Tag Archives: Janette Seymour

male authors

The Male Authors of Vintage Romance

male authors of romance

Romance Is For Everyone

In the past, Sweet Savage Flame has focused on authors who used pseudonyms. We’ve posited reasons why romance writers would use pen names. One possibility given was that men were romance writers. As romance is often considered a woman’s topic, it’s understandable that male romance writers would favor an opposite-gendered moniker when publishing.

The realm of fictional violence has been historically masculine. Romance, on the other hand, has been consigned to the feminine sphere. Upon closer inspection, the matter is not so black-and-white. While females account for 82 to 85% of the romance genre readership, that still means many men enjoy love stories with happy endings.

Consider that romance is a billion-dollar industry, with a 30% market share of paperbacks alone. Romance lags (barely) behind only the suspense/thriller genre in total sales for adult fiction. In the United States, about 25 million romance books are sold annually. Despite being a primarily women’s domain, that means there are quite a few male romance readers. What about the writers?

male romance writers
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Men Who Wrote Romance Novels

Men were part of the 1970s romance revolution, and to this day, they remain part of it as writers and readers. Most male writers published books under pseudonyms in the early years of historical romance.

A few years after the release of The Flame and the Flower, in 1976, Avon’s competitor Warner Books published Love’s Tender Fury by Jennifer Wilde. Wilde had released Gothics under the names Edwina Marlow and Beatrice Parker.

In reality, he was Thomas E. Huff of Texas, and his 550-page saga became a huge hit, receiving dozens of printings and selling multi-million copies. Written in the “savage” style of romance, it told the tale of indentured servant Marietta Danvers and her rocky relationship with the purported hero, Derek. However, Marietta had other lovers along the way.

Love's Tender Fury Jenneifer Wilde

Unsurprisingly, it turns out that Huff was among many men who were romance writers working under pseudonyms. Subsequently, we decided to find out who were the authors behind the names.

Robert Vaughan’s Take on Being a Male Romance Writer

“I wrote [them] as Patricia Matthews, made number one on the list. In 1981, I sold 6 million books. In my lifetime, I have probably sold 40 million books, but nobody knows who I am. Now, my wife Ruth and I are co-writing romance novels as Sara Luck.  She’s actually quite good at it, and I’m proud of her.  And though the Sara Luck books don’t have my name, Ruth and I at least own the name.”

ROBERT VAUGHAN

Men Who Write Romance

Below is a list of male writers who authored romance novels during the 20th century.

There are men since 2000 who now write romance but are not on this list. For example, men like Ilona Andrews or Sylvain Renard.

Nicholas Sparks, Robert James Waller, and similar authors are also not included, as they were/are not writers of the Romance genre in general.

List of Male Romance Writers (or Male & Female Duos)

A

  • Felicia AndrewsCharles Grant

B

  • Monica BarrieDavid Wind
  • Emma BlairIain Blair
  • Jessica Blair Bill Spence
  • Stephanie BlakeJack Pearl
    • Cousin to author Donald Bain aka Lee Jackson
  • Madeleine Brent –Peter O’Donnell
    • Brent had successfully published Gothics for years before the new bodice ripper era.
  • Elizabeth BrightTim Myers

C

  • Tori Carrington Lori Karayianni & Tony Karayianni
  • Shana CarrolKerry Newcomb & Frank Schaeffer (both men)
  • Lucy ClarkLucy Clark & Peter Clark
  • Jan CoffeyNikoo McGoldrick & Jim McGoldrick

D

  • Emma DarcyWendy Brennan & Frank Brennan
    • Until Frank’s death; then Wendy wrote by herself.
  • Fancy DewittPaul Fairman
  • Jennifer DaltonDavid Wind
  • Marilyn DavidsDavid Wind
  • Marilyn Davidson – David Wind
  • Diana DouglasRichard Wilkes-Hunter

F

  • Paula FairmanPaul Fairman & Robert Vaughan
    • Fairman passed away in 1977. He was a prolific science fiction editor and writer who lived from 1916-1977. Fairman published two romances as Paula Fairman before he passed on. Later, Pinnacle Books, his publishing house, would continue to release Paula Fairman novels through a ghostwriter, a la V.C. Andrews. That “ghostwriter” was the even more prolific Robert Vaughan, author of the bestseller Andersonville.
  • Caroline Farr Richard Wilkes-Hunter

G

  • Emma GoldrickEmma Sutcliffe-Goldrick & Robert Goldrick
  • Victoria GordonGordon Aalborg (We’ve reviewed one of his romances here)
  • Leigh GreenwoodHarold Lowry
    • Greenwood openly writes a man but uses a gender-neutral pseudonym

H

  • Caroline HartCharles Garvice
    • Unheard of today, but Garvice was the best-selling British romance author of his era, from the late Victorian to the Pre-World War I era, releasing over 150 romance novels.
  • Shirl HenkeShirl & Chuck Henke
    • Actually, Henke wrote all her books, but her husband would often guest-write a love or action scene, and Henke would leave you guessing which one it was.
  • Melissa Hepburne – Craig Broude
    • Broude is the only romance novelist to appear in his own book and have relations with the heroine, that scamp! I recommend reading his books with your butt unclenched, as his books are silly romps.

