The Flame and the Flower

The Flame and the FlowerDoomed To A Life Of Unending Toil, Heather Simmons Fears For Her Innocence Until A Shocking, Desperate Act Forces Her To Flee And To Seek Refuge In The Arms Of A Virile And Dangerous StrangerA 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 For He Is Determined To Make The Sapphire Eyed Lovely His Woman And To Carry Her Off To Far, Uncharted Realms Of Sensuous, Passionate Love

Kathleen Erin Hogg was born on June 3, 1939, in Alexandria, Louisiana, she was the youngest of eight siblings by Gladys Coker and Charles Wingrove Hogg, a disabled World War I veteran She long relished creating original narratives, and by age 6 was telling herself stories at night to help herself fall asleep At age 16, she met U.S Air Force Second Lieutenant Ross Eugene Woodiwiss at a dance,

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  • Paperback
  • 430 pages
  • The Flame and the Flower
  • Kathleen E. Woodiwiss
  • English
  • 17 February 2018
  • 9780380005253

10 thoughts on “The Flame and the Flower

  1. says:

    Instagram Twitter Facebook PinterestWoodiwiss is often credited with creating the first bodice ripper or the first modern historical romance novel I would actually disagree with both of those remarks especially since they mean very different things I wouldn t actually classify bodice rippers as romance novels they re like anti romance novels The hero in these types of books is usually very similar to the villain, distinguishable only by a very thin and wavering thread of morality that usually ties into a sense of obligation and ownership of the virginal heroine his usually forced deflowering of her.If we re going to talk bodice rippers, I believe they were heavily influenced by the smutty, exploitative pulp fiction of the 50s and 60s that influenced Quentin Tarantino s Django Unchained Christopher Nicole, author of the Caribee of the Hiltons series, is one of these authors, and so is Lance Horner, author of the Falconhurst series The most famous in this genre is probably MANDINGO, and that is the book that comes to mind first and foremost when I think of the first bodice ripper, although Margaret Mitchell s GONE WITH THE WIND would be a close second If we re going to talk about modern historical romance novels, I think FOREVER AMBER or GONE WITH THE WIND are better examples, since both still have a very modern feel have similar formulas to that of many romance novels that are still being published today If that s not modern, what is Anya Seton and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro are other authors whose romance novels transcend time and who also preceded Kathleen Woodiwiss by decades Warning SPOILERS Regardless of its alleged feats of being the first of its kind or not, depending on how you feel about it , I don t feel that THE FLAME AND THE FLOWER survives the times it was written very well Our heroine, Heather, is under the care of a fat and abusive aunt because fat and ugly people villains in this book and a thoroughly hen pecked uncle whose dusty balls lie forgotten in the depths of one of Wicked Aunt s purses The aunt has sold all her niece s clothes belongings, and she wonders around in clothes twelve times too large that gape open to reveal her amazing bosom It is worth noting that Heather s amazing breasts have agency than she does, thrusting desperately against clothing as they seek out male attention, declaring their arousal on behalf of Heather who, you know, just sits there passively and chastely, relying on her breasts to act as liaison with sexual partners and constantly threatening to pour out of her clothes Heather s breasts are the true main characters in this book, and it is sad when a heroine s body parts seem to receive narrative description and action verbs than she does.Her Aunt is tired of having Heather around and sends her off to be with her brother, who has plans to rape Heather and then, when he s tired of her, it is implied that he will give her to a Madam Again, since this Uncle character is evil, he is fat and ugly Heather manages to escape with her virginity intact by making Uncle William fall on a knife dead , still clad in the revealing gown he put her in, and the servant to a rich and arrogant sailor spies her fleeing around the docks Thinking her to be a prostitute, he kidnaps her and presents her to his master, who he assumes will be pleased The master, who of course is the hero, since he is the only good looking in this entire book universe we ve encountered so far, is very pleased, and proceeds to rape Heather The fact that she is a virgin surprises him, but he assumes that she just has her Whore Training Wheels on and he was the lucky gent who got to ride the bicycle first When he finds out the truth, he does a lot of posturing and villainous laughing, basically telling Heather that if she didn t want to be raped, she should have tried to enjoy it , before raping her a few times He then tells her that he intends to make her his mistress, and she should be pleased.Heather ends up getting pregnant right away from Brandon s efforts, and when she returns home, her Aunt does not shirk on the opportunity to decry Heather s heritage not only is she Irish and a Tory, but she s also a slut Heather s well meaning friends host an intervention where they blackmail Brandon into marrying Heather and taking responsibility for what he s done Brandon