The Flame and The Flower

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Kathleen E. Woodiwiss
The Flame and the Flower

Released 1972
ISBN: 0380005255
512 Pages

The Flower
Doomed 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 stranger.

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. For he is determined to make the sapphire-eyed 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.

Jennifer says:

Our first classic novel. It was very interesting to go back and read something that was written in like 1972 because so much has changed in the romance genre. Caution, stop reading now if you don’t want to find out spoilers from this book….

Overall, I only thought this book was okay. Yes, probably part of that is because romance novels have evolved but a bigger part of it was the characters themselves. Heather, was a wuss. I wanted her to grow a spine throughout the entire freakin’ book and she never did. Brandon’s former fiancee’ treated her terribly, even in her own home, and I couldn’t wait for her to stand up and put her in her place but Heather never did it. She left the room crying several times after a run in with the witch and I wanted her to get her “just desserts” so to speak.

Brandon was a cad. It annoyed me to no end that he raped this woman (which was pretty standard in most romance novels of the time so you can’t really judge the book just by that). But, what annoyed me about him was he called her “my love” throughout the entire book. However, he raped her and intended on treating her cold and never having sex with her (after they were married) but his “pet name” for her was my freakin’ love?!?! And, even after he discovered she was a virgin, he still intended on treating her like a whore and setting her up as his mistress (before they were married). Nothing in her demeanor could have been mistaken for a hooker but he fully intended on keeping her that way.

Now, the brother intrigued me. I looked to see if there was a story about him and I didn’t see one. There was a sequel to this book but it was about their son. Anyone know about Jeff’s book? I enjoy this writer very much but I wouldn’t re-read this novel. Thoughts?

Valeen says:
I’ll start out by saying that if I’d read this book 15 years ago when I first starting reading romances with Deveraux and Garwood, I may have thought it was much better than I did now. Now, it was just okay. Not fabulous, definitely will love and reread but still okay good. I definitely won’t reread it though any time in the next ten years.

I know the rape scene is well noted and well talked about in this book but I think I have to reread the first bit of the story again, because even though the rape scene was there it didn’t jump out at me for some reason. Heather fought Brandon but then on the next page she almost refers to it as …. damn it I can’t think of the exact wording … maybe with some curiosity? She didn’t like it or enjoy it but she’s not reliving it in horror. Or so I found.

Brandon – lord could that man be an ass. He constantly laughed at everything Heather did or he got angry. I thought that he definitely could have been a bit more misunderstanding than he was. Also even though he was a take-charge kinda guy I thought he could have sweet talked Heather a little faster into a more intimate relationship, he didn’t take charge as fast as I wanted him to. But boy did he grow … by the end he was sweet and doting and fiercely protective – very sweet to read about. When it came to Lousia I thought he could have told her off much sooner than he did though, he should have smartened her up when she first started running her mouth.

Heather – could she have trembled and quivered any more?? Damn it! She drove me absolutely insane, I wanted to see her get yelled at and put in her place. She was one of the most cowardly and spineless heroines I’ve ever read about.

The one thing I absolutely loved, and it was pointed out by Fiona as well, is the fact that the heroine and hero are together throughout the entire book. As a reader you are seeing them constantly interact with each other and that is so completely different from alot of books now. There was no secondary plot or characters on the side – it was all about the h/h. There was no separation, the hero didn’t take off in a fit of rage abroad for six months and the heroine didn’t get it into her head that the hero doesn’t want her and leave him. But she did have a too stupid to live moment where she rushes off to help save the day and gets caught by the bad guy. Hero the rescue … which is nice to see as well.

How many of you have read this book? Were your thoughts different if you read it over 15/20 years ago as compared to if you read it recently? (did that sentence make sense?) How did you like the protagonists?

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One response »

  1. Well, leave it to me to love the book.

    I thought the rape scene was one of the most “horrific” that I have read to date. Horrific as in, the heroine wanted NOTHING to do with it. A lot of times you saw a little resistance but some enjoyment found in the act, but not in this book…and twice!

    The lack of sex in the rest of the book was sorta annoying but once again, I loved that the h/h stayed together and interacted throughout the entire novel.

    Heather definitely had several awful attributes but I felt she grew and came in to her own there at the end.

    And I liked Brandon. I like alpha therefore I like Brandon. Of course he is a dufus, he’s not supposed to know how to be anything else, but he was quite possessive and protective and…sigh.

    Anyway…loved it! And I have already started Elusive Flame which is Beau’s story.

    Wish, wish, wish I could talk more but I have company and my eyes are super droopy. Will try to elaborate tomorrow!

    …Fi

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