forced seduction

Historical Romance Review: Passion’s Slave by Kay McMahon

I really want to like Kay McMahon’s books, mainly because I like her female characters. However, there is one thing I cannot and will not accept about books–regardless of when they are written. That is when the “hero” of the book rapes the heroine. Such is the case with Passion’s Slave by Kay McMahon. 1 star

pasion's slave

Historical Romance Review: Shanna by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

In 1977 Kathleen E. Woodiwiss’ long-awaited third novel made romance history as Avon released Shanna in trade paperback edition. I’ve long had a tenuous relationship with Woodiwiss’ romances., but I am glad I read Shanna. 3.74 stars

shanna

Contemporary Romance Review: The Sheik by Edith M. Hull

The Sheik by Edith M. Hull, published in 1919, is as influential to the modern romance genre as Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Perhaps, even more so.

It was a blockbuster of a success, despite its many detractors. While some modern readers may cringe at its depiction of women, sexual roles, and racial attitudes, The Sheik remains a compelling read one hundred years after its publication. 5 stars

the sheik

Historical Romance Review: Rebel Vixen by Dana Ransom

In Dana Ransom’s Zebra Heartfire romance, Rebel Vixen a Southern woman and Northern soldier find love during the Civil War. As the Civil War rages throughout the United States, Miss Savannah Russell is on a ship in the Caribbean where she saves a Yankee sailor’s life. 5 stars

Rebel Vixen

Historical Romance Review: Sweet Savage Love by Rosemary Rogers

Where to begin with this review? Sweet Savage Love by the great Rosemary Rogers is–along with The Flame and the Flower–the blockbuster historical that launched a new genre: the modern romance novel. Published in 1974, this doorstopper epic was a monumental game-changer in an era of social transformation. 4.24 stars

Sweet Savage love

Category Romance Review: The Honey is Bitter by Violet Winspear

Along with Anne Mather and Anne Hampson, Violet Winspear was one of the three original authors for the Harlequin Presents line when it launched in 1973. Her bestseller, The Honey is Bitter, was originally published in 1967 by Mills & Boon. It had about 30 reprintings under Harlequin. Paul, a Greek tycoon, blackmails Domini into marriage. 4 stars

the honey is bitter

Historical Romance Review: The Silver Devil by Teresa Denys

I’ve put off posting an analysis of Teresa Denys’ first book, The Silver Devil, for a long time because I didn’t quite know how to critique it. If you’re a hard-core lover of old-school romance or bodice rippers, you might be familiar with this legendary novel. 4 1/2 stars

the silver devil teresa denys

Historical Romance Review: Paradise and More by Shirl Henke

Paradise & More by Shirl Henke is memorable to me for having one of the most eye-catching covers in romance. A dazzling beauty by Pino Daeni, it features a fully naked couple in a glorious clinch, their nudity covered by some strategically placed flowers and the book’s title. Lamentably, I have a later reissue, the stepback version, where their nakedness is hidden under a respectable-looking cover. This is the first book in the House of Torres duo that takes place in late 1400s Spain. 3 & 1/2 stars

Paradise and More

Historical Romance Review: Virginia Vixen by Kay McMahon

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

Virginia Vixen

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

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

passion's wicked torment

Historical Romance Review: Savage Ecstasy by Janelle Taylor

This review is of Savage Ecstasy by Janelle Taylor. The year is 1776, and English expatriate Alisha Williams, 20, has journeyed west to find happiness with her only surviving relative. One day, the “men” in her settlement bring a captured Oglala Lakota Indian brave into their camp, named Gray Eagle. Gray Eagle and Alisha develop romantic feelings for each other. 3 stars

Savage Ecstasy Popp

Historical Romance Review: Blood Red Roses by Katherine Deauxville

Blood Red Roses is understandably a difficult book for some to enjoy. It could be nostalgia goggles on this one for me, plus a love for the glorious red stepback cover. Or it could be the vivid Middle Ages setting, my favorite time period. I read this Medieval romance by Katherine Deauxville (Maggie Davis) twice: once in middle school and then years later in high school, and was swept away in the story both times. 5 stars

blood red roses
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