I enjoy playing the game of “I Spy” with my vintage book romance covers. Can you guess this week’s theme? For the week of Aug 2 to Aug 6, here are some contemporary and historical covers for you to look over and play “I Spy.”
Ready, Willing and Abel was my first foray into the Silhouette Desire line. Nancy Martin penned a ridiculous, sexy romp that made me fall in love with the series. Featuring an Indiana Jones-like hero and a button-downed heroine working in fast-paced Washinton DC, this story was not based at all in reality. It was so over-the-top and silly; I adored it. 4 1/2 stars
A Violation, a full-length novel by category author Charlotte Lamb, isn’t a straightforward romance, somewhere more between women’s fiction and romantic fiction. Like so many of her works, the major themes are the philosophy of love and what are the defined roles of being a man and a woman, especially when it comes to amorous relationships. 3 stars
This review is of Savage Ecstasy (Ecstasy/Gray Eagle, #1; the series is known by two different names) by Janelle Taylor. There’s a lot to unpack here. The year is 1776, and English expatriate Alisha Williams, 20, the book’s heroine (and the first four books in the series), has journeyed west to find happiness with her only surviving relative, her uncle Thad. One day, the “men” in her settlement bring a captured Oglala Lakota Indian brave into their camp; that brave is Gray Eagle, the “hero” of the book. Gray Eagle and Alisha develop romantic feelings for each other. 3 stars
Ruth Langan’s Highland Heather is the sequel to her previous Scottish romance, Highland Barbarian. I liked this Harlequin Historical much more than its predecessor. Why? I enjoyed the conflict between the hero and the heroine and the English setting, plus introducing Queen Elizabeth I to a story always makes things interesting. 4 1/2 stars
In the comment section of the review of Passion’s Treasure/Just Say Yes by Betina Krahn that I reviewed, our colleague Mary Ann Landers asked about the name of the heroine of the book, Treasure Barrett. That query got me thinking about romance novel names: do I have favorite ones? I certainly do!
Lois Faye Dyer, who would go on to produce numerous Special Edition romances for Silhouette Books, was one Kismet’s more prolific writers. Her romance Sunday Kind of Love is book #2 in a series about 4 siblings. 2 1/2 stars
Dillon After Dark, Harlequin Temptation #362, is a cute, fun romance by Leandra Logan. Dillon Danvers is a laid-back California DJ who airs a talk/ music show where he discusses many fun subjects to delight in. Dr. Kristina Jordan is a psychologist and single mother with no time for relaxation. Together these two opposites could make for an exciting couple. However, Kristina needs major convincing to be part of it. 3 stars
I love to read. I love stories. And right now, my kind of story is vintage romance fiction. By which, I mean romances published in the twentieth century. In particular certain varieties of the genre, with features that were once popular but have since gone out of style. That’s why I’m grateful for a blog like Sweet Savage Flame. Here I can get info and opinions about my favorite body of fiction. And share my own! Why romance? Why vintage? To answer both questions, I must start with who I am as a reader.
This review is of Karen A. Bale’s 1979 Zebra romance The Forever Passion. Lisa Jordan, 18, chafing under the demands placed on her in her native Boston, has decided to head west to live with her brother, Tom. She arranges to travel by wagon train and falls in love with the train scout, Josh Wade. Then things take a turn for the worst. 3 stars
Can you imagine relaxing at the beach like these lovers posing on the romance book covers? For the week of July 26 to August 1, here are some sexy embraces on sultry beaches for this week’s theme. Enjoy!
Chance the Winds of Fortune is the sequel to Laurie McBain’s Moonstruck Madness, a romance about a gender-bending highwayman (girl) who falls for an arrogant, scarred Duke, notorious for his dueling skills. I LOVED Moonstruck Madness… The follow-ups to that wonderful book about their daughter, Rhea Claire, Chance the Winds of Fortune & Dark Before the Rising Sun, though…ugh. 2 stars
Sweet Savage Flame isn’t just a blog where we share our opinions of books. We are dedicated to providing as accurate information as possible about the history of Romance novels. It’s also a place where we encourage viewer feedback and input.
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, hero, and instead spends more time with the lusty, evil villain. This is 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. 4 1/2 stars
Suzanne Brockmann’s 1997 Time Enough for Love is a different kind of love story for that era, as it entails time travel plus a love triangle. Between one woman and two versions of the same man! 5 stars
At the beginning of Tiffany White’s category romance Cheap Thrills, the hero Crew Harper is working this side gig as a window-washer when he becomes an accidental peeping Tom. A woman enters an office, she undresses… 3 1/2 stars
How I became a romance novel aficionado… My romance novel journey began in 1980. My late mother had a small collection of books and I picked one up and started reading it.
In this new segment, we have two reviewers offering their opinions on a single romance. Blue Falcon gives Karen A. Bale’s Desperado Dream a positive review and found the book emotionally captivating. Introvert Reader, on the other hand, explains her negative perspective of the historical romance in her review. 4 1/2 stars
In this new segment, we have two reviewers offering their opinions on a single romance. Here, Introvert Reader explains her negative perspective of Karen A. Bale’s historical romance, Desperado Dream. Blue Falcon, on the other hand, gave it a positive review and found the book emotionally captivating. 1 star
Whisper to the Stars is a vintage-contemporary romance that revolves around a trope hard to find nowadays: unrequited love. It starts out strong, with the promise of a deeply moving emo story. And it delivers, up to a point. Then it falters. Somewhere in the middle, it loses sight of what a romance is supposed to do: to engage and enthrall the reader. 2 1/2 stars