion Sleeps features a macho hero who would be booed out of Romanc-landia if he were to appear in a romance novel today. Rafael Santana, who’s one tough Texan (1/4 American, 1/4 Comanche, and 1/2 Spanish), was kidnapped by the Comanches as a child.... Read more “Historical Romance Review: While Passion Sleeps by Shirlee Busbee”

Historical Romance Review: Purity’s Passion by Janette Seymour

Purity’s Passion, Janette Seymour, Pocket Books, 1977, Harry Bennett cover art

She would come to him a complete woman…

PURITY’s PASSION

4 Stars

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The tale of Purity Jarsy, Purity’s Passion, (Part 1 of 3) begins with the horrors of the French Revolution and ends in France after Napoleon’s final defeat. In between we witness the epic tale of Purity, a woman so beautiful many men desire her, they would ravish her, control her, and kill for her… In other words, it’s your basic, page-turning bodice ripper. And it’s a good one.

Janette Seymour was a deft storyteller, quickly pulling me in with Purity witnessing a beautiful encounter of a couple making love and later she sees the macabre slaughters of the Revolution. Purity is left orphaned and shaken in the aftermath.

Mark “You may kiss me–here” Landless is the object of Purity’s devotion. Much older than she, he is her appointed guardian, but he also shares a hidden bond with his ward. Mark is a placeholder, we never see through his perspective. He is a scar-faced, blue-eyed soldier who duels for Purity’s honor, hurts her cruelly, and the finally marries her.... Read more “Historical Romance Review: Purity’s Passion by Janette Seymour”

Updates

Hello, there! Hope all of you in the northern hemisphere are enjoying the return of Spring. To those folks located in the southern hemisphere, enjoy your Autumn, as it too is a beautiful time of year.

As you may have noticed, this blog is a work-in-progress, so I ask you to bear with me as we go through some growing pains. I might revamp this blog’s theme, but my poor tech skills could delay that at bit. You also might have seen that in addition to discussing historical romances and reading book reviews, you can also access pages dedicated to some prominent authors of old-school historical romance, plus a few of my favorites; books; publishing houses; and cover artists via the menu located on the top of each page.

Feel like dropping a comment? Any helpful criticisms or words of advice are always appreciated.

Some new additions to this site that be easily accessed from the menu bar include:

AUTHOR PAGES:

Rebecca Brandewyne

Rosemary Rogers

Bertrice Small

COVER ARTISTS:

Harry Bennett

Elaine Duillo

Elaine Gignilliat

Robert McGinnis

BOOK REVIEWS

Plus, more

LINKS

Thank you so much for sharing this experience with me. I love vintage historical romances and know that not every modern reader feels the same, so it’s wonderful to create and grow a community dedicated to old-school fun where stories could span years and countries.... Read more “Updates”