does not take kindly to being told what to do, and drops a bunch of threats about how miserable he s going to make Heather, and oh, by the way, NO SEX, EVER I have to admit, I laughed How arrogant do you have to be to imagine that depriving the woman you raped of your magnificent Penis Magic is the worst possible punishment you can deliver, ever If you just said Gee, seems like the only person that would hurt is him, you would be right, and Brandon spends the next three hundred pages ruing this decision as he quickly comes down with the world s most serious case of blue balls.After the two are married, Brandon decides to sell his ship and take Heather to his plantation Here we meet the sexually autonomous, villainous Other Woman, a cringe worthy Mammy stereotype, the heroine s brother an updated version of the hero that s still in beta testing , and all of the jealous, spurned women and their mothers who were vying for Brandon s hand and are bitterly resentful that this girl who doesn t even go here somehow managed to snatch him up for herself and get impregnated with his child The next two hundred pages consist of OW, Louisa, getting into verbal catfights with Heather while trying to seduce Brandon Heather crying and flinching and seething in a froth of vindication and traitorous lust and Brandon, who is starting to realize how ineffective his punishment is and concocts a new, ingenious plan to win her back that quickly goes awry because the last thing that most women want to do in the late stages of pregnancy and then immediately afterwards is have rough, passionate sex Brandon abandons this plan, too, and announces that the two of them henceforth are going to have sex every night, whether he has to rape her to get it or not, because damn it, he has needs Heather goes for this, puts on a sheer blue nightie to seduce him, and after this it s a whole bunch of I love you No, I love you, Pooky Kins nonsense, and since Heather is breast feeding that means that her breasts are always out and everyone, from the hero to his brother to the other woman, has to stare at them in admiration jealousy and comment on them The last twenty five pages attempts to cram in another plot line, introducing a partially realized murder mystery It s pretty obvious who the villain is, and this only serves as an excuse for yet another man to lose himself to mad passion and attempt to rape Heather I think this is rape attempt 5 if we re counting based on unique perpetrators and not actual attempts, in which case it would be closer to rape attempt 20.This book is ridiculous One of my friends called this a handbook to having a relationship full of domestic violence, and I have to say that I agree with that sentiment I don t normally mind reading about rape, but the way it was romanticized in this book made me really uncomfortable I don t really want to read about all these pastoral scenes of domestic bliss if all the sexual interactions between them border on or in some cases are actually blatant acts of rape This goes away towards the end of the book, but only after the heroine realizes that it s pointless to resist him further.Heather is definitely a wish fulfillment fantasy and I could see why she might have persisted throughout time Every man who sees her wants her Every woman who sees her is jealous of her She s beautiful no matter what she wears, whether it s rags or a beautiful gown, and her rapist husband is constantly buying her gowns and presenting her with jewelry when he s not yelling at her, making her cringe, throwing things, or threatening to beat up men for looking at her When she gives birth she loses her baby bump immediately and the author is quick to reassure us that there are no stretchmarks or unsightly skin folds, either When she s not making people cream themselves in jealousy or sexual lust, they re falling over in their charmed admiration of her doing everything they can to make her life better Heather is the ultimate woman, and doesn t have to lift a finger to achieve it, because expending any effort than it would take to stomp a foot far is too intimidating in a heroine.Other things that made me wince side eye this book In an attempt to woo the hero, Louisa slathers her nipples in rouge and wears a see through copy of the gown Brandon raped Heather in Lots of uses of the word Negress and stereotypical portrayals of the happy slave One of the rape attempts occurs because a man visiting Brandon s plantation sees a dirt and soot covered Heather and assumes that she s black and a slave winces When going into labor, the heroine refuses to go anywhere until her husband changes her into a blue gown, because she s sure she s going to have a boy and the baby has to match her gown Dresses tear like tissue paper in this book It inspired me to make a new shelf on Goodreads for heroines with clothes that tear like wet Kleenex Honestly, this book is pretty formulaic, and with the exception of a few odd details see the above it follows the usual bodice ripper plot to a T I ve read and enjoyed another book of Woodiwiss s COME LOVE A STRANGER , so I know she can write better, but this first, unfettered attempt was not my cup of tea at all If you re going to read it, read it for science observe it impassively, without any expectations, with the intention of reporting back your findings to others Otherwise, it might just make a foot stomper out of you, too.1 star.

