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Historical Romance Review: Raven by Shana Carrol

Raven by Shana Carol (aka Christina Savage, aka Mr. Kerry Newcomb & Mr. Frank Schaeffer) is a riveting bodice-ripper. It’s a pirate adventure that features a kickass, resilient heroine whom I adore. It also stars a hero who isn’t worthy to lick the underside of her shoes. This is one of those books I both hate and love and wavered for a long time what rating to give it. 3.49 stars

raven

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: Hard To Get by Carole Mortimer

Oh boy, when I read “the heroine in pursuit plot” synopsis for this Harlequin Presents, was I ever excited to read it. Heroines who are determined to get their men are my favorite kinds! Alas, when the object of said pursuit is a mean arsehole, the chase isn’t worth it. Still, Hard to Get by Carole Mortimer was a wild, emotional whirlwind. With a more charismatic hero, I could have loved this as opposed to liking it. 3.62 stars

hard to get mortimer

Category Romance Review: Stranger in the Night by Charlotte Lamb

Charlotte Lamb’s Stranger in the Night deals with a sensitive topic she’s approached several times: rape. No, it does not employ the controversial trope of “dubious consent” found in many Harlequins from the 1970s and 1980s. This is a healing love story about a traumatic assault that upended a woman’s life and affected her relationships with men. 5 Stars

stranger in the night

Historical Romance Review: Hearts of Fire by Anita Mills

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

hearts of fire gulbronson

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

Contemporary Romance Review: A Violation by Charlotte Lamb

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

A violation

Historical Romance Review: The Frost and the Flame by Drusilla Campbell

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

frost and flame
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