J

  • Lee Jackson – Donald Bain

K

  • Madeleine KerMarius Gabriel Cipolla

L

  • FabioFabio Lanzoni may have come up with ideas for his books, but he has at least two ghostwriters, one being Eugenia Riley.
  • Laura LondonSharon Curtis & Tom Curtis
  • Janet LovesmithPaul Fairman
  • Sara LuckRobert Vaughan & Ruth Vaughan

M

  • Edwina MarlowTom E. Huff
  • Shauna MarloweRichard Wilkes-Hunter
  • Patricia MatthewsPatricia Brisco Matthews & Clayton Matthews, and Robert Vaughan
    • The Matthews and their publishers claim she wrote her novels by herself, sometimes with the help of her husband. Matthews was labeled as “America’s First Lady of Historical Romance” after producing million-selling blockbuster after blockbuster. Interestingly enough, journeyman author, Robert Vaughan, claims responsibility for several of her bestsellers. We’ll follow up on this interesting discrepancy in a further article.
  • A.E. MaxwellEvan & Ann Maxwell
    • Author Elizabeth Lowell wrote some romances with her husband by combining the initials of her real name Ann Maxwell and her husband’s first name Evan.
  • May McGoldrickNikoo McGoldrick & Jim McGoldrick
  • Paula MoorePaul Fairman; Robert Vaughan

N

  • Christina NicholsonChristopher Nicole

P

  • Beatrice ParkerTom E. Huff

R

  • Barbara Riefe Alan Riefe
    • Riefe published many books with Playboy Press and other publishers, selling millions of copies.
  • Clarissa RossW.E.D. Ross
  • Marilyn RossW.E.D. Ross
  • Vanessa RoyallMike Hinkemeyer

S

  • Christina SavageKerry Newcomb & Frank Schaeffer (both males)
  • Gill SandersonRoger Sanderson
  • Con SellersConnie Sellers (male writing as a male)
    • Sellers was a rarity in that he used his real name to write Pulps, Western and Historical romances, such as Marilee and Sweet Caroline.
  • Janette SeymourMichael Butterworth
    • We’ve reviewed of his bodice rippers and they’re quite entertaining.
  • Katherine St. ClairTom E. Huff
  • Jessica StirlingHugh Crawford Rae & author Peggy Coghlan
  • Pamela SouthDonald Bain

W

Y

  • Alison YorkChristopher Nicole

**Saliee O’Brien & Francesca Greer** – Not a male, but often attributed as one. She was a woman named Frankie-Lee Griggs Weed Zelley Janas, who used several pseudonyms, male and female, especially Francis Leroy Janas.

Some Books by Male Authors Reviewed on Sweet Savage Flame

https://sweet-savage-flame.com/category-romance-review-dont-ask-me-now-by-emma-darcy/

https://sweet-savage-flame.com/category-romance-review-arafura-pirate-by-victoria-gordon/

https://sweet-savage-flame.com/book-review-passions-proud-captive-by-melissa-hepburne/

https://sweet-savage-flame.com/book-review-tempt-not-this-flesh/

https://sweet-savage-flame.com/historical-romance-review-emmies-love-by-janette-seymour/

 SOURCES:

LOVE’S TENDER FURY, NY TIMES
emmies love

Historical Romance Review: Emmie’s Love by Janette Seymour

Emmie’s Love, Janette Seymour, Pocket Books, 1980, Harry Bennett cover art

SPOILER ALERT ⚠

The Book

Janette Seymours Emmie’s Love is Purity’s Passion, redux. Just as in Purity’s Passion and Purity’s Ecstasy, the heroine is separated from her true love and must “find” her way back to him. “Find” here is a euphemism for another four-letter word that starts with “f.”

The Plot

The same terms and motifs are used in Emmie’s Love, as were in Seymour’s other raunchy books. There is a violent opening involving a near-rape that has nothing to do with the protagonists and also an alluded castration. We see frequent mentions of “handy-dandy”😉 and dampened sheer muslin gowns. There’s another blond stud who performs for an audience. And the heroine has a one-night stand with a doomed soldier.

Of course, there is a blue-eyed, scar-faced hero who is rarely seen.

Finally, there is a heroine with no personality, save for being a busty, lusty wench.

The Romance?

Emmie Dashwood–granddaughter to an aged Marquess who pats her rump in a most loving fashion–lives in a moldy, decaying manor with her large, mooching family. After grandpa’s death, Emmie is sold into marriage to an old man who lives another continent away. On her trip across the ocean, she falls in love with Captain Nathan Grant, the very married ship’s captain.