  2. says:

    I read this book years ago when I was a teenager I had borrowed all the Kathleen E Woodiwiss novels from my mother s shelf and she had stolen them from her mother Kind of creepy, yes, but I read my grandmother s literary porn As a teenager I may have actually given this book three stars I actually enjoyed reading Brandon s dominating ways and Heather s bodice ripping adventures Though, despite my youngish years, I still found their first encounter disturbing and Brandon s subsequent treatment of Heather over the first year of their marriage as disgraceful.I haven t read this book in a few years but I find myself continually puzzled Granted it was the first of its kind and it spawned a new genre, but I kind of wish it hadn t.These alpha male romantic heroes really get on my nerve When dissected, they re often nothing but spoiled, selfish little bullies The illusion that their poor behavior is because of raging lust and that once their issues with the heroine is resolved they turn into sweet puppies is actually misleading and sick.No Spoiled self brats continue to be spoiled selfish brats Men who require the whole world, and their women included, to bow to their whims and serve their needs should not be romantic heroes Men like this in real life are abusive, controlling assholes Maybe it s because I m not a big fan of the Romance genre Sure, I love romantic books I really enjoy reading them, but I have read a select few and to me they have often seemed like a How To Guide How To Have Your Very Own Abusive Relationship.And people wonder why women end up in abusive relationships when they re told that the very controlling behaviors exhibited by men in these novels are sweet and caring gestures No They re controlling and manipulative It s not just the Romance Genre though that is guilty of this It s a sickness that has pervade other types of fiction Glares at the Paranormal and Urban Fantasy Genre I would much like to read a novel where the male character is a responsible adult capable of monitoring his temper on occasion and not throwing a temper tantrum every time he doesn t get his way I would like to read novels where the heroine isn t a victim of every situation she s someone that takes charge of her life and sticks up for herself.In my mind, Brandon Birmingham needs to go sit in the corner and think about what he s done.Kathleen E Woodiwiss can join him too.

  3. says:

