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62 Reviews
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 (41)
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An extraordinarily brave, passionate and exciting romance.
I am amazed that this was Woodiwiss's first novel. What a courageous debut!
To begin reading what is seemingly going to be a formulaic love story and to be confronted by a rape scene within chapters begs the reader to examine the characters in this book in a lot more depth than is usually required in this genre.
Woodiwiss continues to shock throughout this...
Published on 11 Dec 2001 by Loupop

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Can't Feel The Sensuality For The Burdensome Purple Prose
The Flame and the Flower is sometimes held up as an example
of the best of the romance genre. It is recommended to
aspiring romance authors for its supposedly devastating
levels of sensuality. To an extent, I would have to agree
that Woodiwiss' work does successfully convey a certain,
stomach-turning kind of sensuality. Unfortunately, that...
Published on 14 July 1996


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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars well, perhaps you should read the book, then decide., 16 Jun 1999
By A Customer
I personally found the rape scene in the beginning very distasteful. Heather, the heroine, was weak, and had developed a dependency on Brandon, the hero, as he did not permit her out of his sight for a day (or night, whatever). he rapes her not once, but three times, and assures her that she will grow to like it, mindless of the fact that she struggles and protests. heather is a poor, young girl who is thrown around throughout the whole story. First an abusive aunt, then her husband. It seems that she is such a beauty that she risks rape throughout the whole book (which gets stale very quickly). I view Brandon as a debauched jerk who is basically a man who cannot control his more baser needs. heather is like a puppy, hurt throughout the story, but eventually lapping up the reasonably kind attention she gets in the later half (MUCH later) of the story. She is a victim of domestic abuse, and grows to like it. true, she was never hit by her husband, but the constant reprimands and yelling keeps her at the level of a child. overlooking all that, the end WAS sorta romantic, but the getting there was vulgar. No woman wants a man to have complete control of her life, especially a man who doesn't really care if he has to force it out of you. My first book by Ms. Woodweiss, but I'll look into another, just to see if I'm missing anything.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SIMPLY THE BEST!!!!!, 5 Feb 1999
By A Customer
BREATHTAKING! I read this book many years ago and it is as fresh in my mind now as it was then. You walk away feeling like you know the characters and don't want to leave them.("The Elusive Flame" reunites them with their many fans.) When I first read "The Flame.." it was a library book and I was so deeply moved that I didn't want to return it. I couldn't find a copy in the stores with the same cover, so I bought one with the plain cover and donated it to the library. I kept the original copy and have read it a few more times over the years. I loved the hero so much that I named my son Brandon after the book. Some readers have a problem with the book because Brandon forces himself on Heather, but if they took the time to read on, they would fall in love with him too. He is gentle and protective with her when she is pregnant. This is fiction after all. I don't want the authors walking around on eggshells worrying that they may offend a touchy reader. This book is so wonderful that it is a shame for someone to pick one scene and blow it out of proportion! It will put a smile in your heart and leave you with the feeling that it would be wonderful to be loved in the way that they eventually come to love each other. Fall in love with The Flame and the Flower!!!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars If you want to read it, check it out from the library!, 1 Jun 1999
By A Customer
Woodiwiss has produced a well-written book with a disturbing plot line. After reading the "rape" scene, I found myself thinking there is no difference between Brandon's character and her aunt's brother, except looks and the fact that Brandon was able to rape her first.
Throughout the book, Brandon continues to treat Heather badly. Woodiwiss does not build enough justification for how Heather could possibly fall in love with Brandon, since he treats her poorly.
If an author wishes to write a rape scene in a novel, she must be careful how she carries it off. When Woodiwiss wishes to do so next, she should look at Judith McNaught's book, Whitney My Love for an example.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This was what I used my amazon.com gift certificate for?, 12 Mar 1999
By A Customer
Now I know someone is going to read this review and say "she doesn't read romance." Well, I do--and I've read too many to be enchanted with this book. I read all the customer comments and I figured, this must be an awesome book (despite the fact that I've previously bought 2 Kathleen Woodiwiss books and been unable to finish them because of boredom). I should have gone with my gut feeling. The rape scenes really didn't bother me, nor did the fact that the hero callously disregarded Heather's feelings many times (that's not uncommon in a romance novel) but what got on my last nerve was Heather. She was a ninny. I got so sick of this phrase "Oh, Brandon!" This is the romance novel that men make fun of--a sappy, silly, would-be bodice ripper. The character descriptions were unforgiveably vague and the villain was needlessly troll-like. Not all villains have hunchbacks and are too ugly to look at for long, Ms. Woodiwiss.
I felt that the book would have been much better if the heroine had been someone like Scarlett O'Hara. Basically someone with a spine. So this being my feelings, I think Brandon should have stayed with his current mistress and kicked Heather to the curb.
Now, if you've previously read this authors books, and found that you like her writing style then you might enjoy this. If not, save your money and go for Linda Howard or Judith McNaught (not her latest, though).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent story, 9 July 2014
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I read this and other Kathleen Woodiwiss stories when I was in my early twenties and I was hooked. I also recommend The Flame and the Flower - early Medieval Norman Conquest of Saxons story another excellent read. I'm now in my sixties and am enjoying reading her many books all over again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars For all non soppy romantics, 13 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The Flame and the Flower (Birmingham) (Kindle Edition)
Got to love the Flame and the flower one of my all time favs by this author, Heroine is a quiet, shy and abused english lass, Hero and arrogant but hunky American. The characters are fantastic you really feel you are sharing there lives. I read this every few years and it is like going back to visit old friends def reccommend
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good read, 29 May 2014
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This review is from: The Flame and the Flower (Birmingham) (Kindle Edition)
I read this book more than 40 years ago, and I always remembered the book and the author. So I bought it on kindle, and really enjoyed reading it again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite feel good author!, 1 April 2014
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This review is from: The Flame and the Flower (Birmingham) (Kindle Edition)
Love Kathleen E Woodiwiss books. Good old fashioned romance with a bit of a plot. Nothing heavy, no violence and the endings are always satisfying. Probably sick making for a lot of people but hey don't we need more of the feel good factor in this modern couldn't care less, sometimes brutal, life?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved It, 23 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The Flame and the Flower (Birmingham) (Kindle Edition)
I first read this book in the seventies in paperback. Now I have my kindle I bought it and read it again and loved it just as much.

Heather Simmons, a soft natured, beautiful girl, is forced to live with a relative after her father dies. The woman treats her no better than a servant and when an opportunity comes along for her to leave her aunt's, she takes it, not realizing that she faces an even darker peril.

Running away from a man's unwanted advances, she falls prey to ship's captain, Brandon Birmingham's attentions instead. But the handsome adventurer is much harder to resist and after spending some time together, Heather becomes pregnant.
Feeling angry because he has been forced into an unwanted marriage, Brandon does his best to make Heather suffer. However, Brandon is the one that finishes up suffering as he begins to fall in love and experiences jealousy for the first time.

After a long sea voyage, they come home to Brandon's plantation and Heather is welcomed by everyone, except for Brandon's ex fiancé, who tries to tempt him back into her bed.
Heather, on the other hand, is determined to win her husband's love and gradually over time and with patience, Brandon start's to realize that the prize he won by mistake is far more valuable than the one he lost.
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5.0 out of 5 stars KATHLEEN WOODIWISS, 7 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The Flame and the Flower (Birmingham) (Kindle Edition)
I have always loved her books and this is another one to add to my collection to read again excellent
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The Flame and the Flower (Birmingham)
The Flame and the Flower (Birmingham) by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss
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