Category: Robert McGinnis

Covers of the Week #15

Bold Destiny

The Duillo family was filled with artistic talent. There was John Duillo, the great pulp cover artist. Of course, his wife Elaine was a pioneer for women in the field. She not only painted pulp covers but went on to become the “Queen of Romance Covers.” However, did you know their daughter, Melissa Duillo Gallo, was a talented artist as well?

In the 1980s – 1980s, Melissa, who used the surname 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 is still creating art as a talented painter. Melissa Gallo Paints is where you can get access to her current work. I also have a dedicated Pinterest page to her romance covers here.

For a long time, I used to get Elaine and Melissa’s artwork confused, unintentionally mislabelling one of the books below as Elaine’s! Now I can spot the differences between mom’s and her daughter’s work. For one thing, Melissa preferred her models to wear more clothes, and also, she was more conservative with the use of eyeshadow, especially for the heroes! Both ladies, Duillo, collaborated with supermodel Fabio many times.... Read more “Covers of the Week #15”

Historical Romance Review: So Speaks the Heart by Johanna Lindsey

So Speaks the Heart, Johanna Lindsey, Avon, 1983, Robert McGinnis cover art

Spoiler & Major Douchebag Hero Alert ⚠

4 stars

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Caveat Emptor:

I acknowledge that not all readers can tolerate a cruel, rapacious hero in their romance; that’s why I gave a rare warning for this book. It’s fair to compare So Speaks the Heart (which should be subtitled: Medieval Norman Psychopath Falls for French Co-Dependent and Fellow Anger Management Classmate) to another of Johanna Lindsey’s works, A Pirate’s Love, which had a similar captor/captive trope.

However, So Speaks the Heart is IMO better than the latter because: 1) This heroine is not a spineless jellyfish, fights back, and is strong in her own way; and 2) The hero is more than just a good-looking rapist who eventually falls in love with the woman he’s been tormenting. Ok, he’s as deep as a crack in the sidewalk, and, yeah, he’s still a bully and a douche. But his background is fleshed out a lot more; therefore, we understand why he’s such an arsehole. So I can sort of forgive this hunk of a warrior for his caveman behavior. Plus, this is not a book to take seriously; it’s too whacktastic.... Read more “Historical Romance Review: So Speaks the Heart by Johanna Lindsey”

Covers of the Week #14

My Lord Monleigh

For the week starting Monday, July 12 to Sunday, July, 18, I thought some Historical Highland romance novels or Scottish-themed covers would be a bonny sight for your eyes to enjoy.

Historical Romance Review: Wicked, Loving Lies by Rosemary Rogers

Wicked Loving Lies, Rosemary Rogers, Avon, 1975, cover artist Robert McGinnis

His lips touched the back of her neck and moved along her stubborn shoulder. One hand stroked her breasts, and the other moved unerringly between her thighs; he found the most sensitive part of her and moved against her and in her until her half-formed protests turned into soft, stifled moans.

WICKED LOVING LIES

5 stars

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Plot

If you enjoy old-school romance written in the 1970s…

If you a high threshold for triggering issues like overbearing alphas, forced seduction, forced marriage of convenience, adultery, rape, branding, highwaymen, harems, slavery, racism, kidnapping, murder, a mother having her child taken away from her, divorce, and remarriage…

If you enjoy plot points such as travelling to almost every continent in the world, an affair with Napoleon, being a criminal on the run, all this and much more, plus a hefty dose of second-wave feminism from a heroine who goes to hell and back several times over…

If any of this sounds like your idea of a thrilling read, because it certainly is, then Wicked Loving Lies by Rosemary Rogers might be a book you’d want to pick up.... Read more “Historical Romance Review: Wicked, Loving Lies by Rosemary Rogers”

Historical Romance Review: A Pirate’s Love by Johanna Lindsey

1 star

Rating: 1 out of 5.

I hated A Pirate’s Love for many reasons, some based on logic, most others based on pettiness. If you’re looking for a great review that does a better job explaining why this book blows, search elsewhere. I’m just going to go on a diatribe based on my ever-waning recollections of this “romance”:

The multiple rapes that the hero commits upon the heroine didn’t really faze me, although they did get redundant. After all, it’s a bodice ripper, and that’s what comes with the territory. If a hero raping the heroine offends you, best not read this genre. It was everything else, in this, Johanna Lindsey’s second book, that I despised.

I hated Bettina and her knee-length hair that’s easily hidden under a hat! (Apologies to Johanna who actually had knee-length hair. She could easily pass for one of her heroines.)

I hated how she cried over her dresses and how ill-tempered she was and hearing about her flashing eyes that were blue one minute, then green another. Not blue-green eyes, mind you, that look different depending on the light or what colors they reflect. Her eyes just change color randomly with her emotions.... Read more “Historical Romance Review: A Pirate’s Love by Johanna Lindsey”

Historical Romance Review: The Wildest Heart by Rosemary Rogers

The Wildest Heart, Rosemary Rogers, Avon, 1974, cover artist Tom Hall

We gave each other, with our bodies, the commitment that neither of us dared put into words. We mated. There is no other word for it. We were equal—man and woman; neither asking what we could not give…

THE WILDEST HEART

3 1/2 Stars

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

***Spoiler alert*** 

In Rosemary Rogers’ The Wildest Heart Lady Rowena Dangerfield is a beautiful woman who’s valued by many men for her beauty or her wealth, or both. She was a heroine who intrigued me right from the start. Rowena was indifferent to men; despite their passion for her, she could not love anyone except outlaw Lucas Cord. For Lucas, Rowena was willing to renounce her inheritance or even die with him in the perilous mountains. Despite his conflicted past, Lucas was the only man to love Rowena for herself alone.

The negatives aspects:

If The Wildest Heart hadn’t been written primarily in a 1st person diary format, I would have LOVED it for the epic range of emotion and intrigue. It would have been a thrill ride on a par with Rogers’ other great bodice rippers Sweet Savage Love & Wicked Loving Lies.... Read more “Historical Romance Review: The Wildest Heart by Rosemary Rogers”

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!

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”

Historical Romance Review: A Heart So Wild by Johanna Lindsey

In a Heart So Wild by Johanna Lindsey  Courtney hires Chandos to help her trek across the west to find her father and instead she and Chandos find love. 4 1/2 stars
A Heart So Wild, Johanna Lindsey, Avon, 1986, cover artist Robert McGinnis

“Do you understand what I’m saying? If you’re going to be my woman, there’s no way in hell I’ll ever let you go”

A Heart So Wild
4 1/2 stars

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

I just realized I had A Heart So Wild on my Kindle and since I hadn’t read it in 25 years why not give it a re-read? And you know what? I loved this book more the second time than the first.

Why?

-Heroine & hero “meet” when the heroine is getting sexually assaulted by an outlaw, and hero shoots the bad guy dead.

-Enigmatic hero with a mysterious and tragic past.

-The heroine needs a gunslinger to guide her through hostile Indian territory to find her missing father.

-Hero fights, beats, kills men who try to kidnap or try to rape heroine.

-A snakebite where the heroine sucks blood out of the hero’s wound for an hour (!) and then he gets sick, revealing more in his fever dreams than he would if he was fine.

-Quick love scenes that express passion, aren’t too purple in prose and don’t go on for endless pages.... Read more “Historical Romance Review: A Heart So Wild by Johanna Lindsey”