    In 1972, Kathleen E Woodiwiss did what every writer dreams of doing she wrote a classic novel with her very first book The Flame and the Flower had it all passion, conflict, adventure, drama, a setting that sweeps us from Georgian England to a plantation in the Carolinas, and unforgettable characters She broke all the conventional rules of historical fiction by making the sexual relationship between her hero and heroine a vital component of their emotional relationship and in doing so, gave birth to the modern genre of the historical romance I was ten years old when The Flame and the Flower was first published, fifteen the first time I read it Although I read it numerous times after that, I hadn t picked it up in years So when I started re reading the book to research this article, I told myself I d treat it like an assignment and just read for an hour at a time The prose was denser and much detailed than what we ve become accustomed to in recent years, but after only a few pages, I found myself thoroughly captivated Before I knew it, three hours had passed and I still couldn t bear to put the book down Thirty years after it s publication, The Flame and the Flower is still a deliciously readable novel, a quality it shares with another timeless classic, Gone with the Wind I was also struck all over again by what a fine writer Kathleen E Woodiwiss is To enter her world is to enter a time machine that transports you back to 1799, where Heather Simmons, our Georgian Cinderella, is being held captive by her aunt s cruelty until sea captain Brandon Birmingham comes storming into her life to sweep her away Although Woodiwiss s descriptions are lush and detailed, her prose is never purple You can almost hear the ring of poetry in her description of Heather s uncle His hands were gnarled and twisted with the years of backbreaking labor eking a shallow subsistence from the marshy land, and the weather thickened skin held the pain of the passing seasons etched in deep lines that furrowed his face And the clean, evocative beauty of this sentence, which describes Brandon s ship as it makes its way to the Americas, is enough to make any writer in any genre weep with envy Now the rigging sang in the wind and the ship strained as it chopped its way through frothy white caps By setting her own standards so high, Woodiwiss challenged every romance writer who came after her to strive for excellence in their craft One of the criteria of an enduring classic is that it should be the first to do something, and in The Flame and the Flower, Woodiwiss succeeds on every count So many of her innovations would go on to become the bedrock conventions upon which the historical romance genre would be grounded Although her settings and secondary characters are vividly drawn, the relationship between Heather and Brandon always remains at the core of the plot By trapping them together on an arduous sea voyage for much of the book, Woodiwiss succeeds in creating the perfect romantic microcosm Many scenes that might seem clich d now were sparkling and new thirty years ago the heroine assisting the hero with his bath the hero walking in on the heroine as she bathes the hero nursing the heroine through a near fatal illness caused by his own insensitivity Woodiwiss gives the hero a loveable wise quipping brother, a loyal manservant, and a witchy ex fianc e Every man who meets Heather falls a little bit in love with her and in an eerily prescient twist, there s even a suspense sub plot involving a brutal killer that drives the book to a heart jolting climax Although less politically correct then some would prefer, the book is probably historically accurate than many of the romances written today where all the young misses are feisty and all the gents are enlightened as to the rights of women Yes, seventeen year old Heather is essentially a passive victim in the beginning and thirty five year old Brandon is perfectly capable of being an arrogant jerk, but they both fulfill that essential criteria of good fiction they experience personal growth and transformation during the course of the story Heather finds her spirit while Brandon loses his heart Whether it be on .com or on a panel with other romance writers, you can t discuss this book or Heather and Brandon s first sexual encounter without waging the same debate that s been raging ever since Rhett carried a resisting Scarlet up those long, winding stairs in Gone with the Wind I learned that firsthand in Harpers Ferry in April of 2002 when I had the pleasure of participating in a panel discussion comparing The Flame and the Flower to a modern romance Some participants found the book enthralling while others found it appalling, but no matter what their opinion, it still evoked emotions every bit as strong as the passion Heather and Brandon share The controversy arises when, during their first meeting, a drunken Brandon mistakes Heather for a wharf prostitute Both her explanations and her struggles are so weak and ineffectual that one can almost forgive him the mistake He s quite remorseful when he realizes he s deflowered an innocent, but that doesn t stop him from taking her once before she makes her escape Is this shocking and wicked Oh yes But still stirring in this era where our deepest and most primal sexual fantasies have been sanitized and the definition of feminism seems to be have been extended to the area of censoring other women s fantasies When Brandon tells Heather, I ve found with you, sweet, that when I want you badly enough I can overlook being a gentleman, my heart beats a little faster as I imagine him with the devilish glint of a marauding Errol Flynn or Clark Gable in his eye As Patricia Reynolds Smith, the academic who edited Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women with Jayne Ann Krentz, pointed out during our panel discussion, this is no forced seduction where Heather is made to experience pleasure against her will Woodiwiss never once glamorizes rape Heather despises it the two times Brandon has his way with her when she is resistive It s not until he learns to show her tenderness and consideration after a long period of enforced abstinence that she comes to enjoy their lovemaking The one scene that fueled my own adolescent fantasies and has lingered in my imagination for over twenty four years is the scene where Brandon first learns that Heather is carrying his child After her vicious aunt slaps her and rips her ragged dress from her body, revealing her pregnant nakedness to everyone in the room, Brandon comes storming out of the shadows and sweeps his cloak around her In that one thrilling and protective gesture, we see a shadow of the hero he will become Although Brandon can be a bit of a bully when crossed, from the very beginning of the novel he demonstrates a capacity for humor and irresistible kindness He resents being forced into marriage, yet he buys Heather beautiful clothes, covers her when she is cold, has a tub brought on board his ship because he knows she cherishes her baths, and orders a special pair of long johns made to help her endure the bitter winter weather at sea He also fulfills another crucial female fantasy that would go on to become a staple of our genre once he lays eyes on Heather, he never wants or touches another woman Since The Flame and the Flower gave women their first chance to read about sex outside of the context of male pornography, I was amazed to realize how few sex scenes there actually are in the book After Heather and Brandon s initial encounter, they don t make love again until near the very end of the novel During the long sea voyage, we watch them slowly becoming husband and wife denying each other sexual comforts, yet strengthening their emotional bond We enjoy the vicarious thrill of watching them fall in love, not just in lust The sensual tension escalates through a series of tender moments such as the one where they exchange Christmas gifts back at Brandon s Carolina plantation, the scene where Heather is sewing baby clothes while Brandon reads aloud to her from A Midsummer Night s Dream, and the funny and touching scene where their child is finally born By the end of the book, you actually believe that these two could build a happy life together built not only on physical attraction, but on mutual respect and love While Brandon is becoming a hero worth having, Heather completes her own satisfying personal journey Her fiery confrontations with her husband don t defeat her, but strengthen her No longer a passive victim, late in the book she even vanquishes the lecherous Mr Bartlett, who manhandles her when he mistakes her for a bondwoman While devoted slave Hatti hits the villain in the face with a mop, Heather stomps on his instep, then hurls a chunk of soap at his head, causing him to somersault off the porch A fuming Brandon arrives, but Heather no longer needs him to rescue her She has completed her journey from girl to woman and is now fully his equal and his match Both the power and pleasure of The Flame and the Flower are rooted in its retelling of the primal myths that reside in our collective unconsciousness In the snippet of poetry that prefaces the book, it is not the flame that consumes the flower, but the flower that triumphs by re emerging after being scorched by the flame Kathleen E Woodiwiss didn t just understand the Beauty and the Beast mythology on an intellectual level She internalized it to such a degree that it infuses every word of both this story and her follow up classic, The Wolf and the Dove And in Brandon Birmingham, Woodiwiss delivers a beast worthy of the taming As Patricia Reynolds Smith pointed out during our panel discussion, in recent years there has been a tendency for romance writers to defang their beasts much too early in our stories We re so determined to make our protagonists heroic from the very first page possibly to stave off internet criticism of the ultra Alpha male that there s very little room left for the personal growth that makes this book so satisfying and enduring And it is enduring 183 reader reviews on .com prove that As I scrolled through them, I was amazed by how many of them were written by girls who were around the same age I was when I first discovered the book It seemed these young women could relate to both Heather s age and her coming of age journey during the story This made me wonder if romance writers aren t missing some vital component of growing the market in our efforts to be politically correct by prematurely aging the heroines in our historical romances Perhaps the best way to win a reader s heart for life is to win it while it s still young and tender Whether you love The Flame and the Flower or hate it, we re still talking about it almost 40 years later How many other romances will be able to make that claim As I turned the last page of the book with a wistful sigh, I was humbled all over again by what a tremendous debt of gratitude we all owe Kathleen E Woodiwiss Brandon Birmingham and Heather Simmons are truly the grandparents of all the historical heroes and heroines who came after them At the end of the book, Kathleen E Woodiwiss shouldn t have written The End, but The Beginning.