But love does not come easily to our dear Emmie. Many travails lie ahead. There is a family sex romp in an orangery. There are church sermons brimming with hellfire and damnation, plus a satanic sex orgy in the said church led by a goat-headed stud. Lots of violence galore: a beheaded dog, followed by a shocking use for the dismembered head. We have a blackmailing, Peeping Tom. A robust Irish maid gives Emmie an erotic massage. And there’s much, much more.

Except for a doomed French hunter and his sad tale, there’s not much depth. One salacious encounter is followed by another–not that I’m complaining.

The hero, Nathan, is really not a factor in this book. He’s a prize that Emmie earns at the end for completing her bodice ripper adventures. There’s no epic love story here.

Final Analysis of Emmie’s Love

While I was entertained by this Michael Butterworth (Janette Seymour’s real name) bodice ripper, I do have a few gripes. The book blurb gets some minor plot points wrong. Typos such as “$a1shouted” are annoying. And my pet peeve is the wrong hair color on the cover. Harry Bennett’s artwork shows the hero as blond. Alas, in the book, he’s black-haired, with a white streak running through it.

The heroine is a bit of a twit. No, not the other word, this is no pornographic book, after all! If you are searching for explicitness and gratuity, look elsewhere (and tell me about it when you find it)! Everything is alluded to, with water metaphors galore: waves crashing, crests swelling, waters breaking, dams bursting. It is a saucy tale, replete with ribaldry.

And yes, bodices were ripped.

Titillating though it is, Emmie’s Love is not quite a bodice ripper masterpiece. Still, it’s a satisfying journey, even if the final destination holds little interest.

3.5 Star

purity's ecstasy harry bennett

Historical Romance Review: Purity’s Ecstasy by Janette Seymour

SYNOPSIS:

A novel of stolen embraces beneath blazing skies of war, of desire that sweeps across turbulent seas from England to Algiers, of a beautiful woman enslaved by lawless pirate corsairs…a woman bound by no law but endless love.

PURITY’S ECSTASY by JANETTE SEYMOUR

SPOILER ALERT

Youth and beauty were her sole assets on Earth.

PURITY’S ECSTASY

The Book

Like many other late 1970s to early 1980’s bodice rippers, John Michael Butterworth’s (aka Janette Seymour) second entry into his Purity trilogy, Purity’s Ecstasy, is fun. It’s a tawdry, rollicking ride filled with just about every ‘ripper trope and then some.

The Setup

In the previous book Purity’s Passion, Purity survived the French Revolution, and then she was made the ward of the enigmatic and barely-there Mark Landless, with whom she fell madly in love. However, she overcame numerous obstacles before getting her man (namely other men).

The same is–more or less–the case with this sequel.

Here Mark is presumed dead after being captured by pirates. Purity knows in her heart Mark is still alive, and she will do whatever whomever she has to do to find him.

The Plot

Alas, Purity has to search for employment after her cruel in-laws kick her out to the street. In her own words, her “youth and beauty were her sole assets on Earth,” so what’s a girl to do? Put those assets to work!

And… oh… my… God…

Not even halfway through this romp, there were more trashy elements here than the previous five ‘rippers I’d read combined. There was lots of kidnapping, lots of rape-and/or-forced seduction, a female pirate, regular pirates, eunuchs, male virgins, lesbian orgies, multi-racial gang-bangs, whippings, bigamy, and amnesia…

Yet, it was so tastefully done—nary a peep of manhoods, members, or dewy petals here. There were plenty of water-based euphemisms to disguise the naughtiness. Still, it had plenty of titillation.

Purity is thrown into the ravishing clutches of the evil pirate/slave-trader called El Diablo, The Devil. He hides a shocking true identity. For he is the same minister she knew back home in England. Her local friend, Reverend Mauleverer, is the evil pirate/slave-trader, El Diablo.

Debauched by an older boy at Eton, ordained as a man of the cloth at Oxford, the mild-seeming minister reveals to Purity that it was he who kidnapped her husband. He who led the Corsair fleet in the Mediterranean. It was he who took Purity into slavery. And he who ravished her.

And Purity had no clue who he was? This girl is seriously lacking in IQ and EQ.

But as bad as it gets, no naughty escapades and no thrilling, charismatic villains will ever prevent Purity from being with her dull, bland, zero-personality-having soulmate!

Final Analysis on Purity’s Ecstasy

Purity’s Ecstasy was, for the most part, an entertaining romp. Although a romance, it was not!

I don’t know if I will read book #3 (Purity’s Shame) in the series. I assume more of the same will occur. Namely, that Purity and her beloved are separated by mysterious forces. She will have to use her gold-plated “poon” as currency to get back to zero-personality-having, dull-gray Mark.

Just like she always does.

3.5 Stars