romance books

Classic 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

Category Romance Review: Moon Witch by Anne Mather

Harlequin Presents #38 Moon Witch by Anne Mather In this vintage romance, a much older man falls for his younger ward. It’s an uncomfortable, but compelling read. 3 1/2 stars

moon witch sinclair

Unusual Settings In Historical Romances

Let’s talk about extraordinary settings! I use the term “extraordinary” rather than “exotic” to describe places simply because one person’s idea of “exotic” is another’s idea of home. Whatever word you use, it’s fun to talk about unique settings in romance we don’t often encounter.

love all over the world

How To Organize Your Bookshelves

What happens when you build up a substantial library of your books? You’ll want to show off your reading material. We’ve got some ideas on how to organize your bookshelves in a few different ways.

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5 Romance Tropes We Love

At Sweet Savage Flame talked about tropes before. There are some plot devices and character types that never go out of style. We’ve looked around to seek the most popular tropes in Romancelandia that readers enjoy. Here are five that we think you’ll agree that make romance novels more exciting!

5 tropes we love

Instagram and Vintage Romance Books

There’s never been a better time to be a collector of vintage or old-school romance novels if you want to show them off. The Instagram app is a great place to do this!

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A Brief Look at Category (aka Series) Romance

Category lines, or series romance, are one of the cornerstones of the romance novel industry. As we document the genre’s past on Sweet Savage Flame, we’ll delve deeper into each individual line. Category romance, as their name implies, are sorted into category lines and defined by tropes.

brief look

The Male Authors of Vintage Romance

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.

male authors

A Closer Look At Sharon Spiak

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.

the hawk and the dove

Romance Authors With 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.

romance author pseudonym

Why Do I Read Romance?

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.

black framed eyeglasses on book

What’s in a Name? Favorite Romance Novel Names

In the comment section of the review of Passion’s Treasure/Just Say Yes by Betina Krahn that I reviewed, our colleague Mary Ann Landers asked about the name of the heroine of the book, Treasure Barrett. That query got me thinking about romance novel names: do I have favorite ones? I certainly do!

wooden name tags arranged on table during wedding ceremony

Why Romance? Why Vintage?

I love to read. I love stories. And right now, my kind of story is vintage romance fiction. By which, I mean romances published in the twentieth century. In particular certain varieties of the genre, with features that were once popular but have since gone out of style. That’s why I’m grateful for a blog like Sweet Savage Flame. Here I can get info and opinions about my favorite body of fiction. And share my own! Why romance? Why vintage? To answer both questions, I must start with who I am as a reader.

Ladies-Home-Journal

Author Spotlight: Penny Jordan

Penny Jordan was an immensely popular author for Mills and Boon/ Harlequin. She wrote romantic love stories that readers have enjoyed for 40 years. Penny Jordan was not her real identity but one of her many pseudonyms. Let’s take a look back at the career of this talented author.

Penny Jordan pic

Updates #7

There are some brief points to address here about our vintage romance book blog. And yes, some of this is bragging. I’m so happy at the growth of Sweet Savage Flame and the little community we’re building here, so I hope you’ll share in my joy!

Historical Romance Review: Midnight Captive by Penelope Neri

This review is of Midnight Captive, a standalone Zebra historical romance from March 1989 by Penelope Neri. The book begins ominously. A man finds a cache of gold and wishes everything he touches would turn into it. 5 stars

Midnight Captive pino

Updates #6

Living with an auto-immune disease dictates having to work within limits. That means that some plans must change as circumstances do. My upcoming book, The Savage Noble, is near finished, but with meta-reading, editing, marketing, etc., it won’t be released until September. I had wanted What She Says with Her Eyes to be finished by year’s end, although now it likely will not be. I may release it as a multiple-part series of novellas or through Amazon Vella, but I won’t be certain until The Savage Noble is completed.

eyeglasses on a book
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