  4. says:

    4.5 stars Kathleen Woodiwiss is credited with the invention of the modern historical romance novel In 1972 she released The Flame and the Flower, an instant New York Times bestseller that created a literary precedent Well done to her for creating this genre many have learned from her, I m sure.I can see how some might have issues with what happened in the beginning of the book it s fiction it is what used to be termed a bodice ripper it happened Her struggle pulled his shirt loose and then his furred chest lay bare against her with only the thin film of the chemise between them It was a sweeping tale that took us from the streets of London across the ocean to the New World Under the full moon the great live oaks with their hanging moss seemed to stand like gray sentinels The Hero was an ass I loved how strong Heather was Loved his brother wonder does he get his own story With all the lovely young ladies here he had to go to England and bring back a Tory as a wife LOL, don t know what was worse, the fact that she was a Tory or half Irish I will definitely check out books by this author They may be a bit old and dated but I still love this genre.

  5. says:

    It was nice to finally read this signature romance by a historical romance great I quite enjoyed it Initially, I was a bit worried, because Brandon came off as an arrogant, self absorbed jerk However, he really redeemed himself, showing a profound selflessness and dedication for his young wife Yes, he did rape her If you don t like rape in a romance, then you won t like this book, and I would not judge you We all have our personal tastes and comfort zones Rape is a plot device I can tolerate, depending on the execution My issues with Brandon were due to his blase reaction to raping a young woman He was willing to gloss over his action, and to keep her as his mistress since the stallion had already gotten into the barn, so to speak He didn t apologize to her But, we come to see that over the course of this story, Brandon does acknowledge his wrongdoing to Heather, and takes measures to do better by her in the future He s not perfect, but he was a good man and he really did show his love for Heather as this story progressed In fact, some of his gentleness towards Heather reminded me of a Julie Garwood hero, particularly in the scene when Heather s water has broken and he s trying to get her changed He was exasperated with her reasoning about him turning his back while she changed, and cleaning up the water from the floor, but he remained gentle and kind with her So, yes he did redeem himself He showed her a lot of patience and understanding about the big secret she was hiding.Brandon is in some ways a stalkerific hero He s very possessive, obsessed with, and jealous about Heather He doesn t want any man near her, and was about to go crazy when the men were fawning over her at the ball they held I found it interesting that he didn t really get too angry at his brother Jeff, even though Jeff was flirting really heavily with Heather But, I think his love for his brother made it clear to him that this was no real threat.The things I loved about this story The love bond that grows between Heather and Brandon becomes very profound and beautiful They showed their love physically in many scenes, and most of them are non sexual With gentle touches and caresses, and how thoughtful they were to each other s wellbeing and needs I loved that most of this book doesn t involve love scenes, because we get to see the relationship between Heather and Brandon develop in a good way, and to reset the tone of their first meeting in this story I would recommend this book to a reader who wants a good romance book showing a couple who is married When the love scenes occur later on in the book, they are the vague, pretty language type, if that s not your thing The beautifully descriptive and atmospheric writing Ms Woodiwiss was a very talented writer Her writing is gorgeous and elegant It invokes a period feel that I really immersed myself in I felt like I was there during many of the scenes due to her vivid writing The familial and friendly interactions between the characters Jeff is quite the character He is funny and insightful I liked the humor in this story Very good adventure moments and a decent mystery The murders that occur in this book were surprisingly dark, although they all occur off screen Heather is a great character She was such a sweet, kind, gentle, innocent heroine But she isn t one of those heroines who made my eyes roll or got on my nerves She is timid, but strong in some ways Nowadays, it seems as though romance fans have made authors afraid to write heroines like her But I quite enjoyed her She reminds me of some of Julie Garwood s loveable heroines, although she doesn t show the sustained bizarre logic that they show which cracks me up This girl was a real sweetie for me.Things I wasn t Crazy About Slavery is a huge issue for this reader I respect that some readers aren t particularly bothered by romance novels set in slavery times, but I don t care for them I hate the idea of slavery, even if it is true that some slave owners were kind to, and often thought of their slaves as family members I think Ms Woodiwiss wanted to have a story set in the American South, but wasn t too comfortable with the connotations of slavery She seemed to shy away from showing the ugly aspects of slavery in the interactions of Brandon with his slaves She never even called them slaves, referring to them as servants I won t presume to tell an author how to write, but I didn t really care for the soft shoeing here I d rather