Emmie’s Love by Janette Seymour is a saucy romance novel from 1980 with some entertaining elements but minor gripes.
This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, Sweet Savage Flame earns a small percentage from qualifying purchases.
TOTAL SPOILER ALERT ⚠
Janette Seymour‘s Emmie’s Love is Purity’s Passion, redux. Just as in Purity’s Passion and Ecstasy, the heroine is separated from her true love and must “find” her way back to him. So we’re clear: “find” is an euphemism for another four-letter word that starts with “f.”
The same terms and motifs are used in Emmie’s Love that were in Seymour’s other raunchy books. There is a violent opening involving a near-rape that has nothing to do with the protagonists and also an alluded-to castration.
In addition, we see frequent mentions of “handy-dandy” and dampened sheer muslin gowns. There’s another blond stud who performs for an audience. And the heroine has a one-night stand with a doomed soldier.
Then, there is a blue-eyed, scar-faced hero who is rarely seen.
Finally, there is a heroine with no personality save for being a busty, lusty wench.
Emmie Dashwood—granddaughter of an aged Marquess who pats her rump most lovingly—lives in a moldy, decaying manor with her large, mooching family. After Grandpa’s death, Emmie is sold into marriage to an old man who lives 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. Many travails lie ahead. There is a family sex romp in an orangery. There are church sermons brimming with hellfire and damnation, plus a satanic sex orgy in the said church led by a goat-headed stud. Lots of violence galore: a beheaded dog, followed by a shocking use for the dismembered head. We have a blackmailing Peeping Tom. A robust Irish maid gives Emmie an erotic massage. And there’s much, much more.
Except for a doomed French hunter and his sad tale, there’s not much depth. One salacious encounter is followed by another–not that I’m complaining.
The hero, Nathan, is really not a factor in this book. He’s a prize that Emmie earns at the end for completing her bodice-ripper adventures. There’s no epic love story here.
While I was entertained by this Michael Butterworth (Janette Seymour’s actual name) bodice ripper, I do have a few gripes. The book blurb gets some minor plot points wrong. Typos such as “$a1shouted” are annoying. And my pet peeve is the wrong hair color on the cover. Harry Bennett’s artwork shows the hero as blond. Alok, he’s black-hair in the booked, with a white streak running through it.
The heroine is a bit of a twit. No, not the other word; this is no pornographic book, after all! If you are searching for explicitness and gratuity, look elsewhere (and tell me about it when you find it)!
Everything is alluded to, with water metaphors galore: waves crashing, crests swelling, waters breaking, dams bursting. It is a saucy tale, replete with ribaldry.
And yes, bodices were ripped.
Final Analysis of Emmie’s Love
Titillating though it is, Michael Butterworth’s, that is to say, Janette Seymour’s Emmie’s Lo,ve is not quite a bodice-ripper masterpiece. Still, it’s a satisfying journey, even if the final destination holds little interest.