Barbara Riefe’s Tempt Not This Flesh was yet another inexplicable bestseller for the gender-bending author whose real name was Alan Riefe. 2 stars
Bodice Ripper is a category designation under Historical Romance. The books usually have tropes of forced seduction, plots where the hero rapes the heroine or uses force, multiple partners, and long separations. They were published in the 1970s to 1990s and are no longer in vogue.
Gordon Merrick created the legendary Peter & Charlie gay romance series. The trilogy portrayed the first mainstream love story between two men that concluded happily ever after. Another milestone in gay fiction occurred when they were reprinted in the 1980s. A young artist named Victor Gadino illustrated the iconic clinch covers. Never before had two men been pictured so intimately on romance novels.
The Sheik by Edith M. Hull, published in 1919, is as influential to the modern romance genre as Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Perhaps, even more so.
It was a blockbuster of a success, despite its many detractors. While some modern readers may cringe at its depiction of women, sexual roles, and racial attitudes, The Sheik remains a compelling read one hundred years after its publication. 5 stars
Raven by Shana Carol (aka Christina Savage, aka Mr. Kerry Newcomb & Mr. Frank Schaeffer) is a riveting bodice-ripper. It’s a pirate adventure that features a kickass, resilient heroine whom I adore. It also stars a hero who isn’t worthy to lick the underside of her shoes. This is one of those books I both hate and love and wavered for a long time what rating to give it. 3.49 stars
Where to begin with this review? Sweet Savage Love by the great Rosemary Rogers is–along with The Flame and the Flower–the blockbuster historical that launched a new genre: the modern romance novel. Published in 1974, this doorstopper epic was a monumental game-changer in an era of social transformation. 4.24 stars