she called a spade a spade, and showed Brandon as a kindly slaveowner That would have been realistic for me The Disneyland depiction of the slave plantation is a bit insulting for me as a reader As I said, this is my personal issue I don t judge other readers who have no quarrel with it Having said that, this was a book set in the slavery times that didn t bother me as much as some did soft shoeing may have served a role in this I wasn t sure if I liked the almost caricature like depiction of some of the Black characters I almost felt as though Ms Woodiwiss watched Gone With the Wind, and wrote Hatti based on Mammy from Gone With the Wind The other Black characters had almost no personality They were shadow figures who fetched, cleaned, and carried It made me wince, than a few times Physical beauty good, External ugliness bad I didn t really like that underlying theme here The villain was a very ugly man, and his heart was ugly He could have easily been really gorgeous and evil Louisa, Brandon s scheming ex fiance was showed as a lacking contrast to Heather, not just in poor character, but because she was large framed, and in her thirties, and not sexually innocent like Heather Young and firm fleshed isn t necessarily always better than mature and buxom A woman s value isn t necessarily in her virginity or lack of sexual experience Louisa was very promiscuous, and she wasn t a nice person, and I didn t like her, but I don t think she should have been rejected based on her getting older Not that Woodiwiss was saying this, but there were contrasts drawn between the two that relied heavily on physical appearance It made me uncomfortable.I can honestly say that I really liked this story It took forever to read small print, and length , but it was very readable I loved Brandon and Heather as a couple, despite their inauspicious start If you would like to read classic, well done, old School romance, this is a good place to start Recommended if you don t mind slavery in your romances.

  6. says:

    What I learned from this book 1 rape is ok if you re a hot, sensuous man 2 beauty good, ugly badI am reading my way through Romance Readers Top 100 and I finished Shanna first and then The Flame and the Flower I really enjoyed Shanna s story, protagonists and flowery language I read The Flame and the Flower next and am frankly mystified as to why it holds such a special place in so many readers hearts Is is because it was one of the first romance novels you read My principal misgiving about the book will be pretty obvious The hero s repeated rape of the heroine in the beginning of the book Not just the rape, but his cavalier attitude about it Literally laughing in her face after learning about the terrible mistake that brought her to him and telling her to face the reality, the harms been done, now she ll have to be his mistress, time for some rape, but don t worry baby you ll get used to it, btw don t attempt to leave because now you re my prisoner Then when he gets called out on his actions and has to marry her he verbally abuses her and rails, i have a fiance what am i supposed to tell her Seriously Not once throughout the book does he evince any sort of remorse for his heinous treatment of her in the beginning Yeah, sure, they fall in love and his promises that she would eventually beg for it from him come true, and he lavishes affection on her, great Besides realizing that he could, gulp, love a slip of a girl his character doesn t really grow in my opinion He spends the first half of the book being such a jerk that I hoped she would run off with the brother Finally, hero and heroine start having sex and everything is great between them I ve actually been sucked in at this point and am manipulated into being happy for them But wait now there s a crazy rapist murderer on the loose Unlike our hero he s evil because he s disgustingly ugly also he kills people Evil guy tries to rape kill our heroine and the hero saves her HEA ruined by this interchange 3 pages from the end If you had killed Mr Court, do you think I would have blamed you My Lord, the man deserved it interesting so HE deserves to die for wanting to rape her, but it s ok for the hero to rape her After this follows a revelation about Lady Cabot s and some chuckles about what it would have been like had she worked at the brothel Still the worst is yet to come I m glad that bastard who thought of putting you there met his end Otherwise I might be tempted to go back and wring his blasted neck He got what he deserved for trying to rape you She looked at him slyly You were the one who raped me What were your just desserts He grinned leisurely I received my just rewards when I had to marry a cocky wench like you Nice Not only does he never feel any remorse, or apologize, but the whole thing is a joke by the end On a side note I also find it really obnoxious how Louisa is compared to Heather and found lacking, not so much in character, but in physical beauty which REFLECTS that lack of character There are countless examples in the book, the most annoying of which I found to be when Louisa barges in on the happy couple while Heather s top is undone because she was just breast feeding her son Brandon s reaction to this is to remember how Louisa s boobs are getting saggy cuz she s so old and how she s nowhere near as hot as Heather so where does she get off with that attitude Good thing you re into raping nubile teenagers Brandon, or else you might be shackled into marriage with someone only 3 years younger than you I m not trying to attack some people s favorite author, but I sincerely want to know why this book is so beloved.

