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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 it isn’t just a romance about the healing power of love, it’s a book about the power of love itself. 3 1/2 stars

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 Olivia Wilde (NOT the current actress using the stage name, this Olivia Wilde is a 75-year-old octogenarian actress). Olivia asks Josh for a favor; to keep her granddaughter, Taryn, out of Los Angeles for a few weeks… 3 1/2 stars

Popular Romance Tropes

aerial view of city buildings near body of water

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.

Covers of the Week #22

quiet comes the night

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!

Covers of the Week #21

sheik 1

This week Sweet Savage Flame is highlighting male cover models! We all know Fabio, John De Salvo, and Steve Sandalis. But what about other men who modeled in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s? Looking at these attractive men, we can see how the image of the romance cover hero has evolved through the years.

Historical Romance Review: Highland Fire by Ruth Langan

highland fire

Highland Fire is the third of Ruth Langan’s MacAlpin clan Highland series originally published as Harlequin Historicals. The first two books were Highland Barbarian, about sister Meredith, and Highland Heather was middle sister’s Brenna’s tale. This book tells the story of the youngest MacAlpin sister, Megan, and her romance with an Irish renegade, Kieran O’Mara. 3 1/2 stars

Historical Romance Review: Virginia Vixen by Kay McMahon

Virginia Vixen

This review is of Virginia Vixen by Kay McMahon. Published in May 1989, this book is part of a series connected to four other books by Ms. McMahon. The book begins in Williamsburg, Virginia, circa 1774. Rebecca Wilde, a reporter for the Virginia Gazette and the heroine of the book, is investigating the murder of a slave who was a childhood friend of hers. Arriving at the same time is Alec Stone, the hero of the book, who has come to Virginia from England for two purposes; to find his father’s identity and to investigate the disappearance of one of his employees. 2 1/2 stars

Romance Authors With Pseudonyms

romance author pseudonyms

In the romance genre, an author might use an alias for various reasons. Perhaps their real name lacks a certain je ne sais quoi. Because some romance writers create fiction for multiple genres, different names ae used. Others are men who want to appeal to a vast female audience. Or they could be married couples or duos who need a catchy nom-de-plume.

Covers of the Week #20

springs fury

The power of love is as old as the Earth and as constant as the four seasons. To live is to love! At Sweet Savage Flame, romance is in the air all year long. So to celebrate, from Monday, August 23, 2021, to Sunday, August 29, our 20th edition of Covers of the Week highlights four beautiful romance covers set during Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter.

Category Romance Review: Tangled Tapestry by Anne Mather

Thanks to Anne Mather’s Tangled Tapestry I now realize publishers don’t always put the correct copyright information in the front of e-books. Going into this read, I knew it was a vintage romance, but you only get to know that it was published in 1969 after you finish it. I’m only stating this because, like many things written in the mid 20th century, it’s aged as if… it was written in the mid-20th century! This book may offend some readers’ sensibilities, or, if you’re twisted like me, make you laugh! 2 1/2 stars

Covers of the Week #19

Elaine Duillo was the undisputed “Queen of Historical Romance” covers. She was a giant in the competitive field of pulp fiction artwork, where women were few and far between. Duillo painted hundreds of book covers, was inducted into the Illustrators Hall of fame, and was the matriarch of a talented artistic family. She passed away on July 30, 2021, at the age of 93.

Why Do I Read Romance?

black framed eyeglasses on book

Blue Falcon’s Romance Journey
In a recent post, Jacqueline asked, “The Hero, the Heroine, or the Love Story?” querying about what people read romance novels for. I answered in the comments section, but I also felt like I wanted to elaborate a bit more. Hence, this post.

Historical Romance Review: Passion’s Wicked Torment by Melissa Hepburne

passion's wicked torment

Pinnacle Books’ Passion’s Wicked Torment is a balls-to-wall 20th-century bodice ripper set in the gangster era during American Prohibition. From New York to Chicago, from Alaska to Europe, this book hops around the globe and features lots of mutually lusty sex scenes, rapes, and gangbangs. It stars a heroine so stupid and dumb, she could only have been written by Mr. Melissa Hepburne himself, the author of the blockbuster bestseller (I’m not kidding, it sold over a million copies!) Passion’s Proud Captive. 3 stars