A Love to Last Forever by Linda Randall Wisdom is a fine romance between two former high school classmates, Stacy McAllister and Clarence “Mike” Harper. It’s 1986 and a 20-year class reunion brings the protagonists together. While Stacy was a popular cheerleader and prom queen who dated the captain/ quarterback of the football team, Mike had been a chubby, pimple-faced nerd who’d been picked on by students like Stacy’s boyfriend. 3 1/2 stars
We’ve compiled a list of six sweet and sexy heroes from some amazing historical romances. These remarkable men will have you swooning with their devoted adoration for their women. — Send in […]
We are slowly converting articles to podcasts and Youtube videos. Sweet Savage Flame has an Anchor Podcast which can be heard on Spotify and other platforms. We also have a YouTube channel where you can hear and see us (sort of).
Since Halloween is just around the corner it’s time to take a look at the scary side of romance. The Harlequin Presents line was notorious for the cruelty some male protagonists could inflict upon their heroines. Some of these books are surprisingly well-written. Yet the horrific truth is that these heroes were villains.
Tabitha in Moonlight is a light romance about an efficient, capable nurse (aren’t they always in these books?) of an elderly men’s ward who falls for the new surgeon, Dr. Marius van Beek. Betty Neels wields the typical doctor-nurse romance into a Cinderella story, with Tabitha starring as the poor, down-trodden stepdaughter who gets no love from her wicked step-mother and equally wicked step-sister. Dr. van Beek plays the role of the prince, but fortunately, this Prince is far more astute than his fairy tale predecessor, not requiring a glass slipper to identify his true lady love. 4 stars
This review is of Passions Wild and Free, book #2 in the “Western Wind” series by Janelle Taylor. Randee Hollis, the heroine of the book, has plans to go after the Epson Gang, a ruthless band of killers who killed her aunt and uncle… 3 stars
We’ve highlighted quite a few romance covers here at Sweet Savage Flame. A common theme for many is to include animals, particularly horses, in the background to demonstrate passion and vitality. Some equines weren’t content to be cast as mere decoration, however. Neigh, these horses demanded a starring role with the couples engaged in their usual passionate clinches. (That sentence came off a bit odd, didn’t it?)
While women comprise most of the Romance genre readership and the vast majority of writers, there are many men who enjoy the genre, too. In fact, in the early years of romance, there were quite a few male authors, who had to use pseudonyms to publish their works. Men were a part of the romance revolution of the 1970s and they remain a part of the genre to this day, as writers and readers.
Secret Fire was, I think, the second Johanna Lindsey romance I read which cemented her works among my favorites. Published in 1987, this book was written during Lindsey’s peak years of output. 5 stars
It’s been a full six months that Sweet Savage Flame has been up and running. We started in early Spring, and now it’s Autumn, my favorite season! We’ve grown from a tiny website to a semi-respectable niche romance blog that has amassed almost 18,000 views in that time. Thank you to our readers for being with us, for commenting, and for spreading the word about us!
Margaret St. George’s The Pirate and His Lady isn’t a historical romance, but a time-traveling adventure published through Harlequin’s American Romance line. The romance here is bittersweet, as most time travels romances are. 4 stars
This review is of Lovers and Strangers, book #7 in the “Bachelor Arms” series by Candace Schuler. It’s a Harlequin Temptation, from August 1995. I don’t have a favorite books list, but if I did–and I may start one–Candace Schuler’s Lovers and Strangers would definitely be on it! 4.95 stars
We had a lot of fun a couple of months back doing Covers of the Week #12, where we posted images of when romance covers by talented artists go hilariously bad. So we’re doing it again! For the week of Monday, October 4 to Sunday, October 10, 2021 (which happens to be my birthday week), enjoy these silly or awful-looking covers that make us smile.
Sheila Holland nee Coates, known to most readers of romance as Harlequin/ Mills & Boon author Charlotte Lamb is one of my favorite writers, period. Although she wrote seemingly simple category romances, her books were much more than that. She wrote like few others in her field could: fully inhabiting her characters’ minds and giving them larger-than-life personalities.
At Dr. Maria DeBlassie’s blog Enchantment Learning she hosted a presentation by our Twitter pal Daily Clinch @Artof the Clinch. We recommend watching this informative video on the history of romance novel clinch covers. They touch upon the genre’s past as well as discussing pivotal cover artists, models, authors, and more.
In The Lord of Hawkfell Island by Catherine Coulter Mirana is a young, unmarried woman who lives with her brother in a massive fortress. When he’s away, their home is attacked by Viking raiders seeking vengeance against him, as the Viking leader Rorik blames him for the death of his wife and child. Usually, a hero grieving over his lost love is grounds for me to dislike a historical romance, but thanks to Rurik, I had plenty of other reasons to despise this “love story.” 2 1/2 stars
We’ve compiled a list of six sweet and sexy heroes from some amazing historical romances. These remarkable men will have you swooning with their devoted adoration for their women.
This review is of First Love, Wild Love by Janelle Taylor. The book begins begins in Texas, where Calinda Braxton, the heroine, has come from England to investigate the disappearance of her father… 4 1/2 stars
Sweet Savage Flame Podcast Old School Historical Romance Book Review: Defy Not the Heart by Johanna Lindsey
For a while–except for maybe Jude Deveraux–there was no other mass-market romance author in the 1980s to 1990s whose prolific writing achieved such commercial success than Johanna Lindsey. Lindsey reached #1 on […]
For over 40 years Ken Otsuka has worked in commercial and then fine arts. For the week of Monday, September 27, 2021, to Sunday, October 3, let’s take delight in the beauty of Ken Otsuka’s romance covers!
This review is for Never a Bride, book #4 in the “Bachelor Arms” series published in May 1995 by Harlequin Temptation and written by JoAnn Ross. In the first 3 books in the series, Kate Hoffmann wrote about 3 male friends who find love. In the next 3 books in the series, written by JoAnn Ross, three female friends come together for one of the ladies’ weddings. 4 stars
These 15 Historical Romances published before 2000 either caused radical changes in the romance novel industry or they are so pivotal and unforgettable, they should be considered must-reads. Please note, at SweetSavageFlame.com […]
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.
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 to multiple categories. Literature can be mystery or romance, just as romance can be fantasy, erotica, science fiction, suspense… And just about everything else.
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. 3 stars
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
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!
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
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.
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.