  7. says:

    Wtf So if I guy thought you were hot and wanted you he could just rape you and you had to marry your rapist Holy bat shit That is nuts Also what the hell kind of polite society is it that lets a young girl suffer thought all that and then he has the nerve to joke about it I can t believe this I understand things were different but good god man that is crazy Poor baby to have to live with that and the poor girl married to her rapist has to find a way to make peace and continue to forge a relationship based on rape Disgusting Also, he said he would have found her anyways because she would have worked in a whore house that he goes to What kind of a nut job is that The only thing that redeemed this book for me somewhat was that he did not sleep with her until it felt right and he did not force her after their wedding He was really punishing himself here.She on the other hand, having no idea that sex was for pleasure, was good without the sex and she felt none of his frustration Hey dude, That s what happens when you only rape a girl, she is not going to know that orgasms are mutual as you have never given her any So while he was torturing himself she felt nothing Poetic justice here

  8. says:

    I really don t get why people considered Kathleen E Woodiwiss to be the queen of historical romance I mean I have only read two of her books and I can honestly say that she was nowhere near as good as other talented authors such as Judith Mcnaught and Laurie Mcbain This book for instance is utter shite, full of stupid one dimensional characters with a pointless storyline that just drags on and on Don t waste your precious time reading this crap, you will only be sorry

  9. says:

    My modern sensibilities were deeply offended by this classic 1970 s romance It is reading books like this when I regret my quirk of always needing to finish books, even when I don t like them At the beginning of the story, the 18 year old heroine is living with her verbally abusive aunt and hen pecked uncle They decide to foist her off on an extended member of the family who claims he can have her admitted to a prestigious finishing school for young ladies But as soon as she s left for London with him he indicates his true plan is to sell her to a high class brothel after he s grown tired of his own use of her body He unsuccessfully attempts to rape her and after she escapes from his home she is captured by two Yankee seamen who mistake her for a streetwalker They take her aboard their ship where she is raped repeatedly by the 35 year old captain and illustrious hero of the story Here s a taste of rape, 1972 style Relax Just lie still and don t fight me Later you can learn what pleases a man, but for now just lie still You don t appear to be a cold wench, ma petite only for the moment a reluctant one Soon you ll learn to enjoy it For now just learn to accept it And when she sobbingly tells him she hates him, loathes him, despises him, he actually laughs and says, You ll change your mind Someday you ll be begging for it Just wait, Heather, and we ll see which one of us is right Following the rape, he tells her he intends to install her in a private household as his London mistress She doesn t find this proposition acceptable so she escapes from the ship and returns to her aunt and uncle s cottage, where she is grudgingly taken back in Life reverts back to the way it had been except that Heather is now suffering the symptoms of early pregnancy, although she doesn t realize the truth of it herself It isn t until her aunt catches a glimpse of her in the bath when the reality of her circumstances are finally acknowledged Heather has been impregnated by her rapist So of course the logical next step in this type of scenario is a forced marriage Heather, being a victim of the era, is spineless, subservient and too stupid to live so she meekly goes along with the plan She rides to London with her aunt and uncle and through the connections of a powerful family friend, the rapist, Captain Brandon Birmingham, is forced to man up and unwillingly dragged to the altar with Heather Simmons, the ever deferential He is angry at being trapped into marriage and believes Heather played a role in orchestrating their forced nuptials So in order to punish her for having wronged him, he tells her he will never sleep with her When he initially informs her of his intent to withhold the hot sexxin , he actually seems to believe he is denying her something she would have wanted So when she is relieved that she won t be required to perform her wifely duties, he is actually surprised I wanted to throttle him Come on, you arrogant asshole, she was a fucking virgin You raped her Thanks to you, her only experience with sex has been a physical and emotional violation of the worst sort Why is it so shocking that she wouldn t want you Then, for the next couple hundred pages following the wedding, Brandon takes his liberties in taunting her, mocking her and being cruel And even on the occasions when he acted kindly towards her purchasing thoughtful gifts, sparing no expense in purchasing a new wardrobe for her, caring for her when she was sick, standing up for her when she was verbally assaulted by his jealous ex he would invariably ruin the moment by turning around and saying something rude and hurtful And for what purpose I imagine the intent was to show that he was falling in love with her, but I don t buy that crock of shit Kind then cruel, hot then cold that is the recipe of an abusive manipulator, not someone who is falling in love And keep in mind, you raped her So why mock and taunt her Anyway, the turning point in the story seems to occur when he goes on a month long business trip and they both spontaneously decide to start being nice to each other when they are reunited The story became slightly tolerable after that point but by then I was so much in hate with the characters that I didn t find it to be a redeeming or believable change of pace Secondly, unrelated to rape and the supposed ideal sexual dynamics in the 1970 s, I was also offended by how the author addressed the issue of slaves servants in this story The book was published in 1972, right on the heels of the Civil Rights Era, so I found it so terribly convenient that Brandon and several of the other white characters were such forward thinking people as to be opposed to slavery, in spite of the setting in South Carolina in 1799 1800 Apparently it is one thing to be so overcome at the sight of a woman that you can t help but rape her three times in one night but owning slaves Oh ho ho That is just unforgivable, son I found the discrepancy between such an old fashioned attitude to rape and the modern attitude to slavery jarring And I found the black characters to be painful stereotypes They are described as being childlike and jolly and so fucking fake that whitey over here felt mortified Being so decidedly anti slavery was incongruent with the story s setting but supposedly appropriate given the book s publication date and yet, the black characters are constantly referred to as Negress and Negro Uh, really I m sorry, but it just didn t add up for this reader.I m giving it an extra star because I wouldn t mind giving the author another shot when I separate the offensive material from the storyline itself, I suspect that a different plot and setting might have adequately captured my interest, but unfortunately, I can t say that I read the same book as the multitude of readers who are giving this book 4 and 5 stars I truly do not get it.

