Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? Doomed to a life of unending toil, Heather Simmons fears for her innocence--until a shocking, desperate act forces her to flee. The Flame. A lusty adventurer married to the sea, Captain Brandon Birmingham courts scorn and peril when he abducts the beautiful fugitive from the tumultuous London dockside.

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This is the book. It certainly started a new type of romance. The s was the age of the Gothic. But the 60s were turbulent times and the sexual tension without the actual sex of the Gothics stopped being titillating. Initial print run was , in and it quickly went back time and again for reprints. Bodice rippers then ruled; Gothics disappeared.

This is a ruse, of course: he wants to rape Heather and then install her at the brothel he is part-owner of. She runs away…and is mistaken for a prostitute anyway and dragged aboard a ship to slake the sexual lusts of Brandon Birmingham, captain of a merchant ship just put into port.

Heather is unable to escape this time and Brandon rapes her. But in a fit of pique, Brandon vows not to bed Heather again, to treat her like a servant. Brandon and Heather slowly, achingly, and frustratingly find their way to each other, despite too many interruptions to count and the machinations of Louisa. A mystery raised in the last pages is solved, Heather and Brandon declare their love for each other, and all live happily ever after in idyllic slave-run happiness.

Reaction as a reader? Heather and Brandon act like children. They both flounce off in fits of pique. The sexual tension is maintained by interruptions of their hesitant attempts at sex, which is the mark of a very young writer.

The pacing is positively glacial. The historical details are awful: waltzing in American in ?! Men wearing colored coats with embroidery in ? Women without any underwear at all?! There are no corsets, no pantalets, very rarely a chemise, nothing on under the dresses the women wear. In , even with the much more slender silhouette, women wore substantial corsets, with layers of petticoats and other undergarments.

In this book? It drove me nuts. And also? The baths! OMG, the baths. Everyone in this book has a bath every time they turned around. The servants and the heating that must have taken is staggering. Baths on ships!

Baths at inns! Baths at home! Baths at the drop of a hat! Baths baths baths! Rosemary Rogers might have taken the sexual tension and the rape of TFATF, but SSL is an utterly different book and I think lumping them together has done the romance genre a disservice for the last 40 years. TFATF is a book by an untried writer. But, one way or another, it IS the book that launched a thousand others.

One only has to read the messages in the condolences book after Woodiwiss died to see the joy she brought to this world. I dare you to read that with dry eyes. Please register and join us! Sarah F. Her academic specialization is Romantic-era British women novelists, especially Jane Austen, but she is contributing to the exciting re-visioning of academic criticism of popular romance fiction.

Sarah mainly reviews BDSM romance and gay male romance and hopes to be able to beat her TBR pile into submission when she has time to think.

The history was more authentic, I think, and the emotions truer, the romance more romantic. Great review! Almost makes me not want to reread it. Sounds kinda awful and my memories are of loving it…. It was still pretty darn good.

Great review. What I best remember is fervently hoping Ruark would push that lying, manipulative, spoiled harpy off a cliff before she got him killed and find himself a decent woman. I read Flame and the Flower when I was… twelve, or maybe thirteen.

Somewhere in there, it was definitely in the first 20 or so romances I read. I loved it. Thirty-some years later, in the more cynical, gender-issues-aware 21st century, there are certainly aspects of it that are problematic.

But for its time it was a great book, and certainly less problematic on an Issues level than many others of its era. Sweet Savage Love is a perfect example for comparison. Rogers went on to write the same book with the same characters twice more — characters are hot for each other and are more or less in love, characters have a big misunderstanding, partially engineered by Evil Others, characters cuss and hit and screw each other wildly while cussing for the next couple hundred pages, characters clear up the misunderstanding and are in love again, the end.

Or at least, once more, and then the third book started up exactly the same way — yet another Big Misunderstanding that had the couple who were happily in love three paragraphs ago spitting and cussing at each other — at which point I bailed out and never read a Rosemary Rogers book again.

I think I was fifteen or so when that third book came out, and even then I was eyerolling. Calling what happened between Heather and Brandon that first night on the ship rape seems laughable when compared to what Steve and Ginny got up to.

To say nothing of a number of other books of the seventies, where the middle four hundred pages seemed to be there just so the woman could go jaunting across three continents, getting raped at every stop by some new stranger. Heather thought Brandon was a senior policeman and Brandon thought she was a prostitute.

Compared to the many books of the era where the woman was literally knocked around and forcibly raped, FATF was incredibly tame, and more of a misunderstanding-based dubcon than anything else.

Shanna is a self-centered bitch who lies and breaks promises without a second thought, and I was rooting against her the whole way. Re: clothing, I wish 21st century cover artists would get with the program regarding underwear. Corset cover? Kerry Allen : LOL! Right, what you said. I really liked the Woodiwiss books when I was a teenager, but kind of grew out of them.

I did re-read TFATF about a year ago and found I was still able to enjoy it, even though the enjoyment was more from a nostalgic point of view and required a lot of skimming. When was the last time you wished your man would beat-up the pirates who kidnapped you away from your idyllic Caribbean Island life as the 19th century version of Paris Hilton, and he becomes the pirate captain himself, claiming you as his to all, while making mad, passionate love to you every spare moment he gets?

I may revise later. Resources and information are so much more available today, and feedback from knowledgeable authors and readers easier to receive — and yet authors still make mistakes, and not necessarily for lack of trying. Now, I realize that some authors were able to do truly impressive research despite this e.

This review made my day. Sooo funny. And exactly right. And then bend over. Our entertainment is still dominated by narratives aimed at men. The feminist discourse that condemned the romance novel in the 70s failed to take a wider view of popular entertainment. Germaine Greer famously assumed women liked romance novels because they were cherishing the chains of their bondage. She missed the fact that no other genre or medium put women front and center. That said, not many of these early titles hold up well.

There are better books that can provide that same experience. But your first romance—the first book you encounter in which gasp! Your review, which is funny and charming, does not make me want to rush out and buy a copy of either book, even though they are seminal to modern genre romance. And I associate Phyllis Whitney with gothic-type novels, as well. Boy, was that an awesome moment. Also on my DIK shelf, but this time for Aislinn because she was so damned honorable and dignified.

I wanted to be that. I tried. I failed. I am who I am, but boy did she leave a mark. It was as meh then as it was when I read it the first time as a teen. Ruark Beauchamp, Howard Roark. The last thing I need is a third Roark to mess with my head.

Of course, my attitude about these things is a little different. Every author has the freedom to build, rebuild or rearrange the world their characters live in. Frankly, I care more about the emotional reality.


REVIEW: The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss

Doomed to a life of unending toil, Heather Simmons fears for her innocence—until a shocking, desperate act forces her to flee. The Flame. A lusty adventurer married to the sea, Captain Brandon Birmingham courts scorn and peril when he abducts the beautiful fugitive from the tumultuous London dockside. But no power on Earth can compel him to relinquish his exquisite prize.


The Flame and the Flower

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The Flame and the Flower published is the debut work of romance novelist Kathleen E. The first modern "bodice ripper" romance novel, the book revolutionized the historical romance genre. It was also the first full-length romance novel to be published first in paperback rather than hardback. As a child, Kathleen E. Woodiwiss relished creating her own stories, and by age six was telling herself stories at night to help fall asleep. Several times she attempted to write a novel, but each time stopped in frustration at the slow pace of writing a novel longhand.

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