Check out Sweet Savage Flame‘s latest posts and book reviews:
Link: The Art of Robert E. McGinnis by Robert McGinnis and Art Scott
For lovers of throwback historical and gothic romances, vintage pulpy reads and spy thrillers, or old movies and magazines, the name Robert McGinnis might be familiar. But if it isn’t, then his works of art surely are.
The Accidental Romance? Books From Other Genres Can Be Romances, Too!
What defines a romance novel? Romance Writer's of America has stated the definition of romance is essentially a love story which concludes on an optimistic note for the protagonists. Either a "Happily Ever After" or "Happy For Now" ending will suffice. But labels can be limiting or deceptive. A single work of fiction can belong …
Historical Romance Review: Tender is the Storm by Johanna Lindsey
So… Johanna Lindsey's Tender Is the Storm. If you're familiar with your romance history, then you must know of this book, even if you haven't read it. The cover is the infamous one designed by Robert McGinnis with the naked hero standing tall as the heroine kneels before him, her ample breasts pressed firmly against his–er…dongle. …
Contemporary Romance Review: Sometimes a Stranger by Angela Alexie
Like big, dramatic contemporary romances set in glamorous, exciting milieus? With dynamic characters and lots of plot? Then I recommend Sometimes a Stranger. 4 1/2 stars
Covers of the Week #24
For the week of September 20 to Monday, September 26, 2021, let's appreciate these clinch poses on romance covers featuring hot air balloons. From afar, what a magical sight to witness those colorful inverted teardrops float through the air!
Historical Romance Review: Hearts of Fire by Anita Mills
Hearts of Fire is a more satisfying sequel to the first installment of Anita Mills' medieval romance series, Lady of Fire, than its second outing, Fire and Steel was. The forbidden romance between Richard and Gilliane de Lacey is stellar. 4 stars
A Closer Look At Sharon Spiak
Illustrator and fine-art painter Sharon Spiak has made a name for herself in the romance industry for producing various gorgeous covers for many bestselling authors. She also had the privilege to paint Fabio almost as much as the Duillo ladies did.
Category Romance Review: Whisper to the Waves by Helen Beaumont
Whisper to the Waves is a good contemporary romance that with a little tweaking could've been an excellent one. It was published by RCA Marketing in 1982 in its Sapphire Romance series. These were American reprints of British originals; this one was first published by Hamlyn Paperbacks in 1981. 4 stars
15 Old School Historical Romances That Revolutionized the Genre
These 15 Historical Romances published before 2000 either caused radical changes in the romance novel industry or they are so pivotal and unforgettable, they are must-reads. Please note, we at Sweet Savage Flame may not have read all books ourselves, but recognize their importance to the genre. Our aim is to review all books on …
Category Romance Review: Tonight and Forever by Brenda Jackson
Brenda Jackson's Tonight and Forever is her first published book and the first in her long-running series of the Madaris family. It's a Pinnacle Arabesque romance from 1995, which are category romances but are not numbered, at least not to my knowledge. What propels Tonight and Forever into a "better than good" zone is that …
Free Vintage or Old School Romance Books on Amazon #2
There are so many books listed on Amazon for free to read, that we had to post some more freebies! If you have an Amazon Prime account you can borrow up to 10 books for free at a time. If you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, there are many books you can read for a fixed …
Covers of the Week #23
For Mary Anne Landers' first Covers of the Week post, she wants to honor the late, great Elaine Duillo (1928 to 2021). Elaine left us on July 30 of this year, and had been retired for some time. But her wonderful illustrations live on.
Category Romance Review: Driving Force by Sally Wentworth
Driving Force, a Sally Wentworth Harlequin Presents, offers few surprises but is a satisfactory read regardless. West Marriot– our hero, not a 3-star hotel but a famous race car driver–was terribly injured in a race several months ago. Madeleine French, a nurse and physiotherapist, had been married to West for four years. 3 1/2 stars
Historical Romance Review: An Offer of Marriage by Jo Ann Ferguson Review
Books like Jo Ann Ferguson’s An Offer of Marriage suffer from being published during a time of change. When Kensington’s Zebra historical romances died, they didn’t go quickly (actually, Zebras are still around, but they’re not the same as they used to be in the 1980s and 1990s). 1 star
Category Romance Review: The Strong, Silent Type by Kate Hoffmann
This review is of The Strong, Silent Type, book #2 in the “Bachelor Arms” series and the 2nd of 3 books in the series written by Kate Hoffmann. The book begins with Josh Banks, the hero of the book and a tax accountant (yes, you read that correctly), meeting with one of his clients, actress …
Popular Romance Tropes
In the romance genre, we often see some types of plots or character types repeated. These similarities resonate for myriad reasons. Some tropes are common in vintage or old-school romance, but not so much in modern romances. Then there are tropes that never go out of style.
Category Romance Review: A Happily Unmarried Man by Kate Hoffmann
This review is of A Happily Unmarried Man, #3 in the “Bachelor Arms” series published in April 1995 by Kate Hoffmann. The story begins at a mall in Los Angeles… 4 stars
Covers of the Week #22
For the week of Monday, September 6, 2021, to Sunday, September 12, we're looking at gorgeous category romance covers painted by some of the greatest artists of romance novels. Below are a few category romances illustrated by the legendary Elaine Duillo, Robert Maguire, Elaine Gignilliat, and Pino. Enjoy!
Category Romance Review: Bachelor Husband by Kate Hoffmann
This review is of Bachelor Husband, book #1 of 11 in the “Bachelor Arms” Harlequin Temptation series from February 1995 by Kate Hoffmann. Bachelor Husband begins with Harry Truman “Tru” Hallihan, the hero of the book and a private investigator, working a case.
Historical Romance Review: Shameless Ecstasy by Thea Devine
This review is of Shameless Ecstasy, a standalone from May 1989 by Thea Devine. The book takes place on Swany Island, Georgia. One of the residents there is Sarianna Broydon, the heroine of the book. 1 star