  10. says:

    Yes, Brandon can be a class A jerk and extremely arrogant Heather is very sweet, innocent, and meek Actually, I found Heather refreshing since so many of the heroines are feisty beyond reason and not at all an accurate protrayal of women of their time This book hits many of my kinks captor captive, mistaken identity he thinks she s a prostitue , noncon, a much older hero she s 17 18 and he s 35 THis is a fantasy Period Realistic has nothing to do with it If that s what you want, this is not the book for you.What I love is that Brandon is so hopelessly whipped and is so stubborn about admitting it He makes a jackass of himself by punishing her by refusing to have sex with her once married He s such an idiot and his brother is merciless in pointing it out to him It is he who is punished by that, her only experience was by his force the first time they met So, that s what she believed sex was like She didn t care if he didn t want sex, because it scared her Of course her attraction to him which is always there blossoms Brandon is so tied in knots because he s so used to being pursued and here s this girl who he wants so badly and she wants nothing to do with him at first She does not want to be his mistress, she does not want his fancy clothes, she does not want to sleep with him, and despite his beliefs about her part in the blackmail, she does not want to marry him He is so full of hot air and foolish pride He is also extremely protective of Heather and wants to give her everything As many have said, he ends up putting her on a pedestal which was sweet Also, I kinda liked his paternal attitude she really brings out the protective instincts in him and I love when he takes care of her while she is ill on the voyage from England.As far as the rape It is disturbing because he s so arrogant once he realizes she s not a prostitute He decides she ll be his mistress and will come to love it once he showers her with material things and gives her servants, etc He is not considerate of her feelings on the matter and just decides she is his and that she ll learn to love it He is not, however, brutal by the standards of that genre He never hits her He actually tries hard to give her pleasure, but she is too innocent scared to be aroused Then she runs away from him, which does serve him right ADDED RE Abridged Cassette version bought this because it s one of my favs and I wanted to be able to listen to it while I cleaned or drove Wow The abridged is such a watered down version Sometimes Woodiwiss can, IMHO be wordy, so I thought this would eliminate that and possibly skim over some of the parts in the beginning before they got together Unfortunately this was TOO condensed The entire story can be listened to in 90 minutes Anyone who s read the book knows this is extremely short So much detail and tension was lost It went from the classic it is to something like a fluffy little Hqn historical.

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